Youngster Tom Cave has been preparing for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event, the Rally of Scotland, and all the weather conditions it may throw at him throughout the event.
Cave has been re-acquainted with his bright yellow Proton Satria Neo S2000, a car in which he has not competed in for some time on gravel, due to a busy summer of rallying events in a variety of cars.
Despite finishing eighth in last year’s running of the event, Cave embarked on a days testing in a wet Wales last week to try and determine a base setup for the Scottish event.
Even though the conditions are forecast to be dry, the changeable nature of the weather in the region could cause havoc at any point during the rally.
Speaking of the test Cave said “We had a very good test last week. As it was my first time in the car on wet gravel, it was a bit of an eye-opener to start with but we carried out 75km of running and I’m happy with the set-up we have now for Scotland”.
Cave added “Not only were we trying suspension and tyre options, we were also looking for any issues that might crop up on the event. We suffered with the windscreen steaming up to start with, for example, but soon resolved that. It’s exactly that kind of thing that we were looking for and to find a solution for, since if we came across that for the first time on the first stage, it could seriously jeopardise our chances of a good result”.
The route the rally takes is much the same as 2009, and Cave is fully aware of the challenges the Rally can raise.
“It’s a very challenging event, but also, a very rewarding one. The first stage, at Scone Palace, for example, is very tricky. At first sight, it may seem like just a spectator stage but there’s nothing Mickey-Mouse about it. We had a huge moment there last year and it’s definitely a stage where the clichÃ© ‘You can’t win the rally there but you can lose it’ applies.” said Cave, before adding “Loch Ard will also be a big test. It’s the longest stage of the rally and run twice on Sunday, the last day. It’s a very technical stage and I’ll be studying the in-car footage carefully to try to remember the rhythm and how it flows“.
The youngster from Aberdyfi holds great memories from a brilliant performance in 2009, and is looking to go better this year.
“I’ve got very fond memories of the event, despite the weather last year. It was a fantastic rally from a driver’s point of view and of course, we had a brilliant result – eighth overall in the Fiesta. Of course, I’m hoping to get a better result this year in the Proton but we’ll have to see what the competition is like”, added Cave.