Upcoming Welsh rally driver Tom Cave and co-driver Craig Parry were left thinking what could have been following the Rally of Spain where they finished the year second place in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
Heading in to the weekend Sander Parn topped the points table and for some of the event it looked like Cave had done enough to overhaul him, leading the rally at points; Unfortunately an error from Cave on the final day saw his Ford Fiesta R2 understeer off the road and get beached on a rock.
The time lost getting the Fiesta back on the road saw Cave and Parry lose more than two minutes to their competitiors, thankfully a great run on the previous two days meant the pair would only drop down to second place.
“I’ve never known emotion like that at the end of this event. To be fighting so hard all weekend and to be leading, then make such a silly mistake was devastating.” commented Cave.
“Three kilometres into the stage, the car just understeered off the road. It was a section under the trees and while the first part of the stage was in bright sunlight, this was in shade and I guess the combination of cold road, cold air temperature and tyres not yet up to full temperature caught me out. There was no damage to the car so we could carry on but it took a while for the spectators to get us back on the road.
Cave was frustrated with the incident and admitted there was little he could do when the car started to slide.
“The minute the car started to understeer, I knew that was it – game over. It was an incredibly frustrating way to end not only this event but also this season and I think it will take some time – probably until Wales Rally GB – to get over it. But as I have seen countless times in the past, it’s all part of the learning curve and it happens to the best of ’em.
“There are plenty of positives to take from the season though. We have been quick on both gravel and tarmac on events which we have done before as well as events which are new to us and I am pleased with the speed we have been able to show.
“I want to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support through the year – Morris Lubricants for not only backing us but also supplying us and the rest of the DDFT field with lubricants and of course, the Trefeddian Hotel.”
The season isn’t over for Cave, he will switch over to a four-wheel drive Ford Fiesta R5 for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship Wales Rally GB as he looks to better his 2013 performance which saw him claim five stage wins.