2014 Drive DMACK Ford Fiesta Trophy runner up Tom Cave returned to home soil along with co-driver Craig Parry for the Wales Rally GB behind the wheel of a WRC2 specification Ford Fiesta R5 and didn’t disappoint the local crowd.
Heading in to the weekend the weather had been treacherous, making the stages very wet and muddy, thankfully for the weekend the rain would mainly stay away, the conditions however remained challenging.
From the start Cave suffered problems and by the third stage the Fiesta engine was misfiring with a failing turbocharger wastegate acuator causing the issues that would plague him for until he was able to return to the service area in the evening; Despite the mechanical issues Cave finished the opening day fifth in class.
Talking after the rally Cave commented “The conditions this weekend were incredibly tricky – perhaps the toughest I have seen them. It is a shame that we dropped the time we did on Friday with the misfire as I think that was critical to the result. But that’s rallying and I’m very pleased to be here at the finish.”
With the mechanical issues fixed there were further issues on the second day, this time with pace notes, Cave would run the day conservatively as he wasn’t confident that the notes were perfect for the conditions. Suspension changes at the mid-day service brought hope to the young Welshman, unfortunately these wouldn’t help and Cave lost further time to his fellow competitors.
A quick call to the team would provide some help with some en route changes to improve grip, Cave was happy for the rest of the afternoon and took a stage win on the last route of the day. The win would hep move Cave up to fourth in class with just 20 seconds covering second to fourth in WRC2.
The final day saw Cave flat out attacking the first two stages, unfortunately it wouldn’t be enough as the pace of his seasoned competitors proved too much and would go on to celebrate a fourth in class and an overall fifteenth place at the end of the rally.
“I have really enjoyed this weekend – it’s been great fun and I’m very pleased to finish my sixth Wales Rally GB. And I’m very happy to be in the top 15″ said Cave.
“It’s a great way to round off the season and I’d like to thank Craig for all his efforts, as well as the Trefeddian hotel, Morris Lubricants and HN Nuttal Food Services for their support in getting us here. The guys from Dom Buckley Motorsport did a perfect job of keeping the car on top form and I am extremely grateful to them all.”