Nathan on the big­ger stage

Ral­ly­cross

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport Starts Here - By Dan Wright

Pluck­ley’s Nathan Heath­cote will com­pete on the in­ter­na­tional ral­ly­cross scene this sea­son af­ter grad­u­at­ing to the RX2 cham­pi­onship.

The 20-year-old, who won the Bri­tish ti­tle at his first at­tempt last year, has signed to race for the Team Faren squad.

He will com­pete in all seven rounds of the one-make se­ries, which sup­ports the world cham­pi­onship and in­cludes trips to France and South Africa.

Heath­cote said: “The only step for­ward for me was to go into in­ter­na­tional ral­ly­cross.

“I have done the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship and won it in my first year and to make a ca­reer out of ral­ly­cross, I need to move up.

“I need to get my feet un­der the ta­ble first but I have got to be at the front and get­ting podi­ums.”

Heath­cote ex­pe­ri­ence has of pre­vi­ous one-make com­pe­ti­tion, hav­ing won the Swift Sport cham­pi­onship in 2016 be­fore step­ping up to Su­per­car last year.

He will test his new car – which is four-wheel drive and pro­duces 310bhp – for the first time to­day (Thurs­day).

Heath­cote will also com­pete in three rounds of the Ral­lyX on Ice over the next few weeks, which starts at Höl­jes Swe­den on Satur­day.

He added: “Ral­lyX on Ice will be a good ex­pe­ri­ence and it will al­low me to get to know the car.

“I know you need to be smooth in an RX2 and it will be like go­ing back to my kart­ing days.

“Eric (Faren, team owner) has big ex­pec­ta­tions of his team and they are all ex­pe­ri­enced in as most have worked for Peu­geot-Hansen in the world cham­pi­onship.”

Heath­cote’s RX2 grad­u­a­tion means his fol­lows the same path as Devon’s Dan Rooke, who also won the Bri­tish Su­per­car cham­pi­onship at his first at­tempt in an LD Mo­tor­sport­srun Citroen DS3 be­fore step­ping up to the se­ries.

Rooke – who also com­peted for Team Faren – fin­ished se­cond in last year’s cham­pi­onship be­hind French­man Cyril Ray­mond.

Heath­cote says he may com­pete in one-off Bri­tish cham­pi­onship rounds in a Su­per­car if bud­get al­lows but RX2 is his main fo­cus for the year.

He added: “My name will be out there on the big­ger stage and hope­fully I will be com­pet­ing at the front.

“The Cape Town round looked awe­some last year so I am look­ing for­ward to that and Höl­jes as well. It is not go­ing to be easy but I will be push­ing from the start.”

The 2018 RX2 sea­son be­gins at Met­tet in Bel­gium on May 12-13.

Main pic­ture: Rus­sell Atkins Pic­ture, in­set: Matt Bris­tow

Nathan Heath­cote, in­set, will com­pete in RX2 this sea­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.