Wright hop­ing for 2016 ti­tle chal­lenge with Fi­esta R5 up­date

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

For­mer Billy Cole­man Award win­ner Stephen Wright be­lieves that he has the speed to chal­lenge for a top-three fin­ish on the Gal­way In­ter­na­tional Rally.

West Cork Rally podium finisher Wright is cur­rently bolt­ing the lat­est M-sport Evo en­gine up­dates to his Ford Fi­esta R5 and is hop­ing to have it ready in time for Satur­day’s New Year Stages Rally at Kirk­istown, which he feels will serve as an ideal shake­down.

With a year of driv­ing the R5 car un­der his belt, and im­prove­ments on the way, Wright is ea­ger to get some points on the board early.

“I tested an up­graded car last month and it felt like a real step for­ward, so I hope that will be re­flected in my stage times this sea­son,” he said. “We’ll be aim­ing for a podium po­si­tion in Gal­way – and at the mo­ment I think it’s a re­al­is­tic tar­get.”

The Mon­aghan-based com­peti­tor has com­mit­ted to the Ir­ish Tar­mac Cham­pi­onship, one he says has the “best events and best stages” any­where in Europe. Giv­ing pri­or­ity to R5/S2000 cars has also helped, he said.

“Re­cent changes are def­i­nitely go­ing to make for a fas­ci­nat­ing sea­son and hope­fully lead to a healthy level of com­peti­tors across all the cat­e­gories,” said Wright. “I’m prob­a­bly an un­der­dog for the ti­tle but it would be nice to spring a sur­prise.”

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