Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­, FI­AERC.COM

Drive DMACK Tro­phy fron­trun­ner Tom Cave will switch to the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship in 2016, part­nered by Bri­tish co-driver James Mor­gan.

Cave an­nounced at the end of last year that he would def­i­nitely com­pete on the sea­son-open­ing Mid Wales round, but has taken a step for­ward in com­mit­ting to a whole cam­paign with Mor­gan this year in a Ford Fi­esta R5 Evo.

“Pre­dom­i­nantly I wanted to be back in an R5 and do a full sea­son in an R5 car,” ex­plained Cave, who has done one-off events in an R5 car but not a whole sea­son. “Four-wheel drive is al­ways some­thing I’ve felt re­ally com­fort­able driv­ing and I know I’ve got the pace to com­pete and to con­test ral­lies out­right. I just feel there isn’t much to achieve in two-wheel drive now.”

Cave has fin­ished run­ner-up in the DMACK Tro­phy for two con­sec­u­tive sea­sons, in 2014 his new co-driver James Mor­gan tri­umphed along­side San­der Parn.

“I’ve known James for a few years, and ob­vi­ously there was that very in­tense ri­valry [with Parn] in 2014 which was good. We were ri­vals but we did re­spect one an­other, and it’s just come to­gether at the right time for the both of us.”

Cave and Parn went to down to the wire for the DMACK Tro­phy in 2014 – with the prize be­ing a seven-round WRC2 cam­paign with the tyre man­u­fac­turer. Parn came out on top.

Mor­gan – who will con­tinue to com­pete in WRC2 with Parn in 2016 – added: “We’ve been quite friendly out­side of the car. We were ri­vals for 2014 mainly, but yeah it will be nice to [join Tom] and I’ll still be with San­der in WRC2, it will be a busy year for me for sure.”

Both Mor­gan and Cave have cred­ited the BRC for the work done to reignite the se­ries dur­ing its off-sea­son, and Mor­gan be­lieves that the en­try for the open­ing round will be a sur­pris­ing num­ber.

“You look how many WRC2 cars are in Monte,” he said. “Po­ten­tially we could have more at the first round of the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship than the World Rally Cham­pi­onship so that shows a lot.

“It’s gone the right way. The year out has helped the buzz around it. It’s good see­ing peo­ple com­mit­ting, putting pen to pa­per rather than talk­ing about it.”

Welsh­man Cave will be look­ing to im­prove on his se­cond-placed fin­ish in 2012. He fin­ished ahead of M-sport driver Elfyn Evans, who is the favourite for the ti­tle in 2016 driv­ing a sim­i­lar Fi­esta R5 Evo in the DMACK Bri­tish Rally Team.

“Of course Elfyn is go­ing to be match fit and the guy ev­ery­one is go­ing to put their money on him to win,” said Cave. “I’ve com­peted against Elfyn in the past and we were al­ways on a sim­i­lar sort of pace. Of course, he’s come off the back of two years in a World Rally Car but to achieve and get where you want to go you have to beat peo­ple who are the­o­ret­i­cally bet­ter than you.”

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Cave will chase the UK ti­tle Cave has driven R5 at Rally GB

JAN­UARY 27 2016

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