BAILEY BACK IN RARE EVO JACK BENYON
NATIONAL RALLYING EDITOR “The Glens stage was, and is, something else”
Tristan Bailey will start at car seven for this weekend’s Somerset Stages Rally in an ex-works test car.
The Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 driver last competed on Wales Rally GB National in 2014, finishing fourth, but a house move and personal commitments have kept him away.
“Last time out was GB in 2014 and that was a big one for us financially,” said Bailey, who will be co-driven by James How. “Rallying had to take a back seat unfortunately.”
He won the Corinium and TSH Stages in 2013 in the car, which is believed competed on the 2004 Monte Carlo rally and was used as a works test car. It’s alsothought to be the last Lancer left in WRC04 spec.
“The car is actually chassis number two, there were two test cars built,” added Bailey.
The 2014 GB National didn’t go to plan for Bailey and involved a six hour round- trip to preparer MML. Parts were needed for an ailing gearbox. Bailey is hoping the Somerset Stages is more straightforward.
“Just a finish would be great,” he said. “We’ve had some good results on Tarmac but we’ve always been a bit behind on gravel. She has some difficult quirks!”
Also returning for the event is Steven Clark in his Lancer E6. He finished fourth on the Scottish Rally, his last outing.
Championship leader Charlie Payne will head the Mineheadbased Somerset Stages away on Saturday, April 16, in his Ford Fiesta, with recent Rally North Wales winner Luke Francis second on the road in his Mitsubishi.
Thomas Preston will give the Skoda Fabia R5 its first taste of BTRDA competition with Jack Morton on the notes, while Martyn England will also give a gravel debut to the Ford Fiesta R5 two-litre.