CAVE AND SIMPSON JOIN BTRDA PLAINS
British Rally Championship regulars Tom Cave and Neil Simpson will join the BTRDA ranks on the Plains Rally this weekend, the championship’s biggest entry this year.
The BTRDA has struggled to match its regular entry of 170 plus from last year, but the Welshpool event has attracted 153 entries.
Cave bounced back from a crash on the Red Kite – which he was using as a test event – to score a podium on the BRC opener in Mid Wales, but trouble with set-up on the Circuit of Ireland and Pirelli Carlisle yielded two fourth places. The 24-year-old is hoping a run on the Plains will improve his feeling in the new R5.
“I felt we needed to do a bit more in terms of seat time after the Pirelli,” said Cave, who is adapting to a new car and co-driver in James Morgan. “I need more time with James too, it’s a big step up from the R2 to the R5 car. I’ve changed my notes quite a lot from last year and it takes time to get used to it. For me and for James who’s used to Sander [Parn, WRC2 driver], it will come.”
Simpson, meanwhile, has suffered a troublesome start to the BRC season; the opening round in Mid Wales was over after 400 metres with a problem related to the pop-off valve, while an off on the Circuit of Ireland compounded his woe. However, a strong finish on the Pirelli Carlisle – eighth overall – has given him confidence for the remainder of the season.
Cave’s team-mate Jamie Jukes also returns to the BTRDA in the Spencer Sport set-up in one of the team’s Mitsubishi Mirages, while Rory Young joins the BTRDA returnees in his Ford Fiesta R5 after a strong showing on the Malcolm Wilson rally last time out.
Cave rolls off third for his local eventPhotos: Jakob Ebrey, Mick Walker
Simpson: optimistic Cave: seat time in R5