IR­ISH CHAM­PION TAR­GET­ING R5 JACK BENYON

GROUP NA­TIONAL EDI­TOR “Where have all the Group Ns gone?”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Gal­way Sum­mer Stages, p31 Pho­tos: Martin Walsh, Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic

Newly crowned Group N Ir­ish Tar­mac cham­pion David Guest is hop­ing to do the last round of the cham­pi­onship in an R5 car ahead of a po­ten­tial switch to the cat­e­gory for next year.

Guest has tar­geted rent­ing an R5 for the Cork ‘20’ af­ter he wrapped up the Group N ti­tle early, with the cat­e­gory suf­fer­ing from rel­a­tively low num­bers in 2016.

“We’re re­ally happy with the year, it’s just a shame we didn’t have more com­pe­ti­tion,” ex­plained Guest. “We’ve gone back over some of the stages that have been used in pre­vi­ous years like Knock­alla, and our times were bet­ter [than other Group N driv­ers]. The time over Molls Gap was bet­ter than Josh Mof­fett’s from a few years ago. A good old bat­tle and fin­ish­ing sec­ond or third is bet­ter than win­ning by 10 min­utes, that was the only dis­ap­point­ment.”

Guest sealed the ti­tle in his Mit­subishi Lancer E9 on the Ul­ster Rally with reg­u­lar nav­i­ga­tor Paddy Robin­son on the notes. Now the Ir­ish­man wants to join the cat­e­gory which head­lines the cham­pi­onship. The se­ries changed rules in 2016 to make R5 cars the fastest to fight for the over­all ti­tle. WRC cars now score to­wards a WRC cup and not the over­all cham­pi­onship.

“We’re try­ing to ex­plore the idea of go­ing for an R5 car,” said Guest. “We prob­a­bly wouldn’t do the full year in the car but we’ll try and do a few events. We’re look­ing at hir­ing a car for maybe the Cork ‘20’ this year and we’ll see from there. So far we’re just look­ing at the Fi­esta.

“We’ve two more events to do this year; the Cork ‘20’ and the Fast­net Stages which is the lo­cal event which we’ll sup­port. We’ll def­i­nitely do them. If we can do it in the R5, great. If not we can do it in the Group N car.

“We’ll def­i­nitely be out next year, do­ing the cham­pi­onship again more than likely. If I can do it in an R5 car I’ll be happy.”

Guest took ti­tle on the Ul­ster Rally

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