IRISH CHAMPION TARGETING R5 JACK BENYON
GROUP NATIONAL EDITOR “Where have all the Group Ns gone?”
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.”