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Motor Sport News - - Historics - WITH TIM SAWYER

ROTT award win­ner Age: 32 Lives: Bices­ter

He’s a rally fan

“For many years I’d been spec­tat­ing and mar­shalling and I started work­ing with Hagerty In­sur­ance last year. When we were ap­proached by the HRCR to spon­sor the Club­mans Cham­pi­onship I was asked if I’d like to go ral­ly­ing. The Es­cort Mk1 is owned by a client and they asked if we’d like the car for the year.”

He did six events this year

“We recom­mis­sioned the car and it has done 12 ral­lies this year. The car has done 11 of the 13 rounds and I did five of the rounds plus the Rally of the Tests. That was the ic­ing on the cake for me as two years ago I was in Chep­stow spec­tat­ing and I didn’t ex­pect to be do­ing the event two years later.”

ROTT was the big chal­lenge

“The Rally of the Tests was some­thing else. It was so tir­ing. I’ve done five sin­gle-day HRCR events and you think you’ve done a day, but then you’ve got an­other evening sec­tion to do and an­other day to­mor­row. I had An­drew Duer­den with me and he is a very com­pe­tent nav­i­ga­tor. We didn’t miss a con­trol and we did ev­ery test.”

He was top novice

“My goal was to see the fin­ish in Ch­ester and to wake up Sun­day morn­ing lead­ing the class by 12 sec­onds was amaz­ing. We dropped to sec­ond in class by the fin­ish but to fin­ish top novice was fan­tas­tic. It was quite emo­tional driv­ing into Ch­ester with the his­tory of the rally.”

The car did give them a scare though

“On Satur­day evening we wrong-slot­ted and the back of the car dropped into a ditch and bent the ex­haust. That cost us a minute at a con­trol. On Sun­day morn­ing the car wouldn’t start as the starter mo­tor had failed. We bump-started it and only turned the en­gine off at lunchtime. The head-gas­ket was on the way out by the fin­ish.”

It was a tough rally

“You need to do some sin­gle-day events be­fore do­ing the Rally of the Tests to know what to ex­pect. You need to keep your head and get around and a nav­i­ga­tor who has got some ex­pe­ri­ence. The in­for­ma­tion just keeps com­ing through the win­dow. It wasn’t un­til Mon­day that I re­alised how ex­hausted I was.”

Sawyer: Ral­ly­ing novice

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