BTRDA duo close to launch­ing into WRC af­ter im­press­ing in DMACK shootout

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - John Fife

Two BTRDA com­peti­tors were both close to win­ning a drive into the World Rally Cham­pi­onship next year, af­ter im­press­ing in the Drive DMACK Tro­phy Shootout.

BTRDA Fi­esta ST Tro­phy win­ner Cameron Davies, and the Tro­phy fron­trun­ner Ge­orge Le­p­ley (who en­tered the shootout as a wild­card cho­sen by the tyre firm) im­pressed DMACK’S Glenn Pat­ter­son.

“Two of the guys who im­pressed us the most in the Shootout were ac­tu­ally com­peti­tors from the ST Tro­phy in the UK,” Pat­ter­son told MN. “They both scored re­ally well in the phys­i­cal tests and driv­ing assess­ments – and both had a re­ally good plan for their fu­ture ca­reer pro­gres­sion when we in­ter­viewed them.”

Pat­ter­son – Kris Meeke’s for­mer co-driver – be­lieves the duo’s pace high­lights the ben­e­fits of the ST Tro­phy.

“We need to try and get our young driv­ers in the UK to aim as high as they can,” he added. “The or­gan­is­ers of the ST Tro­phy have done a great job in get­ting a com­pet­i­tive grass-roots se­ries up and run­ning. Both Cameron and Ge­orge were very close to mak­ing a step up from the BTRDA to the JWRC. And all they were lack­ing was ex­pe­ri­ence. They per­formed ex­tremely well against other young com­peti­tors with WRC events un­der their belts.”

The shootout took place last week, where driv­ers were in­vited to un­dergo me­dia, fit­ness and in-car tests, with the even­tual prize a part-funded sea­son in the DDFT, which is ex­pected to be an­nounced as the new JWRC next week.

Ni­co­las Ci­amin won the event, af­ter fin­ish­ing sev­enth in this year’s DDFT. The French driver beat a num­ber of favourites in­clud­ing two-time DDFT 2016 event win­ner Jon Arm­strong.

Bob Mor­land, Frazer Mad­der

MN is sad to re­port the loss of two figures from Scot­tish ral­ly­ing that will be sorely missed. Af­ter a long fight with can­cer, Bob Mor­land (1937-2016) – a nav­i­ga­tor and lat­terly an en­gi­neer – passed away ear­lier this month.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful co-driv­ing ca­reer, for the past 12 years he acted as Team Su­per­vi­sor and men­tor to Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy in the BSW Rally Team and was a fa­mil­iar figure at ser­vice ar­eas through­out the UK, not just in Scot­land.

Frazer Mad­der (1945-2016), one of the founders of the Scot­tish Mo­tor­sport Mar­shals’ Club, also died in hos­pi­tal ear­lier this month.

Frazer was one of a num­ber of reg­u­lar mo­tor sports mar­shals in the early 1970s who re­alised that mo­tor sport was dan­ger­ous, more so for am­a­teur and club rac­ers and ral­ly­ists than the pro­fes­sion­als at the sport’s top level.

Along with David Swin­ton, Mike Gas­coigne, Iain Ral­ston and oth­ers, Frazer helped to found the Scot­tish Mo­tor­sports Mar­shals’ Club in 1973 and a pre­vi­ously un­heard of ac­tiv­ity was in­tro­duced to the vol­un­teers – train­ing.

He’ll be sorely missed by friends and col­leagues, but his place and achieve­ments amongst those early vi­sion­ar­ies is as­sured.

Le­p­ley (l) and Davies (r) im­pressed

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