GASS FINISHES ON A HIGH Markethill teenager Darren Gass and his Scots co-driver Neil Shanks have had a very good year by anybody's standards. Darren made the decision to swap from the Fiesta S1600 that they had campaigned in their first...
GASS FINISHES ON A HIGH
Markethill teenager Darren Gass and his Scots co-driver Neil Shanks have had a very good year by anybody's standards.
Darren made the decision to swap from the Fiesta S1600 that they had campaigned in their first full season in 2006, to a Citroen C2 after the first round of 2007.
The move obviously suited them and although the season was not perfect, the result could not have been better. At the final gasp Darren and Neil sealed the Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship Rally 3 category, after an arduous Rally GB took its toll on all the competitors.
The result also secured the coveted MSA Junior class awarded to the best under 25 driver in the British Rally Championship. The achievement was even more special as Darren is the youngest registered driver to have contested the whole 2007 season.
As if these results were not enough, Darren was also nominated as one of the six Pirelli Star Driver finalists, each one judged and nominated from the rounds of the BRC. The youngster's season was finally capped just last week when a panel of esteemed Motorsport professionals comprising Malcolm Wilson, Risto Laine, Autosport's David Evans and Pirelli's Mario Isola, voted unanimously to award him the inaugural Pirelli Star Driver award.
The prize is a fully funded drive in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship in a professionally run car which will be announced soon.
"I can't believe it," enthused the normally quiet Darren, "It had already been a good season for us, but this is fantastic. I'm getting calls from all over to congratulate me but it's been a team effort to get this far.
"I'd like to thank all our sponsors this year. It's a bit of a list but here goes: Quarryfix Ltd, Cheevers Chemists, Dalzells of Markethill, Haffey Plant Hire, Killycarn Sand & Gravel, EMC Autopax, ID Graphics and Jonny and all the lads at Crozier Motorsport Engineering. Particular thanks go to Trevor Dalzell who made doing rally GB possible, without his help we couldn't have finished the season.
"There is obviously one person who has helped me from the very start. My dad has always supported my rallying and I think this is a good way to repay him. Although I'm sure he'd prefer cash!
"I can't forget Neil (Shanks) either, he was there on my first BRC rally in 2006 and he'll be in the prize car with me in 2008. He has helped keep me calm when things have not gone so well and he'll be celebrating with us at the BRC Bash in January.
He concluded, "The BRC and Pirelli have given everybody a reason to push even harder in any class in the championship, it's a great incentive."