Meredith takes title on Trackrod Welshman David Meredith overcame numerous hurdles to do enough to wrap up the 2006 Stars of the Future championship with 1 round to spare as he powered his little MG ZR to 5th overall and 2nd in class. David...
Meredith takes title on Trackrod
Welshman David Meredith overcame numerous hurdles to do enough to wrap up the 2006 Stars of the Future championship with 1 round to spare as he powered his little MG ZR to 5th overall and 2nd in class.
David had to overcome numerous problems throughout the day on his first visit to the famous North Yorkshire forests but was justly rewarded for his perseverance with a mature drive as the young farmer focused on the title.
David began as he meant to carry on with a blistering fastest time through the opening 'spectator stage' going quicker than pre event favourite Rob Barret. However a co-driving slip up meant Meredith and co-driver Mark Hatton checked into the second stage early, incurring a hefty 3 minute penalty which, despite going 4th quickest through the 9 mile Cropton Stage dropped the pair to last position.
A scorching time through Gale Rigg, going 27 seconds quicker than anyone else in his class, saw 28 year old David move up to 12th overall. Another fast time through High Moor helped his cause and the Dolgellau based Meredith was feeling really confident at first service. With only 16 seconds separating David, now in 10th position and 7th place he was planning a big push in the next run of stages.
However a broken driveshaft half way through Langdale cost David time, and with the longest stage of the rally, the 18 mile Dalby Forest Stage, still to come the young Welshman knew he was in trouble. Limping through the slippery stage with only 1 wheel drive saw him drop a devastating 4 and a half minutes to the leaders, negating all of his hard work over the past few stages.
Dalby was the most frustrating stage I've ever driven. I knew we would loose a lot of time but at least we made it through. although how the gearbox put up with the strain I have no idea!
With the car restored to full working order for the final loop of stages Meredith turned up the wick again and began clawing back time. A time 24 seconds quicker than anyone else in his class saw David move up to 6th, but with the knowledge that his closest championship rival, Tom Bowen, out of the rally with mechanical woes, David knew the championship was within reach.
A final stage charge for David saw him move up to 5th overall and 2nd in class, missing out on the class win by a mere 11 seconds - this despite dropping over 7 minutes with his penalty and broken driveshaft earlier in the day!
This is brilliant. What a day. I was really happy with my driving today, and apart from a broken driveshaft the car was faultless. I loved the stages, they were really fast and slippery in places but to win the title at my first attempt, and in only my second full season of rallying is fantastic!
The newly crowned champion will now re-prep his MG ZR for the final round of the 2006 Tesco 99 Octane MSA Stars of the Future Championship, the Tempest Rally, which runs on November 11th.
-credit: geoff mayes