'Five Star Wozie in Championship success!'
Ludlow ace James Wozencroft wrapped up the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship 'Stars of the Future' series this weekend. The 21 year old Suzuki driver made it a total whitewash, with five wins from five starts in the championship for up to 1600cc cars. Together with Manxman Robert Fagg, the Thompson Suzuki backed Ignis 1400 Kit Car was once again the class of the field as they took yet another dominating victory, well over three minutes ahead of their closest challenger on the Trackrod Rally in North Yorkshire.
MSA British Rally Elite driver James was keen to get to the finish on the Pickering based event, as a healthy points score would wrap up the title for the Thompson Garages and Dunlop Tyres supported youngster. Prior to arriving in Yorkshire, James and Robert had proved to be the class of the field in the 'Stars' series, winning on all four previous events after some scintillating performances in the striking yellow Suzuki.
Fellow 1400cc hotshot Neil Weaver had also entered the Trackrod Rally, but the friendly Ludlow rival could not have any bearing on James's quest for the title. As such, both James and Manx Motorsport Youth Trust backed Rob wisely decided to ignore the times of the Vauxhall Corsa driver, and instead they would drive the rally at their own pace in order to acheive the result they required.
Little would separate the two Shropshire chargers over the opening stages, but Weaver was soon forced to retire after breaking his suspension. As a result, the steady Wozencroft moved into a healthy 'Stars' lead, and showed maturity beyond his 21 years and he coolly and calmly negotiated the often slippery North Yorkshire forests with consumate ease. One final heart stopping moment occurred when the Ignis coughed its way through a puddle of water near to the end of the rally, but full power was soon regained and the popular crew were able to make it back to the finish.
Fully deserving to take the title, James was a very happy man after popping the champagne corks to celebrate a now unbeatable championship points tally:
'Things just could not have gone better today' said a delighted 'Wozie'. 'I must say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us this season. In particular Dave Browning at Thompson Suzuki for supporting us and giving Rob and myself the opportunity to win the series. Dunlop have also been magnificent with their tyre support and input, and a big thanks to our other sponsors and families for supporting us every step of the way. Today was difficult as we knew that a solid run to the finish would net us enough points to secure the title, but at the same time, we wanted to have a good battle with Neil (Weaver) if we could. Sadly for Neil he was forced to retire, and after that we had a really good run through the stages. Conditions were very tricky in places, but the Dunlop's worked very well and the Suzuki Ignis performed very strongly all day. We had a minor blip when the car hit a puddle on the last forest stage, but apart from that it was perfect. Hopefully we can make it a clean sweep of victories in the Stars series on the Tempest Rally next month now!'.
James and Rob will indeed be aiming to end the year on a high on November 5th. The Aldershot based Tempest Rally is the only round of the BRC in southern England, and the pair will be keen to make it six wins from six starts to round off a very successful season with the Thompson Suzuki Rally Team.