This Friday (23rd April) sees Abergavenny based Paul Tod and Bargoed based Iestyn ap Dafydd's Fiat Stilo Cup campaign in the British Rally Championship (BRC) underway for real, as the MII / Haywood Demolition Fiat Stilo takes its first competitive outing in the forests of Kielder, on the Scottish Border.
The first round of the BRC, Gateshead's Pirelli International Rally starts the Championship with 31 miles of night stages through the notorious forest, and continues on Saturday with a further 7 stages to give a total mileage of 110 miles.
Paul is expecting the competition to be fierce in the brand new, with a number of top drivers registered in the championship. "Now we have to prove ourselves in an international field," he comments. "With the strength of talent in the Stilo Cup, it would be no dishonour to come last. But we intend to leave that to the other crews!
"Kielder is infamous as a car breaker, and will be especially challenging at night. Coupling that with the Stilo Cup scoring system - every round counts, so on the first rally finishing is as important as winning - there will be no heroics from us on the first night.
"It will be interesting comparing times with the other drivers, because we have no idea how much advantage their experience gives them, but we are targeting a win in the junior category - for under 25s - in the first round."
The team would not be able to rally without the invaluable support of Mechanical Installations International Ltd, Haywood Demolition, Tod Security, Gwent Garden Designs, Oyster Pools, Judd Brothers, Market Street Fish Bar, Martin Andrews, Mobile Audio, Paintboxx Signs, RS Preparations and all the traders of Abergavenny and surrounding area who have joined in supporting our efforts for 2004. The team's progress can be followed on their web site, www.PTRallying.co.uk