Apprentice Kevin to Discover Wales Rally GB Kevin Davies has come a long way in two years. The 22 year old from Llanfihangel-Ar-Arth has gone from complete unknown to potential M-Sport test driver after being selected for the first ever Fiesta...
Apprentice Kevin to Discover Wales Rally GB
Kevin Davies has come a long way in two years. The 22 year old from Llanfihangel-Ar-Arth has gone from complete unknown to potential M-Sport test driver after being selected for the first ever Fiesta SportingTrophy International Shootout in December. Davies has been picked as the UK's 'wildcard' entry, and joins no less than 23 other drivers to fight for the opportunity to work for M-Sport, who run Ford's World Rally Championship team.
If that were not reason to celebrate enough, Davies has also received another huge boost to his preparations for next weekend's Wales Rally GB, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Driving his KJ's Eden Tours and David Harries and Co. backed Ford Fiesta ST150, Kevin will be followed closely on the event by a TV crew from leading satellite station The Discovery Channel. Kevin's build up to the event and his participation on the Cardiff based rally is being featured in a programme called 'Engineering the Rally', scheduled for screening in 2007.
In addition, Davies will also be featuring live on BBC Wales television prior to the event as his newly liveried Fiesta is unveiled to the world by Ford Vice President Richard Parry-Jones and Ford World Rally Team's former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm. Kevin's car was selected for an exciting new project where school children across the UK had the opportunity to send in a design of how they would like the Fiesta ST150 to look on the rally. A winner has been selected, and the new look machine will be one of the more eye catching cars contesting the event!
Davies, as ever, was taking everything in his stride. Competing on the FIA World Rally Championship offers very different challenges to those faced by the team for the majority of this year. Over 220 stage miles are on offer in some of the most challenging forest roads on the WRC calendar. The high speed stages could offer an icy challenge to the crews if the weather is changeable. Kevin and co-driver Shaun O'Gorman are looking forward to completing their pre event 'recce' of the stages where they get a chance to make pace notes.
Kevin is no stranger to success on the rally. In only his first full season, the Welshman won his class in the 1400cc section of the rally behind the wheel of a Yokohama Tyres backed Nissan Micra Kit Car. The car may have changed one year on, but Davies is looking forward to renewing his good working relationship with the Japanese tyre manufacturer for the rally. With the Fiesta SportingTrophy International competitors also contesting WRGB, Davies is keen to compare times to see how he stacks up against the International opposition.
Looking ahead, Kevin is looking forward to a very busy month:
"I'm absolutely delighted to have been picked as the wildcard entry for the International Shootout. The opportunity to work with M-Sport as a factory test driver for a year is just an unbelievable chance for anyone. I'm very grateful that M-Sport picked me to represent the UK along with Chris Moore and George Thomas. I'm going to give it my very best shot. I've never been involved in anything like this before, but I'm glad that the hard work that everyone in our team has put in this year has been rewarded.
Wales Rally GB promises to be a very busy event for us too! It will certainly be strange to have a TV crew following our every move both before and on event. I think it is a great opportunity to show how a small and independent team goes about tackling a rally like this. I'd like to think it would surprise a few people. There is very little budget on our part, so we have to think very carefully about every decision we make. I hope that comes across in the programme. Apart from that, I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into the event now. We are under no pressure to perform, but it is a great chance for us to compare times with lots of the International Fiesta ST drivers. I would hope that home advantage would help me, but as we all get to recce the stages, I doubt it will give me any real advantage over the rest. It is certainly going to be a very very busy month but I'm going to enjoy every last second of it!'.