Adam Gould profile - the second nominee for the 2008 Pirelli Star Driver competition Twenty one year-old Adam is fast becoming one of Britain's young rally talents. After over six years of competing successfully in various formulae, beginning...
Adam Gould profile - the second nominee for the 2008 Pirelli Star Driver competition
Twenty one year-old Adam is fast becoming one of Britain's young rally talents. After over six years of competing successfully in various formulae, beginning with Autograss Racing before moving up to the British Junior Rallycross championship, Adam has followed a natural progression into stage rallying where he ultimately aims to become a professional rally driver.
His interest in motorsport was initiated by his father's many years of rallying, which soon lead to Adam 'wanting to have a go too'. At the age of 13 Adam started Autograss racing, involving very close but non-contact racing in similarly matched 1000cc minis. After a season gaining invaluable experience with a home-built budget car he upgraded to a faster race engine, managing to lead the semi finals of the Junior national championships for two consecutive years, before retiring both times with mechanical failures.
2003 saw the first year of the 'stars of the future' Junior Rallycross championship, and with TV coverage on Men and Motors, along with the sensational prize of a test day with MG Rover in a Super 1600 rally car with tuition from rally legend Gwyndaf Evans, there was lots to play for! Racing on international circuits such as Croft and Brands Hatch, and with a field of up to 20 juniors, the racing was extremely fierce. Although Adam made a great start with podiums in the opening rounds, a spurt of engine problems that would hinder him for the rest of the season meant the championship went down to the wire. However, solid point hauls in the final rounds ensured Adam had done enough to secure 2nd overall in the championship. Considering the problems and limited budget this was an excellent result and a well-deserved reward for a season of hard work by everyone involved.
After the success of 2003, Adam and team decided it would be a good time to move on and begin a career in stage rallying. 2004 was used mainly as a year for building a new car, testing and practising, whilst competing in a couple of 'shakedown' events, the first of which was the Grizedale stages. Driving a 1600cc Proton Satria in class N2, and guided by experienced navigator David Moreton, Adam soon got to grips with the car and by the end of the day had taken the class win and finished 52nd overall on his first event!
More success was to follow in the clubman-spec Proton, when in 2005 Adam achieved podium finishes on the first three rounds of the BTRDA gravel championship, moving him into the N2 championship lead! However 2005 was also to see the beginning of the 'Stars of the Future' class in the British Rally Championship, and a last-minute deal to drive an MGZR in the series lead to Adam giving up on his BTRDA aspirations in search for success at a higher level. Partnered with new Co-Driver Simon Sparey, the pair unfortunately didn't have luck riding with them, as they endured a season of reliability and mechanical disasters. Three retirements and a poor finish were all to show for what was a very character-testing period for the whole team!
This prompted a re-think for 2006, and as the new one-make 'Fiesta Sporting Trophy' series had just been announced, Adam decided this was the only way forward, offering the greatest opportunities for progression in the sport, along with the chance prove himself against much of the top talent in the UK.
Last year saw Adam take to the stages in a 2006 model Ford Fiesta ST, eventually winning the International FST shootout. With it came a place at M-Sport, working alongside the team on domestic and World Rally Championship events. He puts some of his success down to working at the Higgins brothers' rally school and of course the training and assistance from the MSA's British Rally Elite scheme.
A late deal was forged with Autosport Technology in 2008 to drive one of the cars that the 2007 Pirelli Star Drivers were assessed in. The little R2 Renault Clio appeared on the Pirelli Rally, but it was on the Jim Clark International Rally on the closed public roads around Duns that Adam excelled.
His stage times alone were enough for a top ten position in the BRC finishers, but his cool approach after a minor off, coupled with a dominant class win, won him the Pirelli Star Driver nomination.
The award will pit him against seven other finalists at the end of the season, the eventual winner taking a fully funded drive in the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship.