'Simon's all set for Tempestuous finale!' North Wales rally ace Simon Hughes is an eleventh hour addition to the final round of the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship next week. The 22 year old Colwyn Bay driver will contest the South...
'Simon's all set for Tempestuous finale!'
North Wales rally ace Simon Hughes is an eleventh hour addition to the final round of the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship next week. The 22 year old Colwyn Bay driver will contest the South of England Tempest Rally (Nov 5th). Simon will drive a ProSpeed Motorsport run Skoda Octavia World Rally Car on the Aldershot based event.
After an impressive outing on the recent Woodpecker Stages Rally in the ex-factory team Skoda, Hughes and Ammanford co-driver Ieuan Thomas will look to go one better than the second placed finish they scored that day. The Tempest Rally will mark the end of an era for the British Rally Championship, as World Rally Cars will not be able to score points in the Championship from 2006 onwards. As a result, Hughes, Thomas and ProSpeed are bidding to be the last ever winners of a British Rally Championship round in a World Rally Car.
Based largely on gravel stages near to Aldershot, the Tempest is the southernmost round of the BRC, and Hughes has happy memories of his last visit to the rally, exactly one year ago. Driving a Production specification Subaru Impreza WRX, Hughes led the Production Cup category from start to finish, despite very stiff opposition. Such was his pace on the rally, he also netted a superb 6th overall in the process.
Encouraged by his performance on the Woodpecker, Simon enters the rally in a confident frame of mind. After losing nearly 40 seconds over the first couple of stages with exhaust problems, the Welshman simply flew through the remainder of the stages on the Ludlow based event. Simon closed to within just three seconds of rally leader John Perrott going into the final stage - a remarkable comeback. Despite his best efforts, Simon could only take a further 2 seconds back in the short three mile final stage - leaving Perrott victor by a single second. Hughes though was unquestionably the star of the show as he set some spectacular stage times during his fight back.
'After the Woodpecker, my confidence levels certainly received a boost' said Hughes. 'The Octavia is a fantastic car to drive - it was last used in the World Rally Championship in late 2003, and it's a very responsive car with great handling. Being quite a large car, it is also extremely stable, something that will definitely suit the stages on the Tempest Rally. Last years event was a great success for me personally, so I'm hoping that the good fortune from that weekend can extend to next weekend! I'm sure it will be a really good battle for honours on the rally, as the works Mitsubishi's of David Higgins and Rory Galligan are sure to set a very strong pace. There's also a few local drivers in World Rally Cars who know the stages well, so it should promise to be a good fight from the start. Of course it would be a great thrill to win the final round of the BRC in a World Rally Car, but I don't want to think ahead of myself at all'.
ProSpeed Motorsport will also be looking forward to Hughes re-joining their team for the event. The ProSpeed Octavia WRC recently finished a superb 2nd overall in the hands of Craig Middleton on the Bulldog Rally, so Simon will be very keen to maintain the good form the team and car are showing in Aldershot next weekend.