'Wozie Stars in Wales!' Top Shropshire rally driver James Wozencroft dominated the opening round of the British Rally Championship's 'Stars of the Future' series, as he and his Manx co-driver Robert Fagg took a convincing two minute victory on...
'Wozie Stars in Wales!'
Top Shropshire rally driver James Wozencroft dominated the opening round of the British Rally Championship's 'Stars of the Future' series, as he and his Manx co-driver Robert Fagg took a convincing two minute victory on the Panaround Rally, part of the International Rally of Wales.
The Thompson's Garages Suzuki backed Ludlow youngster was never headed on the 60 mile Dolgellau based rally, as he blew his rivals away after a faultless performance on board the Suzuki Ignis 1400 machine. Together with Isle of Man Sports Council backed Fagg, Wozencroft was fastest on every stage of the five stage event.
Despite his dominance, Wozencroft had to nurse the Ignis over the final loop of stages on the rally. A 'sticking' clutch pedal was giving the 20 year old cause for concern on the long hilly stages, but James kept a typically cool head as he brought the striking yellow Ignis back to the finish in Dolgellau in one piece, over two minutes ahead of his nearest rival in the rally.
James made short work of the long stages in the Dyfi and Gartheiniog forests. Seeded just behind Miles Johnson in a Peugeot 206, Wozie soon caught and passed the French machine on the opening stage, and both Wozencroft and Fagg continued to set a blistering pace until the very end of the rally. Such was Wozie's pace in the Ignis, he was able to directly compare times with the 'Formula 2000' front runners on the International Rally of Wales (running on the same stages), and the flying Suzuki was leading the more powerful 2 litre contingent on the stages - an impressive feat for the 1400cc machine.
Delighted to take victory - his fourth class victory of a highly successful 2005 season so far - James was already looking to the future:
'It was a great performance for the whole team today. We knew that the car was good, and that if we kept out of trouble, we would be right up there. To win is a great feeling, and its the best possible way to start the year. The clutch problem was a minor glitch, but we were able to nurse the car to the end whilst keeping up a good pace, so it all worked out very well. Its also great for Suzuki, Thompson's Garages and Dunlop for us to have started in this manner, and its up to us to continue the good form at the next round now'.
Wozencroft's next 'Stars of the Future' outing will be in the world renowned 'Killer' Kielder forests on the Scottish border. As part of the largest man made forest in Europe, the Kielder stages offer some of the highest speed tests in the UK. Steep ditches on the outside of corners mean there is no room for error either, so both James and Robert will need to be on the top of their games to conquer the Pirelli National Rally event.