Clitheroe rally driver Tommi Meadows netted a podium finish on his first ever forest rally at the weekend.
After three years of competing on single venue rallies within the Junior 1000 Championship, Meadows has made the step up into the BTRDA 1400 Gravel Series, and is already making successes.
The Somerset Stages Rally comprised of 14 special stages, including two runs up the tarmac of Porlock Toll Road.
Tommi and co-driver Ian Oakey started the event as 84th seed, with the simple aim of getting to the finish after such limited time to test the new car.
After an understandably steady start, the pair started to climb the leader board, however things were not all plain sailing.
“Stage 1 was quite slippery in places, and it was the first time I have ever driven the car on gravel. We had a big spin coming into a hairpin left, but luckily we managed to get away with just a damaged rear bumper!”, explained Tommi.
With a steady run of stages up Porlock Toll Road safely completed for the pair, the rally moved back into the Exmoor forests for the final loop.
A big push through the eight miles of Croydon 3 saw the Ford KA crew set fastest time in the 1400 series by 15 seconds from Toyota Yaris driver Ed Fossey, and moved them even further up the overall standings with only a few very short stages to go.
A drama free ending to the rally saw Tommi & Ian return to the finish in Minehead with an impressive 2nd place in the BTRDA 1400 series, and 34th o/a from 115 starters.
“I really wasn’t expecting such a good result,” said Meadows.
“The car really is brand new, so all I wanted was to get a finish and to build up my experience today.
“I felt at home on the gravel surface and a positive feeling from the car gave me a lot of confidence to push harder”.
The next rally for the team will be the Plains Rally based near Newton, on May 13th.
Meadows thanks orris Lubricants, DMACK Tyres, Sagar Insurances, Proflex UK, A-Frame Engineering, Gareth Hooper Motorsport, Pacenote, Grafx, Motordrive Seats and Zenith Racing.