The 2018 rally season got off to a slightly rocky start for 18 year-old Tommi Meadows on the Cambrian Rally at the weekend, when a driveshaft failure at the start of the event ended any chance of a podium result.
Competing in the North Wales forests for the first time, joined by Shannon Turnbull on the pacenotes, the Clitheroe driver was hoping for a clean run.
However, their Ford KA only managed to limp a few miles into stage one with one-wheel-drive before it wouldn’t go any further.
“We had ordered a set of strengthened shafts, however unfortunately they were not ready in time,” explained Tommi.
“We knew this was a weakness and it’s just unfortunate that the standard part failed and at the very start of the rally.”
After being recovered, mechanic Gareth Hooper was able to resolve the issue and the young pairing returned to the stages in the afternoon for some vital experience.
Having already been used once in the morning, many of the afternoon’s test routes were very rough and rutted, making it difficult for crews to pick their way through without issues.
With a result now out of reach, the focus for these stages was Tommi and Shannon to gel together on their first time with each other in the car.
They did just that, successfully bringing the 2300 Club John Easson Award backed KA to the finish in Llandudno with no further issues.
The BTRDA series heads to the Lake District for the Malcolm Wilson Rally on March 2nd.