Clitheroe rally driver Tommi Meadows enjoyed a class podium on last weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages Rally.
The 17 year-old entered the gravel surface event anxious to get a finish, after DNFs on the previous two rallies.
Joined by regular co-driver Ian Oakey, Meadows, driving the Group A-spec Ford KA, found the Welsh stages were rougher than expected, making it challenging for the smaller two-wheel-drive cars.
“Usually you try to hook the inside wheel onto the inside of the corner to pull the car round”, he explained. “By the time we arrived at the corner, around 100 cars had already been through and worn away the gravel really badly in places, so you can’t always take the line that you want without damaging the car.”
The afternoon loop was a re-run of the morning loop, including four special stages in the forests around Epynt Ranges. A different approach saw an improvement in stage times, and after a sensible drive, the pair made it back to the finish in Builth Wells with 47th o/a (102 starters) and second in the 1400S class.
‘I’m happy just to have a finish under my belt after the past two retirements - there is plenty more speed to come from me and the car, but today I knew had to drive with my head and bring it home safely to get the experience’, said Meadows.”