Latest News  Testing times on the Malcolm Wilson
Monday, March 07, 2011
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Thursday, April 28, 2011
By Andrew Shepherd
Although it was not the result they were hoping for, Isle of Man based co-driver Rob Fagg competing alongside Welsh youngster Nick Cristofaro finished 13th two wheel drive and fourth in class on last weekends Malcolm Wilson Rally.

The pair were using not only the same TEG Sport prepared Ford Fiesta ST for the Cumbrian event that they had used the previous weekend on Rallye Sunseeker, but also the same tyres. While car time is important for the relatively new pairing, the budget is not available to put fresh tyres on the car for each of the rallies away from the Dulux MSA British Rally Championship, which is there main objective in 2011, so they must make do with those useable from previous events.

Another factor was that Nick was not 100%, suffering from an illness pre and during the 40 stage mile event.

The event marked the opening round of the Fiesta Sport Challenge and although Nick and Rob were not competing for honours in this series, it did offer them a number of crews to compare themselves against along with fellow BRC entrants Molly Taylor and Alex Laffey, both of whom were using the more modern Fiesta R2.

The opening test through Comb saw a fifth fastest class time, although 15 seconds off the leading crew and they would drop a further 9 seconds following the Hobcarton stage to leave them 24 down.

As the crews reached service after one further test, the gap had grown to 40 seconds to class leaders Damien Smith and Frazer Hutchinson (Ford Fiesta ST). With no reported problems with there Genpower / / Auto Glym / Millers Oils backed Ford Fiesta ST, Cristofaro and Cannon Tech supported Fagg were left to dwell on the time loss over the opening loop of stages.

The longer than usual road section out to Grizedale Forest obviously gave time to gather their thoughts as the pair posted more competitive times with those around them. That came despite suffering a problem with the front brakes, and they headed away from the two Grizedale stages having closed the gap on fourth place Alex Parpottas (Ford Fiesta ST).

Unfortunately with only Nick’s Dad assisting as service crew, it was not possible within the allotted time to change the front brake pads and Nick and Rob were forced to tackle the final two stages through Greystoke and Wythop with more caution.

They reached the finish in Cockermouth Main Street though, and with the late retirement of the class leaders came home in fourth place in class and Ford Fiesta. It was a result that didn’t match their hopes for the day, but nonetheless they were happy to take.

“It has certainly been a different event for Nick and I today” commented Rob, “We have suffered with a lack of grip which may have been down to us using up tyres from the Sunseeker and with Nick not feeling a 100% we are happy to reach the finish. Towards the end of the day we were starting to get closer to the pace and so that is encouraging.”

Following a recently busy time for Rob, now starts three weeks away from competition until the second round of the Dulux MSA British rally Championship, the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales. As well as resuming battle in the Formula 2 category they will also look to build on their runner’s up spot in the Fiesta SportTrophy. The event takes place over one day on Saturday April 2nd.

Last week also marked the launch of a new website for Rob, check this out at and keep checking back for the latest news as and when it is available.

Rob is supported in 2011 by Cannon Tech. (Scotland) Ltd (, Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, Synergy IT (, Cable Design Services (, Holton Homes (, Nicky Grist Motorsport ( and Fastime Stopwatches (