Latest News  Fiesta Championship bid ends for Fagg
Tuesday, September 19, 2011

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By Jakob Ebrey
http://www.jakoberey.com
 

Despite missing the last round of the UK Fiesta SportTrophy Championship, the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally, Isle of Man based rally co-driver Rob Fagg remains in second position in the series and with a realistic chance of claiming the title.

Sadly though for the Cannon Tech (Scotland) backed Manxman, it is the end of the road for the title challenge and a disappointing end to a championship which started so encouragingly.

Competing alongside Welsh youngster Nick Cristofaro, 32 year old Fagg started the season strongly as the pair claimed the runners-up spot on the Bournemouth based Rallye Sunseeker. With Nick making his debut at International level and also contesting only his fifth full stage rally following his graduation late in 2010 from the Junior Rallying series, it was indeed more than expected so early in the season.

The series then moved to Wales and some of the best forest stages in the world as the pair tackled the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales. It would be another strong showing for Nick and Synergy IT sponsored Rob, especially as they were competing in the older Ford Fiesta ST against the newer more modern R2 model the majority of crews were using.

Just as another podium finish was insight, gearbox issues forced them to settle for a finish and forth place, but still it was more points on the board.

Round 3 took the crews north to Cumbria for the Pirelli International Rally and some of the toughest forest stages in the series. Not fazed by their reputation, no to mention it also being his first experience of night driving, Nick drove beyond his years. With a ‘must finish’ approach a stunning second podium of the year was recorded and second in the championship behind the vastly more experienced WRC Academy member and former Fiesta World, UK and Ireland Champion Craig Breen.

Next up came a change of surface for the championship with the closed road tarmac stages of the Jim Clark Memorial Rally based in the Scottish Borders town of Kelso in late May.

Another solid performance in tricky conditions was rewarded with fourth place and the lead of the championship following the retirement of leader

Breen, but it had come at a cost, as prior to the event the team had struggle for budget and it was only a last minute decision to take the event start.

Given those budget issues, Nick took the decision to miss the next round of the series, the Ulster Rally, due to the high costs of travelling across the Irish sea, instead setting his focus on the remaining rounds. With Breen also missing Ulster it was a missed opportunity to extend the championship lead, but with dropped scores it was not all bad news.

As it was the event results saw Nick drop to third in his absence while Rob dropped just one spot to second, both still in with a shout at the titles subject to budget being secured to enable entries to the remaining two rounds.

Unfortunately Rob recently received the news from Nick that he would be competing on the penultimate round, Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, but he would be doing so with another navigator who had been able to secure financial support for the event to assist with Nick’s costs. Unfortunately with no alternative to continue in the series, Rob is left on the sidelines and any hopes of title success gone with it.

“I am obviously very disappointed to end my title chase in this manor. My sponsors have been great in helping me cover my costs etc to enable me to compete, and they don’t deserve this early end”, commented Rob.

“Nick explained prior the Ulster rally that money was tight and he would not be competing.  Shortly after the event I received a message explaining he would compete on the Trackrod after securing the budget through a new navigator. I am gutted as I feel despite missing Ulster we both had a good shot at winning the series. For me though it is over and I can only wish Nick luck for the final two rounds.”

Rob is supported in 2011 by Cannon Tech. (Scotland) Ltd (www.cannontech.co.uk), Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, Synergy IT (www.synergyit.co.im), Cable Design Services (www.cdsl.net), Holton Homes (www.holtonhomes.co.uk), Nicky Grist Motorsport (www.nickygrist.com) and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)