Latest News  Fagg kicks off 2017 in North Wales
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The P and R Benn Motorsport Ford Focus WRC02 which has just
undergone a full winter rebuild ahead of the coming season

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Archive News

Picture  by Kevin Charles

Isle of Man co-driver Rob Fagg kicks off his 2017 season this weekend when he tackles the opening round of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, the Cambrian Rally based in Llanduno, North Wales.

Competing in the Gold Star Championship, Fagg, sponsored once again in the coming year by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, will partner local driver Hugh Hunter (Ruthin) in a potent P and R Benn Ford Focus WRC02, a similar car to which he took the title in back in 2008.

The relatively new pairing will start at number 5 in a high quality field that includes former British and multiple Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie, BRC frontrunners Tom Cave and Desi Henry, another Scottish Champion Euan Thorburn and

reigning BTRDA Gold Start Champion Luke Francis.

The event will be contested over forests tests in Alwen, Aberhirnant and Llangower offering around 42 miles of classic Welsh stages. Given heavy rains and a covering snow at one point in the run up to the event, it will very much be a traditional Cambrian despite the event remaining in its new February home after years of being the series closure in November.

Following a number of test events during the final months of 2016 to evaluate how the pairing got on in and out of the car, Kirk Michael pace-note caller Fagg and Hunter agreed to team up for coming year.  Despite a retirement on the final stage of the Malton Forest Rally in October and the tricky icy conditions of the Grizedale Stages resulting in a 6th place, the pairing have high hopes for this weekend and beyond.

“I am really looking forward to getting the season started and what better event than the Cambrian Rally” commented Rob earlier this week. “The event is one that I have always enjoyed and for Hugh it is his home event. Coupled with a return to a 02 Focus, which Hugh has had success in previously, the season certainly offers an opportunity for some strong results.”

While the original plan was to use Hunter’s Ford Fiesta R5, the opportunity of the Focus was too good to turn down for an assault at the BTRDA Championship. In a bid to get the pilot re-acquainted with the machinery they have been able to secure a pre-event test in the build up to Saturday, the preparation being key to giving them the best chance of a good result.

“The opportunity to test before an event is not something you can always guarantee, but with the change in car it will be great to have the time for Hugh and myself to get some miles under our belt before the event itself” explained Rob, “I am looking forward to competing in such an iconic car which had success at world level and this actual car achieving strong results in the series in recent years at the hands of both Paul (Benn) and Euan (Thorburn).”

Rob has also been fortunate to secure some new support as he begins the year with JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating and Burger Mann Catering coming on board.

“I am very grateful to James Hinchliffe (JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating) and to Stuart Hampson (Burger Man Catering) for their support, without people like them it would make everything harder to achieve.” commented Rob, “James and I have become friends over the last couple of years through a shared passion of kart racing; we certainly have some close encounters on track. Stuart I have known for many years and what started off as a bit of a banter turned into support for the year. I hope I can help both to promote their business during the year.”

Rob was quick to thank a long time support of his rallying also.

“It’s also great to have Rob and Ali (Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors) on board again, they have been a long time supporter of mine and through the years they have helped me to achieve success on home soil as well in the UK, Ireland, China and most recently in Canada. It’s great pulling up to a start line at home and seeing them both so passionate about the support and being behind me not just at home but on all events I compete in.”

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering and Fastime Stopwatches (