Latest News  Somerset battle beckons for Fagg
Wedesday, April 4, 2017



Hunter and Fagg in the Fiesta R5 on the Grizedale Stages at the end of 2016

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Shepherd (http://www.rallying-images.com/)
 

Isle of Man co-driver Rob Fagg takes on his longest planned journey of the season this weekend in pursuit of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, heading to the Somerset Stages for the second of the seven round championship.

With a late car switch the five times Manx champion co-driver will again team up with Ruthin's Hugh Hunter, aiming to add to a top three points haul on the opening round the Malcolm Wilson Stages in Cumbria last month. That came at the wheel of a P&R Benn Ford Focus WRC 02 but this weekend the pair switch to Hunters own R S Hunter Tarmac backed Fiesta R5, that they last drove on the Grizedale Stages in November.

Hunter, a former two time winner of the event back in 2011 and 2012, has been keen to get back out in the Fiesta following its strong showing in the hands of fellow Welshman Tom Cave on the opening round of the British Rally Championship last month where he took the runner up spot after holding an early lead, although it was not planned that this outing would be so soon or a BTRDA event.

Despite the enforced change Robert Graham & Co Chartered Quantity Surveyors sponsored Fagg is hopeful of a good result and further solid points haul.

“The Malcolm Wilson Rally had a quality entry, one which will rival any event in the UK this year, made so strong with many British Rally Championship crews using it as a shakedown event. So to take a top 5 and secure a podium in the BTRDA was a great performance to start our Championship challenge and kick off the season” commented Burger Man Catering backed Rob, “We ideally would have loved to have the Focus at our disposal again this weekend, it’s an awesome piece of kit. Unfortunately for the team it is just not possible despite a huge effort and I am gutted for them. Thankfully Hugh still has the R5 and the team at Dom Buckley RSC are able to get that ready for us to allow us to compete this weekend.”

Competition is due to be fierce again with last year’s victors Luke Francis / John Roberts leading the crews away in their Mitsubishi

Evo 9 followed by Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC), both crews looking to put behind them a torrid time on the opening round. Callum Black (Fiesta R5+) and 2016 runner up Karl Simmons (Subaru Impreza) are other contenders along with David Wright (Ford Focus WRC) and Irishman Connor McCloskey (Fiesta WRC) who sandwich Hunter and JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating supported Fagg on the seeded entry list.

The Somerset Stages is based in the town of Minehead with the stages being held within Exmoor National Park along with the famous Porlock Toll road which throws a bit of a curve ball to the crews as tarmac features in this forest championship. The event gets under way on Saturday as the first crew depart at 08:00 from the seaside town with 42 stage miles in wait before returning to finish at approximately 16:00.

To follow Hunter and Fagg 's fortunes throughout Saturday, log onto http://www.btrdarallyresults.co.uk/results/

Fagg’s 2017 season has been helped by attracting further support from local business on the Isle of Man, the latest being MC Locksmiths.

“I am extremely grateful to the support that Mark and Cath have given me for this year and it really helps to ensure that I go into each event fully concentrating on the job in hand. Without support such as theirs continuing to compete at the level I do would be much harder and possibly not at all.”

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Chartered Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering and MC Locksmiths.