Isle of Man co-driver Rob Fagg gets his 2018 rally
season underway on this weekend’s Cambrian Rally in
North Wales with unfinished business in the BTRDA
Fagg and Ruthin driver Hugh Hunter led the series
through the early rounds of last year’s campaign but
were undone by mechanical issues and efforts to take
the challenge to higher specification world rally
cars in their Ford Fiesta R5.
As a result, they switched to a Ford Fiesta WRC for
the final two rounds, and now return to the series
hopeful of a year-long title push.
“Hugh and I are certainly starting the season with
the plan to fight for the title this year. Last year
we showed good pace but just didn’t have it in the
R5 against the WRC cars around us” explained Rob,
“Using the Fiesta WRC from Mel Evans Motorsport on
the final two rounds definitely gave us something to
think about over the winter, especially after the
early Trackrod pace, and it’s great to be back in
the car for 2018.”
The car has undergone a full overhaul during the
Winter with the team at Mel Evans Motorsport to
ensure that it is fit and ready for the battle
ahead. On Monday it received the final touches as
its colour scheme for the year was applied.
The 2018 Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Championship
takes place over eight events across England and
Wales between this weekend and the end of September.
This Saturday though all roads lead to Llandudno for
a day of competition in the famous North Wales
forests, but for Kirk Michael resident Fagg the
event starts much earlier.
“The early part of the week has been about pulling
together all the information for the event and
building the schedule for the team, ensuring they
have all they require on the build-up and during”
commented Rob, “I leave the island on Wednesday and
between then and the rally start I shall be working
on the Pace Notes with Hugh and we also have an
opportunity to test the car on Thursday which is a
chance to re-familiarise ourselves with the car.”
The 113-strong entry list suggests a real battle for
the top places, packed with most of the top names in
British national rallying, all eager to get the year
started. Heading the field away are 2017 Champions
Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson followed by 2016
Welsh Champion Luke Francis both in Fiesta WRC’s.
Paul Bird (2016 runner up) heads away at number 3 in
his Focus WRC with British Rally Championship and
M-Sport works driver Matt Edwards next in an R5
variant of the Fiesta while rounding out the top 5
is another former champion Charlie Payne in yet
another Fiesta WRC. Hunter and Fagg start at number
Last year’s event was scrapped due to ice and snow
meaning that marshals and rescue cover could not be
guaranteed and given the recent wintry weather Rob
and Hugh need to be prepared for anything.
“I think everyone is hoping that there is not a
repeat of the conditions the event experienced last
year. The weather is looking good for Saturday
although it will start cold and a chance of rain, so
we need to have a think about tyres” commented Rob.
“Any snow or ice and the event become a lottery,
we’re not permitted to use studded tyres in the UK
so it’s a case of making the best with what you
have, we don’t plan for snow rallies.”
The Cambrian Rally begins at 8am from the Promenade
in Llandudno and tackles 45 stage miles over 7
stages before a 3:30pm finish back in the host town.
Hugh and Rob can be followed at
with live results updates throughout the day.
Rob is supported in 2018 by Robert Graham & Co
Chartered Quantity Surveyors, MC Locksmiths, JR
Hinchliffe Plumbing & Heating and Burger Man