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TOM CAVE


2017 MSA British Rally Championship
1 Border Counties Rally 17 - 18 Mar
2 Pirelli International Rally 29 - 30 Apr
3 RSAC Scottish Rally 19 - 20 May
4 Kenotek Ypres Rally 23 - 24 Jun
5 Nicky Grist Stages 9 - 9 Jul
6 WRC Rally Finland 27 - 30 Jul
7 Ulster Rally 18 - 19 Aug
8 Rally Isle of Man 14 - 16 Sep

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 31st July 2017

Mission accomplished for Cave with third-place WRC2 finish in Finland

Tom Cave and co-driver James Morgan achieved what they set out to do in this weekend’s Neste Rally Finland - and that was to finish on the WRC2 Class podium. Driving a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5, they also claimed a credible 15th place overall in the event that represented the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Having competed in Finland twice before when contesting the DMACK Drive Trophy in a two-wheel-drive car - and winning the series there in 2015 - Tom was pleased to have secured the opportunity to drive a more powerful four-wheel-drive machine this time around. Tom from Aberdovey and James from Hirwaun completed two days of successful testing in the car, which is owned and run by Sarrazin Motorsport, earlier this week.

The official pre-event shakedown on Thursday morning also went well and consequently, everything was set for the start of the rally in Jyväskylä and the first stage - a short spectator-friendly affair the town’s central park - that evening. With the opening test completed, the rally restarted on Friday morning with 12 more traditional-style Finnish forest stages to the west and north of the town.

Not completely at-one with the feel of the car on the gravel roads that were made unpredictable due to the morning's rain, Tom and James were to follow a calculated game plan that saw them 6th in WRC2 and 21st overall at the lunch time service halt. A few adjustments and a fresh set of Dmack tyres made a significant difference in the afternoon, but just as the Welshmen began to charge, five kilometres into SS10 they encountered a minor brake problem.

By using the gears and a considerable amount of skill, Tom managed to get the car to the end of the stage, where he and James were able to effect repairs and get more braking force into the system. Remarkably, although off the front-running pace, they only dropped around a minute through the remaining three stages and consequently maintained their position.

Once back in the service park, the team found and fixed the issue. It was therefore business as usual for Saturday's eight stages and, having driven all of them before including the classic Ouninpohja stage that was tackled once in the morning and again in the afternoon, Tom admitted he was looking forward to what lay in store.

His positive approach to the day’s proceedings was soon rewarded when, following the Ouninpohja stage - the third of the day - he and James emerged third of the WRC2 runners and 17th overall. Following a further push in the afternoon, it was clear that the time previously lost was unlikely to be gained against the Finnish driver Jari Huttunen in first and Frenchman Quentin Gilbert in second.

So, for Sunday’s four stages, consolidation was the name of the game and, with Gilbert now over a minute ahead and Welsh compatriot and British Championship sparring partner Osian Pryce over two minutes behind in fourth, the focus of attention for Tom and James was to ensure they brought the Hyundai home in a podium position. And that’s exactly what they did.

As they drove over the finish ramp in front of 1000s of spectators in the centre of Jyväskylä under the Baltic summer sunshine on Sunday afternoon, the realization of what they had achieved finally sunk in:

“While this is one of my favourite rallies and includes some of my favourite stages, it’s still a really tough event. So, with a car that was new to us and with the Hyundai i20 R5 making its debut to this event, I’m extremely pleased with the result.

“WRC2 is the highest and most competitive category for R5 cars in the world. So, to get to the finish having overcome the issues we had during the event, I feel very proud to come away with third in WRC2, finish15th overall and to have given the i20 R5 its best result in a WRC round so far.

“My motto is: ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and that phrase has never been more appropriate. I would therefore like to thank all the people and organisations involved for giving us the opportunity to compete in Finland and achieve this result: Dmack Tyres, the Trefeddian Hotel, Atech Racing, Walero Motorsports and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing.

"I must also congratulate the Rally Finland organisers for putting on such a good event, plus I have to thank the Sarrazin Motorsport team for their hard work and of course, James, who has done far more than just co-drive this past few days."

Further news regarding Tom’s 2017 motorsport campaign will be announced before the end of August.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 27th June 2017

Cave heads to Finland following BRC Belgium outing in Hyundai

Following his participation in this weekend’s Ypres Rally, the fourth round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, British rally driver Tom Cave is pleased to announce that he is to enter this year’s Rally Finland driving a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5. For Aberdovey-based Tom and his co-driver James Morgan from Hirwaun, this classic event in the FIA World Rally Championship calendar will represent their first WRC outing in the Hyundai.

A great start to the Belgian event on Friday evening for the Welsh pair saw them rise from fifth to third of the British Championship crews during the eight-stage opening leg. They also held a position of 10th in the overall event, an impressive performance with this their first-all asphalt rally in the Hyundai after two previous gravel outings on the Pirelli and Scottish Rallies.

With a number of competitors caught out by the unforgiving West Flanders roads, in contrast Tom and James had dialed themselves in perfectly and consequently increased their position by one in both categories on Saturday morning. Whilst holding a position of 2nd of the BRC runners and 9th overall, what was later found to be a fuel related issue meant that stage 11 was to be their last of the weekend.

Once again, the timesheets had shown that the combination of Cave, Morgan and the Hyundai are a front-running package. Following the event, Tom said:

“Of course, after such a promising start it’s disappointing not to get to the end of the rally - especially as we had a great chance of a podium result - if not winning. The car performed really well and I was pleased that I felt as much at home in it on tarmac as I do on gravel.

“We completed the first half of the rally with no issues whatsoever and it provided us with excellent experience of the car on asphalt. I therefore take a lot of positives away from the event.”

Due to other Hyundai crews suffering accidents in Belgium, it has meant that a car cannot now be made available for Tom to participate in this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. He and James will now focus their attentions on Rally Finland, which takes place from 27th to 30th July, when they are determined to deliver the result they deserve:

“It’s great to have been able to put together a package for our first WRC outing in the i20 R5 . The last time I competed in Rally Finland was in 2015 and on that occasion I won the DMACK Drive Trophy. It’s an event that I enjoy and it suits my driving style, so it’s great to have the opportunity to now do it a competitive R5 car.”

Tom’s 2017 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by: the Trefeddian Hotel, DMACK Tyres, Walero UK and Atech Racing. Further news regarding his 2017 Rally Finland outing will be announced soon.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 13th June 2017

More outings confirmed for Cave in New Generation Hyundai i20 R5

Following his two previous outings in the car, it is now confirmed that Tom Cave will drive a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5 on the fourth round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the Belgium-based Ypres Rally on 23rd & 25th June. It is also confirmed that the Welshman from Aberdovey will compete in the same car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed a week later.

After an impressive display of speed during the early stages of the Pirelli and Scottish rallies, rounds two and three of the British Rally Championship, Cave is pleased to be continuing his association with the Hyundai for the two forthcoming events:

“It’s great to be back in the Hyundai for the next round of the Championship. Having won every stage we’ve started in the car, it’s clear that it has the pace to win, so it’s going to be exciting to drive it competitively for the first time on asphalt.

“Because of the way our campaign is structured this season, we can only confirm each event as it gets closer to the day, so it’s great to be able to announce two events together this time. Of course, I’m hoping to continue to drive the Hyundai for the rest of the season and really show what the car is capable of.”

The Ypres Rally represents the first of three all-asphalt events in the British Rally Championship season and the first time Cave and his co-driver James Morgan from Hirwaun, will have completed on a non-gravel surface in the Hyundai. Held over closed public roads in the West Flanders area, the event also marks the first time the British Championship has ever featured a point-scoring round outside the UK, apart from the Circuit of Ireland that used to include stages in the Republic.

As soon as the car returns from Belgium, it will be re-prepared and converted back to gravel specification in readiness for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This globally famous occasion that attracts the best names in motorsport from all over the world, features a specially constructed rally stage on which Cave has been invited to compete by the event organisers.

“It’s a real privilege to be invited to take part in this prestigious annual event. I’ve competed at the Festival of Speed before and it’s a great experience, so I’m delighted that I’m going be showcasing the i20 R5 in such a high profile environment.”

The car will be prepared and run on both occasions by Dom Buckley RSC.

Tom’s 2017 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by: the Trefeddian Hotel, DMACK Tyres, Walero UK and Atech Racing.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 30th April 2017

Cave’s front-running performance on Pirelli Rally leads to Scottish Rally outing in New Generation Hyundai i20 R5

In the opening stages of this weekend’s Pirelli Rally, the second round of the 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, Tom Cave and co-driver James Morgan showed what both they and the New Generation Hyundai i20 R5 are capable of. Against stiff opposition, they led the rally by 7.5 seconds after two stages, only to have their event cut short on SS3.

Following a successful first drive in the Hyundai during a pre-rally test on Thursday, the scene was set for a promising BRC debut for the car.

The Pirelli Rally featured four stages on Saturday afternoon, followed by a further four on Sunday, all of them taking place over the infamous gravel roads in Kielder Forest.

From the word go, it was clear that Tom, James and the i20 R5 were going to be a force to be reckoned with, when they set the fastest time on the first stage by 0.1 second ahead of round one winners Fredrik Ählin/Torstien Eriksen. It was a perfect start and, feeling confident with the way the car was performing, Tom and James underlined their stage one performance by winning stage two by a margin of 7.4 seconds.

With a 7.5 second lead as they booked in to the remote service halt after SS2, Tom commented there was more to come as he headed into SS3 with every intention of increasing the advantage. The first eight kms of the stage went exceptionally well, but then, Tom felt a change at the rear of the car.

Aware that something was wrong, he was forced to bring the car to a halt on the stage. Although there was little damage the problem was serious enough to put them out for the day. Once back at service the team decided that, as the opportunity for achieving a top result was over, and with the same car due to compete at another rally next weekend, they would not restart on day 2 and instead would begin work, with Hyundai Motorsport, to diagnose things in more detail.

Whilst the Pirelli Rally didn’t provide the perfect outcome for the team, the potential of the car and crew was unquestionable. Consequently, it has been confirmed that Tom will drive a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5 on the forthcoming Dumfries-based Scottish Rally, the third round of the British Rally Championship that takes place on 19th & 20th May.

“Following our performance on the Pirelli, I’m delighted that we now have another chance of showing what we can do in the Hyundai”, said Tom. “It was clear from the first two stages this weekend that the car has the potential to win, so I hope we will be able to follow on from where we left off when we get to Scotland in a few weeks time.”

For further information, visit: www.tomcave.com

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 25th April 2017

Cave gets set to debut New Generation Hyundai i20 R5 in British Rally Championship

As announced a few weeks ago, Tom Cave and his co-driver James Morgan will debut a Hyundai Motorsport-built New Generation i20 R5 in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship on this weekend’s Pirelli Rally (29th & 30th April).

They head to the second round of the UK’s top rally series lying second in the championship standings after an impressive performance on round one, the Border Counties Rally. Having led the event at the halfway stage, conditions and the determination to secure a good result saw them end a tough but successful weekend in second place.

Tom (from Aberdovey) will drive the Hyundai for the first time in advance of the Pirelli Rally when he and co-driver James Morgan (from Hirwaun) test the car in Kielder Forest on Thursday (27th). Whilst the i20 R5 is new to them both, competition at rallying’s highest level in the UK is not and therefore their hopes are high for another top result, as Tom explains:

"It’s a brand new car and for us, a brand new team, so this will be a learning curve for everyone. The whole package looks great and I’m pleased to report that everything is coming together well. We have a test day planned for Thursday when I’ll be driving the Hyundai for the first time and I’m really looking forward to it.

"I’m familiar with the Kielder stages, so for James and I the plan is to carry on from where we left off on round one. While we want to make sure we stay in the running for the championship, we also want to do the best job we possibly can for everyone involved with this exciting project.”

The Pirelli Rally starts and finishes in Carlisle. The route features 100 competitive miles in Kielder Forest, split into four stages on Saturday afternoon followed by a further four stages on Sunday morning.

Tom’s British Rally Championship campaign is supported by DMACK Tyres, the Trefeddian Hotel, Walero temperature regulating base layers and Atech Racing.

For further information, visit: www.tomcave.com

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 20th March 2017

Cave shows class with second place in the Borders

Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally -17th & 18th March 2017 - Prestone MSA British Rally Championship - Round 1

Having held an early lead in this weekend's Border Counties Rally, round one of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, Tom Cave together with co-driver James Morgan, proved they were a class act when they finished the Jedburgh-based event in second place. It was only in the latter stages and slippery conditions they were denied an early season victory.

With Tom (from Aberdovey) and James (from Hirwaun) set to contest round two - next month's Pirelli Rally - driving a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5, they acquired a Fiesta R5 (similar to the car they took to second place in the British Rally Championship last year with Spencer Sport) from Dom Buckley RSC specifically for this weekend's event. Following a successful test on Thursday and setting second-fastest times on the first two Friday night stages in Craik Forest, it was clear that the Welsh pair were straight back onto the their 2016 pace.

Their performance in the early stages was good enough to see them head to the overnight halt leading the event by 2.8 seconds, ahead of Scottish driver David Bogie in a Skoda R5. Fired up to deliver more of the same on Saturday, they headed off for the first of the day's seven stages ready for battle and, after setting the fastest time on stage four, they maintained their position at the front of the field.

But behind them Swedish driver Fredrik Ahlin (also in a Skoda) was gathering pace and took the lead on stage five whilst Tom and David Bogie were struggling for grip by virtue of being the first cars on the road. Then, on stage six, Bogie suffered the consequences of clearing the surface for the rest of the field when he hit a rock that was right on the racing line, the impact damaging his car, sending him off the road and into retirement.

Tom however, missed the offending obstacle and, whilst the Scot's retirement meant he and James were now 44 seconds ahead of Osian Pryce in third, they were 21 seconds behind Ahlin. Not wanting to risk throwing away an impressive points haul that was to be bolstered by Tom playing his joker on this event, the strategy for the three remaining stages was to hold fast and therefore, be in a position to take advantage should anything happen to the leader.

As it turned out, nothing did happen to Ahlin and after a clean run through the final trio of stages, Tom and James returned to Jedburgh for the finish as runners-up. After the podium presentation, Tom said:

"Having led the event in its early stages, it proved we still have the pace to run at the front of the field, so I'm very happy with that. I'm also happy to finish second on an event that saw six different teams - including us - set a fastest time in one or more of the event's nine stages.

"Yes, of course, James and I wanted to win, but with a new car and a new team on an unfamiliar event, it's a very satisfying outcome. By playing our joker we scored another four points which means that we're on 22 against Fredrik's 25, with Osian in third on 15. So all in all it was as good a start to the season as we had hoped for and it sets us up nicely for round two."

Tom went on to thank: James for his continued support, the Dom Buckely RSC team for providing such a competitive and reliable car, DMACK Tyres who's products worked really well in the changing conditions and also Walero UK, Atech Racing and the Trefeddian Hotel for their support.

Tom and James now prepare for the next event, the Pirelli Rally that takes place on 29th & 30th April, when they swap to a New Generation Hyundai i20 R5 to give the car its first ever competitive outing in a British Rally Championship event.