British Rally Championship
||Neil Howard Stages
|| 31 May
||Nicky Grist Stages, Builth Wells
||Grampian Forest Stages, Banchory
|| 14 August
||Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, Scarborough
||Beatson's Mull Rally
PRESS RELEASE: 11 July 2021
Tom makes comeback in spectacular
style with second place on Nicky Grist Stages
his first rally since February 2020, Aberdyfi’s Tom
Cave together with co-driver Dale Furniss from Llanfylin,
took the fight to the forests when following an event-long
battle for the lead, they emerged from the eighth and final
stage of this year’s Nicky Grist Stages Rally in second
place, just five seconds from victory behind British Rally
Championship rivals Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod.
Driving a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 for the very
first time and having not competed for 16 months, Tom was
eager to hit the ground running from the off. And following
a successful test a couple of days before the event, that’s
exactly what he did.
Starting and finishing from the Royal Welsh
Showground in Builth Wells, the Nicky Grist Stages comprised
four stages in the morning followed by a second loop of
the same route in the afternoon. It was clear from the start
that Tom carried on where he left off last year when he
set the second-fastest time on stage one Llyn Login, just
one second behind Osian Pryce.
Another second-fastest time on stage two Monument,
followed by a win on stage three in Halfway Forest saw Tom
take the lead, albeit sharing the same overall time with
Edwards. The fourth stage of the day was also the longest,
a nine-mile encounter through the infamous Crychan Forest.
Another impressive performance enabled Tom
to keep in contention and, as crews entered the lunchtime
service halt in Builth Wells, he and Dale found themselves
in second place, two second behind Edwards and Garrod. And,
with Pryce and his co-driver Noel O’Sullivan third,
just five seconds further back, the scene was set for an
intense battle in the afternoon.
And the leading trio didn’t disappoint.
Tom and Edwards posted equal-fastest time on SS5, with Pryce
one second behind. Then in SS6, Edwards found an extra four
seconds, whilst Tom and Pryce shared the second-fastest
With Edwards gaining another second and Tom
doing likewise from Pryce in SS7, the timesheets at the
start of the eighth and final stage showed a gap of seven
seconds between the leading pair, who had pulled out the
same margin from Pryce in third. It was now all down to
the final stage, but with no breeze and the gravel roads
now bone-dry, the dust generated by the cars ahead was destined
to prove decisive.
Throwing almost everything he had in his rally-skills
arsenal for the second run through Crychan, Tom drove a
blinder and at the end of the stage Edwards – who
was running first on the road – waited anxiously at
the finish control. As the clock stopped, it was revealed
that Tom had closed the gap to just five seconds, with Pryce
claiming third, seven seconds later.
“I’m happy with that. Of course,
it would have been good to win on my return to the British
Championship, but I’m satisfied with second, especially
with the visibility issues to contend with”, said
a satisfied Tom at the Finish.
“When you’re out of the seat for
a while, you do start to wonder whether you’re going
to be on the pace, but today’s event has answered
that question. It’s been a fantastic battle all day
with Matt and Osian. Just like old times. I have to congratulate
Matt for job well done and Osian for keeping me on my ‘A’
game from start to finish.
“A big thanks goes to Dale for doing
such a good job alongside me today. I’m also grateful
to the team at Dom Buckley RSC who provided me with a car
that ran faultlessly. They also did a great job getting
everything organised during the lead up to this event.
“I have to especially thank each and
every one of my sponsors: Trailhead Fine Foods – Get
Jerky, Intervino, Go Fetch, Pirelli Motorsport, Atech Racing
and all of the unsung heroes that are involved with the
considerable operation that’s required to deliver
a successful rally. I know it’s a cliché to
say that we couldn’t have done it without them, but
we really couldn’t. I know that together we can build
on what we’ve achieved today, with the ultimate aim
of challenging for the British title.”
1 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod VW Polo R5 42m
2 Tom Cave/Dale Furniss Ford Fiesta Rally 2 42m 35s
3 Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan VW Polo R5 42m 42s
4 Rhys Yates/James Morgan Ford Fiesta Rally 2 43m 26s
5 Matthew Wilson/Stuart Loudon Ford Festa Rally 2 43m 30s
PRESS RELEASE: 15 September 2019
Perfect performance in Scotland provides
Tom with third British Rally Championship victory of the
British Rally Championship Round Six
Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally – Castle Douglas, Scotland
Cave delivered a perfect performance on Saturday’s
(14th September) Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally by setting
the fastest time on all of the event’s eight stages
and in doing so, recorded his third victory of the season
by nearly a minute. It was all he and co-driver Dale Bowen
could do in order to give themselves the best chance of
claiming this year’s British title, but with their
main rivals Matt Edwards/Patrick Walsh finishing third,
it meant they end the season in second place.
Based in the forests of southwest Scotland,
the sixth and final round of this year’s British Rally
Championship comprised nine stages and 71 competitive miles
over some of the most demanding gravel roads in the UK.
With Edwards ahead on points following round five, it meant
that if he finished seventh or higher, even if Tom won the
rally, Edwards would still secure the title.
As cars set off from the start near Castle
Douglas on a bright and sunny morning, Tom knew what he
had to do to give himself the best chance of securing the
title. And he did just that. Stage-after-stage, he and Dale
set the pace, posting fastest time after fastest time, never
putting a foot wrong in the process. The Michelin tyres
worked well and the Philip Case Rallysport prepared Hyundai
– which had been rebuilt following the previous round
– ran faultlessly.
With organisers cancelling the ninth and final
stage, Tom and Dale crossed the finish line having set eight
out of eight fastest times to record their third British
Rally Championship victory of the season. They ended the
day 54.9 seconds ahead of Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts and 2
minutes 16 seconds ahead of Edwards/ Walsh, who had also
done exactly what they needed to do and finished third.
At the finish, Tom said:
“To be quickest on all the stages and
win without any problems is the best result you can hope
for. We pushed from the start and did everything we could
today to keep a grip on the title, but the difference in
points between Matt and I was just too much. We didn’t
lose the title today, it was the DNFs on round one, the
Cambrian Rally and round five in Ulster that set us back.
“To have completely rebuilt the Hyundai
in three weeks following our off in Ulster – and then
for it to run faultlessly throughout this event –
is a fantastic achievement and testimony to the PCRS team’s
hard work and professionalism. Today’s win is for
“After three victories – one on
asphalt and two on gravel – we’ve proved that
the Hyundai i20 R5 is capable of winning in the British
Rally Championship. And whilst we didn’t quite get
our hands on the title, it’s great to have finished
the season on a high.”
“There are so many people I would like
to thank for making our 2019 British Rally Championship
campaign happen: Trailhead Fine Foods and its Get Jerky
snack brand, Cambrian Training, Hyundai Motorsport Customer
Racing Michelin Motorsport, Shukers Hyundai of Aberystwyth
Ponsse UK, H.N. Nuttall Foodservice, Go Fetch Ltd, Intervino
and Atech Racing. We couldn’t have done it without
Tom now looks forward to his next challenge,
the Wales Rally GB – Britain’s round of the
World Rally Championship – that takes place between
3rd and 6th October.
PRESS RELEASE: 28 April 2019
Two in a row for Tom! Cave claims
2nd British Rally Championship win of the season on the
Pirelli International Rally
Cave achieved exactly what he set out to do this weekend,
when he recorded his second British Rally Championship victory
in succession by winning Saturday’s (27th April) Pirelli
International Rally. He and co-driver Dale Bowen took the
lead after stage two and went on to win the third round
of the season by an impressive margin of 17.6 seconds –
a result that sees Tom top the championship’s drivers
table by seven points at the season’s halfway point.
Following a victory on an asphalt surface
last time out, Tom was eager to do the same on gravel. However,
with competition coming from top UK drivers such as Matt
Edwards in a Ford Fiesta and David Bogie and Rhys Yates
in Skoda Fabias – plus the appearance of Finish driver
Jari Huttenen in an identical PCRS-run Hyundai 120 R5 to
that of Tom’s – it was never going to be a straightforward
Following the showcase start at the Pirelli
factory on the outskirts of Carlisle, teams headed into
Kielder Forest for the first of the day’s six stages.
Taking into account a slow puncture and a misting windscreen
in the damp conditions, Tom and Dale were pleased to emerge
from the opening run in second place, just 1.4 seconds behind
But at the end of the second stage the tables
were turned, when the Fin spun and dropped 20 seconds. Tom
and Dale set the fastest time and consequently, entered
the first service halt of the day 15.3 seconds ahead of
their closest rivals, Matt Edwards/Patrick Walsh.
Another good run for the Welsh pair through
stage three was only briefly interrupted when they caught
and passed Edwards/Walsh who had sustained two punctures
– a factor that not only dropped the round-one winners
down the leaderboard, but eventually led to their retirement.
Another fastest time through stage four meant
that when they arrived at the second service halt, Tom and
Dale were 20.5 seconds ahead of second-placed Yates and
Tom’s co-driver in West Cork James Morgan.
It was now a case of consolidation and taking
clean lines through the corners in order to minimise the
risk of punctures for the event’s remaining two stages
– and that’s exactly what Tom and Dale did.
Following a perfectly executed final two runs, they arrived
at the finish control in Brampton a few miles east of Carlisle,
a convincing 17.6 seconds ahead of Yates/Morgan and a further
21.9 seconds ahead of David Bogie/John Rowan in third.
“It’s great to have scored two
wins on the bounce, especially one on asphalt and one on
gravel. I haven’t won the Pirelli International Rally
before, so I’m pleased to have laid that spectre to
rest. Things really went according to plan and, after taking
the lead on stage two, it was a case of managing the gap
for the rest of the day.
“The car ran faultlessly throughout
the event and I have to thank the PCRS team for all their
hard work. This result is testimony to their efforts. Also
helping us achieve what we did today were the Michelin tyres
that worked extremely well in the ever-changing weather
and surface conditions.
“I’m also pleased for Dale too,
as this was his very first outright rally win and I have
to thank him for doing such a fantastic job not only in
the car, but during the lead up to the rally as well.
“It’s great to now lead the championship
with three rallies done and three more to go. The race for
the title is now well and truly on!”
The fourth round of the British Rally Championship
sees competitors head overseas for the second all-asphalt
surface encounter of the season, the Renties Ypres Rally.
This hugely popular, high profile, annual Belgian event
takes place over two days on 28th & 29th June.