Monday, 21 June 2010

Cristofaro fights back to triumph at Caerwent

Junior rally driver Nick Cristofaro, from Milford Haven, took his second victory of the season on the Mid-Summer Caerwent event last Sunday after battling back from a time-consuming problem early on in the day.

Cristofaro, fresh from his brilliant performance at the Chatsworth rallyshow where he beat one of the stars of the World Rally Championship, was keen to build on his victory in the TSH Stages event in May.

The rally got off to a disappointing start, an electrical problem meaning the 1.0 litre Nissan Micra was only running on three cylinders for ten miles of the opening stage. Cristofaro and co-driver Emma Morrison lost 21 seconds to the leading crew.

“It was a shock to have a problem so early in the event and a big disappointment to lose so much time,” said Cristofaro.

“Fortunately we were able to fix the car in service and so we were back with a full complement of cylinders for stage two.”

Over the next three stages Cristofaro clawed back time on the leaders and at the completion of the fourth stage he was just one second behind first place. On the fifth stage, despite suffering a puncture, he gained the lead, albeit by just one second.

There was no let up in Cristofaro’s pace over the final two stages of the event and his commitment was rewarded by taking another two fastest stages times, ending up with a victory margin of 12 seconds.

“I’m very happy with the result, especially after the problem on the first stage. I pushed very hard to get back the time we lost and I’m delighted that we were able to catch up and pass the leaders.”

“The result puts me in a good position in the Kick Energy/Acceleration TV Formula 1000 Junior championship, with dropped scores taken account of I’m in joint second place. I’ll be aiming to go one better than that over the remaining rounds.”

Cristofaro’s next Junior championship round is at the Brawdy Stages in September but as he turns 17 in August he is hoping that he can pass his driving test and compete in a forest rally before then if funds permit.