Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cristofaro faces testing build-up to national rally debut

Milford Haven teenager Nick Cristofaro is ready to make his debut on the national rally scene in early September – but he’ll have to pass his driving test first!

Cristofaro has been taking part in the Junior 1000 rally championship for two years, a series of events which allows drivers between the age of 14 and 17 to compete against each other. After taking numerous wins and with his 17th birthday approaching Cristofaro has had the offer of a free drive from on the Ludlow-based Woodpecker Stages rally. The Woodpecker is part of the national BTRDA rally championship and it takes place on forest gravel tracks which will be a new experience for Cristofaro.

"The events I have done in the Juniors have mainly been on tarmac so it will be a big learning curve for me," said Cristofaro. "I also have to get used to having pacenotes for the route which will be another new experience as we do not have them in the Junior events, although I will have an experienced co-driver with me so I am sure it will be no problem."

"It will be good to finally get onto a gravel surface as I have waited a long time for the opportunity. Hopefully the experience I have picked up in the Junior championship will help me. I’ll be happy if I can bring the car home to the finish."

Before he can make debut Cristofaro faces the prospect of completing both his driving theory and practical tests.

"I am not 17 until 28th August so I have a week to pass both the theory and practical tests as I need a driving licence in order to do the event. This puts a lot of extra pressure on me doing the tests but there is nothing better than a challenge!"

Cristofaro has been selected for the drive by the business and he will use one of their VW Lupo cars with a 1400cc engine which produces double the power of his usual Nissan Micra car. John Goff, owner of the business, said "Rallyschool have watched Nick’s progress at Junior level and the way in which he has conducted himself, not only in his highs, of which there have been many, but also the lows he has had to endure. As a school we always look to support young talent and we feel Nick has a promising future in the sport hence we are proud to lend a hand in his development. Our briefing to Nick will be to go out there and enjoy the day, the result is not an issue."

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