Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cristofaro takes podium finish on second-ever gravel rally

Milford Haven rally driver Nick Cristofaro took a brilliant podium finish on just his second event in the forests last weekend when he piloted his VW Lupo to second place in the Rally First class of the Cambrian rally.

Cristofaro, 17, and co-driver Emma Morrison had previously contested the Woodpecker rally in August where they took sixth in class on Cristofaro’s forest rally debut. Cristofaro’s aims for the Cambrian were to get some more experience under his belt and push a little harder to get further up the leaderboard.

The North Wales-based event started with a pair of stages in Clocaenog forest and Cristofaro’s decision to increase his pace immediately paid off as he stormed into the lead of his class.

“I was driving for a finish on the Woodpecker with it being my first event but I wanted to improve my position on the Cambrian,” said Cristofaro.

“The first two stages went really well but I was shocked when I saw the results when I got back to the service area, it was brilliant to be at the top of the leaderboard so soon into my forest rallying career.”

The rally moved to the forests of Penmachno for stages three and four. Stage three was very narrow and slippery with some sections feeling like driving on ice. Part way through the stage Cristofaro was flat out over a crest and overshot the next junction, getting the car stuck in the trees causing a time loss of two minutes.

“It was my first ever accident in rallying and I was really gutted as it cost me the lead. Fortunately there were plenty of spectators where we went off and they got the car back on the road which I’m very grateful for.”

The accident dropped Cristofaro to second place after the two Penmachno stages but his pace continued unabated in the final pair of stages in Clocaenog where he took fastest time in his class on both tests. It was not enough to regain the class lead though and he reached the rally finish in Llandudno in second place.

“Second is an excellent result but I’m disappointed as without the accident we would’ve won. At least I know that I have the pace to do well next year and we’ll be aiming for the top of the leaderboard in a Super 1400 Mazda 2 prepared by”

“I’m also planning to contest the Fiesta Sporting Trophy in a Ford Fiesta ST run by TEG Sport. My aim is to be winning in both championships so if there are any businesses who want to be involved with a winning team please contact me via I will be at the British Rally Championship open day at Sweet Lamb on 22nd October if any companies would like to discuss marketing opportunities.”