Rally driver Tim Rodgers, from Burton upon Stather, is set to fulfil a lifelong dream when he takes part in Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB. Rodgers will drive a Ford Fiesta ST in what will be the last time such a car is seen at world championship level as its homologation expires at the end of the year.
Rodgers used the car in both 2013 and 2014, competing in British Rally Championship events. However, a big accident on the Scottish rally severely damaged the car and he has not been in action since.
The campaign to do Rally GB started in May when Rodgers realised that 2015 was that last year that Fiesta STs would be allowed to compete in world championship events. It had always been his dream to compete on Rally GB but the massive budget needed to take part seemed out of reach. However, with no chance of upgrading to a current specification car, if he didn’t take part in the 2015 event then he’d probably never get the opportunity again so a plan was hatched.
“The car was in a sorry state after the crash on the Scottish and it sat in my garage for many months awaiting repair as other things took priority,” said Rodgers. “On realising the 2015 event was the last chance to use the ST I started making plans to get the car back on the road and raise the funding to take part. This was in May so there was only six months to pretty much build a new car, a tough task given all the work had to be done in my spare time.”
“I sourced a Fiesta road car and the long process of bringing the rally car back to life began. It’s taken a while but I’m down to one A4 sheet of jobs now so we will definitely be ready to cross the Rally GB start line in Llandudno.”
“We’ve had a few setbacks on the way, the main one of which was some major sponsors withdrawing from the project last month which left us with a large financial hole. After discussions with my co-driver Stefan Arndt we decided to press on with the plan to compete. Fortunately I’ve been able to attract support from RoLEC, FMS Autoparts, Business 101, Sabelt, Peart Auto Services, The Tortoise Shop.com, Maple Garage Ltd, Glow Feast and JFK and I am extremely grateful for that. If anyone else would like their business promoted on a world championship event please get in touch with me via my TimSport Facebook page (www.facebook.com/
“The car has done Rally GB before, my wife Becky Kirvan used it to win her class on the 2011 event. It’s also been used on other world championship rounds by a previous owner so I’m hoping I can give it a fitting send-off at world level - I'm definitely under pressure to get a good result after Becky's class win! I think we'll be the first husband and wife to have both competed on the event in the same car but in different years.”
The rally has a ceremonial start in Llandudno town centre on Thursday 12th November and then three days of tough competition start the day after. In total the crews will race on almost 200 miles of slippery forest gravel tracks in notoriously tricky conditions. The reputation of the changeable British weather is second to none in the WRC calendar!
“The events I competed in during 2013 and 2014 were 50-60 miles long so it’s going to be a challenge doing almost four times that mileage in one event but I’m confident both the car and crew will be up to the task."
To follow progress on Rodgers' preparations to get updates from the event itself please visit www.facebook.com/