journalist Tom Cary faced-up to the daunting challenge of co-driving on an international event for the first time as he joined Tony Jardine for the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season in Scotland.
After completing twelve gruelling in poor weather conditions, Cary achieved his goal of competing at international level as he and Jardine battled to 18th place in the event.
Having survived the opening day proper of the event, Jardine and Cary were forced to deal with a broken drive early on the final day but the ProSpeed team were able to repair the car in service to ensure the media duo made it to the finish.
ï¿½I was a little anxious coming into the weekend, especially after the recce,ï¿½ Cary said. ï¿½It was horrible weather and it looked as if it was going to be very muddy and slippery for the event, which it was. We had the drive shaft problem first thing on Friday; we were going well at the time, had a good rhythm and it just killed us and lost us about eight minutes. Because of that, looking at the overall leader board was quite frustrating as we were actually faster than three or four other cars in Saturdayï¿½s stages but just couldnï¿½t claw back any positions due to the final stage, stage 13, having to be cancelled.
ï¿½Rally Scotland has been a big step up for me from the national rallies we have been doing - the time controls, re-grouping, the weighing of the cars, the whole thing has just been on another level.ï¿½
Following the inaugural Rally of Scotland, driver Jardine was full of praise for the event and his navigator.
ï¿½As far as Iï¿½m concerned Rally Scotland is a feat in itself, itï¿½s an incredible event,ï¿½ he said. ï¿½Itï¿½s got the most awe-inspiring scenery and is one of the most adventurous and punishing rallies. We just had to keep the car going despite a broken drive shaft, broken uprights and broken suspension arms, it was a question of patching the Fiesta up all the time.
ï¿½Tom has done a fantastic job. He had no intercom on one of the stages in the dark, guided us home successfully, and has been cool and calm throughout. Getting to the finish was a great achievement and down to the hard work of Tom and the ProSpeed team.ï¿½
In just under three months time the Castrol / Daily Telegraph team will be reunited once again, this time for the opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship ï¿½ Rally Sweden.