Dave Weston Junior has been preparing for the Pirelli International Rally this weekend with a testing session with triple British Rally Champion Mark Higgins – but the young Scot is lucky to be going to the event at all.
The 19-year-old from Aberdeen took a career-best second overall on the opening round of the championship – the Bulldog Rally – last month, enjoying a flawless run despite being extremely ill throughout the event.
“We've not had much to do on the car since the Bulldog, and I'm much better now so it will be great to see what we can do on the stages this time round,” he revealed. “I've mainly been working on my fitness and notes from last year to refresh myself on the event ahead of the recce.
“On Tuesday I tested the car with Mark Higgins. I've had quite a bit of training from Mark, so to test a car that we've got running this well with him should be a big advantage ahead of the Pirelli.”
'Junior' had planned to attend the Turkish round of the World Rally Championship last weekend to broaden his experience of world events in terms of format, stages and structure – but he was one of the first passengers denied air travel due to the Icelandic volcano.
“It was annoying at the time, but I can see now that I was one of the lucky ones as I may not have got back to the UK in time to do the Pirelli recce, or maybe even the rally itself,” he mused. “Having taken such good points for finishing second on the Bulldog, that would have been a nightmare for our championship year – none of us need to drop scores because we can't make it to an event.”
The Pirelli International Rally takes place on Friday and Saturday, based in Carlisle. 'Junior' and his co-driver Ieuan Thomas are seeded fifth on the road in their Ramsport-run Subaru Impreza N2010.