Tom Cave recently completed a successful pre-event test as he prepares for his entry on the Wales Rally GB, when he will become the youngest driver ever to take part in the event.
Having competed in Latvia for two seasons, the teenager already has his International Rally license, required to enter what is the final round in the World Rally Championship and also the final round in the BRC too.
However, as he has only just turned 17, he has to pass his driving test and gain his full road license before he can take the start of the UK's premier rally. Despite this, the youngster has been working flat-out to ensure that the competition side of his dream is ready to go.
He recently competed a two-day test in mid-Wales at the impressive Geoff Jones Motorsport complex just outside Machynlleth, testing the Yokohama tyres he will use on the event as well as establishing a base set-up for his Group N Ford Fiesta ST.
Entered as a privateer, Cave is likely to be running close to the tail end of the field over the course of the event and while the prospect of competing on the same stages as the best drivers in the world is guaranteed to set his pulse racing, he is also keenly aware of the challenges ahead of him.
“Ever since I can remember, it's been my dream to compete on the UK round of the WRC. Some of my earliest memories are spectating on the event with my father, who was an avid fan and always took me to watch when he wasn't competing himself,” said Tom. “I think to compete alongside the best drivers in the world on the season closer is a defining moment for any driver; for me to do it, just a few days after getting my driving license, is an unbelievable opportunity and one not to be taken lightly.
“I fully expect to be one of the tail-end Charlies on the event. I think the conditions will be pretty rough by the time we get to the stages, especially on the second run through, but with a good set-up, we'll plough on and make sure we enjoy every mile.
“Our objective for the event is simple; to get to the finish, ideally without using SuperRally [regulations which allow cars retiring on days one and two to return on the following day with additional time penalties].
“To complete the event on my first attempt, on the same stages as the best drivers on the world, would be an incredible feat for me and a perfect culmination of two years of competition in Latvia.”