This year's Wales Rally GB will proudly support the Gareth Roberts Fund as the charity continues to grow and assist drivers and co-drivers who have been hurt in rally accidents.
The 'Croeso Trophy in memory of Gareth Roberts' will once again be awarded to the highest placed all-Welsh crew competing on the UK's round of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, and is a fitting tribute to the Carmarthenshire co-driver who tragically lost his life in an accident while competing in Sicily in June 2012.
At 24 years of age, Roberts – or 'Jaffa' as he was known to his many friends – was one of British rallying's most talented young co-drivers. An electrician by trade, he had enjoyed great success in the Fiesta Sport Trophy with Elfyn Evans and, subsequently, in the WRC Academy with Craig Breen. He was about to embark on the next step of his international rally career with Breen when he lost his life in a freak accident on the Targa Florio.
A former winner of the original Croeso Trophy, while co-driving Gwyndaf Evans on the 2008 Wales Rally GB, the event re-named the award the 'Croeso Trophy in memory of Gareth Roberts' in recognition of the respect with which he was held within the motor sport community.
“We were all deeply saddened by Gareth's death and thus we are wholeheartedly behind any initiative that honours his achievements and unfulfilled potential,” said Andrew Coe, chief executive of International Motor Sports, organiser of Wales Rally GB, “That he was such a passionate supporter of his home round of the World Rally Championship and, moreover, was a previous winner of the Croeso Trophy, makes this renamed annual award all the more poignant.”
Gareth's brother Dai, together with fellow co-driver Phil Pugh, established the Gareth Roberts Fund with the aim of raising donations to help drivers and co-drivers who have been forced to miss work because of rally-related injuries. Andrew Edwards, Kevin Power and John MacCrone already have all been helped by the generous donations made by rally fans.
"Our aim is to keep the memory of Gareth alive, and we can do this through the Gareth Roberts Fund and help others in a way of which he would have approved,” Roberts explained, “Phil and I will be working hard with the help of many others to continue the good work that has been done so far in his memory.”
Sara Williams and co-driver Patrick Walsh won the first 'Croeso Trophy in memory of Gareth Roberts' after a great run in their Subaru Impreza on last year's Wales Rally GB.