Britain's Tom Cave has said he 'incredibly excited' by the prospect of contesting the 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, although he admitted the stakes – and potential rewards – are 'huge'.
Cave was confirmed as one of the successful 12 applicants this week [see separate story - HERE
] and he will now be looking to win it and claim the fully-paid seven-event programme in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 in the 2015 WRC2 series.
“I am incredibly excited by the prospect of contesting the 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy. When it was announced, it was clear that this was the prime option for us this year and with the continued support from Morris Lubricants, we are able to proceed with an entry and have been accepted for the series,” Cave said.
“I think our performance on last year's Wales Rally GB has helped enormously in moving us forward. Morris Lubricants was instrumental in making that opportunity a reality and now, I am incredibly grateful to the company for its continued support to allow us to contest this series in 2014.
“The Drive DMACK series looks to be a superb concept. It is very similar to the Junior WRC series from last year, with five rounds instead of six. However, each rally runs over the full three days so we don't lose any of the experience that the final day offers and as the cars are all identical, the emphasis is on the crew to get their set-up and approach to the event right.
“The season doesn't get underway for a couple of months [with Rally de Portugal in April] but there is still plenty to do; the fitness campaign starts in earnest now and I'm scouring the internet for footage of the stages for the first couple of rounds to get a feel for them.
“I have done Portugal twice before and Poland once, so at least I have some idea of what to expect. However, they were both some years ago so the recce will be crucial to give us the best chance to get the season off to the best start.”
Cave will be co-driven by Craig Parry this season. During 2013, he linked up with Ieuan Thomas and together they finished third in the British Rally Championship and excelled on Wales Rally GB, with a string of WRC2 stage wins. However, due to work obligations, Thomas is unable to make the huge time commitment that a campaign in the WRC requires and as such, Parry, who co-drove for Tom on both his appearances as an official works driver for the Proton Motorsports team, returns.
“It is a shame that Ieuan isn't able to work with us this year - he was extremely professional and dedicated last year - and we had some superb success. [But] I have a very long-standing relationship with Craig and he was a natural choice when it became clear that Ieuan wouldn't be able to join us,” Cave added.
“[All-in-all] it's going to be a challenge but the stakes and potential rewards are huge. This is where it starts to get very serious indeed,” he concluded.