IOAN Lloyd has got his British Rally Championship off to flying start on the Corbeau Seats Stages in Clacton.
The 19-year-old John Easson Award winner produced one of the best drives of the weekend, finishing 15th overall and fifth in class – all from a starting position of car 53.
“It was one of those events when everything went right,” explained Ioan.
“The car was perfect, my co-driver Sion Williams’ pacenotes were perfect, and the roads were pretty good too!”
Ioan’s brilliant result was set against a backdrop of firsts – first time out in his new Peugeot 208 R4, first time on the event, and first time using their own notes – all of which failed to hinder their progress up the leaderboard.
The Saturday night opener comprised two short stages along Clacton Promenade, which was guaranteed to catch out the careless.
“They are the sort of stages that won’t win you the rally, but can easily lose it for you,” said Ioan.
“So we took it very carefully, while trying to maintain a decent pace in the new car.”
That pace saw Ioan and Sion make up 23 places to start the 12 Sunday stages running in 30th.
From there on in, they gradually increased their speed to a level they were comfortable with, while not putting a wheel wrong.
Their reward for a very mature drive was a place in the top 15, putting them eighth overall in the BRC drivers and co-drivers standings, and fourth in the Junior Championship
“It was a great result for us. The Peugeot is absolutely phenomenal, I reckon we are only at 50% of its full potential, so there’s a lot more to come from both the car and me. It ran faultlessly all day, so I’m really grateful to the team at West Wales Rally Spares who prepared it.
“I can’t wait for the next round!”The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally, based in Duns, hosts round two of the BRC on May 27/28.
*Former John Easson Award winner Osian Pryce was the outright winner of the Corbeau Seats Stages driving his Melvyn Evans Motorsport VW Polo R5.
Ioan Lloyd would like to thank:
West Wales Rally Spares
2300 Club/John Easson Award
Safety Devices International Ltd
David Byrne Autorepairs
Moduron Teifi Motors
Richard Tadman MIT
Peugeot Sport UK/Ireland