CLITHEROE youngster Tommi Meadows had a rally of highs and lows at the Dale Stages in Pembrokeshire – but still came away with his result of the year.
The 14-year-old finished eighth overall in the Pembrokeshire-based event his his self-prepared Nissan Micra The day of the rally dawned bright but early conditions on the stages were extremely slippery and tricky, meaning it was all down to pure driver talent to decide who would be the front runners.
The Bowland High School pupil was quick from the start, taking third fastest time through stage one, only being slower than two competitors who have been competing for three years unlike Meadows who was still learning on only his third rally.
After stage four, the pair were in an impressive fourth overall, having dropped down from third after having had problems with the clutch slipping which lost them valuable time.
For the afternoon’s loop of stages, the crew experienced problems with the clutch slipping even more towards the end of the longer stages, at some points in the stage there was hardly any drive at all.
“We dropped a whole lot of time with the clutch which dropped us down to eighth overall and we couldn't keep up with the other, more expensive Citroen C1s and Peugeot 107s which in the dry had a big advantage as they could get all the power down easily without spinning the wheels,” said Meadows.
“The morning was more about driver talent, and I am happy that I have shown I can beat some of the other lads in cars with almost 30bhp more than mine.”
After a high speed spin on the final stage of the event, Meadows and Oakey finished a credible eighth in the junior category, this being their best result to date.
Amazingly the winning junior William Creighton from Northern Ireland came 13th overall out of 68 entries on the rally against Subarus, Escorts and Mitsubishis Evos – in his standard one litre Citroen C1.
“It's only early days, so I'm just happy to be getting finishes and slowly improving my times,” added Meadows.
“The highlight of the rally was being third overall after the fourth stage before we had problems.
“I’d like to thank my sponsors James Alpe Limited, Chorley Group, Fuchs Oil, Proflex Shock Absorbers and A-Frame Engineering for all their help, not forgetting Ian Oakey for guiding me along and my parents for their encouragement and help.”
Meadows’ next rally is on July 13 at the Brawdy Stages.