After scoring a wonderful win on gravel in Finland earlier this month, Mid Wales rally driver Tom Cave is hoping the switch to Tarmacadam will deliver his second success in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy season at Rallye Deutschland next week (August 21-23).
Cave and Oswestry co-driver Craig Parry were untouchable on one of the highlights of the FIA World Rally Championship in Finland, with the victory elevating them to second place in the DMACK trophy standings after round three.
However, 23-year-old Cave, from Aberdovey, is aiming to do the double by targeting another overall win when the series switches to the tough asphalt roads around Trier in Germany next week.
Cave and Parry took their only win last season on this event and will be confident of another strong performance to give their championship hopes a real boost. They are currently just eight points behind leader Marius Aasen.
The roads of Rallye Deutschland are a real challenge. Cave will face three different types of competitive stages when the event kicks off next Friday morning. It’s straight into the vineyards which overlook the Mosel river and a series of narrow, bumpy and dusty roads, lined with walls and vines, which leave no margin for error.
Saturday’s action moves east to the demanding Baumholder military ranges, characterised by broken asphalt roads which punish cars and tyres. The biggest challenge of the day will see two passes over the 45.61km Panzerplatte Long stage, which is lined by giant kerb stones more used to keeping tanks off the verge.
There are also more traditional stages through the beautiful Saarland countryside which are fun in the dry but ultra-slippery if wet. If the roads weren’t tough enough, Cave will also need to master the changeable weather conditions and mud and gravel which gets dragged onto corners as drivers push to find the fastest racing line. Tyre choice between DMACK’s dry and wet options can make or break a strong performance.
Cave said: “After the great result in Finland, I’m going to carry the momentum to Germany and put our winning experience from 2014 into practice. We had a good event there last year and I’m hoping to transfer that feeling and speed across to next week, I’m confident we are in for a shout of another win.
“The weather will be unpredictable which makes tyre choice a gamble and starting so far back in the running order will mean a lot of mud and gravel on the roads. But I believe this event will be significant in terms of the championship and it’s an opportunity for us to score some important points to overhaul the series leader.”