Junior Rallying in action

 for Tukums Rally

Junior Rallying, the scheme to develop the next generation of British rallying talent, will be in action again next weekend, with three under-17 year old drivers taking part in the Tukums Rally in Latvia. Junior Rallying regulars Tom Clark and Conor Flynn will be joined by Dom Scott, son of BTRDA regular Gary Scott, as they contest the short, two-day event.

Based in the town of Tukums, 50Km west of Riga, the event sees the crews contest several stages on the evening of Saturday 31 May with the remainder of the timed tests taking place between 11.00 and 14.00 on Sunday 1 June. However, at this time of year, it does not get fully dark in Latvia until approximately 10.30pm, so while the first competitors will be arriving at the overnight parc ferme at around 9pm, the Junior Rallying crews will not be forced to run in darkness.

This will be 14 year-old Tom Clark’s third event running under the Junior Rallying banner. However, for this event, he and co-driver Aggie Foster will be debuting their new Suzuki Swift R2 Cup car. Built to the same specification as the Suzuki Cup that forms part of the British Rally Championship, both are keen to see how it performs against their competitors on its first run out.

Conor Flynn, 15, will again be using his family-prepared Mk3 Volkswagen Golf and will be partnered by co-driver Tim Young. Conor’s Junior Rallying program is dovetailing with his rallycross activity in the UK and this will be his and Tim’s second outing in Latvia.

As part of the Junior Rallying development program, this event will feature several more ‘firsts’ for the drivers. It will be their first event with an overnight parc ferme, with the event split across Saturday and Sunday and will also be the first time either has driven on evening stages.

However, it will be an event full of firsts for 14 year-old Dom Scott. No stranger to rallying, thanks to his father’s competition experience, Dom will be the youngest British driver to compete internationally, at just 14 years and 329 days when he takes the start next week.

His father’s regular co-driver, Mike Scrimgour, will partner Dom next weekend. The experienced Scrimgour will inevitably help Dom as he tackles pace notes, gravel stages, driving techniques and the demands of the Latvian stages for the first time.

Dom and Mike will be using Gary’s Vauxhall Nova 1400cc car and while Dom has undergone extensive training in the UK, is excited about his first taste of actual competition.

Junior Rallying Manager Gemma Price is delighted to welcome Dom to the team, as well as seeing Tom Clark debut a Suzuki Swift in Latvia. “This year, Tom Cave is running the first Ford Fiesta ST in Latvia and now, Tom Clark will be running the first Suzuki Swift. We’re also very pleased to have Dom joining us this weekend and for the rest of the season.

“We’re delighted with the way this year has developed so far. To have Tom Cave running in the National Championship under the Junior Rallying banner and Tom Clark, Conor and now, Dom running in the RallySprint championship is fantastic and demonstrates that a scheme like this was sorely needed for young, British rally drivers.

“Interest in the scheme is still very high and we are constantly getting enquiries from potential new candidates and drivers wishing to join us, either at the beginning of Phase One or Phase Two, as Tom, Conor and Dom have done. So hopefully we’ll have some more young British drivers competing in Latvia before the end of this season.”