Smith starts rally campaign ..

Evening Standard Journalist Smith starts rally campaign with class win  

Castrol / Evening Standard team set standard as they claim terrific 1st in class at the Trackrod Rally.

Evening  Standard  sports  journalist  David  Smith  started  his  challenge  of  becoming  a  World Championship Rally (WRC) co-driver at one of Britain’s top rallies, the Trackrod Rally, Yorkshire, by swapping his perch in the press box for a seat in the heart of the action. Smith not only got his first real taste of the competitive sport, but claimed a terrific victory by coming first  in  class  at  Trackrod  Rally  (27  September).    Smith  successfully  navigated  experienced  driver Tony Jardine through the six ultra-fast, dusty forest stages in Yorkshire’s ‘heartbeat’ land, at speeds exceeding 100mph.  He was in the navigator’s seat of the Castrol / Evening Standard Ford Fiesta ST150  supported  by  York  based  ProSpeed  Motorsport.   

The  team  were also helped by McLaren Development Engineer Andy Beale and Kumho, who supplied the tyres for the event. Despite this being Jardine’s second time competing at the Trackrod Rally, it was journalist Smith’s first  competitive  Rally.    In  preparation  Smith  got  some  useful  coaching  and  tips  from  renowned World Rally Championship co-driver Nicky Grist. 

With this information and a last minute coaching session from ProSpeed MD Olly Marshall, Smith took to the rally like a natural. At the midpoint service Jardine said, “There is definitely good chemistry inside the car with me and David.  He is showing some great potential.  Throughout the first couple of stages he was finding his feet, and from then on he was very confident.  You can see that he is just trying to find his own technique, and once he has that he can only get better.”

ProSpeed’s Marshall, who has been looking forward to working alongside the duo of Jardine and Smith  at  his  local  rally,  was  watching  the  beginning  of  the  showground  stage  said, 

 “I  am  very impressed  with  David’s  early  progress,  he  showed  great  enthusiasm  and  a  good  grasp  of  the basics.”” On completion of the rally Smith said, “That was the experience of a lifetime.  It is one thing watching sport from the press box, usually the best seat in the house, but it is quite another strapped tight into a racing seat while Tony drives at breakneck speeds literally inches away from stout tree trunks  My one major mistake was sending Tony into a tight right bend at close on 100mph.  Only his tremendous skill, and a rare slice of luck, prevented an accident.  It was a sobering moment for me.” 

Smith went onto say, “I always held rally drivers in high esteem, but after the Trackrod Rally I am now totally in awe of them and the engineers who work wonders preparing the cars against the clock in the most testing of conditions.”

The Castrol / Evening Standard team who also received support from Alpinestars and Arai Helmets, will now set their sights on another confident and successful finish at their next upgrade signature stop, the Bulldog Rally (18 October)