Gould-en performance but MSA Rally Elite star misses out
The UK's Adam Gould was dominant in this weekend's Pirelli Star Driver Euro Shoot Out but failed to win the top prize of six fully funded events in next year's World Rally Championship. Gould is a member of the MSA British Rally Elite scheme and was selected by the Motor Sports Association to represent the UK against 18 other nations in the Pirelli Shoot Out held in Austria on Saturday.
Co-driven by fellow Elite programme member Seb Marshall, Gould's speed and ability was tested on both gravel and Tarmac stages together with a selection of personal promotional challenges; including an interview with the six-strong expert judging panel.
Twenty-one-year-old Gould set the standard for the day by being fastest two-wheel-drive car on all of the three opening gravel stages and out-performing the rest of the class. He improved his performance and times on each stage to steadily pull away from the opposition with a 17 second lead over the eventual winner at midday Service.
The afternoon's Tarmac test provided a different challenge but the Brits stayed calm under pressure to further dominate proceedings, claiming more stage wins in the two-wheel-drive class, and ending the day 25 seconds ahead of Finland's Jarkko Nikara, who was ultimately one of the two chosen winners.
The overall result, however, was not based entirely on stage times as the judging panel were looking for improvements on performance and times; both of which Gould demonstrated clearly throughout the day.
Winning this prize would have launched Gould into the World Rally Championship and been a step closer to his ultimate dream of becoming the UK's next World Rally Champion but now the British star will have to refocus and search for a new opportunity to fulfil his dream.
MSA British Rally Elite driver Adam Gould said:
"I'm extremely disappointed with this result; this final was the only thing I have been thinking about for the last six weeks. I came here, fully prepared, and gave it my all but it seems it just wasn't enough. I have been very happy with my performance here, I came across well in my interviews with the judges and I drove my heart out on the stages, as my stage times suggest; but unfortunately it just wasn't to be. The experience I gained this weekend was fantastic and I just want to thank Pirelli for giving me the opportunity to compete for these two great prizes. I'm not sure what the future holds now but my dream is still to be the World Rally Champion - I will never give that up."