Black gets to the finish despite all the issues

Callum Black and Elliott Edmondson in their Ford Fiesta R5. Photo: Jacob Ebrey
Callum Black and Elliott Edmondson in their Ford Fiesta R5. Photo: Jacob Ebrey

Callum Black overcame one of the toughest events in the World Rally Championship to finish last weekend’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

The Brackley driver, in his first ever WRC event, guided his 586 Group backed Ford Fiesta R5 to 30th overall and 18th in RC2.

Completing every stage of this rally is a massive achievement and I’d love to come back again next year with this experience in the bag and give it a real push

Brackley rally driver Callum Black

The 26-year-old headed to Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship for his inaugural outing on the world stage.

After four gruelling days behind the wheel, Black guided his Fiesta to a solid finish, despite the difficult conditions and technical issues which blighted his progress up the leader board. Black’s finish also ensured co-driver Elliott Edmondson was handed the Michael ‘Beef’ Park Trophy for his efforts on the event.

Thanks to the support of 586 Group, DMACK Tyres and PFC Brakes, Black was ready to face his biggest challenge yet as the 300km event was set to test even the best drivers in the world.

The second pass of the opening day’s stages was plagued by hand-brake issues which hampered progress in the stages but Black’s solid performance ensured he was inside the top 20 RC2 crews.

Saturday provided the longest leg with nine stages. A good opening test was offset by a puncture on the rough Dyfnant test, forcing Black to change the wheel in the stage. A spongy brake pedal caused concern and the problem was traced to a faulty calliper.

Thick fog descended on the double-header night stages of Aberhirnant2 and Dyfnant2 and another puncture in the second test ended a frustrating day.

Just five stages remained on Sunday’s final day and Black picked his way through the rocks of the final Brenig stage to ensure his first World Championship finish.

“That was awesome,” said Black at the finish ramp.

“I’ve really enjoyed this weekend despite the dramas. I probably underestimated how tough the rally was going to be but it’s been an amazing experience and I’m so pleased to make it to the finish.

“Those stages in the dark on Friday night were probably the toughest of my life. We just knew we had to get through them. Completing every stage of this rally is a massive achievement and I’d love to come back again next year with this experience in the bag and give it a real push.”