Tom Cave’s return to top-level national rallying for the first time in more than two years resulted in a resounding victory on the Visit Conwy Cambrian National Rally on Saturday.
The talented driver, whose family owns the Trefeddian Hotel in Aberdovey, led the event from start to finish, showing he had lost none of his former pace by going on to win by a margin of 21.5 seconds.
Based in Llandudno – the town that hosted the last running of the Wales Rally GB in 2019 – meant the day brought back fond memories for Tom, who finished 11th overall and top privateer on that occasion.
The Rally GB connection was also reflected in the Cambrian Rally’s route, with its six stages utilising many of the forestry roads that were used in the World Rally Championship qualifier.
Tom tested the Melvyn Evans Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R5 last week and, even though it was his first outing in a VW, he quickly acclimatised to the car and its characteristics.
Accompanied by Dale Furniss, it was Tom’s first outing in an R5 car since June 2021. As soon as the lights went green on the first stage, an 8.93-mile run through Elsi Forest, he was up to speed from the word go, even in the slippery conditions, setting a time 10.2 seconds quicker than leading British Rally Championship driver Garry Pearson, who finished second with Max McRae third.
“Today has reminded me why I love the sport so much,” said Tom afterwards. “It’s great to get back behind the wheel of a top-class car and drive these stages. It’s also great to experience that winning feeling again.
“The Polo ran perfectly all day and I have to thank the Melvyn Evans Motorsport team for giving me such a great car to drive. I must also thank Dale for doing such a good job on the notes and to everyone who has helped me to take part in this event. Without their support it just wouldn’t have been possible.
“I now can’t wait to be back out again and really hope we can put a full season campaign together for 2024.”
Tom’s Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally campaign was supported by: Go Fetch, ALG Security, GF Grigg Construction, Tayna Batteries, Garej Arwyn Cyf, Mid Wales Golf Academy, Atech Racing, The Unicorn Hotel Caersws, SJ Automotive Solutions, Graham Ottaway Builders, HN Nuttal Foodservice, Dovey Valley Shooting Ground and Sprinklers Direct.