Pirelli Pilots Play the Generation Game
The Pirelli Carlisle Rally, the 3rd round of the British Rally Championship, will, uniquely, bring a second generation of rally drivers to the Carlisle based event for two of the leading runners are the sons of former winners of the rally and come to Carlisle eager to show they can equal their parents performances.
Current leader of the British Rally Championship, Elfyn Evans from Dolgellau in North Wales is the son of former rally star and Ford works driver, Gwyndaf Evans who took victory on the Pirelli backed event twice, in 1998 and 2010. Although Gwydaf had a long association with the Ford team, his two Pirelli victories came in different makes, in 1998 he took a SEAT Ibiza to victory and in 2010 he used a Mitsubishi Evo X. Evans Junior got off to a flying start, literally, on the opening round of the British Championship, the Mid Wales Stages, which he not only won but also scored double points by playing his “Joker” card. It was a fortunate decision as he retired from Round 2, The Circuit of Ireland, crashing out after mechanical problems had dropped him down the leader board.
Running in the same team is young Max Vatanen, the son of the legendary “Flying Finn” and former World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen who drew a huge crowd of rally spectators when he competed on the Pirelli event back in 1995. Showing all the class that brought him success on the world stage, driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Escort Cosworth, Ari gave a master class in forest driving and led from the start, scoring a runaway victory by probably the biggest margin in the rally’s history. Young Max hasn’t had the most auspicious starts to his championship season, finishing 17th on the opening round and retiring from the second one, he will unquestionably be hoping that his luck changes and he enjoys some of his father’s good fortune when the championship visits Cumbria.
The Pirelli Carlisle Rally takes place over the weekend of 30th April/ 1st May and is based in Carlisle at the Borderway Auction Mart complex.