20th Oct, 2019

Droitwich racer Delaney top of class in just third rally

Craig Gibbons 16th Nov, 2016 Updated: 16th Nov, 2016

TOM DELANEY finished top of his class on Saturday at the Wyedean Rally held in the Forest of Dean.

The 17-year-old from Droitwich pulled off all the stops to record a marvellous victory in just his third gravel rally of the season.

Tom, with fellow local co-driver Matt Walk, got off to a good start on a very wet and foggy first stage, taking a fastest time in class.

However, it all went wrong on the second stage when the clutch and hydraulics failed which made driving the Suzuki Swift very difficult.

And the car could only be fixed once he completed Stage Three and made his way back from the 15-mile road section back to the pits.

Mechanics from Inkberrow-based SVP Motorsport were ready and waiting for Tom’s arrival but unfortunately did not have the correct parts to make an effective repair.

Despite this, a temporary repair was made which enabled Tom and Matt to go back out for the three afternoon stages.

Again on Stage Four the clutch failed leaving Tom with two choices – park the car up or battle on.

As far as Tom was concerned there was no option to quit as he was leading his class and wanted to get to the finish.

Tom battled hard and survived the last three stages and a relieved crew were amazed to find out at the finish at Mitcheldean that he had won his class overall.

A delighted Tom said: “That was the hardest rally I have ever done, the conditions were terrible and we had to contend with no clutch as well which made it extremely difficult.

“I never thought about quitting but it was hard to keep going at times.

“Then to get to the finish and find we had won our class was a great feeling. We couldn’t have done it without the help we have from SVP Motorsport and Peter Gwynne Motorsport.”

Tom will be racing again in two weeks’ time at the Grizedale Forest complex in the Lake District where he will be joined by co-driver Joe Cruttenden.

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