Sutton-Upon-Derwent teenager Ashley Slights, continued an excellent start to the BTRDA Rally First Championship on the second round, the Malcolm Wilson Rally on Saturday.
Over 110 cars competed in the Cockermouth based rally, which saw crews fight it out over 7 classic forest stages totaling 45 stage miles in the Lake District.
A the wheel of his self prepared RF 1.4 Toyota Yaris, Slights pulled out an early lead of the Rally First class with a 4 second advantage over closest rival Joe Evett.
However Slights was not entirely happy with his performance over the first two stages, as he knew more time could come out of the car.
"Before the event we raised the car 10mm at the front as we had heard the stages could get quite rutted. This made the car very unstable at the front on stages 1 and 2. This resulted in a half spin on ss1 and losing the bumper on ss2. With this being rectified in emergency service after ss2."
"We decided to push on in ss3 to make up on lost ground. However 1 mile into ss3 we lost the rear brakes completely and did the remaining 9 miles with only the front brakes. Still managing to set quickest time in class by 10 seconds. Thankfully the problem with the rear brakes was solved in service and we continued onto the remaining four stages. "
Slights and Pocklington co-driver Tom Hughes, left the first service with a 21 second lead over rival Joe Evett. They continued to prove they were the ones to beat by extending their lead further throughout the rest of the day, and the remaining four stages.
"The afternoon went exceptionally well making our way up to 5th overall in 1400s with two stages remaining. On ss5 we clipped a bank on a high-speed section, which sent the car up on two wheels. We were lucky to get away with it, as the car suffered damage to the strut top on the passenger side as well as a buckled wheel rim."
With two stages left the Yorkshire duo managed to pip the car in front by two seconds to finish 4th overall in the 1400s class and won the Rally First class by 1 min 30 seconds.
Backed by Swift Group Ltd, Proflex UK, S. Harrison Developments Ltd, Philliskirk Drainage Ltd and Slights Rally Sport, the young crew maintain the start to the season that they wished for.
Ashley and Tom will continue to the third round of the BTRDA Rally First Championship, the Somerset Stages Rally, with maximum points.
"We're looking forward to the Somerset Stages rally after a great weekend and promising result. Thanks again go to Tom for doing a sound job co-driving, as well as all of my sponsors for their continued support, it wouldn't be possible without them."
The Somerset Stages Rally takes place on the 16th April and is based in the town of Minehead, and uses the surrounding forests of Exmoor.