Damian Cole will drive his newly acquired Ford Fiesta R5+ Mk1 Evo 2 in competition for the first time on the final round of the 2021 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally (Sunday 24 October).
The six time Protyre Asphalt champion has only given the car a quick shakedown run around the Three Sisters racing circuit and is looking forward to putting a disappointing season behind him with a good run over the Otterburn military range in Northumberland.
Damian has a fantastic record at the venue having won the Cheviot Stages four times (2011, ’13, ’14 and ’17). He also finished second in 2019, just missing out on another win – and a seventh Asphalt title – by just three seconds after late gearbox problems, and third in 2016.
Damian has also won the Tyneside Stages on Otterburn four times as well.
Co-driven on the forthcoming Cheviot Stages by Andrew Roughead, Damian hopes that a switch back to a Get Connected/TCL decaled Ford will turn his 2021 fortunes around.
“I’ve only driven the Fiesta R5 briefly, but with a paddle shift gear change it really feels good,” says Damian.
“I’m annoyed with myself that I couldn’t get on with the Škoda Fabia R5. It’s obviously a very good car, but it’s not for me.”
With the ex-Jan Kopecký Fabia R5 up for sale soon, the Get Connected Rally Team has turned its attentions fully to back to Ford, having previously run a Focus WRC and a Fiesta WRC in the Protyre MSUK Asphalt Rally Championship with great success.
In addition to the Fiesta R5+ that Damian will compete in himself, he has also bought a Fiesta that he’ll keep in FIA R5 spec, plus a considerable amount of asphalt and gravel spares, so it can be hired out to anyone that wants to contest either sealed surface or forestry events.
Check out the Get Connected Rally Team’s website here.