Callum Black will give his stealth-like Pallas Connections-backed Ford Fiesta Rally2 its Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship debut on the Manx National Rally (12/13 May) – and whilst it will be his first rally on asphalt for 10 years, the talented driver is out to win the event.
Callum purchased the new car from M-Sport last year, and to date it’s only done four gravel rallies – the Woodpecker, Cambrian and Trackrod with Callum driving and the Riponian Stages with his father Steve behind the wheel.
Co-driven by Jack Morton, Callum will contest the Malcolm Wilson Rally this weekend before converting the car to asphalt spec.
“Doing the Protyre Asphalt Championship was part of the reason why we bought the Fiesta Rally2, because I want to do more asphalt events,” says Callum.
“We’d like to do all the Protyre Asphalt rounds and dovetail them with the BRC, especially if everything is going well and we’ve registered some good early results. With the Isle of Man being a double header, the aim is to have three good scores on the board by the end of the Jim Clark.”
Callum’s last all-asphalt rally was in 2013 and he hopes to test the Fiesta Rally2 before heading to the Isle of Man.
Even if he’s able to do that, Leg 1 of the Manx National (which is a full points scoring round of the Protyre Asphalt Championship) is still likely to be a big learning exercise. But even with that in mind, Callum will land in Douglas with one clear objective – and it isn’t to finish second.
“I’d be disappointed if I didn’t win the Manx to be honest,” admitts Callum.
“Our last full asphalt rally was ten years ago, but we did the Somerset Stages and we were fastest both times over the Porlock toll road asphalt stage.
“Hopefully the pace is still there on asphalt – but who knows after such a long time?!”