Tom Llewellin says that winning a test drive in an R5 car was an “incredible experience” – and that magnificent prize is once again up for grabs to the winning Junior driver in this year’s Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship.
The talented Pembrokeshire youngster, who is the son of double British Rally Champion David Llewellin, became Welsh Junior National Champion (as well as the Restruct Two-Wheel Drive and RAVENOL Welsh Challenge champion) in 2019 (which, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, was the last time the series was run).
Co-driven by Peredur Davies, Llewellin – who drove his Historic-spec Ford Escort Mk2 to Junior title success – won the prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, organised by OnThePaceNote.co.uk.
All eligible drivers and co-drivers (who must not have previously won the Junior Championship title, be under 25 years of age on 1 January 2021 and use OnThePaceNote route notes supplied directly by them) will also be invited to training days (subject to Welsh government Covid-19 guidelines). Previously, experienced drivers such as Elfyn Evans, Gus Greensmith, Osian Pryce and Jason Pritchard have been guests at these Junior training sessions, passing on their invaluable knowledge via discussions and custom-made practical tests.
The Junior co-driver prize will be a voucher to spend on any product at Nicky Grist Motorsports. Previously this prize has been an invitation to attend a top FIA World Rally Championship team’s private test session. Owing to Covid-19 restrictions it is not possible to offer this reward in 2021, but it’s hoped the situation will allow the WRC team prize to be available to the winning co-driver in 2022.
Tom Llewellin, the 2019 Welsh National Junior Rally Champion said: “I cannot recommend the Welsh National Rally Championship enough. I just can’t fault it.
“The Junior Championship has a very good incentive and to win a test drive in an R5 car was an incredible experience. Philip Case [owner of PCRS Rallysport] sat beside me and walked me through how the car works – and by the end of the day I felt very comfortable driving it at speed. Competing in an R5 car is the next step and where most junior rally driver want to be, so it was an amazing opportunity to get the chance to experience one first hand.
“The training days were also great – and very beneficial for junior drivers like me who are trying to progress through the sport.
“We are lucky in Wales to have some of the very best forestry stages in the world. For me just starting out, it was a bonus to be able to compete on such iconic stages without the extra expense of having to travel around the UK. In addition to the great stages, the competition was very good too. There was always a strong field of cars, and without a doubt doing well in the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship puts you on the right road for future success.”
Craig Parry, OnThePaceNote UK, said: “I’m very proud that 2021 will be the third year that OnThePaceNote has been supporting and working with the Junior drivers and co-drivers in the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship. It’s great to see how the scheme has grown and continues to grow, and we are all working hard to keep that momentum going.
“I’d like to thank PCRS Rallysport for giving us the chance to offer such a great prize, with a test in their latest spec Hyundai i20 R5 for the overall winning Junior driver – which you have to admit is a fantastic opportunity for a young driver.
“We had three training sessions planned for 2021, and we’ll run as many as Covid-19 restrictions allow. These training days have proven to be extremely popular, as they concentrate on learning through practical experience, rather than sitting in a classroom and listening. The co-drivers benefit from experienced navigators giving them a better understanding of things like writing pace notes and map reading, while the drivers go out with some of the UK’s most experienced drivers. The feedback we’ve received from Junior crews who have attended these training days has been fantastic.”
Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary, said: “I’d like to place on the record my thanks to Craig [Parry] and Killian [Duffy] of OnThePaceNote for supporting the Pirelli Welsh National Junior Rally Championship. The Junior prize of a test drive in a Hyundai i20 R5 is a fantastic opportunity for a young driver to experience a modern Rally2 spec car. It’s surely what every up-and-coming rally enthusiast dreams of driving, and I’d also like to extend my thanks to Philip Case at PCRS Rallysport for making it possible.
“In addition to the Junior prize, the Junior training days have proven to be extremely popular and beneficial to both drivers and co-drivers. A great debt of gratitude goes to the many experienced rally drivers that have willingly given up their valuable time in support of the Junior Programme and have freely passed on their knowledge during the Junior training days.
“It is also very encouraging to hear Tom Llewellin, the 2019 Welsh National Junior Rally Champion, speak so highly of not only the Junior prize but his positive views on how the Welsh National Rally Championship is an ideal springboard for anyone contemplating a future in the sport.”
The opening round of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages on Saturday 10 July.
Further details on the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk
Tom Llewellin, 2019 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Junior Rally Champion.