Front-running British rally driver Callum Black will realise his childhood dream by contesting the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB.
Brackley rally driver Callum Black will make his inaugural appearance in the World Rally Championship this month (26-29 October) as he takes on the biggest challenge of his career to date, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. Black will use his 586 Group run Ford Fiesta R5 which he took to a runner-up position in the BTRDA Rally Series this season.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed a successful year in the national gravel series, finishing vice champion in the hotly contested championship and narrowly missing out on the title by just six points. His impressive pace had attracted the attentions of many onlookers during the year and now Black will step up to the world championship qualifier in Wales, often dubbed as the pinnacle of rallying.
Starting in the BTRDA during 2008 at the wheel of an MG ZR, Black has forged a progressive career in national events throughout the UK. Contesting the British Rally Championship in a Suzuki Swift S1600 in 2011, he made the shift to a Citroen DS3 R3 in 2012 which saw a four-year relationship with the French marque in the series.
Reverting back to the BTRDA in 2015, Black would then make the leap into four-wheel-drive machinery in 2016 before embarking on a full assault on the title. Despite a nine-year career in the sport, Black has never contested the gruelling Wales Rally GB which is one of the most recognisable events in the world alongside classics such as Rallye Monte Carlo.
Backed by the 586 Group, Black will compete alongside some of the best drivers in the world and thanks to his partnership with DMACK Tyres and PFC Brakes, he is able to contest the event he has always dreamed of competing on.
“I must have said every year since about 2013 when we built the Citroen that this year I’m going to do (Wales Rally) GB,” says Black.
“But for various reasons, I have never managed to do it. It’s a huge commitment and probably one of the biggest events there is, but I’m really fortunate to be given this opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. The stages are incredible and ever since I was a child it’s been a dream of mine to contest. I’ve watched it since a youngster and to be there competing myself will be an unreal experience.”
Black will be co-driven by Elliott Edmondson on the event who has partnered him throughout their BTRDA season and the duo have been working hard since the final round of the series in September.
“As it’s my first ever WRC event I really need to finish the rally and I have been doing as much preparation as possible to ensure the event goes smoothly. We have a strategy in place and I believe we could even surprise a few people. I must have watched last year’s stages with around 5 different drivers on WRC+ now. I know that sounds a little geeky, but I’m a big believer of watching in-car and making good notes.”
Black is hoping to take his run of form onto the world stage.
“I believe in my ability and genuinely feel like I can make an impact on this event. It’s a big ask as I’ve never done an event of this length and stature before. The pre-event recce will be just as important as the actual rally for us so there will be a lot of work to do, but I’m certainly not just going to make the numbers up” he says.
“We will be at the maximum of my ability and probably a little over it in places if we want to even get close to the WRC2 field. But I want to pitch myself against the best and I believe it’ll take me to that next level in my driving. It’s an exciting prospect”.
The Dayinsure Wales Rally GB opens with a Super Special Tir Prince stage on Thursday 26th before the rally proper gets underway on Friday 27th. After three gruelling days and 305km of special stage action, crews will assemble in Llandudno on Sunday 29th during the afternoon for the ceremonial finish celebrations.
Black is supported by 586 Group DMACK Tyres, PFC Brakes, and MCR Motorsport Media.
Image Credit: Rallysport Media