SwanseaValley youngster Rhys Stoneman’s return to rallying proved successful on the M-Sport Return to Rally Stages.
M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE hosted the event which took place in the remote Grizedale Forest which is owned by his M-Sport company and offered six stages totalling 45 miles.
After the enforced lay off the team decided to use pre prepared notes provided by On The Pacenotes which were checked on the Friday recce of the Stages. At the beginning of the season drivers Eddie Lewis and Elliot Payne were their main opposition and the aim of the day was to beat them.
Rhys quickly got ‘in the groove’ calling the corners as he and driver Finlay Retson won every Stage in their R2 Class, beating three WRC and four R5 cars on the way. Rhys commented, ‘We were delighted to take the Class victory and got to chat to Malcolm, his son Matthew who was seeded at Car 1 and Team Principal Richard Millener who also competed.’
Matthew went on to take fastest time although not eligible in the final results, but worse luck befell Dad who took on Course Car duties in a MK2 Group 4 Escort. His rally ended when he rolled the car on Stage 4.
The event had a generous prize fund including Monte Carlo prints of Esapekka Lapi (pictured), racing gloves for Finlay, a Sparco Balaclava for Rhys, 4 Michelin Tyres and £250 worth of Engine Oil.
The crew’s future plans are still under wraps but further testing toward the end of the year is anticipated.
On The Limit. The lads in action on the Cambrian Rally back in February.