A Barnsley-based rally driver is taking his sport up a gear by entering his first European event next week.
David White, who drives a Subaru Impreza with his son Mathew as co-driver, will enter the Monteberg Rallysprint in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday April 26th.
The European ‘sprint’ event gives drivers four opportunities to race around a twisting 8km section of Belgium roads – and the car which records the fastest single run is the winner.
The vehicles involved in European sprint events can reach speeds of up to 130mph. These rallies are shorter and quicker than the British weekend rally events David is more familiar with, which combine speed with skill, endurance and challenging terrain over a longer-distance.
David said: “We decided to set ourselves a new challenge as a team and take the car over to Belgium to have a go at a very fast European sprint event.
“It will be very different to what we are used to and we’re keen to see how we fare against some very powerful European cars in high-speed rally competition.”
David has had to invest in some new kit to enter the Belgian event as European rally regulations require slightly different standards. A three-layer fire-proof overall is mandatory, plus a head restraint, called a HANS device, which basically sits on your shoulders and your crash helmet clips onto it to protect against any front impact injuries.
David will travel to Belgium on the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry, with his Prodrive two-litre Subaru Impreza Grp N12. His son, co-driver and navigator, Mathew,aged 21, will accompany him as well as four other members of his service team and supporters.
David’s rally team, Two 4 Motorsport, is sponsored by South Yorkshire companies F&G Commercials (DAF), Mirage Electronic Cigarettes, Quidbake and Sheffield Rolling Road.
David said: “We’ve got a great team and great backers and are looking forward to an exciting year of more than 12 competitive events – with our jaunt to Belgium just one of the highlights. Rallying has a massive following and a growing TV audience around the world. It is exciting to watch as well as compete.”
David, aged 50, began competing in motorsport events just one year ago and is already proving to be a contender. Last year, his first season, he finished winner of the UK Motor Sport Association’s Asphalt National Rally Championship (Group N cars) and 16th overall. This year, he has made a good start to the same competition, finishing fastest in his class at the first event of the season held in Wales last month. David is also top of the leader board in the North of England Tarmacadam Championship.
David’s ambition is to move up to the UK’s premier rallying competition, the British Rally Championship, in 2016 and he plans to invest in a higher spec rally car to take his competing to this level. David lives and runs his family business White’s Bakery in Worsborough Bridge, Barnsley, South Yorkshire.