A rally driving ace has celebrated his 50th birthday by making a successful start to the defence of his national title.
David White, of Barnsley, finished fastest in his class at the first event of the British Motorsport Association’s Tarmac Rally Championships 2015.
The Melvyn Evans ‘Tour of Epynt Rally’ event was held at Llandovery in Wales earlier this month – just a few days before David’s 50th birthday.
David finished first in his Group N class on the day and 16th overall against all 110 comers.
This first result of the 2015 season has put David right where he left off last year when he finished winner of the championship (N group cars) and 16th overall.
David drives a Prodrive two-litre Subaru Impreza Grp N12 with his son Mathew, aged 21, who is his co-driver and navigator.
David said: “The Epynt Rally was the first round of this season’s national championship and a great result for us – we were very pleased to win our class and match the overall placing we achieved at the end of last year.
“This year we aim to win our class again – and move way up the overall rankings.”
The Welsh rally was a close run thing with just seconds between David and his nearest rival at the half-way point. However, he managed to finish with a comfortable lead, despite snapping this gear lever and racing the last two stages of the seven stage race with just three inches of gear stick to grab at.
David said: “Rallying is an unpredictable sport and anything can happen – the gear lever broke but you have to press on if you can. I love the thrill of it.
“It is funny being the new boy at my age but I’ve got all the competitive drive I had at 17 and seem to be holding my own against drivers of all ages. My landmark birthday is certainly not a signal for me to slow down but to speed up. Turning 50 has made more determined to go for it.”
David’s ultimate ambition is to win this year’s Tarmac Rally Championship as well as the North of England Championship – and then move up to the next level, the British Rally Championship in 2016.
He is currently top of the leader board in the North of England Tarmacadam Championship, after just two events. David’s rally team, Two 4 Motorsport, is sponsored by South Yorkshire companies F&G Commercials (DAF) of Barnsley and Mirage Electronic Cigarettes of Sheffield.
David said: “We’ve got a great team and I am now seeking more sponsorship to help achieve my ambition to move up to the UK’s premier rallying competition.”
The British Rally Championship events attracts around 200,000 spectators a year and a worldwide TV audience of over six million. Many famous rally drivers such as Hannu Mikkola, Stig Blomqvist and Colin McRae have competed in it.
Rallying involves drivers and navigators in saloon cars racing for best times over a number of stages. They drive on public roads and dedicated circuits which they must navigate using coded directions called pace notes. The winner is the car with the fastest time over all the stages. Events start with the cars being exhibited and scrutinised for safety.
David is managing director of Whites Bakery, based at Worsborough Bridge in Barnsley.