Torquay-based rally driver Chris Wheeler says he is ready and raring to go as he prepares for his first rally in over a year. Wheeler and co-driver Shaun Layland have had their entry confirmed for the Get It Sideways Stages which takes place at Down Ampney, a former RAF air transport base in Wiltshire, on 17th April. The Citroen DS3 R3 Max pairing will be up against more than 70 other crews who will battle over eight special stages, totalling 50 competitive miles. “Everyone is eager to start rallying again as the Covid restrictions ease. The online entry list filled in nine minutes flat, so I think we are lucky to get accepted” he says.
Wheeler’s last visit to Down Ampney in 2019 proved very successful, finishing seventh overall and third in class. As a consequence, he has high hopes for another strong run, although they are naturally tinged with pragmatism. ”The Get It Sideways Stages is a terrific event to begin our season; the stages are fast and flowing and the concrete surface really tests handling and tyre grip. On the other hand drivers may need time to break themselves in because there has been no rallying for a year. It’s a bit of a quandary as to how we approach the day.”
The Devon youngster is planning a busy season that will see him compete in two different forms of motorsport. As well as his rallying commitments he will contest the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship in a Ford Fiesta that he has converted from rally specification. He will make his Rallycross debut at Lydden Race Circuit in Kent on 8th May.