Raftery in for Wales Rally GB with Cambrian outing
Irish rally star Dean Raftery enters this weekend’s Cambrian Rally in his JWRC Citroen DS3R3 MAX
- Dean Raftery is the latest award winner of the coveted Billy Coleman Young Driver of the year award, supported by Motorsport Ireland and the Irish Sports Council
- He will use the BTRDA Rally Series qualifier to gain experience ahead of the Junior World Rally Championship finale’ Wales Rally GB in November
Billy Coleman Award winner Dean Raftery will return to the wheel of his Citroen DS3R3 MAX this weekend as he tackles the final round of the BTRDA Rally series, The Cambrian Rally on Saturday 17th October. After registering for this year’s FIA Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), the 23 year old Galway man will compete on the Llandudno based forestry event in a bid to gain valuable seat time ahead of his next World Rally Championship outing at Wales Rally GB in November.
The talented youngster has been frustrated by his 2015 season after two successful years in the British Rally Championship. His recent achievements were recognised by the Billy Coleman Young Driver of the Year panel who awarded him the prestigious award and thanks to the award from the Motorsport Ireland and the Irish Sport Council, Raftery was able to secure a deal tackle the World Championship series with fellow Irishman and experienced co-driver John Higgins alongside. The duo completed just a handful of miles on their last outing in the DS3 R3MAX at Rallye Portugal thanks to a mysterious engine issue but with the problem now fixed by Citroen Racing in France, Raftery is keen to gain more experience of the Citroen before returning to the JWRC in just over a month’s time.
Raftery is looking forward to returning to the JWRC and the rally this weekend and will be joined by experienced Newcastle based co-driver, Jack Morton. “It feels like a long time since I’ve been behind the wheel of the DS3” he explains. “The Cambrian Rally seemed like the obvious choice of event to use to acclimatise to the car once again. I’ve only completed a handful of miles on gravel in the car so jumping straight back into the JWRC would not be ideal.”
There is also a serious side to Raftery’s outing in the 1600cc turbocharged machine. “It’s a short event at only 40 stage miles but its local to Wales Rally GB so it should provide a good opportunity to establish data which is valuable when you’re still pretty green in the car” he says. “I’ve only ever driven the car on gravel in Portugal so it will be good a test for me and the car this weekend. I’d like to preserve the car of course and it will be interesting to compare our times against the other DS3MAX cars in the category”
Raftery is supported by Bluebird Care, Midland Tyres, Kenny Galway, Motorsport Ireland and The Irish Sports Council.