Earby driver in world rally champs

Tom Preston
Tom Preston
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Earby rally driver Tom Preston is hoping to register the greatest feat of his career after being seeded third in the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Wales.

Tom, whose Mitsubishi Evo 6 is sponsored by Hippo Motor Group, will be joined by co driver Jamie Forrest and mechanic Marcus Taylor for the two-day event at Chirk Castle in Deeside which starts tomorrow.

Tom’s need for speed was inherited from his dad, Richard, who raced during the 1970s and ‘80s. The obsession stemmed from an 18th birthday outing and from there he started competing in small clubman single venue events before progressing to national tarmac rallies.

In the past he’s raced cars such as a Ford Escort Cosworth, Subaru Imprezza Group N and a BMW M3 in competitions in the the Isle of Man and Barbados. After taking a year out, Tom returned to gravel forest events and finished 12th in the Greystokes Rally earlier this year.

The ambitious driver, whose team was presented with an award for being the best Pendle crew after coming sixth in the Anglesey Rally in 2010, said: “I really want to win it but a top three finish would be brilliant.

“I’ve been racing since 1999 so this is huge for me. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”