The famous Llewellin name will return to the forests of Crychan, Halfway and Route 60 on Saturday 14 July, when Tom Llewellin makes his forestry rally debut on the Nicky Grist Stages, driving a 1.6-litre Suzuki Swift Sport.
Tom, the 17-year old son of double British Rally Champion Dai Llewellin, has rallied for the past three years in the all-asphalt Junior 1000 Championship, winning the last two rallies he did.
He also won the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship title last year, and is driving a Peter Gwynne Motorsport Suzuki in this year’s Swift Sport Rallycross Championship.
Tom will be the third member of the Llewellin family to contest the Nicky Grist Stages – following in the footsteps of his father, who contested the event in the 1980s, and brother Ben (who is an Olympic shooter, who won silver in the Men’s skeet at the 2018 Commonwealth Games) who contested the event in 2015 in an Escort Mk2.
Tom Llewellin said: “The Nicky Grist Stages is going to be my first ever forestry rally and I’m really looking forward to it. I did three years in the Junior Championship, but of course that’s all asphalt events. I did score two wins at the end of 2017 at Pembrey and Caerwent, which I was very pleased about, and now it’s time to get into the forests this year. I hope to have a small test before the Nicky Grist, but the Suzuki Swift I drive in the British Rallycross Championship is pretty similar to the car I’ll drive on the rally.
“After the Nicky Grist Stages we’re going to pick and choose what events to do for the rest of the year – go to the rallies we fancy doing and whatever doesn’t clash with the rallycross. I’ve got about four or five events in mind that I’d like to do, but we’ll see how the Nicky Grist goes first.”
Nicky Grist said: “Tom is a seventeen year old driver who is far more advanced than a lot of young drivers of the same age, because he’s had a lot of success in the Junior Championship and in rallycross. He has already proven that he has a lot of car control on both asphalt and gravel surfaces and he has a great opportunity to do his first forestry rally and showcase his potential. I’m sure he’s going to be fast, you can guarantee that, and it will be interesting to see how he takes in all the pace notes, because that is something that is going to be relatively new for him. I’m sure he’ll go well – and I certainly wish him all the very best.”
Organised by Quinton MC, this year’s Nicky Grist Stages takes place over 45 stage miles in the forests of Halfway, Route 60, Crychan and a brand new smooth, fast and flowing stage which has never been used for rallying before.
Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk