24 Nov 08
As if your driving test doesn’t come with enough pressure, 17-year-old Tom Cave knows that if he passes his test on Tuesday, he will become the youngest ever entrant on Wales Rally GB.
Cave has passed the theory side of his driving test and now faces the practical element this week. The only way Cave has managed to achieve this potential record is through competing regularly in Latvia, where rally driving is permitted from the age of 15.
Cave has competed in the Latvian National Rally Championship for the last two years and will compete on a Latvian international competition licence in Wales, where his entry in a Group N Ford Fiesta ST has already been accepted.
Cave said: “Obviously, I’m very nervous about the driving test. There’s a lot riding on getting through it. I’ve done quite a few rallies now, but you just never know what’s going to happen in a test.”
Cave is well aware that passing his test will only be the start of a very difficult event for him. “I know it’s going to be a really hard rally,” said Cave. “It’s so much longer than even the biggest of the Latvian rounds I’ve been doing. And the conditions will be tough. Some of the stages aren’t that far away from where I live, so I know what kind of weather to expect at this time of the year. But driving such long stages and driving in the dark would be quite new to me - and a very big challenge! Before that, though, I have to get through this week.”
Drivers passing their test and competing very quickly afterwards is nothing new. World rally legend Markku Alen famously passed his driving test one day and started the Hankki Rally in Finland, where he finished second overall, the day after.