Damian Cole will aim to win his seventh National Asphalt Rally Championship title in 2021, driving a newly acquired Škoda Fabia R5.
He has purchased the car from Melvyn Evans Motorsport, and his first R5-spec car will replace the Ford Fiesta RS WRC (which is now in Barbados) and the Ford Focus RS WRC05, which has carried him to so many rally wins since he first campaigned it in 2010.
Damian’s principal targets in 2021 are to attempt to win the Protyre MSUK Asphalt Rally Championship title for a seventh time, and take his 24th and record-breaking rally win on Epynt. He is currently tied on 23 rally wins, a record set by the late John Price 20 years ago.
“I believe we’ll have a good chance to win the National Asphalt Rally Championship again in an R5 car,” said Damian.
“I’ve been contemplating a move to R5 for some time. I remember when Fredrik Åhlin won the Nicky Grist Stages in a Fabia R5 – we were contesting the Sunday Acropolis Rally up on Epynt in the Fiesta WRC. The car had a misfire that day, but we still managed to win – yet the speed and the performance of the Škoda was very impressive.
“I love driving World Rally Cars, but they’re getting old and a few reliability issues are becoming more apparent – which is exactly what you don’t want when you’re trying to win a championship. Hopefully the modern Fabia R5 will be both fast and reliable and be enough to give us the asphalt title.”