EX-FORMULA Ford racer Rob Shield, from Cleasby, is set to contest a full campaign in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship in 2017, a support category to the MSA British Rallycross Championship.
Shield will compete in the Swift Sport raced by Northallerton teenager Drew Bellerby last season, having previously made a one-off appearance at his local circuit of Croft in 2012, where he won the B final and finished sixth in the A final on his debut.
“I’m planning on doing the full season. It depends a bit on how I do in the first part of the year but I’ll do as much as I can as I want to do the whole championship,” said Shield, whose father Michael won the MSA British Rallycross Championship in 1989, driving an MG Metro 6R4.
Shield’s motorsport career began in karting before progressing to cars, but hasn’t competed regularly for two years. “I did karting from when I was 13 and I did the British Championship a few times and was seeded in the top ten in Super One two years in a row. From there I did Formula Ford EcoBoost as part of the British Touring Car Championship package and the Formula Ford Festival too. I’ve not done a great deal since but I’ve had a bit of success and hopefully there’ll be some more this year.”
Shield is hoping to test at Teesside Autodrome ahead of the opening round of the 2017 British Championship Croft in March, in order to acclimatise himself with the car. “I’m going to go for a short test as I’ve only been up and down the drive a couple of times but I want to have a proper go before the first round. My family has a lot of history with rallycross, but for me I want to compete because I really enjoy it. It’s cost effective and I think it’s the most fun you can have in motorsport. The Swift Sport Championship are an excellent group of people to be with, so it’s a no brainer for me.”
RIPONIAN SEES NEW FORMAT
This Sunday’s Able UK Riponian Stages Rally will see a new format as organisers Ripon MSC and Whitby & DMC evolve the event. Gone are many of the traditional stages around Sutton Bank as well as the local Ripon or Thirsk which instead sees the majority of stages around Pickering as well as the start being moved to Helmsley.
Car one leaves the start from the car park in Cleveland Way at 08.30 followed by stages in Roppa, Cropton and Gale Rigg followed by service and then repeated in the afternoon before the finish at Thirsk Auction Mart around 15.30. For further details including a seeded entry list and spectator information, please visit www.riponian.co.uk.