Rallying: Rowe in hungry mood
Saturday 24 April 1999
However, the Renault driver was not satisfied with the way he launched the new campaign at last month's Vauxhall Rally of Wales. Rowe could have done no more in championship terms than collect the maximum 32 points on offer as he again proved himself the man to beat among the two-litre class competitors. But his performance in the Welsh forests was only good enough for second place overall, with David Higgins winning the event in a Subaru which is not eligible for the main championship.
Rowe admits that taking an instant lead in the title race would have been all the sweeter if he had been stood on the top step of the podium in Wrexham. The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man is keen to extend his advantage in the quest for the domestic crown by outpacing all his rivals in Cumbria this weekend.
"I was relieved to come out ahead of my championship rivals in the first round of my title defence," said Rowe, whose team-mate Tapio Laukkanen was his closest challenger in Wales. "It was a very rough event because everyone was being hit by punctures, and it could be the same again on the Pirelli. But I want an overall victory as well as to win the Formula 2 Category this time."
Last year's Pirelli event was a double-header with the two days of action each comprising a separate round of the championship. Rowe won the first leg to extend his winning sequence to three consecutive events in the series. The second leg went to the Seat driver Gwyndaf Evans, who is unhappy that the double-header format has been scrapped this year.
Evans is also not in favour of every round in this year's championship contributing to a competitor's points tally. The Welshman preferred the previous scoring system in which drivers discounted their worst result. He has already become a victim of the new method - failure to finish in his home event left Evans 32 points behind his arch rival Rowe. In fact, the Rally of Wales was a disaster for Evans and the whole Seat team, as they suffered mechanical problems with all their four cars virtually from the outset.
Latest in Sport
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...