David Llewellin Geared Up For Rally Comeback
06 August 2012
Motor sport fans across Wales are getting in gear to support former British Rally Champion and World Rally contender David Llewellin, when he makes his comeback at this year’s Neath Valley Stages 2012.
Llewellin will take on four time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen and his former co-driver Nicky Grist and he will compete in Brace’s Director Jonathan Brace’s Mark II Escort RS.
Jonathan is baking-mad on rallying and is thrilled to have such a big name linked to his car after recently enjoying a test drive with Llewellin ahead of the event on August 11th.
52-year-old Llewellin won the British Rally twice and drove for a number of different teams. He reached a pinnacle during his time with Toyota, and has not competed since 1995. His 18-year-old son Ben is also a promising rally driver and David said: “This promises to be quite an event with Kankkunnen, the 4 times World Champion competing. It’s nice to be able to have a go against him again and to see who is rustiest!
“I had felt that I had had my time, until Jonathan twisted my arm to compete again. I have four children and my elder sons are big clay pigeon shooters. The shooting has served to fill the gap for me left by rallying, but now the rallying has also become an interest for the family, rather than just me.
“I hadn’t missed it until I got behind the wheel today and experienced the excitement of being up in the forest with all the noise and the stones after so many years. Coming out here today, my youngest son Tom said to me, ‘Dad, you’re shaking’ and I explained to him that that’s what adrenalin does to you. I am very grateful to Jonathan for the opportunity to compete again.”
Jonathan Brace, who is the fourth generation of his family to run Wales’ favourite bakery, said: “I was keen to have a big name to drive my car after hearing that Historic RallySport’s Mark Solloway, who sponsors the Neath Valley Stages, had asked Kankkunen to drive his car. The bar had been raised!
“Both Kankunnen and David are names in the top echelons of rallying and have that very special talent that adds kudos and popularity to any rallying event. It’s a bit of a coup for the Neath Valley Stages to have secured these two big names for the event, which promises to be a great family day out with plenty of excitement and exhilaration. Brace’s is very proud to be associated with the day once again.”
Llewellin will drive with his co-driver Phil Short and said: “It’s been 28 years since I drove an Escort and the thought of driving it through forestry really excites me. I have been doing gravel notes until 2002 and then didn’t do any motorsport until last year, when we started to do hill climbs. I think my grey hairs certainly qualify me for the historic stages! Driving with Kankkunnen and Nicky Grist will be like a reunion.”