Newcombe cuts short break to tackle elite Rally of Wales
MOTORSPORT: Plymouth rally driver Martin Newcombe's last-minute bid to take part in the biggest event in Britain nearly ended in disaster.
Newcombe intended to take a year off from rallying after a successful season last year.
But Newcombe decided if there was an event he was going to be in this year, it was going to be the Rally of Wales on September 14, a leg of the World Rally Championship.
Newcombe, who comes from Plymstock, said: "When the chance came along to mix it with the world's greatest rally drivers, it was an opportunity too good to miss.
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"Hopefully, I can make it three podiums in a row."
As Newcombe was trying out his Mitsubishi car with his father and co-driver Peter, he crashed after sliding on damp concrete into a wall.
Damage was so severe Newcombe thought his Mitsubishi Evo 6 rally car was beyond repair.
However, he and his father burnt the midnight oil to get the car ready in time.
Peter said: "At one stage we gave up hope and withdrew our entry, but after that eureka moment when we finally found the fault, which caused massive wheel alignment problems, we reinstated our entry."
Last year, Newcombe achieved equal second in the open four-wheel drive class, B13 of the 130 car-strong Gold Star National Rally Championship, and 12th overall.
It was a creditable result after six successive rallies staged throughout England and Wales.
The Rally of Wales takes place in mid and South Wales and is centred in Cardiff.
On each of the three days the World Rally teams of Ford, Citroen and BMW Mini compete, along with their professional privateers, through three forest stages each morning. They repeat the sequence later in the afternoon.
The Newcombes will be competing in the Rally of Wales National section.