Dunmow teen Alfie proves first class on Cumbria forest rally debut

Dunmow's Alfie Hammond in racing action

Dunmow's Alfie Hammond in racing action - Credit: Ian Watts

Dunmow's Alfie Hammond was celebrating recently after winning his class in his first forest rally in Cumbria.

The 18-year-old's competitive rally experience had been limited to single venue events, so the goal going into the Malcolm Wilson Rally was to finish. 

To win his class was an exceptional result for a first run through forest stages. 

Hammond was driving his 1300cc Nissan Micra rally car and the event started with 147 competitors near Cockermouth at the headquarters of M-Sport, the renowned world rally team founded by Malcolm Wilson. 

They proceeded to tackle seven special stages of the rally in the forests of Cumbria, including the famous Grizdale forest as previously used in the UK round of the World Rally Championship.

And despite no previous forest rally experience Hammond was setting competitive stage times from the start. 

As the rally progressed he set consistently good stage times, which kept him in contention for the top three in his class. 

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Hammond and co-driver Peter Williams managed to avoid incurring any penalties or mechanical mishaps, which ultimately led them to winning the ‘1400C’ class, beating some more experienced crew. 

They were placed 65th overall out of 85 finishers, which put them ahead of a lot of much more powerful machinery and experienced crews. 

As part of the preparations for the rally the Micra was fitted with a new set of MRF gravel tyres. MRF are the lead sponsor for the BTRDA rally championship, of which the Malcolm Wilson Rally was the first round for 2022. 

Final preparations to the Micra prior to the rally were done by Langley Park Rally School, where Hammond works an instructor and trainee workshop technician. 

The teenager is also currently a student at the Motorsport UK academy, where he is completing his second year of studies at Loughborough College.

Hammond is looking forward to competing in as many rounds of the BTRDA rally championship in 2022 as he can to further develop his rallying skills and career and is very grateful to all who have and continue to support him, including lead sponsor Octane Partners.