Fresh from the forests of North Wales and following his highly successful rally debut, Jake Humphrey will head out to Korea early this week to resume his role as F1 anchorman for the BBC. Having taken on the challenge of navigating motor sport pundit Tony Jardine through the Cambrian Rally, for a specific BBC feature, Jake and the ProSpeed team finished second in class N3 – an outstanding result for a rookie co-driver.
Supporting the work of the Motor Sports Association’s (MSA’s) Go Motorsport campaign, Jake’s aim was to get involved in motor sport at a grass roots level, demonstrating that anyone can have a go at competing in the sport. Due to be aired by the BBC during their coverage of the Korean Grand Prix, the footage provides an insight into the incredibly open and accessible world of rallying.
Stepping out of the ProSpeed prepared Ford Fiesta ST 150 at the rally finish on Llandudno’s promenade, Jake said, “It was the most exhilarating, scary, enlightening and educating afternoon of my life. The first stage was petrifying because I couldn’t believe that we were driving so fast just inches away from the trees. Slowly Tony and I started working together, and got faster in the car. We ended the day by being the fastest in our class on the last stage, finishing second in class overall – the perfect end to a great day.
“Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport, but rally is a motor sport for the people. You start on seafronts, you drive through forests and there are blokes with flasks of tea at the end. Rally people are so passionate and so friendly, for them to let me into their world for one afternoon, I’m really privileged.
“You don’t need to be a millionaire to rally, you just need a car and a brave co-driver or a brilliant driver and you’ll be fine!”
Considering the limited time in which the F1 presenter had to prepare himself for the rally – completing the BBC’s broadcasts of the Commonwealth Games just a day before heading to Wales – Jake certainly impressed on the special stages.
Driver Tony Jardine commented, “Out of all the media co-drivers who have joined the ProSpeed team, Jake had the shortest preparation time. At dinner the night before the rally he was still cramming up on the basics of navigation. We really threw him in at the deep end, yet his performance belied his lack of experience. He was nothing short of sensational, as our result showed. It would be great to get him co-driving in future on a World Rally Championship event.”
Jardine continued, “The rally itself was very fast and demanding, and extremely rough at times. I think Jake was amazed by the number of wrecked cars on the stages, including an upturned rally car in our path on stage four at Penmachno.”
As the final round of the BTRDA Championship, the Cambrian Rally (16 October) was a one-day event made up of six classic forest stages which were once used as part of the historic and renowned RAC Rally.
The media duo finished 28th overall in the open category (out of 70 starters). Despite the BBC star having no intercom on the final two stages, and having to resort to shouting the pace notes, their last stage of the day in the Kumho-shod Ford Fiesta was their most successful.