Chris Wheeler Talks about Rallying in Devon

Chris Wheeler Talks about Rallying in Devon Picture 1Chris Wheeler Talks about Rallying in Devon Picture 2Chris Wheeler Talks about Rallying in Devon Picture 3

After connecting multiple times on social media, the App for Devon team has grown quite fond of Chris Wheeler, a 21-year-old champion Rally racer based in Devon. We asked him to write us a little article about himself and his world. Here's what he has to say, with links to getting in-touch!

Hello my name is Chris Wheeler a 21 Year old living in Torquay, Devon. I have been Rallying since the age of 15 & have progressed each year trying to achieve my dream which is to become a World Rally Driver.

I have had this dream since a very early age, it all started when I used to watch my father compete in all sorts of motorsport events which is where I first got my love for motorsport & driving cars. From a young age I started to watch the World Rally Championship on TV & soon knew that this was the way for me to go, Watching legendary driver's such as Colin McRae who was a massive inspiration to me & thousands of other people which soon led to my first ever Rally just two day's after my 15th Birthday.

I started in the Junior 1000 Rally Championships in a Toyota Yaris which I did for two year's, gaining experience & learning the art of the sport. This followed into the National series in 2012 where I competed in my brand new car, the M-Sport Ford Fiesta MS1 becoming the youngest ever National Class Champion. Wow!

2013 saw me compete in the British Rally championship Challenge where I became Stars Of The Future Champion just halfway through the season. 2014 then saw us move up into the biggest championship in the UK, The British Rally Championship. This was truly amazing as after year's of watching TV & DVD's I was now a part of it all. During this season on the Jim Clark international Rally in Scotland, I won my Class, this was a massive achievement not just for me but also my whole team, This was an incredible feeling spraying the victory champagne.

The whole reason why I am so committed to the sport is because there is no other feeling like it, Just being apart of something that's so exciting, nerve racking & taking part in a sport which has such strong competition trying to become the best is simply amazing. Each stage of a Rally is demanding & very unpredictable, driving a Rally car to it's limits through forests which are no wider than the car with some stages including the odd 1000 foot drop certainly keeps you on your toes. This is a sport you just have to experience to see & understand the excitement for real, for me as a Driver rallying through the best forests in the UK with people lining the roads seeing you in action as you take on the unpredictable, taking jumps & crests flat out, off cambered corners & hairpin turns while taking in pacenotes from the co-driver 4 corners ahead of where you currently are, yes you got it in one, simply incredible! 

Currently this year I am competing in the BTRDA Rally First Championship, this is an all gravel series of which we are currently leading 3/4 categories with just three Rallies to go. Our next event is the WoodPecker Stages on the5th of September held in Shropshire, we are holding on to top spot, this will not be easy to keep but we will certainly be on top form to hold our lead.

The British Rally Championship has been put on hold this season as the Motor Sports Association are refreshing the championship ready for it's big comeback next year.

For 2016 with plans still in process we are looking into going back into the British Rally Championship which once again will be the highest level in the UK. Also for 2016 we will be in a new car, this will be revealed before the start of next year's season.

Well if you are interested to get into the world of Rallying from a driver's point of view, let me tell you it isn't as easy as it sounds, firstly it takes lots of commitment, dedication & hours of nonstop work to make it to the top in the sport. Funding is a massive part of it, I would say Rallying is one of the most expensive sports to do, from building a Rally car right down to the compulsory equipment and clothing. This is where sponsorship helps, if it wasn't for my sponsors we couldn't achieve half of what we do. We are always on the look out for new sponsorship and most importantly we are always making sure our sponsors know, when the next upcoming events are, how we get on on each Rally and keeping them right up to date with TV times right down to the small details.

If this doesn’t sound like the path that is best for you there are many other way's to take part in such a great sport... You can join a Local Motorclub to kept updated of news of upcoming events and of other competitors stories. Also you can sign up as a marshal to take part in events and help out in all sorts of way's, you could be doing anything from time control to ensuring a Rally runs smoothly. No matter what you do it will be important.

I hope this has helped you understand more about the world of Rallying & hopfully you'll grow to love it like I do.

Ways to Follow Chris...


Facebook: Chris Wheeler Rallying

Twitter: @ChrisRally