YOUNG Helensburgh rally star Fraser Anderson has made a successful return to competition – just a few months after his dreams of making a career in the sport threatened, literally, to go up in smoke.

The teenager finished third overall in Rali Adfer Coedwigoedd Cymru at Gorsedd Bran Forest in North Wales – a test event organised to demonstrate that rallying could be held safely and successfully under the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 regulations.

The event was held less than three months after a fire in testing completely wrecked Fraser’s Ford Fiesta R2 – and put the future of his motorsport career in jeopardy.

But after vowing not to let that setback destroy his dreams, Fraser finished second in his class and third overall in the day-long event.

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The Shandon youngster, at the wheel of a Fiesta R2T run by RS Rallying, and his co-driver Rhys Stoneman finished exactly three minutes behind the Skoda Fabia of overall winner Ian Bainbridge and his co-driver Will Atkins, and only 27 seconds adrift of class winners Elliot Payne and Cameron Fair, also in a Fiesta, at the end of the 49-kilometre, eight-stage event.

And consistency was key for the duo as they posted third-place finishes in seven of the day’s stages, with the high point being second place overall, and fastest in class, on the 6.42km stage five, just a second ahead of Payne and Fair.

After the event, Fraser said: “The stages were brilliant and the organisation was impeccable, it truly shows that events can still run safely in these unusual times and hopefully we can see a few more of these events happening in the near future.

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“We came into this weekend with limited expectations as it was my first time out in the car and the first time being paired with RS Rallying. To come third overall, second in class and on pace with a Rally4 by the end of the day was a pleasant surprise for sure. The car is a completely different beast compared to the 1.6L R2 that we unfortunately lost to a fire earlier in the year, but I’m hoping to get fully up to speed ASAP.”

Fraser’s hopes of a successful 2020 – his first year being mentored by professional rally driver, former British champion, and coach Matt Edwards – were thwarted when the first coronavirus lockdown put all UK motorsport on hold in March, shortly after his second event of the BTRDA Rally Championship season, the Malcolm Wilson Rally in the Lake District.

Fraser added: “A huge thank you to Matt for keeping the car running faultlessly all day, as well as the occasional bit of advice. And as always a big thank you to my sponsors, Artex UK, AkzoNobel and Baxter & Gillespie for their continued support – I would not be in the position I am without them.”

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