Timmy Stewart: aiming for rally greatness
Like many who have attempted various forms of motorsport, 29-year-old Timothy Stewart chose rally as his favourite version of the sport to practise. “I prefer it because of the technicalities, where we actually have to spend a few days before the event preparing for it. Myself and the navigator go out, and we’ll drive through the stages, and we’ll make our routes, so basically, we make an estimation of the angles of the corner, the distance between corners, [and] if there’s any crests, or dips, or jumps in the road. The difficulty and lack of similarity on each track makes it interesting,” he said.
Despite previously doing go-karting and circuit racing and having only recently started rallying, Stewart told Automotives that he enjoys the “unpredictability” of rally racing. “At the moment, I do go-karting when I can. Rallying is more the main objective for me. If I’m here, or if I have time, I’ll do go-karting. I was a lot more into it when I was younger, before I went away to study. So since I’ve got back, I’ve just kinda used it to hone my skills, so I go out there and just drive. I practise, and if I’m here for a race meet, I’ll race it, but it’s kinda just occasionally.”
Even as a beginner, Stewart managed to claim the Drivers’ Rallysport title in 2017.
“I would say it felt great ‘cause we did have a lot of ups and downs that year with the car and just basic rally stuff starting out, like learning how to feel the car on the dirt. I think it was a great accomplishment after just beginning,” he said.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to accomplish a similar feat at Rally Trinidad in April last year. However, the Rallysport champion is optimistic moving forward. “We were unable to finish due to some issues with the car, but we were doing pretty well, so I’m hoping to move on from that and keep the momentum going and hopefully have a good year,” he said. Sights are already set on Rally Trinidad for 2020. He said: “A Jamaican won last year (Kyle Gregg). I would love to go back this year and, hopefully, keep it in the Jamaicans’ name and take the win for myself.”
As he moves towards future competition, Stewart highlighted some differences between preparation weeks prior to and on the day of the event.
“I guess it comes down to a lot of factors because we don’t really get to practise. In rally, it’s really about seat time and just becoming one with the car. Without the practice, we just hope to have a lot of events and use those as practice. Occasionally, Tru-Juice allows us to use their orange groves on a Sunday if we need to test the car or anything and make sure everything is working.”
However, leading up to the actual race, the approach shifts slightly. He said: “It’s really just thinking about what you can do to drive the fastest, trying to maximise how you use the road and make the car flow through the corners. So I guess leading up to it, there’s a lot to do with the car preparations, just making sure that it will last through the event. You have your preparation of your notes, and then once you’ve done those notes, it’s to sit down and visualise the actual course and just try to see the road in your head before you actually drive on it.”
Stewart feels very optimistic about his future in rally racing and believes that with constant practice, he will put more trophies on his wall.