Rally ace Johnnie Ellis fulfilled a lifelong dream by claiming his first overall race victory at a recent event in Blyton, Lincolnshire.
For the 43-year-old, who is based in Thetford, it was third time lucky since moving up from the 1600 class to the four-wheel drive Class Five ranks along with co-driver Dave Green, having claimed successive sixth-place finishes in the previous two outings.
And for Ellis, who previously competed in the prestigious Peugot 106 Cup and Circuit Proton Series, before taking a break from the sport, the victory amidst a strong field of 59 entrants was certainly not expected.
“It was a huge surprise to myself to claim an overall victory,” he said.
“We were under power compared to others in the class and so we’re delighted.
“Coming first overall in a rally is something I’ve dreamt about. We have worked hard on this car and the conditions on the day really fell into our hands.
“I Like it to be a bit wet and greasy and that really put me in my element.
“We were seeded as 10th so it was real turn up for the books for us and it means next year when we return the car will have the number one on it which is fantastic.”
Having got to grips with the step up in class and made steady progress in recent one-off events, culminating in the maiden victory, Ellis is now hoping to transfer that success into the AMC Championship and further events across the country, starting with more stages at Rockingham, scheduled for two weeks time.
“We have more power now than before and we have had to adapt to how differently it drives,” he added.
“We have some fairly big regional races and a number of national events that we will be travelling to and hopefully keep improving the car and perform well.”