Gareth Roberts, who was killed competing on the Targa Florio Rally in Sicily this morning, was an extremely talented co-driver and popular member of the FIA World Rally Championship community.
Along with his driver Craig Breen, Gareth was contesting the Super 2000 World Rally Championship this season. After three rounds they were leading by six points following their victory on the opening event of the year in Monte Carlo.
In addition to their SWRC campaign, Breen and Roberts were three events into their programme in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Their participation on the Targa Florio Rally with HRT Motorsport has been added to their schedule to provide an additional opportunity to demonstrate their considerable talents in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000.
After seven stages in Sicily they were in sixth position overall having set a succession of impressive stage times on an event they were competing on for the first time. The event was cancelled following the crash as a mark of respect to Roberts.
Gareth, who was 24 and from Wales, trained as an electrician. He began competing in 2004 and achieved considerable success in the one-make Fiesta SportTrophy series. He formed his formidable partnership with Breen for the start of the 2009 season, which included the pair winning the inaugural FIA WRC Academy Cup in 2011.
Breen, who escaped injury in the crash that claimed his co-driver’s life, recently described Roberts as a “magician”. He paid the following tribute to Roberts after winning the WRC Academy title on Wales Rally GB last November.
“He’s kept my feet on the ground this weekend, which is not an easy job. Having to leave service for the last three stages knowing there was no possibility other than to win them all was very difficult. But he’s really kept me on the straight and narrow so it’s all credit to him. He’s the littlest Welsh wizard but the best of them for sure.”
On behalf of Insiderally we give our condolences to Craig, and Gareth’s Family, Friends and Fans. A great young talent, a big loss to the Sport.