Top trophy renamed to honour Carmarthen rally star in race tragedy
A PRESTIGIOUS trophy is to be named after a promising Carmarthen rally star who lost his life racing.
Organisers of Wales Rally GB have announced plans to commemorate Gareth Roberts by renaming the one of the event's trophies in his memory.
In recognition of the respect that Gareth held within the motorsport community, the award will be now be called The Croeso Trophy in memory of Gareth Roberts.
The 24-year-old of Nebo, near Bronwydd Arms, died on June 16 in Sicily during stage eight of the Targa Florio Rally.
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The Peugeot 207 he was co-driving with Irishman Craig Breen collided with a safety barrier. Mr Breen was unhurt.
The trophy is awarded to the highest placed all-Welsh crew competing in Wales Rally GB.
Gareth won the trophy with his driving partner Gwyndaf Evans four years ago.
After that success in 2008, the Wales Rally GB team worked closely with Gareth to promote the event and rallying in Wales.
In a statement, Gareth's family said: "We are really honoured to have the award renamed after Gareth.
"He won his world title last year in Wales and was always proud of his Welsh roots.
"He would have been really proud to be part of any scheme promoting young Welsh rallying talent in the World Rally Championship." Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB, was one of the team behind the decision to rename the trophy.
He said: "Gareth was a skilled co-driver and a rapidly rising star in the world of international rallying. He was always willing to lend a hand and get stuck in, something that was particularly evident from working with him to promote Wales Rally GB over the past few years.
"There is always a special feeling when competing on home turf and it was obvious how much winning in Wales meant to him. It was a very easy decision to rename the trophy that Gareth was so delighted to win back in 2008."
In the days following the accident, Gareth's brother Dai organised for two trees to be planted at the scene of the crash in his memory and for his racing relationship with Craig Breen. Speaking at the time in touching tribute, Dai described Gareth as his "little Welsh wizard."
Gareth was a former pupil of Carmarthen's Ysgol Bro Myrddin and nicknamed Jaffa.