Gareth Roberts, who died in an accident on the Targa Florio Rally on Saturday morning, was one of one of the most talented and popular British co-drivers around
Born in Camarthen, Wales, the 24-year-old had risen through the ranks of national rallying to earn his place in the World Rally Championship. Co-driving Irishman Craig Breen, Roberts won the World Rally Championship Academy title on last year's Rally GB. And the Roberts-Breen partnership looked set to flourish this season.
Not only was Roberts embarking on an Intercontinental Rally Challenge programme, but he was also partnering Breen in the Super 2000 WRC, where the pair celebrated a debut series win on the Monte Carlo Rally.
Roberts' maturity and ability went well beyond his years and his calm and collected nature in the car was the perfect foil for Breen's talent in the seat beside him.
The loss of such a young talent beggars belief and no words can hope to ease the pain of those family and friends fortunate enough to have known Gareth. Is it a comfort to know that he died doing what he lived for? Who knows.
What we can say is that the WRC and IRC have lost a champion in the making. Roberts lost his life while leading the Super 2000 WRC co-drivers' standings and that series and the wider sport itself is a poorer place without a human being of his great character.
AUTOSPORT sends its deepest sympathies to Gareth's family and his many friends across the world and, of course, to his driver and friend Craig.
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