AN­DER­SON TO DE­FEND WOODPECKER VIC­TORY

Fi­esta driver back in the BTRDA Photos: Jakob Ebrey, Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic, SMJ Pho­tog­ra­phy

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon

Last year’s Woodpecker Rally win­ner Jamie An­der­son will re­turn to de­fend his crown in the BTRDA event on Septem­ber 3.

An­der­son – who has com­peted in the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship in a Ford Fi­esta R5 this year – hasn’t com­peted in the BTRDA since last year’s Woodpecker on Septem­ber 5.

While An­der­son’s en­try is se­cured, the Mid­lands driver has yet to de­cide which car to run. He still owns the Mit­subishi Lancer WRC 05 he used to win the event last sea­son, but has spent this year in his Ford Fi­esta R5.

“I’m def­i­nitely go­ing to do it [the Woodpecker], but I don’t know what I’m go­ing to do it in yet,” said An­der­son. “I might do it in the R5 or bring out the Evo, we’ll see. It de­pends what hap­pens in Ire­land [for the BRC’S sixth round, the Ul­ster Rally].”

An­der­son will com­pete on the Ul­ster on Au­gust 18/19, and if the car comes back in one piece he’s likely to use it in an at­tempt to de­fend his first and only over­all BTRDA win.

“I’m not plan­ning to go back there and not de­fend it,” added An­der­son. “With it be­ing fast stages, the R5 might strug­gle. It’s got real good stages and it’s a good rally, it al­ways has been.

“BTRDA is good too so it won’t be a walk in the park, that’s for sure. Ju­lian [Reynolds] will be tough to beat if he en­ters, he went well on the Nicky Grist. It’s [Reynolds’ Ford Fo­cus WRC] got more grunt than an R5 and try­ing to com­pete against that, es­pe­cially in an R5, is al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.”

An­der­son is cur­rently eighth in the BRC points, but af­ter a break­through on gravel, chal­leng­ing the top five has be­come reg­u­lar for him and co-driver Ross Whit­tock.

“I’d like to do a bit more test­ing now to make the next step,” added An­der­son. “We just haven’t found the time to do it.

“I’m glad we’ve got the gravel pace nearly there, we were fight­ing for eighth and ninth and now we’re fight­ing for third and fourth. The BRC is def­i­nitely a step up in what we’re used to. I think I will come back next year, this year is a learn­ing year with a new car and hav­ing never done my own pacenotes, all those things have made it a big thing.

“The only prob­lem is work, I’ve got a business to run and sep­a­rat­ing it from that will be dif­fi­cult.”

Woodpecker 2015 win­ner An­der­son: adapt­ing

Fi­esta man’s gravel pace is promis­ing Fran­cis needs to fin­ish the last two rounds to have a chance of ti­tle

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