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Age: 50 Lives: Ross-on-wye Re­turnee in his­torics

He has re­turned to ral­ly­ing in Es­cort Mk2 “I think it was six or seven years since I’d done an event and that was in a front-wheel-drive car. We did two ral­lies in 2014 just to feel our way in with the car and we just feel that we’re start­ing to get to grips with it now. It’s a big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence com­ing into his­torics and I’m en­joy­ing it.”

It is start­ing to come to­gether now “I’m a bit hap­pier with the car flow­ing around now. I was driv­ing it a bit too straight to start with. It’s all about re­leas­ing the car and get­ting a bit more cor­ner speed. There is still a lot more to come from me and the car but we are get­ting there. Like every­one, I don’t spend enough time in the car. Dave Jenk­ins does a great job on the car.”

He en­joys the com­pe­ti­tion “The com­pe­ti­tion is great. Rudi Lan­caster is get­ting quicker as well and Nick El­liott is ob­vi­ously the bench­mark; he’s been driv­ing Es­corts more than not and Ja­son Pritchard has ob­vi­ously pro­gressed a lot. He was driv­ing a Peu­geot 106 the last time I com­peted against him. Joe Price is quick, too.”

The pace was an eye-opener at first “I was shocked by the pace when I first came out and did it. They re­ally are go­ing very quickly for cars that are 30 or 40 years old. It’s great to see these cars be­ing driven with such pace. It’s get­ting closer but this is a lot of fun. I like to be com­pet­i­tive, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The cars are worth a lot of money. It would be nice to get up to the front and maybe win one at some time; that’s my goal.”

The Track­rod is next “We’re def­i­nitely do­ing the Track­rod; that was my favourite event last year. The night stages were bril­liant and re­minded me of the old road ral­ly­ing days and it was nearly a good re­sult. Hope­fully we’ll go out this year and put that right.”

He grew up ral­ly­ing in­wales “All my ral­ly­ing has pretty much been done in Wales, start­ing with the Mo­tor­ing News Road Rally Cham­pi­onship and be­fore that in the Welsh cham­pi­onship with peo­ple like Melvyn Evans. Paul Spooner, who was with me on the Red Dragon, is a road rally guy.”

Ben­nett: Welsh rally man

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