CHAM­PION BACK TO THE TRACK­ROD

York­shire man gets an Evo, 10 years af­ter win­ning the event

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon

Ryan Cham­pion will re­turn to the scene of his 2006 Track­rod vic­tory 10 years on when he com­petes on the event next month in a World Rally Car.

Cham­pion will steer one of only two Mit­subishi Lancer WRC04S left in ex­is­tence on the event, and will be co-driven by Al­lan Har­ry­man.

“I think the car can be com­pet­i­tive but as for how quick I get on the pace, I don’t know,” said Cham­pion. “We’ll have a brief shake­down with it on Fri­day. Hope­fully we won’t be too far away.”

Cham­pion com­peted on the event two years ago in a Tuthill Porsche 911 in the his­toric sec­tion, but his best mo­ment came on the event in 2006 when it was an in­ter­na­tional rally and a round of the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship. He was com­pet­ing in a Mit­subishi Lancer E9.

“We had to win it at the time to keep any hope of the cham­pi­onship alive,” added Cham­pion. “If Mark Hig­gins fin­ished sec­ond then he’d win the ti­tle any­way, which he did. It’s def­i­nitely nice to win your lo­cal in­ter­na­tional rally as it was at the time.”

Cham­pion also won the Pirelli Carlisle Rally in 2006, fin­ish­ing run­ner-up to Hig­gins in what is gen­er­ally classed as one of the best BRC fields in its his­tory.

The car will be run by Do­minic De­laney, who worked with the pe­riod out­fit that ran the Mit­subishis in the world cham­pi­onship. The team ran five driv­ers in­clud­ing Gilles Panizzi and Gigi Galli. De­laney is now look­ing to hire the cars out un­der his SVP com­pany.

The York­shire­man made his rally de­but on the Track­rod 24 years ago, in his father’s Mae­stro Chal­lenge car.

Caer­went and with the Fi­esta be­ing so nim­ble, the brakes as well, I think the venue will suit the Fi­esta more than the Subaru [of Simp­son]. We’ll see.”

Cole leads the field away as the first seed, ahead of Stone and Simp­son.

Pho­tos: LAT, Kevin Money, Jakob Ebrey

Cham­pion won Track­rod in 2006... ...He’ll drive Lancer WRC

Simp­son: Cole ti­tle ri­val

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