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New John Easson Award win­ner Ge­orge Le­p­ley has tar­geted an en­try in the Ju­nior Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship next year af­ter win­ning the pres­ti­gious award.

Le­p­ley won ev­ery round of the R2 Ral­lye Cup he en­tered in the BTRDA this year, and also wrapped up the Sil­ver Star ti­tle be­com­ing the first front-wheeldrive in over 10 years to do so.

The 2300 Club John Easson Award hands £5000 to Le­p­ley for en­try fees, and will add an­other £1000 if he wins his class next year. The award is named af­ter reg­u­lar rally com­peti­tor Easson who died in an air ac­ci­dent in 1999, and the award has been run since 2004.

Le­p­ley beat BRC Cadet Class driver Fin­lay Ret­son and Fi­esta ST Tro­phy fron­trun­ner Ewan Tin­dall, who came close to the ti­tle in his first full year of se­nior ral­ly­ing.

“We have a few dif­fer­ent op­tions open to us at the mo­ment, but it’s look­ing highly likely we’ll step up to the Ju­nior BRC and cer­tainly now I’ve won the award,” the 21-year-old told MN. “Let’s see what the next few weeks bring with var­i­ous prizes/ in­cen­tives be­ing an­nounced, but with univer­sity stud­ies it makes sense to stay in the UK and with ral­lies that fit around ex­ams nicely and the op­por­tu­nity to do a recce.”

The Not­ting­ham driver added that he has been in­spired for next sea­son look­ing back on those who have won the award be­fore him, such as Osian Pryce and Chris In­gram.

“There are some big names on there and it’s clear to see the award has helped them progress when they’ve reached dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial stages in their ca­reers,” he said.

“I am truly grate­ful to the 2300 Club and I am very ex­cited al­ready. I am con­fi­dent we can achieve some­thing spe­cial, like we did this year in the Sil­ver Star and add it to the 2300 Club’s list of spe­cial achieve­ments.”

On the im­por­tance of win­ning the award, he added: “It’s very im­por­tant, com­pet­ing on big events means big en­try fees and so the en­try fees cer­tainly take up a large pro­por­tion of the bud­get re­quired dur­ing a sea­son’s ral­ly­ing.

“It is the dif­fer­ence be­tween a cham­pi­onship or se­lect events. It will cer­tainly help me.”

Pho­tos: Chi­cane Me­dia, Jakob Ebrey, mck­lein-im­age­

Le­p­ley had an im­pres­sive year

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