BRC

Carlisle: Melis Charalambous preview

Teenager to profit from Pentti ahead of Pirelli 18 year old Melis Charalambous has been busy receiving extensive instruction from former Rally GB winner and tutor to the stars, Pentti Airikkala, as he prepares for the opening round of the...

Teenager to profit from Pentti ahead of Pirelli

18 year old Melis Charalambous has been busy receiving extensive instruction from former Rally GB winner and tutor to the stars, Pentti Airikkala, as he prepares for the opening round of the 2008 MSA Tesco 99 British Rally Championship, the daunting Pirelli International Rally.

Melis, a North London based student, is tackling the full British Championship this year, on board a Subaru Impreza N12, and whilst the Carlisle based Pirelli International will be only his second ever recced event the young rally driver is under no pressure to prove his pace. Indeed his main aim for 2008 will purely be to finish rallies and gain experience of each and every round.

Melis had a quiet and uneventful debut in his new M-Tec Developments run Subaru on the Rallye Sunseeker in February, and was glad to gain some mileage in the right hand drive car ahead of his first visit to the infamous Kielder Forest Complex. Co-driven by MSA Rallying Elite member Andrew Roughead, Melis returned to the finish of the Bournemouth based Rallye Sunseeker thirteenth in class on his first gravel rally in a right hand drive car.

Since then the Greek born student, who is studying Construction Management in London, has contested the Robin Hood Stages in Nottingham, as well as having racked up a number of testing miles with both David Higgins and left foot braking expert Pentti, and as such is quietly confident for this weekend.

I have recently been receiving a lot of tuition from Pentti Airikkala and he has helped me develop as a driver quite a lot. He has been helping me work on my confidence and now I'm really looking forward to this weekends rally. I still have a lot to learn about recces and making my own notes though, so am hoping to draw on Andrew's experience.

The Pirelli Rally, which is the opening round of the 2008 MSA Tesco 99 British Rally Championship, consists of over 105 stage miles through the infamous Kielder Forest Complex. After a shakedown on the Thursday, followed by a recce of the stages, the rally begins with a ceremonial start in Carlisle City. 3 night stages then follow before an overnight brake. Action resumes on Saturday morning with a further 9 tests before a ceremonial finish back in Carlisle at around 6pm.

-credit: pirelliinternationalrally.co.uk

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