CONNOR McCLOSKEY BACK TO BRITAIN Connor McCloskey is rejoined by Robbie Durant for the inaugural round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship in Carlisle this weekend. The pair come fresh from an excellent tenth place ...
CONNOR McCLOSKEY BACK TO BRITAIN
Connor McCloskey is rejoined by Robbie Durant for the inaugural round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship in Carlisle this weekend.
The pair come fresh from an excellent tenth place overall on the Easter International Rally which they used as a test for Rally Isle of Man, round three of the British series. The result was doubly rewarding as it also saw the pair reunited after several rallies apart, but Robbie is committed to the whole season with the Northern Irish youngster. "It was great to have Robbie back alongside," remarked Connor, "we gelled quickly and to take a top ten place was a bonus as we were using the event to get back up to speed together."
The Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle will be a stark departure from the narrow Irish lanes though; with ultra fast gravel tracks in the infamous Kielder forest complex providing a stern challenge, the pair will be amongst some stiff opposition. Seeded at car eight they have the current and three former British Rally Champions ahead, as well as WRC driver Guy Wilks, Evo Challenge leader Phillip Morrow and Conrad Rautenbach fresh from two wins in Africa.
"It will be a difficult rally from the outset," said Connor, "the strength of opposition is tough and the event starts in the dark. I'm still really looking forward to it although I think just getting through to Saturday will be my first goal. We are very pleased to have Egger on board again and they have a vested interest in the team doing well. They are based in Hexham and actually own part of the forest, but unfortunately that hasn't given me an advantage as I haven't been able to test there." He concluded, "It would be great to think we could retain our seeding and finish inside the top ten as that would make a hat-trick of top results after Bournemouth and the Easter Rally."
The rally starts and finishes in Carlisle with a base at the nearby airfield. Cars leave the ramp on Friday at 5.45pm and return a day later on Saturday at 5.30 after 115 gruelling gravel miles.