Annand celebrates double championship success!

Scottish rally driver Mark Annand secured the BTRDA National Rally Championship N1 class at the weekend, making him a unique double championship winner in 2003 behind the wheel of his Dunlop Tyres and SRM Sport Volkswagen Polo 16v.

Originally from Crathes in Aberdeenshire, Annand is now based in St. Albans and had already wrapped up the ANCRO National Rally Championship N1 category title this season after a series of fine class wins. Heading to last weekend's Cambrian Rally, based in Llandudno, North Wales, Annand only needed to finish the event to be sure of lifting the prestigious BTRDA N1 championship title in the same season.

With Dolgellau's Bill Robertson on the notes, Mark started cautiously in the Penmachno forest stages, and had dropped nearly a minute to class leader Roger Mustoe's similar Polo at first service. Despite the gap, Annand knew that one mistake on the slippery North Wales forestry stages could end his championship hopes in an instant, and the Scot maintained a steady pace as the rally moved into the Clocaenog forest stages.

Despite his cautious approach, Annand cut the deficit to Mustoe over the next batch of stages, as the pair traded near identical times. With Mustoe comfortable in front, Mark and Bill kept their concentration levels high for the final two stages of the rally in Clocaenog and Alwen, as they cut the margin down to a safe 44 seconds by the rally finish after a faultless day on the stages in the SRM Sport prepared car. With another Polo driver Fin McCaul 48 seconds back in third, Annand was left to cruise safely to the finish after an excellent drive in difficult circumstances:

"It was quite difficult to find a good pace today. We knew we had to finish, but at the same time you need to keep going competitively in order to maintain your concentration. Fortunately we were able to find a happy medium and we stuck to that pace till the end. Once again, the SRM Sport prepared VW Polo ran without a problem, and we thoroughly enjoyed the stages. It was an excellent end to a very good year of competition.

I'd just like to thank Bill for doing a great job in the BTRDA, Geraint Lloyd Williams for sitting with me on the ANCRO series, and thanks also to Dunlop for their tyre support this year. Finally, a big thank you to SRM Sport for keeping the car in perfect condition all year, and for their support. Its been a great season and I've thoroughly enjoyed it on both the ANCRO and BTRDA Rally Championships!"

Annand is exploring a number of options for the 2004 season, and is ruling nothing in or out as he looks to progress after a highly successful campaign in 2003.