Matador team British NRC celebrate 2003 championships

Matador Pneu Sport UK are celebrating in style this weekend, after winning three titles within the British ANCRO National Rally Championship - with two rounds still to go! 23 year old Craig Middleton has successfully wrapped up the titles in ...

Matador Pneu Sport UK are celebrating in style this weekend, after winning three titles within the British ANCRO National Rally Championship - with two rounds still to go!

23 year old Craig Middleton has successfully wrapped up the titles in the ANCRO Junior Championship, Formula 2 Championship, and Class A7 Championship in his Matador Pneu Sport and Valvoline backed Hyundai Coupe F2 Kit Car. Middleton also tasted success in the series last year, but his achievements on a brand new range of tyres never before used in British rallying circles should not be underestimated after a fine season behind the wheel.

The Welshman has not been beaten on a single round of the series this year in any category, and has also been instrumental in showing the rally winning capability of the Slovakian made competition tyres. This weekend, together with co-driver Robin Hernaman, Craig took the Hyundai to an impressive 12th overall on the Swansea Bay National Rally, winning all three classes in the process, despite some minor overheating problems for both car and crew in the oppressive heat.

2003 has been the first year for the Slovakian manufactured Matador Pneu Sport competition tyres in the UK. Along with his father Graham who rallies a 4wd Toyota Corolla, Craig has spent the year testing and developing the range of kevlar side-walled tarmac and gravel tyres on a variety of events, with plenty of success. Craig is yet to have a puncture this year, and has tasted class success on both asphalt and gravel, with a best result of 11th overall on the Mutiny Rally:

"Its been a tremendously successful year so far" said Craig. "The car has been extremely reliable all season, with just routine service required to keep it going. We've been consistently on the pace of more powerful four wheel drive cars, and the tyres have just been excellent. Plenty of predictable grip and good, even tyre wear on a variety of surfaces have been a major factor in allowing me to push harder on some of the earlier rounds. I'm sure that many other drivers will be taking a closer look at Matador competition tyres after the results that both myself and my father have secured this year using the Matador range".

Middleton has now settled in well with his co-driver Robin Hernaman, after using a different co-driver on four of the rounds this year. Understandably, Craig is keen to thank those who have helped him achieve his goals this season:

"I'd like to say thank you to Nathan Parry, Andrew Sankey and Shelley Rogerson for playing their part in Matador's success this season. Matador managed to win awards with all of them in the co-drivers seat so I hope they enjoyed their time with our team. I would also like to thank ANCRO for doing an excellent job in organising the series, and last but not least, a major thank you to Robin and my service crew for all their help this year."

Middleton's future plans are currently undecided, partly due to the expansion of the Matador company in the UK. Further details on the complete range of Matador Pneu Sport competition tyres can be found at the company website, www.matadorpneusport.com.

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