ProSpeed Motorsport UK Rally Scholarship winner

Rowlands prepares for a Winter wonderland!= "York based motorsport preparation company ProSpeed Motorsport find a worthy winner for their scholarship prize after an intense final in Lincolnshire." [York] Welsh rally driver Ieuan Rowlands has ...

Rowlands prepares for a Winter wonderland!=
"York based motorsport preparation company ProSpeed Motorsport find a worthy winner for their scholarship prize after an intense final in Lincolnshire."

[York] Welsh rally driver Ieuan Rowlands has scooped one of the most impressive rally prizes ever offered as he beat off intense competition to claim the honour of being the 2003 ProSpeed Motorsport Scholarship winner.

The newly crowned Kumho Clubman Rally Champion impressed throughout the previous heats of the ProSpeed run scholarship, that attracted entries from across the world. Drivers from America, Africa and across Europe took part in the early rounds of the series as they looked to win the fantastic prize on offer - a fully funded drive in the Peugeot UK backed 206 Winter Cup. The lucky winner would drive a ProSpeed Motorsport run 206 XSi on all three rallies that make up the Winter Cup this season.

Five finalists made the trip to the RallyDrive Rally School at Blyton in Lincolnshire for the final of the competition. Double British Rally Champion Jonny Milner was among an elite panel of judges who were looking for the complete all round package in a driver. Driver skill, natural speed, PR skills, pace noting and temperament were all being assessed during the day, in a number of different tests.

The five drivers all had to compete against the clock as they carried out their high speed runs in a VW Golf GTi. All contenders were then interviewed by a panel of judges before having their ability to make pace notes checked. Finally, another run at the special stage in the VW Golf was the final act of the day before the judges met to make their final decision.

26 year old Rowlands, from Ffestiniog, had shown impressive speed on the day - setting the fastest time in the morning run. However, it was the determination, modesty, desire and professionalism shown by the young Welshman that impressed the judges. Despite the very high standard and close competition in the final, Rowlands was a unanimous winner, with all judges extremely impressed with every aspect of his rallying approach - and not least his driving talents.

British Rally Champion Milner duly handed the 206 keys over to a delighted Rowlands at the presentation, and Sherburn-in-Elmet based ProSpeed Motorsport MD Olly Marshall was able to reflect on a worthy winner and a very worthy initiative from his own motorsport company:

"We're absolutely delighted that Ieuan won. He performed superbly well all day and he has shown tremendous determination in getting to the final and ultimately winning the 206 Winter Cup prize. Everyone at ProSpeed is looking forward to working with him, starting on the Galloway Hills Rally next month. I'm sure he will acquit himself very well in the Peugeot and we'll do all that we can to make sure he can be as competitive as possible in the car.

I also have to praise the standard of the other drivers in the final. Despite the ultimate in terms in pressure, not one driver put a mark on the cars all day. The standard of driving was excellent - and extremely impressive. There can only be one winner on this type of occasion, but the other four drivers who made the final can all be proud of their achievements.

Over 250 people took part in the early stages of the ProSpeed Scholarship, so we expected that the final would be of a high quality. It didn't disappoint, and I'll like to thank everyone involved in the Scholarship for their effort and enthusiasm this year. It was also an honour for us to have the double British Rally Champion within our ranks for the day as a judge. I'm sure that it had a positive effect on everyone, as Jonny made all the drivers feel at ease despite the pressure. Lets hope that the 2004 scholarship will be just as successful!"

Both Marshall and Rowlands will now contest the Galloway Hills Rally in southern Scotland on December 7th. The opening round of the 206 Winter Cup takes the crews into the famous forests of the Galloway region. Round two, The Red Kite Rally (January 4th), takes place in the forests of South Wales - as used on the Wales Rally GB. The well organised event can be a tricky one - as icy conditions can make the gravel roads treacherous. The final round of the Championship is the Wyedean Rally, held in the Forest of Dean, on Valentines Day.

Details on the 2004 ProSpeed Motorsport Rally Scholarship will be announced in the near future.

-psm-

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Series RALLY