Rowlands and Boardman set for Scottish debuts.
[YORK] ProSpeed Motorsport of York will field a two car team in the Peugeot 206 Winter Cup, with the news that British Touring Car racer Tom Boardman will join ProSpeed rally scholarship winner Ieuan Rowlands in a brace of 206 XSi's for the three round championship.
Starting on next weekend's Galloway Hills Rally in South West Scotland (December 7th), the new team mates will both be experiencing the Peugeot 206 XSi in rally form for the very first time. Ffestiniog based Rowlands is the 2003 Kumho Clubman Rally Championship winner, and Galloway will be his competitive debut in a front wheel drive rally car, after successfully campaigning a Ford Escort RS this season. The popular 26 year old will be co-driven by Kelvin Savage for the three events.
In stark contrast, Boardman will be competing on his first ever rally. The Peugeot 307 BTCC driver has plenty of front wheel drive experience, but the Scottish forests will give him a taste of rallying for the first time. The 20 year old from Forton in Lancashire will be guided by experienced Kumho National Rally Championship winning co-driver Alun Cook from Caerphilly for his gravel debut.
The Peugeot 206 Winter Cup consists of three gravel rallies for 2003/4. Starting in Scotland, the team will then venture to the often frozen gravel roads of the Epynt Military ranges near Brecon for the Red Kite Rally. Based in Llandovery, the popular season opener (first weekend after New Year) uses stages found on the Wales Rally GB, Britain's only round of the World Rally Championship. As you might expect, the world class stages can pose a testing challenge for the Peugeot crews.
In a change from last season, the final round of the series will take place in the picturesque Forest of Dean. Based at Chepstow Racecourse, the Wyedean Rally will be the final sting in the tail for the 206 drivers on Valentines Day 2004. 45 miles of stages in the Gloucestershire forest complex in February will present a tricky but enjoyable finale for the team, who hope to be celebrating after good performances in the mini-championship.
Olly Marshall, founder and MD of ProSpeed Motorsport, was looking forward to taking a watching brief on progress for a change:
"Normally I'd be in the car driving myself, so its nice to be able to stand back and try to assist two very different drivers who are with ProSpeed for the Peugeot 206 Winter Cup. Ieuan has a strong rallying background and was a very deserved winner of our recent rally scholarship. We're expecting Ieuan to do very well once he gets adjusted to the car and the pace of the series. He is clearly a very talented driver.
For Tom, its going to be something of a culture shock, but one that he is very much looking forward to. The experience of Alun Cook alongside him will certainly help, although I'm sure that Tom's reactions from racing in the BTCC will be very sharp - and that will help him on the first couple of stages! Of course, we're very excited at the prospect of running two young and very talented drivers, so I'm hoping that both Ieuan and Tom will acquit themselves well next weekend. It promises to be a very exciting day for the whole team."
Both Boardman and Rowlands will get to test their cars on gravel before next weekend. The Peugeot 206 XSi's will both be running on KUMHO Rally tyres for the 45 stage mile event, that uses just five special stages. All the action gets underway from Castle Douglas at 9am on the Sunday morning.