Backed by principle sponsor KF Concept, top female rally star, Natalie Barratt, will contest the remaining six rounds of the 2004 FIA Junior World Rally Championship season in a Renault Clio S1600. Co driven by 31-year old Welshman Carl Williamson, Natalie started her 2004 JWRC bid on the Monte Carlo Rally (January 22-25) in a S1600 MG ZR.
With a five month gap to round two, the Acropolis Rally (June 4-6) Natalie and Risbridger Motorsport Solutions (RMS) - the company running her rally programme this year decided to review their options for the rest of the season. The Clio is a car Natalie knows well, as she raced in the ELF Clio Renaultsport UK Winter Cup last year and when Paul Risbridger, Managing Director of RMS provided her with the opportunity to run one in the JWRC she didn't take much persuading.
Getting her hands on her new car for the first time last week, Natalie enjoyed a good two-day test at Sweet Lamb in mid Wales and was very impressed with her new toy.
Natalie said: "I'm no stranger to the Renault Clio S1600 as I had the opportunity to test one at the back end of last year, so when Paul came to me and said he was thinking of buying one for me to drive in the Junior Championship I nearly bit his hand off because I know just how good they are.
"I had my first chance to drive the new car last week at Sweet Lamb on a two-day test and I'm really pleased with it. We had a good run and the car felt great, I love driving it as it's so compact and feels really nimble. It's also really comfortable for me to drive being a vertically challenged person and without sounding too much like a girl it actually looks like a proper rally car.
"We've got more testing to do before we head to Greece but I'm really looking forward to getting out there again, getting a few more miles under my belt and enjoying the rest of the season."
In addition to her rally programme Natalie will also return to the race track this year to take part in the ELF/BTE Lawline Renault Clio Cup which starts at Silverstone next weekend (May 8-9). The car will be run by Aurok Motorsport, the same team that ran Natalie last year in the ELF Clio Renaultsport UK Winter Cup.