BRC

Dumfries: Jonny Milner preview

Milner bids for Scottish Power! Team Dynamics Pro Rally Toyota driver and reigning British Rally Champion Jonny Milner heads north for the Scottish International Rally on June 14/15, determined to repeat the superb victory that he and ...

Milner bids for Scottish Power!

Team Dynamics Pro Rally Toyota driver and reigning British Rally Champion Jonny Milner heads north for the Scottish International Rally on June 14/15, determined to repeat the superb victory that he and co-driver Nicky Beech achieved on the 2002 event.

The Pirelli British Rally Championship circus now moves north to the town of Dumfries, with competitors pitting their skills against the challenges offered by the forests in the Galloway district after the Pirelli Rally and the fearsome Kielder forest.

Last year saw Yorkshireman Milner and his Wrexham born co-driver Beech take a tremendous victory on the rally, after a tense battle with Finn Tapio Laukkanen. As Milner struggled with transmission problems on the final day, the result could have gone either way until Laukkanen hit a rock with his car. Milner somehow managing to keep the ailing Toyota Corolla WRC going with a major hydraulic problem to record a memorable victory en route to the championship crown.

The Team Dynamics, Pirelli, Esso, NGK and Ferodo backed driver will have the bit between his teeth once again in Scotland. With Laukkanen now in a newer Subaru Impreza WRC car, Jonny knows that he'll have to be right on his game when the rally begins. Just nine seconds separated Milner and Laukkanen after the first round of the series, the Pirelli Rally, with the Finn just edging the Huggate driver out by the end.

Last year's Scottish International Rally was a Jekyll and Hyde affair in terms of weather. Glorious sunshine meant that dust was a major factor on the first day of the event, whereas fog and driving rain greeted the crews early on Sunday morning. Rain or shine, Milner and Beech are ready for action once more:

"We were lucky to get the car to the finish last year due to a problem with the centre differential. Fortunately the Toyota is an extremely strong car and it lasted long enough for us to win the event. The heat will certainly be on this time, especially with Tapio putting in a strong performance to win on the Pirelli Rally.

I'm confident that the Corolla WRC is still a reliable package, and if we get a clean run at the stages, it will be very close once again I'm sure, and I know that we are capable of winning again. It would be foolish to just pick out Tapio (Laukkanen) for special mention though - both Julian Reynolds and Jari Matti Latvala had disappointing Pirelli outings so they'll be keen to get better results this time.

Tyres may also be a major factor in deciding the outcome of the event. Last year's combination of rain and dry conditions made things tricky, but our Pirelli tyres worked extremely well at all times, giving us the advantage when it mattered the most. One thing is for sure, its going to be a real battle at the front of the field once again, and I hope my drive in America the weekend before gives me some good match practice too."

Milner is contesting the STPR round of the American SCCA Rally Championship in Pennsylvania on June 7/8, hoping to capitalise on the 3rd position he currently holds within the championship.

-www.jonnymilner.com

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