Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Cookson and Wilkinson set for Rallye Sunseeker

Saltash driver Alan Cookson and London co-driver Julian Wilkinson will return to the stages when they contest their first event of the season, the Rallye Sunseeker, this weekend (27 – 28 February).

The crew will once again be out in their Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Kumho Tyres, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza World Rally Car (WRC) on the Bournemouth-based gravel event, one of Cookson’s and Wilkinson’s local rallies.

They are aiming for a top 10 finish in their TEG Sport-run Impreza but the Rallye Sunseeker has not been kind them in the past.

The pair have failed to finish on both the previous occasions that they have contested it, crashing out last year due to a mechanical fault whilst lying in 10th spot, and not making it out of service in 2007 after the gearbox broke.

But they are determined to put the misfortune behind them this year, hoping it will be third time lucky.

“We’ll be trying hard from the start and want to get a result inside the top 10, particularly after what happened last year,” Cookson said.

“We’ll be getting into the car for the first time since the Bulldog Rally in October as we haven’t had the chance to test as the snow the other week hampered our plans to visit Mark Higgin’s rally school, for a pre-season shakedown.

“Its not looking like there will be any snow in Bournemouth this year, unlike many of the rallies run recently in the Arctic conditions, which is a shame, as I believe the last time our car won a forest rally, was way back in 1997 on the WRC Swedish Rally with Kenneth Erikson at the wheel.

“We’re looking forward to the Sunseeker, it’s a local event for me and I’m hoping to get that elusive first finish on it. We were really enjoying the fast stages last year up until disaster struck when the front wheel sheared off mid corner, resulting in a big off.

“I also have a few SPAR stores in the area now, and I know many of our teams of staff are coming over to support us again this year, so I’m determined to not let them down in 2009.”

Cookson and Wilkinson have retained all their sponsors for the 2009 campaign.

“I’d like to thank all our sponsors for their continued support this year, particularly in these hard times, and to TEG Sport for their help with maintaining the car,” Cookson added.

They start the Rallye Sunseeker, which gets underway on Friday evening, at number 15.

By Amanda Cornforth
Image courtesy Songasport