Sunday, 15 March 2009

Cookson and Wilkinson aim to keep momentum going on Border Counties Rally

Saltash driver Alan Cookson and London co-driver Julian Wilkinson are aiming for a repeat performance when they contest round two of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship next weekend (20 –21 March), the Border Counties Rally.

Fresh from their top 10 finish on the season opening Rallye Sunseeker last month, the pair will be back in action in their Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy,, Riverside Property Services, SPAR and supported Subaru Impreza World Rally Car (WRC), run by TEG Sport, on the Jedburgh-based event.

It is the third year in succession that the crew will be tackling the challenging Kielder Forest stages.

In 2008 they finished 17th overall after being hampered by a faulty diff and after battling through adverse weather conditions ranging from snow and fog to torrential rain.

They picked up an all-important 16 points on the Sunseeker and they hope to keep the momentum up when they make the long trip north next week.

“After the best start to our season for the last two years, we’re hoping to capitalise on it and get another top 10 result,” Cookson said.

“But first of all we need to finish the event and avoid those infamous ditches in Kielder.

“We’re hoping the stages are in a bit better condition this time out as they seemed rough in places last year and we felt like we never really got fully settled in. The weather didn’t help either and contributed to it being one of the toughest rallies we’ve ever done.

“We’re also looking forward to doing some stages in the dark on Friday night which is a great opportunity. I’ve been making sure I get a good dose of carrots by drinking carrot and coriander soup in the hope of developing my night vision as I’m sure we’ll need as much help as we can get!”

By Amanda Cornforth
Image courtesy Songasport