Stig Blomqvist, winner of the inaugural Roger Albert Clark Rally in 2004, will return to the event in November to try and win for the second time as the early entry list starts to include some of the big names of historic rallying.
Blomqvist, the 1984 World Rally Champion, and Ana Goni will compete in a Ford Escort Mk2 from David Sutton's team, contesting the rally for the third time having also finished second overall in 2005 to Mark Higgins. "This event is just like the RAC Rally was in the 1970s and 1980s," said Blomqvist.
However, the driver with the most consistent record on the event will be back to try and finally claim that all-important victory. Jeremy Easson has contested all five previous Roger Alberts and has finished in the top three on four of them, only retiring in 2008. Easson was within sight of winning in 2006 when a throttle problem on the final stage at Croft dropped him to third.
Now, Easson is busy building a fresh Escort Mk1 for the 2009 rally. "We want to be at the front end of the RAC," said Easson. "We’ve come close, but there are more and more competitive drivers coming to do it now. It’s a long event, but to be in a winning position you’ve got to have the right sort of kit nowadays. I like the idea of staying in category two with a Mk1 rather than going for a Mk2."
Also confirmed to be entering again in 2009 is David Stokes who, like Easson, has supported the rally since the very start. His best result so far was second to Malcolm Wilson in 2008. "It's the highlight of the year," said Stokes. "It's a very tough event and it's hard work. You've got to pace yourself."
Paul Griffiths, one of the pacesetters in 2008 during his first attempt at the rally in his Escort Mk2, has also lodged his entry. "It’s the best rally of the year. We had a great run last year and set some fastest stage times, so this year I'd like to have a clear run."
For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit www.rogeralbertclarkrally.org
By Paul Lawrence