Two of the most successful competitors in the five-year history of the Roger Albert Clark Rally are gearing up to challenge for overall glory on the 2009 event. David Stokes (Dursley) and Jeremy Easson (Oakham) will both compete in Mk1 Ford Escorts and each driver has an overall podium finish as their target.
These two drivers have an impressive record on the event and have provided the highest-placed Mk1 Escort on four of the five previous Roger Albert Clark Rallies. Easson has been an overall podium finisher four times in five years and cruelly lost overall victory on the final stage of the 2006 event.
Stokes, meanwhile, finished second in 2008 to Malcolm Wilson to record his best result to date. Both drivers have supported the event since the beginning and will be at the head of the action when the 2009 rally starts from Pickering (North Yorkshire) on Friday 13 November.
While Easson is well advanced with the preparation of a fresh car for the event, Stokes will campaign the familiar Mk1 that has taken him to the category two title in this year's Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship. A month before the Roger Albert, Stokes and his regular co-driver Guy Weaver will bid to add the Welsh Historic title to their tally for the season.
Easson plans to run a shakedown rally in his new car ahead of the four-day event. "We want to be at the front end of the RAC," he said. "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," he added.
With entries for the main event already at 40 cars, Stokes and Easson are two of the significant entries yet to be lodged for the rally.
For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit www.rogeralbertclarkrally.org