Steven Smith, twice British Historic Rally champion, has had a late call-up to contest this weekend's Roger Albert Clark Rally in the Escort Mk1 originally entered for Peter Egerton.
The deal only came together yesterday (Tuesday) after Peter sustained a back injury while competing on the Tempest Rally on Saturday. A heavy compression in his WRC Hyundai caused a back injury and left him unable to tackle four days of rallying on the Roger Albert Clark Rally.
Instead, he generously offered his car to Smith and so car 32 will have a different driver when the rally starts in Pickering on Friday evening. "I've not been on gravel since the Trackrod in September 2008 and I've not been in an Escort since 2006, so I've got my excuses lined up," said Smith.
"I have to say a very big thank you to Peter for making this possible and I'm sorry he can’t do the Roger Albert, as it is one of his favourite events," said Smith. "Hopefully I can get my eye in on the Friday night stages and get used to the car. Class C3 will be very strong and it is people like Russell Morgan and Ken Forster who will be on the pace," said Smith.
Smith has contested the rally once before, when he drove the VK-backed Escort owned by Steve Perez in 2006. That year he slid off the road in the snow of Ae, albeit without any damage.
XS Racing will tend the Pinto-powered Escort, the team that has took Smith to his 2008 BHRC crown. Patrick Walsh will remain as co-driver, as originally planned.
For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit www.rogeralbertclarkrally.org