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BBC Radio Five Live presenter and F1 commentator Maurice Hamilton will co-drive for ITV F1 panelist Tony Jardine in a Michelin shod MG ZR. The media pairing will form part of a wholly British works effort fielded by MG in support of former British Champion and recent Ulster Rally S1600 class winner Gwyndaf Evans. All cars will be built and prepared by MG's skilled motorsport staff at their Birmingham base.
Jardine and Hamilton, who have competed together on many occasions, kick off their winter rally programme this weekend as they head for Aberystwyth to contest the Plains Rally. They will then take part in The Bulldog (19 October) The Tempest Stages (26 October) and the Network Q Rally of Great Britain* (14 -17 November).
Rudgwick-based Hamilton commented: "Tony and I were fortunate to compete in the Rally of Wales in an MG ZR back in March where we finished second in class. However, to be fully associated with a British manufacturer in a programme of this scale is tremendous."
Hamilton will not only be reporting for BBC Radio Five Live but will also keep readers up to speed with his progress via his column in The Observer. Meanwhile, BBC Radio Five Live producer Jason Swailes will be managing the portinglife.com team throughout the Network Q later in the year.
Swailes explained: "We love the British angle, but more importantly is the chance of teaming up with a manufacturer with so much heritage. It is a fantastic opportunity. BBC Radio Five Live will be adopting the team and keeping our listeners informed of our progress throughout and we won't be doing it from the sidelines! Maurice will be reporting from inside the car, while ultimately I will have to learn the job of Team Manager which I am sure will bring an insider's perspective to the sport."
Greg Allport, General Manager PR & Events for MG Rover Group Ltd said: "By having a media team as part of our manufacturer effort we can achieve a good balance of results on the stages and in the media. Tony and Maurice have their own goals in terms of rally media awards, especially on the Network Q, and good publicity goes hand in hand with good competition results. We are delighted to be associated with the Sportinglife.com, BBC Radio Five Live and Michelin and we wish them all the best of luck."
Not only do the team have the luxury of a factory built and prepared car but MG Sport and Racing will also provide the Sportinglife.com team with two of their best mechanics for the duration of the rally programme. Such expertise will ensure that the media duo have the very best technical support throughout.
Jardine commented: "We are delighted to have everyone one on board for what we hope will be a very fruitful campaign. Despite the fact that only 95 cars are allowed to start the Network Q, I am hoping that my ten continuous years of competing in the Rally of Great Britain will pay dividends."
* Sportinglife.com's participation in the Network Q Rally of Great Britain is subject to entry
Issued by MG Rover Group Communications