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Two Super1600 rally cars have been ent ered into the Network Q Rally of Great Britain. The first being entered by Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson started their campaign in January with the opening round of the Junior World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo. Since then the duo have also com peted in selective rounds of the Pirelli British Rally Championship where they have achieved third position overall. Out of five starts in the PBRC the MG ZR has won its Class on three occasions. Focusing now on the Rally of GB Gwyndaf said: "I'm really looking forward to the rally of GB for a number of reasons. To be part of an all-British entry on a WRC round on home soil with support and following from the home crowd is great feeling. Despite winning twice in the last three outings, t he MG team have been working flat out on improving the car. I'm hoping we can get the car home in the top six which I believe is a real possibility."
Ex-Formula One / Indy Car driver and MG Sport & Racing ambassador Mark Blundell, will pilot the second of the Super160 0s. Mark, has twice driven for MG in the famous 24 -Heure Du Mans race and is relishing the chance to get behind the wheel of MGs pocket rocket. Looking forward to his debut and the November rally Mark said: "Rally GB is going to be a very exciting challen ge for me. It's quite daunting, but I can't wait to get in the MG and give it a crack. I'm planning to do a couple of stage rallies in the coming weeks to prepare myself for the big task ahead, but I know that this is certainly going to be a very tough event. I'm looking forward to being back in the driving seat, although it'll be very strange to have someone sat beside me - I'm used to being out on my own! All in all, this new venture into rallying is a real treat and I must thank MG for giving me this opportunity." The role of co-driver has been handed to Bob McKenzie of the Daily Express who has previous experience of the MG ZR with Tony Jardine.
Two additional Group N MG ZRs will be entered in the skillful hands of Tony Jardine and Rob Gill. Tony has previously competed on a number of occasions in the MG ZR and on his most recent outing achieved fourth in Class. Not only will he and co-driver Maurice Hamilton be challenging for a class victory but also for the 'media award'. Tony commented: "The MG team for the Network Q Rally of GB represents the very best of British with Welsh, Scots, Irish and English drivers and co-drivers. We will be fighting for honours in the Super1600 and Group N categories representing the only truly British manufacturer in the event, MG. Like my team-mates I am proud to be part of the effort."
Last but by no means least will be the second of the Group N cars driven by Rob Gill. Rob, who is assistant sub-editor for The Sun, is delighted to have teamed up with MG again. He explains: "The Network Q Rally is one of the world's toughest motorsport challenges due to its fast, slippery stages and potential for dire weather. Drivers can expect rain, fog, ice and snow during the gruelling four-day rally. It's a real test of man and machine against the elements. The MG ZR has proved fast and reliable in the British Rally Championship this year and we'll be pushing hard for more success in Wales. Rallying is one of the few sports where the amateur enthusiast can take on the world champion. It's like a Sunday league player stepping out in the FA Cup Final against David Beckham."
Rob Oldaker, managing director of MG Sport & Racing added: " Naturally I am delighted that MG a truly British company will be out in force for the Rally of Great Britain. Essentially 2002 has been about the introduction of the MG ZR to the rally circuit and through its development this year it's really starting to show it's potential. Mark Blundell has done a tremendous job for us on the Le Mans programme and I wish him well on his debut. Likewise Gwyndaf, Tony and Rob have achieved some good results on previous outings this year so things look promising for a positive team result."
Prior to the Rally of Great Britain, Mark Blundell will be competing in two 'warm-up' rallies: Bulldog - 18/19 October and Tempest Stages - 25/26 October
Issued by MG Rover Group Communications