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25th October 2002

MG CONTEST RALLY TEMPEST STAGES

Two MG ZRs will contest this weekendís South of England Tempest Stages on the gravel tracks around Aldershot. The stage is also the final round of the Pirelli British Rally Championship.

Following his rally debut at the Bulldog Rally with co-driver Bob McKenzie, Mark Blundell will be driving the MG Sport & Racing works entry to gain additional experience as preparation for the Rally of GB in November. Reflecting on his outing at the Bulldog and focusing on Tempest Stages, Mark said: "After a great day at the Bulldog Rally, Iíve now got the bit between my teeth and Iím relishing the challenge of the Tempest Stages. Itís been a steep learning curve, but having achieved my objective of completing all six stages last week, Iím going into this event with the grounding and experience to start pushing harder with the MG ZR and get the maximum potential from this great little car."

"Rallying is a new departure for me in my racing career, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying. Iíve had to adapt my driving style and even had to learn to change a wheel quickly, although I donít think I managed to do this as quickly as the F1 mechanics! Itís mentally and physically challenging, exciting and full of action. Iím looking forward to getting in my MG ZR again and trying out the rally tracks in Aldershot and Farnborough."

F1 panelist Tony Jardine and co-driver Maurice Hamilton have entered the second Group N car. Tony also recently completed the Bulldog Rally where he achieved fourth in class and now prepares for the Tempest Stages. He said:"This weekend Maurice and myself will be making sure that every last detail is covered off before the Network Q. The MG has been running faultlessly and the reliability and driveability of the Michelin-shod MG is second to none. The stages this weekend will test the MG further as they tend to be very short, sharp and can sometimes be a little painful if you get them wrong! But they should make for some really close competition, especially with Mark right behind us!"

The Tempest Stages rally starts at 12:20hrs from Princes Gardens, Aldershot on Saturday 26th October. The round is made up of 16 Special Stages covering a total of 250 miles and ends on Sunday afternoon.

Issued by MG Rover Group Communications


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