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22nd April 2002


Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson head north this weekend to take part in the Pirelli International Rally in Gateshead. This will be the first time that the MG ZR EX258 has competed in the UK and also in gravel specification.

The action will commence on April 26 at the Gateshead International Stadium, onto the floodlit stage of Central Nursery and Watergate Park before heading onto the testing stages of the Kielder Forest.

Commenting on MG ZR EX258’s UK debut, Rob Oldaker, managing director, MG Sport & Racing said: "After our first two continental outings in the JWRC, it is great to compete in the UK. Not only will the British fans be able to see our MG ZR in action, but we will gain a terrific amount of information for the Acropolis round which is next in the Junior World Championship calendar. Gwyndaf, Chris and MG continue to learn from the development programme and we are looking forward to further progress this weekend."

Gwyndaf Evans will be back in the driving seat again. He said: "I'm really excited that we are debuting the MG in the UK on an international rally. We'll have done a lot of testing before the Pirelli Rally so I'll have a completely open mind. I enjoyed the shakedown at Sweet Lamb in Wales – all this is ideal preparation for the Acropolis Rally."

Gwyndaf’s co-driver, Chris Patterson, is equally excited about the outing in Gateshead and added: "It's great to be competing back in Britain – it will be fantastic for me as Gwyndaf is a former winner. The stages in the Pirelli are so beautiful and I'm really looking forward to it."

GSE Motorsport has been working hard all season to prepare the MG for the Junior World Rally Championship. Commenting on its progress Baz Cannon, their technical director, said: "We are currently engaged in an intensive gravel test programme as part of the build-up to the Acropolis. There is no substitute for actual competition mileage to consolidate the test results. Make no mistake, we are looking to achieve the best result possible. The roads of Kielder are always a challenge and I think the MG will be well suited to them."

Issued by MG Rover Group Communications

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