Valentino Rossi will have his best chance of securing a strong World Rally Championship result in the upcoming Rally GB after it was announced his car will be prepared by the leading Stobart Motorsport team.
Fresh from winning his sixth MotoGP title, Rossi will embark on his third WRC outing next month when he drives a Ford Focus RS, which he will use to try and raise funds for the BBC's Children in Need appeal.
The car will run in full Stobart livery, as well as incorporate the charity's logo and its iconic Pudsey Bear mascot. However, in a nod to the famous Eddie Stobart trucks, which sport a woman's name on the cab, one lucky person will be able to bid to have their name brandished on the front of Rossi's Focus.
A plan to raise funds for the charity, the reward will go to the highest bidder in an auction. At the end of the event, the name will earn a place in the history books when it is transferred to one of the 1850 Eddie Stobart trucks. The winner will also receive Stobart VIP hospitality for the event.
The auction will run from today until Friday 21 November and details on how to place your bid can be found at www.stobartmotorsport.com.
Rossi, who completed just 17 kilometres before crashing out on his WRC debut back in 2002, will be looking to improve on a best of 11th overall, the result he managed in a Subaru on the 2006 Rally New Zealand.
He is especially proud to be returning to four-wheels in aid of charity and has vowed to do all he can for the cause.
“If two wheels are the big love of my life, 4 wheels, and especially rally cars, are surely my big passion! Having the chance to race at the Wales Rally GB and having, at the same time, the possibility to raise funds for Children In Need is something really special and I am very proud and happy. I cannot wait to be in the car and to have a lot of fun!”
“We are very excited to have Valentino driving a Stobart car on Wales Rally GB and its only right that the company does its bit to help raise money for the Children in Need charity which he is driving for,” added Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler.
“I am a great fan of Valentino's and it will be a massive compliment to have our brand on his car and it will really bring a lot of excitement to the whole team next month.”