Damian Cole will look to open his assault on the Welsh National Rally Championship at the weekend when the traditional curtain-raiser to the season, The Get Connected Wyedean Forest Rally, gets underway from Chepstow Racecourse.

One of the most popular and competitive events in UK rallying will see 180 entries powering for a variety of honours as Cole and his co-driver Paul Morris put the Get Connected Hyundai Accent World Rally Car through its paces, looking to challenge for a third consecutive Welsh Championship title.

"It is a great event to participate in and always very competitive," explained Cole, whose mobile phone business sponsors the event.

"A good performance in the Wyedean provides a real boost for the season. Snow or no snow we shall be looking to stake our claim."

During the close-season, Cole and the Get Connected Rally Team have introduced several performance-improving measures to the former World Rally Championship car, including paddleshift gear changing.

"If we can improve by even a few seconds a stage, this could make all the difference over the season," continued the 2008 Welsh National Rally champion.

"The paddleshift has made things much sharper. Gear changing can be difficult at the best of times whilst wrestling to keep the car in position. We should be significantly quicker now that I can change gear with both hands still firmly in control of the steering wheel."