Alan Cookson and Julian Wilkinson will return to the stages this weekend when they contest their first event of the season, the Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker.
The crew will once again be out in their Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Kumho Tyres, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza World Rally Car on what will be a local event for the pair.
However, while the aim is on a top ten finish, the Sunseeker has not been kind in the past…
The pair have failed to finish in two previous attempts, crashing out last year due to a mechanical fault whilst lying in tenth spot, and not making it out of service in 2007 after the gearbox broke.
However they are determined to put the misfortune behind them this year, hoping it will be third time lucky.
“We'll be trying hard from the start and want to get a result inside the top ten, particularly after what happened last year,” Cookson said. “We'll be getting into the car for the first time since the Bulldog Rally in October as we haven't had the chance to test as the snow the other week hampered our plans to visit Mark Higgin's rally school, for a pre-season shakedown.
“Its not looking like there will be any snow in Bournemouth this year, unlike many of the rallies run recently in the Arctic conditions, which is a shame, as I believe the last time our car won a forest rally, was way back in 1997 on the WRC Swedish Rally with Kenneth Erikson at the wheel.
“We're looking forward to the Sunseeker, it's a local event for me and I'm hoping to get that elusive first finish on it. We were really enjoying the fast stages last year up until disaster struck when the front wheel sheared off mid corner, resulting in a big off.
“I also have a few SPAR stores in the area now, and I know many of our teams of staff are coming over to support us again this year, so I'm determined to not let them down in 2009.”