Aberdeen teenager Dave Weston Junior is looking forward to this weekends Bulldog International Rally of Wales as the 19-year-old begins his first serious championship attack and is under no illusions of the steep learning curve ahead.

The former mini cross driver has contested selected rallies for the past two years but made the headlines with a stunning fourth overall on last years International Rally of Yorkshire. This event was only the second time Weston had ever recce'd an event and on the back of that result the youngster has now confirmed that he will tackle the full MSA British Rally Championship in 2009. And joining him in his new Ramsport-run Subaru Impreza N14 will be close friend and experienced co-driver Neil Shanks.

"Neil and I are very excited about the year ahead," he said. "I've done a couple of rallies in the new Subaru and am now getting used to the car. I've only ever done three recce'd rallies before, and each one has been with a different co-driver!

"Not only that but I've never rallied on tarmac either, so that should be very interesting! I know that I'm faced with a steep learning curve but fortunately I'm not under any pressure this year, so our strategy will be to tackle the opening loop at our own pace and then see where we are in relation to the others."

Weston has only ever contested one rally in the area before, and that was his rallying debut on the Plains Rally in 2007. The Bulldog Rally is based in Llangollen and features a central service area in Bala as the rally tackles some of the classic Mid Wales stages such as Dyfnant, Dyfi and Penllyn this coming Saturday.

The 2009 Bulldog International Rally of Wales is a brand new event to the MSA British Rally Championship and is the first of six rounds of this international rally championship which sees competitors visit Wales, England, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland throughout the year.

by Geoff Mayes