Andrew Hockridge experienced a nightmare run up to last weekends Bulldog International Rally of North Wales when his brand new Signature Cheese backed Citroen C2R2 Max was involved in a road traffic accident the day before, meaning that his team had to rebuild the rally car overnight

Hockridge, who had finished second in the Citroen Cup in 2008, was looking forward to contesting his home event when he received news that his rally car had been involved in a car crash during a systems check.

Fortunately his chief mechanic, Chris Fuller, who was driving the car, was not seriously injured and Geoff Jones Motorsport worked throughout Friday night, scavenging suspension pieces off of Andrew's 2008 car to ensure that the North Wales businessman could take to the start in Bala on Friday morning.

However, because of the difference in specification between the two cars the day was all about just trying to keep the Signature Cheese backed Citroen on the road and Hockridge and co-driver Rich Mills were relieved to see the finish.

"It's been a long and emotional rollercoaster for the last 48 hours," he said. "When I first heard about the crash my immediate concern was for Chris but once we found out that he was ok but that the car was the worse for wear we really thought that our rally was already over.

"It was a bizarre incident that should ideally never have happened, but at least we've picked up points for fourth in class, but it was frustrating to not be able to drive the new car to its full potential this weekend."

The pair will be in action next on the Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle. Hockridge has fond memories of this rally, after winning on his debut in the British Championship here last year.

by Geoff Mayes

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