Welshman Andrew Hockridge will be heading north to Kelso for this weekends Jim Clark International Rally, the third round of the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship, hoping to get his championship assault back on track after a disastrous start to the season.

Hockridge, along with co-driver Rich Mills, finished second overall in the 2008 C2R2cup with a string of no less than six podium finishes, but have suffered at the cruel hand of fate ever since upgrading to a brand new C2R2Max at the beginning of the season.

A non-rallying related accident damaged the suspension ahead of the opening round and then delays receiving the spares forced Hockridge to miss the second rally, the Pirelli International, a month ago.

However, since then, the fortunes of the Signature Cheese-backed pairing have changed. A strong tarmac test on the Isle of Man saw the pair dominate their class in tricky conditions and the pair are now ready to kick-start their championship hopes this weekend.

"Last years title winner had fewer points than we do after two rounds, so it's not all over yet," Hockridge said. "Our recent test on the Isle of Man was very encouraging, and I was amazed at how different the new car is over last years C2R2. I am really looking forward to the Jim Clark now!"

The 2009 Jim Clark International Rally is based in Kelso, and features over 160 miles of high speed tarmac rallying spread over two days. The action begins with a ceremonial start in Edinburgh on Friday afternoon, followed by six stages on Friday night. Action resumes on Saturday morning with another 11 high speed tests before the ceremonial finish back in Kelso.

by Geoff Mayes

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