Reigning Citroen C2R2cup champion Jason Pritchard is prepared to push his rivals hard on this weekends Jim Clark International Rally, which counts as the third round of the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship.
After two podiums from the opening pair of gravel rallies, Pritchard is keen to stamp his authority on the 2009 championship. The season began strongly with a dominant victory on the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales.
However things were not quite as easy on the Pirelli International Rally three weeks later when an excursion into a Kielder ditch cost precious time and dropped Pritchard and co-driver Andrew Edwards down the leaderboard. The pair were eventually able to continue and returned to Carlisle third in class.
This weekend was supposed to mark the debut of Pritchard's new C2R2Max, a prize for winning last season's championship, but a delay in preparing the car means that Jason will continue to use his championship winning car from 2008. Supported by FCS Laser mail, Competition Car Insurance and North Road Garage, the Citroen has been upgraded to 'Max' specifications and features revised suspension and a more powerful engine and should be a very competitive package on tarmac.
“I'm really excited about coming to Scotland with the Max,” he said. “We've put a lot of time and effort into it and the car should be awesome to drive on tarmac!
“The season has been pretty mixed so far. We had a perfect start on the Bulldog, which was our home rally, but then it all went a bit wrong on the Pirelli. But still, it's a long championship and we just have to knuckle down and prove our point this weekend.”
Last years Jim Clark International was the first rally back for Pritchard after smashing his ankle in a non-rallying related car crash. The 20-year-old British Rally Elite member drove through the pain barrier to secure a handful of points that would ultimately prove vital to his championship charge.
by Geoff Mayes