Tom Watson is eagerly looking forward to making his Irish rallying debut when the Welshman contests the BRC Challenge section of this weekends Todd's Leap Ulster Rally at the wheel of his TRT Welding Services and Fix Auto Swansea supported Ford Fiesta ST.

Swansea based Tom, who only began rallying in February, has faced a steep learning curve this year but so far the trainee engineer has acquitted himself well.

Contesting not only the fiercely competitive Fiesta Sporting Trophy but also the BRC Challenge young Watson currently lies eighth amongst the one make Fiestas and is also still in with a chance of clinching the British Rally Championship Challenge junior title in his GEM sport run Ford Fiesta.

"2009 has been a massive challenge for me," he said. "At the start of the year I had never driven on a rally and now I'm facing my third tarmac rally. I'm really excited about going to Ireland as all the videos I've watched indicate that it is really technical and challenging.

"I'm not expecting much and am just aiming for a finish this weekend."

The Todd's Leap Ulster Rally is based in Antrim and runs over two days. The crews will have to face both the very changeable weather conditions and the unique high speed Irish tarmac roads and narrow lanes, balancing speed with caution on a rally that demands a fine balance of bravery and brains.

by Geoff Mayes