The number of drivers and co-drivers who have signed up for the 2010 Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship has reached 232 after just three events.

Last year, the total number of competitor registrations at the end of the eight-round season stood at 211.

SRC chairman Neil Shanks said the figures showed the strength of rallying north of the border, and the esteem in which the championship was regarded, both within Scotland and beyond.

"To again increase our registrations and entry levels on events to record levels, bucks the downward trend experienced nationally," he said: "I think it shows we have a successful formula in Scotland".

There were 120 starters for the season-opening Snowman Rally; the Border Counties attracted 114 competitors; and 109 crews lined up for last weekend's Granite City Rally.

The three events have produced three different winners: Jock Armstrong dominating round one: Shaun Sinclair taking maximum SRC points on the Border Counties: and reigning Scottish champion David Bogie triumphing on the Granite.

This weekend also sees the first Hankook SRC Junior training day of the season at Stirling University, which aims to build on the highly-acclaimed programme that was developed throughout last year.

Young drivers and co-drivers will take part in various sessions on Sunday, including sports psychology, motorsport fitness and nutrition. There will also be media training.

Shanks said the Junior programme was a key element of the Scottish championship: "Three of the top five finishers in last weekend's Granite have been involved in the junior programme, and this is something we as a championship are focusing on. We're encouraging all of our junior competitors to get the most from the sport, and preparing those with ambitions beyond the SRC for the transition".

He added that the successful development of the junior programme was down to the hard work of Campbell Roy, his predecessor as SRC chairman, and former competitor Andy Kelly, as well as the support of Hankook and the charity Colin McRae Vision who both back the scheme.