German Historic rally ace Alex Hack will make a surprise appearance on the Swansea Bay Rally on July 23, as he pilots a Historic Rally Sport prepared Ford Escort Mk1 BDA.

Now based in Faro, Portugal, Hack is an experienced campaigner of Historic rallying, having contested a variety of classic events in the last couple of years. A fan of long distance endurance rallies, Hack has competed in the UK before, as he brought one of the Dunlop Tyres shod Historic Rally Sport run Escorts home to a fine 7th overall on last years Roger Albert Clark Rally.

Hack will be co-driven by Welsh navigator Mark Crisp for the Swansea based rally, which uses some of the very famous South Wales forests such as Rheola and the mighty Resolfen. The long dusty stages will pose a stern challenge for the experienced Hack, who has also contested the East African Safari Rally in 2003. The German's best International result to date was a finely judged second overall on this years Classic Arctic Rally, as Hack revelled in the snow and ice of Lapland in one of the Carmarthen based Historic Rally Sport hire cars.

Hack will use a left hand drive hire car for the rally, and the 2.0l BDA engined Escort is certain to attract plenty of attention from spectators keen to see the immaculate machine.

Historic Rally Sport MD Mark Solloway explained why the German was keen to contest the event: "Alex is very keen on the UK stages, and he is seriously considering an assault on the British Historic Rally Championship in 2006. He very much enjoyed his experience on the Roger Albert Clark Rally last year, and after seeing some DVD's of the stages in Wales, he was more than keen to come and have a go. Alex is a very capable driver so I'm sure he will be trying hard on these new stages to him. We're very much looking forward to seeing how he goes in our hire car."

Hack will also be contesting the East African Safari Rally later in the season. The mammoth 10 day African adventure will see him use one of the newly built Historic Rally Sport hire cars as he bids for success on one of the toughest rallies in the world.

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