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GRC season ends on Bulldog.

The answers to any remaining questions will be revealed come Saturday evening when the 2008 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship reaches its conclusion with this weekend's Bulldog Rally which gets underway in Oswestry.

And the battle for the overall driver's and co-driver's titles will go right down to the wire, especially given the extraordinary circumstances in which the leading to contenders have found themselves in.

Altrincham property developer, Jon Ingram and co-driver Ian Allsop, was the model of consistency in the opening five rounds, finishing all of them in his Subaru WRC, including a win and three second places. However, following his wife suffering a serious accident just prior to the Trackrod rally last month, he withdrew and given he is still caring for her, he will not compete on this weekend's event either.

Ingram's absence means that triple ANCRO champion Marcus Dodd, and co-driver Andrew Bargery, will be hoping to secure a record-breaking fourth crown to add to the ones he won in 2000, 2001 and 2007.

But following a dramatic final stage on the Trackrod, when the Hyundai Accent WRC ground to a halt on the final stage in Yorkshire when leading, it means nothing short of a win will do for the Poole businessman.

The dropped scores permutations means that if Dodd scores maximum ANCRO points on the Wolverhampton & South Staffs car club event, he will pip Ingram by a single point, but if he finishes second behind another ANCRO crew, he will lose it by two points meaning Ingram would be crowned champion in his absence.

Despite winning the event twice in the past, the last time being in 2001, Dodd's task is going to be no easy one, especially with the level of entry that has been attracted. Former champion Steve Perez will be a major threat in the classic mid-Welsh forests in his 2005-specification Ford Focus WRC, as will another ex-champion, Roger Duckworth, in his Subaru and late entries Charlie Payne and Julian Reynolds.

Other contenders for overall honours include the likes of Dave Weston in his Ford Focus WRC and Mark Higgins in MG Super 2000 Sport, but with them not being registered for the ANCRO Championship, it means Dodd doesn't have to win outright, he just needs to finish top ANCRO-points scorer.

There is similar drama set to unfold in the battle to become the 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge champion, which is also set to be decided on the Bulldog Rally.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marcus Dodd / Andrew Bargery. Hyundai Accent WRC. Swansea Bay Rally. July 19 2008. [Pic credit: www.cmwi.net.]
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Calvin Beattie  Ford Fiesta
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2

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