by Geoff Mayes
Andrew Hockridge is eagerly looking forward to making his WRC debut on this weekend's Wales Rally GB, the final round of both the World Rally Championship and, more importantly for him, the grand finale of the Citroen C2R2 Cup, a series which the GRH Foods backed driver finds himself leading.
After eight months and over 600 competitive miles the fiercely competitive C2R2 Cup enters its final chapter this weekend, and with podiums in the Isle of Man, Ireland and Yorkshire to add to his debut victory, back on the Pirelli Rally in May, Hockridge and co-driver Rich Mills find themselves at the top of the points table.
The Gino's Pizza Cheese supported pairing have not been sitting idly since the last round, Rally Yorkshire, and recently won their class on the Bulldog Rally, which they used as a Wales Rally GB test.
With the car now fully re-prepped by expert preparation firm Geoff Jones Motorsport, Hockridge is cautiously optimistic.
"To compete on my home round of the world rally championship has always been a dream of mine, but to come here leading the Citroens in my first year in the series is incredible!" said Hockridge.
"Obviously this creates extra pressure but Rich and I have agreed to just tackle the event at our own pace, and not worry too much about what the others do. Regardless of whatever happens it has been a brilliant year."
Wales Rally GB is unique because it counts as two separate rounds of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship. The 73 stage miles on Friday count as one rally, with Saturday and Sunday classified as a totally different event. This means that there are a total of 40 championship points up for grabs.