Twenty hopeful MG Rally Scholarship candidates today broke from their rigorous training to witness at first hand a World Rally bid announcement, involving their Masterclass mentor, former British Rally Champion Gwyndaf Evans.

Director of MG Sport and Racing, Kim Johnson, used the Silverstone Rally School assessment day to announce that former British Rally Champion Gwyndaf Evans will contest the Wales Rally GB (November 6-9) in virtually the same specification Group N MG ZR as those used by the scholars. Completing the uniquely British line-up in the final round of the World Rally Championship, ITV-F1 analyst Tony Jardine will once again run the class winning / Michelin MG ZR, co-driven by Kevin Eason, The Times Motoring Editor and Grand Prix Correspondent. Both entries will this year benefit from the support Michelin, tyre supplier to the world's elite motorsport outfits.

As the second of 10 regional assessments for Midlands based would-be rally stars, ten of whom will go forward to tackle eight national rallies in identical MG ZRs, competing for the ultimate prize of a fully funded drive in Evans' former Super 1600 MG ZR at an international rally, it was vital for candidates to witness a PR function at first hand.

"We test all the candidates not only for their driving skills, but memory retention, mechanical sympathy and PR skills" said Scholarship organiser Peter Young. "Today was a great practical lesson, but also aspirational, as competitors could see how far to set their sights and the many and varied skills required, as demonstrated by Evans and Jardine who will make a very complimentary team".

Evans himself commented: "It's great for the scholars to see that a comparable production class MG ZR to those used in their training will be driven in a World Rally event by myself and Tony. The MG Rally Scholarship represents a fantastic opportunity for the candidates and we are showing them that with some skill and effort they can go all the way"

Jardine went on to say: "From my own perspective, Gwyndaf is not just a mentor to our future stars but he is also a inspiration to rank amateurs like me who are still learning. I'm looking forward to my own Masterclass from him, likewise my co-driver Kevin Eason will be able to improve his own navigation skills with the help of Gwyndaf's experienced co-driver Clare Mole. We hope to be able to back Gwyndaf up with second place in the production class in our MG ZR"

In his role as Motoring Editor at The Times, Kevin Eason has interviewed some of the all time great race and rally drivers and could not stress enough how important it is for a journalist to be able to get a newsworthy quote from a driver: "Being able to talk to the media comfortably is key to a driver generating the required profile for himself and his sponsors. That said, Tony and I will be hoping that our actions speak even louder than our words when we tackle the Wales Rally GB in November!"

Tony and Kevin's next outing in the / Michelin MG ZR will be at the Bulldog Rally on October 18th.



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