by Geoff Mayes

Luke Pinder and co-driver Kim Baker are due to take the biggest step in their careers to date when they compete in the forthcoming Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2006 World Rally Championship.

Pinder and Baker will be at the helm of a brand new Total Motorsport Solutions run Citroen C2R2 as part of the ongoing development project in cooperation with Citroen Motorsport. Wales Rally GB will present the toughest test of the car, which will form the foundation of the new for 2007 TMS Citroen C2R2 Cup which will run within the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.

With support from Sintura, Pirelli Tyres and York based furniture manufacturer RK Furniture, a company owned by former Touring Car ace and long time supporter Rick Kraemer, 23-year-old Luke realises how fortunate he is.

"I am really lucky to find such loyal and faithful backers," he said. "Rick Kraemer bought my first autograss car when I was 13 and has supported me ever since. If TMS had not stepped in to assist me in 2005 I am not sure where my career would have gone. As it was, together we won the Peugeot 206 1400 championship that year and that led to a host of other opportunities including selection for the 'Dream Drive' award."

The first part of the award was attending the renowned Winter Rally school in Norway run by John Haugland. Another opportunity to shine was grabbed with both hands and a good working relationship has developed over the summer.

This was reinforced when Pinder was invited back to Norway to drive the Peugeot Sport owned celebrity car on a round of the Norwegian Rally Championship and further when Haugland invited Luke to Rally Bohemia for individual pace note training.

WRGB will be the first time that the young Yorkshireman has made his own pace notes and Pinder is looking forward to the challenge: "It is a long term ambition of mine to compete on Rally GB, I have been a spectator on the event for as long as I can remember, I think I was 14 months old when my dad took me to see it I have not missed many since then and it will be fantastic to finally compete."

Picture credits: Geoff Mayes Images -


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