by Geoff Mayes

North London based teenage rally driver Melis Charalambous will return to action on this weekends Woodpecker Stages following the summer break, and is planning to contest the Ludlow based event in his The Press backed Skoda Octavia World Rally Car.

Charalambous, who only began driving a year ago, has recently taken time out to visit family and friends in Cyprus, but admits that he has missed rallying a lot and is eager to get back in the car.

"The last rally I did was the Essex Charity Stages, back in July, so it's been quite a long time since I drove in competition," he said. "I'm really looking forward to this weekend, the rally is another new one to me, and so we'll adopt a cautious approach and gradually build up our pace.

Charalambous, who is co-driven by Welshman Marc Crisp, will conduct a shakedown test ahead of the weekend, to re familiarise himself with the workings of the M-Tec Developments run Skoda.

The pair are aware of the need to look after the car as the ex-works Skoda is currently up for sale.

The Woodpecker Stages count as the seventh round of the 2008 BTRDA Rally Championship and takes the competitors through some of the best forest stages in the area, including such classics as Haye Park and Radnor.

The first car departs from Ludlow Racecourse at 8am on Saturday 30 August and is due back at the finish at around 3pm.