The battle to become 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge champion will be settled on the seventh and final round, the North-Wales based Bulldog Rally, next weekend.

Currently sharing the championship lead are David Bogie and Nik Elsmore, both drivers tying on 44 points. With three Evo Challenge wins under his belt this season, Bogie is best placed to lift the crown and can do so by finishing fifth or higher.

However, it's never that easy and drivers often say that competing at a less than flat-out pace can lead to lapses in concentration - so the pressure is on for the young Scot.

With competitors having to drop a score from one of the championship's seven rounds it means that Elsmore, who has finished all the events so far, starts the Bulldog Rally in the knowledge that he will have to drop at least six points. Therefore, he has to cross the line ahead of the rest and is relying on Bogie, who has already dropped a score, not to finish.

With Richard Cathcart withdrawing from the championship, the trio of remaining contenders for the Evo Challenge title are Neil McCance (38 points), Daniel Barry (36 points) and Keith Cronin (36 points). All three are relying on Bogie not getting to the finish and will need to be at the front of the field in order to become champion.

Although not having enough points accrued to bid for the title, Thomas Naughton and Jonathan Sparks will be seeing their seasons' out and, if any of the drivers battling at the front allow the pressure to get to them, then there is a good chance that these two stalwarts of the championship may well end their year with an excellent result.

It should not be forgotten that the battle to become the Evolution Challenge champion co-driver is also to be fought out next weekend, the aspirants for this category being Martin Brady and Kevin Rae.

The rally also hosts the conclusion of the PIAA Junior Award for under 25-year-old drivers, Bogie, Cronin and Barry being the eligible candidates for the prize. The event also provides the finale of the Performance Friction Brakes Cup, which is currently led by Elsmore.

The Bulldog Rally starts and finishes in Oswestry, with the competitive element taking place in the forests near Dolgellau. The event is also the final round of the Pirelli MSA National Gravel Championship, which sees an overall entry of 42 cars, the Evolution Challenge representing 17 per cent of the field.

Announced in August, the Evolution Challenge continues to offer its champion one of the best prizes in British Motorsport, the winner of the 2008 series being given an official works drive in this year's Wales Rally GB in a brand new Group N Evolution X.

The winning driver will also be considered for selection when details are announced about Mitsubishi's 2009 works campaign.



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