Valentino Rossi and Stobart Motorsport will join forces next month for the Wales Rally GB in a bid to raise funds for Children in Need.

The Italian, who won the MotoGP title for the sixth time this year, will drive a Ford Focus RS with full Stobart livery and it will also incorporate the Children in Need logo and mascot Pudsey Bear.

A statement to the press added:

"In an effort to increase charitable donations for the Children in Need appeal the Stobart team are offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to one lucky person by putting up for auction a priceless item within the realms of world motorsport.

"In keeping with all Eddie Stobart trucks, and the team's other rally cars, the MotoGP star will sport a girl's name on the front of his car; and the choice of name will go the highest bidder in a charity auction.

"After the event, the name will then be transferred to one of the 1850 Eddie Stobart trucks where it will be cemented in the history books of the trucking Superbrand.

"The winner will also receive Stobart VIP hospitality for the event."

The auction will run from today [Friday November 14] until Friday 21 November and details on how to place a bid can be found at:

"We are very excited to have Valentino driving a Stobart car on Wales Rally GB and its only right that the company does its bit to help raise money for the Children in Need charity which he is driving for," said Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler.

"I am a great fan of Valentino's and it will be a massive compliment to have our brand on his car and it will really bring a lot of excitement to the whole team next month in Wales."

Rossi's outing in Wales meanwhile will be his third in the World Rally Championship, and while his first with a Michelin-backed Peugeot 206 WRC on the 2002 Rally GB didn't go well - he crashed out just 17 kilometres in - a run in New Zealand four years later was much more successful.

Indeed the seven-time world champion steered a Subaru Impreza WRC from 24th, to 13th and then 11th over the three days, setting a best stage time of seventh in the process.

"If two wheels are the big love of my life, 4 wheels, and especially rally cars, are surely my big passion!" said Rossi. "Having the chance to race at the Wales Rally GB and having, at the same time, the possibility to raise funds for Children in Need is something really special and I am very proud and happy. I cannot wait to be in the car and to have a lot of fun!"

The 29-year-old will be co-driven by Carlo Cassina, who has contested 24 WRC events in his career. Cassina's resume includes one victory on Rally Portugal in 1988 beside the last and only Italian to win the World Rally Championship for drivers, Miki Biasion.



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