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CC Inaugural Baja GB gets underway in Wales on Friday evening

MOTORSPORT

BAJA GB 2006
Britain’s all-new candidate for FIA International Cup for Bajas

For immediate release
Monday, August 14th, 2006

INAUGURAL BAJA GB GETS UNDERWAY IN
LLANDRINDOD WELLS NEXT FRIDAY EVENING

Norwegian, French and Bahraini teams face British Baja contingent;
Britain’s leading quad and bike entrants prepare for Baja GB

NEWTOWN (Wales): The Baja GB 2006, Britain’s inaugural entry into international Baja-type rallying, gets underway from Llandrindod Wells in Mid-Wales on Friday, (August 18th), with an impressive line-up of cars, bikes and quads set to tackle up to seven selective special stages in the nearby Radnor Forest complex on Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th.

The brainchild of officials at Marches 4x4 Ltd, Britain’s first ever official candidate event for the FIA International Cup for Bajas has the full backing of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Forestry Commission Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and Andrew Davies, the Welsh Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

~Britain is an important market for automobiles and an event like the Baja GB has been a long time coming,” said Derek Ledger, FIA Vice President-Sport and Chairman of the FIA Cross-Country Rally Commission. “We, at the FIA, wish the event every success and hope that it becomes an important and integral part of the Cross-Country calendar.”

There will be two classes in the car category, with drivers in T1 and T2 models eligible for the International section and other drivers running in the National class.

One of a number of late entries came from the French duo of Nicolas Gibon and Marc-Antoine Lenud in a 4.9-litre Bowler Wildcat. The Le Havre driver has tackled the Dakar Rally on several occasions and rounds of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. Norwegians Nick and Ivar Tollefsen and regular Middle East rally driver Hassan Al-Sadadi, from Bahrain, also head the foreign contingent in a trio of powerful Bowler Wildcats.

They face competition from the likes of Burntwood’s Derrick Edmondson (Desert Warrior), Northern Ireland’s David Johnston (Bowler Wildcat), Banwell’s Nick Tidboald (Bowler Wildcat), Cheshire’s Michael Jones (Desert Warrior) and Chepstow’s Richard Hopkins in a Land Rover Discovery.

Bridgnorth’s Ian Rochelle wheels out his Bowler Wildcat, while Teignmouth’s Frazer Williams, Derbyshire’s Jeremy Fearn, recent Baja de France winner Hugh Haines and Chipping Campden’s Mike Jones are confident of reaching the podium. Both Matlock’s Trevor Milner and Chipping Norton’s Ray Kempster have entered a pair of powerful Milner Pro Trucks, with Somerset’s Pete Rowe, Leeds-based Glen McKeith and Hinckley’s Ryan Cooke at the wheel of a trio of Land Rover derivatives.

Regular international cross-country riders Clive Town, Patsy Quick, Stephen Malone and Ian Myers head the motorcycle contingent, while Richmond-based journalist Paul Blezard intends to compete on his KTM 450 EXC, with which he competed in Libya back in February 2006.

Quick and Town completed the punishing Dakar Rally for the first time this season, while Newcastle-based Myers and Wilmslow’s Malone are no strangers to foreign events. Bournemouth’s Ray Watton is the sole non-KTM entrant, while the Austrian manufacturer is also represented by Burnopfield’s Brian Eland, Tadcaster’s Darren Duesbury and Sherborne’s David Dickinson.

With a new affiliation to the ACU, Baja GB is also open to quad riders. Shipston-on-Stour rider Richard George rides a Honda and faces a dual Bombardier challenge from Lepton’s Mat Harrison and Wimborne’s Daniel Upton. Doncaster’s Matt Lee looks set to ride a Yamaha Raptor.

~Many people have put many hours into making this event possible and it is with great pride that we will run Britain’s first-ever Baja next weekend,” said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the MSA's Cross-Country Committee and Clerk of the Course for Baja GB 2006. “We all hope that this event will become an integral part of the British motorsport calendar and will continue to grow in stature over the coming years.”

The event will be recorded by a film crew from Pit Lane Productions in London and the footage will be shown in an extensive highlight programme on Sky Sports television’s World Motorsport programme.

After a ceremonial start by The Lake in Llandrindod Wells on Friday evening from 19.00 hrs, where competitors will be flagged away by the Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, Councillor Tony Phillips, and Lembit Opik MP, quads and bikes will leave the first control at 07.00 hrs on Saturday, August 19th and will be followed by the international and national category cars.

Quads and bikes will tackle the forest stage three times on Saturday, while cars will tackle four laps. On Sunday, August 20th, quads and bikes will tackle two laps and cars will be offered three, with the official finish taking place in the Bleddfa service park from 16.00 hrs.

Spectator information
1. Fishpools - Point one can be found on the A488 between Crossgates and Monaughty. Access will be signposted and is on OS map 148 - 188 682. Follow the track into the woods and marshals will direct you to parking areas. Action throughout Saturday and Sunday.
2. Kinnerton – Point can be found by turning off the B4372 at Kinnerton and following the single track into the woods. The entrance is on OS map 148 – 235 642. Marshals will be on hand to direct you into parking areas. Action throughout Saturday and Sunday.
3. Rally HQ/Service Park - The Baja GB rally headquarters is at Nant-y-corddi, two miles on the Bleddfa side of Monaughty on the A488. Leave the road on OS map 148 – 225 680.

Leading entries
Cars –
Hassan Al-Sadadi/TBA Bahrain Bowler Wildcat
Nicolas Gibon/Marc-Antoine Lenud Le Havre Bowler Wildcat
Nick Tollefsen/Ben Gott Oslo, Norway Bowler Wildcat
Ivar Tollefsen/Quin Evans Oslo, Norway Bowler Wildcat
David Johnston/Tim Hamilton Northern Ireland Bowler Wildcat
Hugh Haines/TBA Caerphilly Bowler Wildcat
Derrick Edmondson/Neil Ruffle Burntwood Range Rover
Frazer Williams/Dave Thomas Teignmouth Land Rover
Jeremy Fearn/Martin Gould Derbyshire Bowler Wildcat
Peter Rowe/Quentin Wright Somerset Land Rover
Ray Kempster/Ivan Dudley Chipping Norton Milner Pro Truck
Mike Jones/Rick Spurgeon Chipping Camden Land Rover
Ian Rochelle/TBA Bridgnorth Land Rover
Glenn McKeith/Caroline Smith Leeds Land Rover
Nick Tidboald/Philip Peak Banwell Bowler Wildcat
Ryan Cooke/Chris Cooke Hinckley Land Rover
Michael Jones/Paul Round Betchton Desert Warrior
Richard Hopkins/Gary Torosyan Chepstow Land Rover
Trevor Milner/Andrew Lees Matlock Miner Pro Truck

Bikes
Patsy Quick Heathfield KTM 660 Rally
Clive Town Heathfield KTM 660 Rally
Paul Blezard Richmond KTM 450 EXC
Ian Myers Newcastle-upon-Tyne KTM
Stephen Malone Wilmslow KTM
Darren Duesbury Tadcaster KTM 660 Rally
Ray Watton Winton Honda
Brian Eland Burnopfield KTM BCE
David Dickinson Sherborne KTM 525XC

Quads
Richard George Shipston-on-Stour Honda
Daniel Upton Wimborne Bombardier
Matt Harrison Lepton Bombardier
Matt Lee Doncaster Yamaha Raptor

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, Baja GB Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, NCH Building, Upper Bar, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 7EH, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 1952 825078, Fax: +44 1952 825001, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).




Date issued: 14/08/2006

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com

Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

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