Ribble Valley rally ace Russ Thompson gets his 2014 season under way this weekend, as he lines up on the entry list of the first round of the 2014 BTRDA Gold Star championship, the Wyedean Stages.
After winning the NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge in 2013, the 26 year old from Clitheroe will step up to compete in a four wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo 9 alongside long-term co-driver Andy Murphy as they compete in, what organisers dub the most prestigious championship in UK club rallying.
Taking place over nine, one day events across the UK and exclusively on gravel forest roads, the 2014 Gold Star Championship will present a very different challenge to Thompson, but is one he is relishing.
“It’s going to be a new challenge this year but it’s going to be nice to try something different after running in the BRC Challenge for four seasons.” said Thompson.
“Gravel is a surface I’m really comfortable on and although the speed of the new car will be a big difference to what I’m used to, I think we can have a good year.”
An impressive pre-season outing on the Red Kite Stages at the start of the month, suggests the growing process will be a quick affair after the pair finished second and showed an impressive turn of speed, in what was their first event in the new car.
Continuing to enjoy the backing of local firms Dunnow Plant, Proflex Suspension and Ribble Valley 4x4 and the support of a dedicated team of friends who form his on-event service crew, Thompson intends to be a contender as soon as possible.
“Andy and I are aiming to get up to speed and near the front as soon as we can, as the results in the class we are in have been very close over the last few years but we’re not going to be doing anything daft.”