Russ closing in on British Rally Championship glory

Russ Thompson at the wheel

Russ Thompson at the wheel

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Clitheroe rally driver Russ Thompson is on the brink of winning the NGK British Rally Championship Challenge - and earning a free drive in Wales Rally GB.

The 26-year-old goes into the final round of the championship, Rallye Sunseeker, in the Dorset and Hampshire forests, with a commanding leadafter three wins on five stages so far.

Russ won the Pirelli RBF Rally in Carlisle in May on gravel, and was second later that month at the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders countryside around Berwickshire on asphalt.

There followed a win at the RSAC Scottish Rally in June in Dumfries and Galloway on gravel, before, on the asphalt at the Todds Leap Rally in Northern Ireland, Russ was fourth before being over the time limit in race two.

But, back on gravel, he was back on track at Rally Yorkshire in Pickering, and this weekend he goes for the title at Rallye Sunseeker on his favourite surface.

Should he seal the championship this weekend, he would also earn a drive at Wales Rally GB - the largest and most high profile motor rally in the United Kingdom, which also incorporates a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

And Ross is hoping to maintain his form over the year: “Things have gone really well.

“We were second in he championship last year - we started getting good results after a pretty bad start, and felt we would be close this year.

“But we’ve done better than I thought - so far we’ve won most of the gravel events.

“The car is pretty similar, we’ve made minor changes, the main difference is having more experience this year I think.

“We have a good all-round package.

“We tend to go better on gravel as we’re not quite as powerful on tarmac, but we’ve still been on the podium.

“We’ve not won one yet, but hopefully we can change that.”

Russ, who drives a Renault Clio RC5, followed his father into the sport, and would love the chance to race at Wales Rally GB: “To win the championship would be fantastic, and it would be amazing to earn a drive at Wales Rally GB - it’s one of the biggest rallies in the world.

“I’ve done the stages before, but not the whole rally, so that would be a terrific experience.”

• This year’s spectacular Wales Rally GB (November 14-17th) is the thrilling climax to the globetrotting 2013 FIA World Rally Championship and you could experience all the high-flying action for FREE as we have a family set of tickets (for two adult and two children) to giveaway in this special competition.

Our lucky winners will not only get to experience one of the world’s most dramatic and exciting sports but will also enjoy a full day’s entertainment at Chirk Castle near Wrexham – one of three newly created RallyFest Stages.

As well as seeing the top class WRC stars and cars in action not once but twice, visitors to Chirk Castle will also be treated to a big screen with live coverage, catering village, live commentary, on-stage and static displays of historic rally cars, a chance to win some great prizes plus live music from The Establishment.

The four-day World Championship event is now based at a new Service Park in Deeside, Flintshire.

For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.walesrallygb.com

To win tickets to Wales Rally GB simply send the answer to the question below to chris.boden@jpress.co.uk by 5 p.m. on the closing date of October 31st:

This year’s new-look Wales Rally GB Service Park will be based at which of these three locations? 1) Conwy, 2) Deeside, or 3) Llandudno?