Cottesmore rally driver George Morrison will resume his BTRDA Challenge assault this weekend as he heads to Builth Wells in Wales for the Nicky Grist Stages.
Having successfully completed the tough all-asphalt Manx Rally in May, Morrison was forced to skip the Carlisle Stages due to a fractured wrist but returns to the series in his MG ZR for the fourth round on Saturday.
With two solid finishes from two starts, Morrison finds himself second overall in the mixed surface championship and will start the gravel event with one eye on remaining in a podium position. Joined for this event by the MSA British Rally Championship, the BTRDA runners have found themselves nudged down the start order and Morrison will need to carefully guide his 1400cc MG through the ruts if he is to build on his championship position.
Morrison is guided by fellow HM Forces Mechanic Jon Quintrell who is enjoying his first ever year as a co-driver. Learning quickly, the newly formed duo have gelled well in the car this season and are pleased with their one hundred percent finished record in 2016. Their plan for this weekend’s event is most certainly to continue their run of form in the forests of Chrychan, Halfway and Route 60 which are famous for their inclusion in the final round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB in the past.
Now fully recovered from a mountain bike accident which ruled him out of the third round of the series, Morrison is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel again. “I haven’t done a gravel rally since April now so I’m under no illusion that we will take a few stages to settle into the event this weekend” said Morrison. “We had a really successful Manx rally on the closed public roads of the Isle of Man and that has certainly buoyed our championship chances but this is the halfway point of the season and there is a long way to go.”
Morrison is not too concerned about running at car 155 either. “It’s a huge entry and I’m sure the roads will be fairly cut up by the time we get to cross them, but the MG is a sturdy car and we will just have to pick our way through the rocks. It’s the same for all of us towards the tail end of the field so we will do our very best to stay out of trouble and bag more points for our championship.”
The Nicky Grist Stages offers over 40 miles of competitive action in the forests surrounding the Builth Wells rally base.
Morrison is backed this year by SMR Detailing and AB Motorsport.