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Picture1This week more than a hundred rally drivers from across the UK and overseas will hail to Dumfries for the Scottish Rally however under the close watch of RSAC Motorsport will be this year’ two scholarship winners.

Blair Brown (17) from Muckhart, Kinross and Callum Atkinson (22) from Lauder both received a package worth more than £1000 from RSAC Motorsport, including free entry to the Rally, and guidance from the diverse team that put on the event.

Preparations for the Dumfries-based forest stage rally have had the scholars travelling across the country, even globe for extra practice before the big day.

Callum, who is in his second year of the RSAC Motorsport scholarship, travelled to Sweden in February to further his driving skills on frozen lakes, by doing so he gained crucial car control and braking experience.

Blair gained a new sponsorship with QTS Group who alongside RSAC Motorsport are providing him with support and advice to further his rallying career plans.

Both Callum and Blair have competed the earlier rounds of the 2013 Ecosse Challenge to maximise the time behind the steering wheel  with co-drivers which is an essential for pre-Scottish rally practice.

They are both hopeful to be highly placed in this weekend’s rally.

Blair said: “My forest rallying is still in very early days, but I learnt a great deal on the previous event, the Granite City Rally in Aberdeen, this gives me greater confidence in my driving and I hope this reflects on my performance.

“As the Scottish Rally is such a fantastic event, it will allow me to continue my enormous learning curve. I hope to gain more experience of gravel rallying, over the course of the event and become an overall better driver. I am confident the Scottish Rally will be a great one.”

Callum said: “I am a little nervous about the Scottish concerning the media attention around the scholarship however I’m going into the event confident and hoping for another win. The financial side of the scholarship has been a huge help to me for post-rally repairs or upgrades we have made to the car.

“Having the free entry to the Scottish has allowed me to take part in the Jim Clark Rally to help keep the Scottish Championship Points and gain more seat time in the car which is always a great way to develop.”

Garry Headridge, Scholarship Administrator said ‘The Scholarship is not just about the money.  It’s about sharing our knowledge and expertise with the drivers.  It really is rewarding to see how they are developing.”

Callum and Blair will both be taking part in the pre-rally shakedown in a forest near Dumfries on Friday morning before washing the cars down to appear as part of the Ceremonial Start in Dumfries town centre on Friday night.

More than 20 of the top British Rally Championship crews will be in attendance with their cars from 7.00, signing autographs and answering questions for spectators. An ideal opportunity for families to get up close to the machinery that will take to the forests early on Saturday morning.

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