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WWRS14 HarrisTwenty-three years after he last rallied, Phil Harris will make a comeback to the sport in this season’s West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship. The Northampton-based motor sport accountant is due to join the championship for the Mid Wales Stages in March in his Mini Cooper.

Phil has a long association with Minis as his late father Les was a regular co-driver for Bob Freeborough. In the 1960s, they were linked to the works BMC team and often competed in factory built Minis. The era had a big effect on the youngster.

“As a young boy I used to go to the BMC Competition Department at Abingdon and see people like Timo Makinen, Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk,” said Phil. “I grew up around Minis.” Later, Phil rallied a Mini of his own and now, 23 years on, has finally decided to make a comeback.

“I bought my Mini when I was 19 in 1976,” said Phil. “We built it into a rally car and had a whale of a time. I re-shelled it in 1989 and its last rally was the 1990 Hella Stages. Then I started a business and had to stop rallying.”

The Mini sat in the back of the garage for more than 20 years before Phil finally decided to make a return to the sport. The car has now been completely rebuilt by Towcester-based Rob Smith Rallying.

“I gave the car to Rob to sort out and it has now had a bare shell rebuild. I hadn’t thought about rallying it for 23 years but now I can’t wait!” He will contest the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup within the R.A.C. Rally Championship.

To complete the family story Phil will be co-driven by his two nieces, Helen and Jenny Bradshaw, during the season.

The 2014 R.A.C. Rally Championship starts on the Red Kite Stages on Sunday 2 February and more details are available from http://www.redkitestages.co.uk

The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship is the only championship that runs historics first on the road on all events.

More details about the R.A.C. Rally Championship can be found at http://www.racrallychamp.org Follow the championship on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/RACrallychamp and on Twitter: @RACRallyChamp.

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