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Cheltenham rally ace Charlie Robinson will kick start his 2017 assault on the GwynneSpeed Rally Challenge this weekend as he contests his home event, the Get it Sideways Stages at Down Ampney.

After sporadic outings in the popular single make championship for the Citroen C2’s in 2016, Robinson will now mount a campaign on the series in a bid to better his round seven win at Pembrey last season. He will be backed by aerial imaging experts Active Drone Services.

Robinson is joined by co-driver Kevin Wills and the duo are hoping for a strong result in the Cotswolds on Saturday (1stApril). With Robinson missing the opening round of the championship, the emphasis for the event will be ‘points’ as he aims to secure a decent start to his campaign.

The C2 Challenge has been a breeding ground for rallying talent since its inception in 2014.  With up to a dozen competitors contesting the series in identical specification machines, the Challenge ensures that talent wins over budget and provides a level playing field throughout the championship.

The Challenge consists of eight rounds on both asphalt and gravel and take crews from Wales to Northamptonshire. This weekend’s event at Down Ampney is closest to Robinson’s Cheltenham home.

The 28 year old is looking forward to getting his season underway after just four outings in the Citroen last year.

“It feels like I`ve been out of the car for quite some time now so it’s great to be able confirm that we will do at least five rounds of the championship this season” says Robinson.

“We took the Challenge win at Pembrey last year and several fastest stage times throughout the season but we really didn’t do enough events to secure a decent place in the championship.  Thanks to the backing we have from Active Drone Services and Cotswold Electricians that we can commit to the season and hopefully get another win or two”.

As the competition is so evenly matched however, Robinson is aware that it will be a tough ask to get a podium on his first outing for over six months.

“Due to the nature of the series and the fact we have identical cars, it really does show if you have been out of the car for a while” he continues.

“But Down Ampney can be an unforgiving venue so we will just try and build the pace throughout the day and keep it out of trouble. It would be nice to start the season off on the right foot.”

The Get it Sideways Stages takes place on Saturday 1st April and consists of around 50 stage miles all contained within the disused airfield near Cirencester.

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