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Cottesmore rally driver George Morrison will kick off his 2017 assault on the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series with this weekend’s Somerset Stages Rally (8th April).

After contesting the BTRDA Rally Challenge last season, Morrison and co-driver Jon Quintrell finished an impressive second in the series and will once again use their 1400cc MG ZR to tackle the all-gravel championship.

The HM Forces Mechanic has had to delay his first outing this year due to work commitments but will head to the Minehead based event in a bid to make up for lost time and missing out on the opening round in Cumbria.

Morrison is no stranger to the championship and contested the BTRDA series in 2016 which encompassed the MG ZR Challenge, but victory eluded him in the close-fought championship.  This year, Morrison has set his sights on a class win during the season and is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel in Somerset.

“It feels like it’s been a very long time since I was last out competitively, the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was September last year so I hope I can remember what to do” says Morrison.

“We had quite a lot to get used to last year and the mixed surface events were a great challenge but pretty hard going. Jon had never co-driven before either so he had to learn everything from scratch. It was tough for the first few events but he picked it up really quickly and we began getting some decent results”.

But Morrison is aware it will be tough to bag a podium in the 1400C class this season.

“There are some pretty experienced people doing the championship this year so we do have to take each event as it comes. I can’t expect to jump right in after seven months out of the car and get a win or podium; it will take a few events to bed in.  But I really can’t wait to get going again, I’ve certainly missed it.

The Somerset Stages is also a round of the Army Stage Rally Championship and Morrison will return to the series to defend the title he won last year.  Despite Morrison’s win, co-driver Quintrell lost out on the series win and finished third.

“It was a great achievement to win the Championship last season as it was pretty hotly contested and only decided on the last round, but I`m gutted Jon couldn’t quite get the title. Hopefully this year we can both be at the top of the standings at the end of the year!”

The Somerset Stages Rally takes place on Saturday 8th April and consists of around 40 competitive miles of action in the forest around Exmoor.

Credit image to Jemma Watson

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