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Up-and-coming rally driver Finlay Retson will take on the biggest challenge of his short career, by tackling a round of the FIA World Rally Championship next week, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4th -7th October).

The 18-year old will be one of the youngest drivers in the rally and will contest the gruelling four-day event behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R2. Based in Deeside near Chester, the event plays host to the final two rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship and the Blairgowrie pilot is still in with an outside chance of taking the hotly contested Cadet Cup title after a stunning victory at the Ulster Rally in August.

Having contested only three British Championship rounds this season, Retson will now make his debut on the world stage where he will share the same forest tests as the best drivers in the business.

Whereas a typical BRC round lasts around 80 – 120 kilometres, Wales Rally GB consists of an awe-inspiring 318 kilometres of competitive action, spread across 23 demanding stages in Wales. Classic tests such as Penmachno, Dyfi and Myherin are considered by World Championship drivers as some of the toughest in the series and Retson will be making a bid to snatch the Cadet Cup on the final round of the season.

Retson has been a successful graduate of the F1000 Scottish Junior series for 14-17-year-olds, in which he secured the title in 2016. After passing his test early in 2017, Retson headed into the BTRDA Fiesta ST Trophy, where he took his inaugural win on only his fourth event in the car.

His season in the British Championship has been a troubled one thanks to bad luck and mechanical woes, but his Ulster victory has put him back in contention of the title next week. The event will be split into two points scoring opportunities with the first available after the final stage on Friday night. The next, comes as crews cross the finish podium in Llandudno Promenade on Sunday evening and Retson needs to win both rounds to stand a mathematical chance of being the victor.

It’s a lot to take in for the young Scottish ace, but he feels he is ready for the challenge ahead.

“This is pretty much a dream come true to be contesting Wales Rally GB,” said Retson.

“As a youngster, I had always wanted to compete on this rally against the best drivers in the world on the same stages. It really is as good as it gets but I can’t let the occasion get the better of me next week. It really is an outside chance of taking the Cadet Cup but I have to be focused from the very first stage. It’s going to be a tough rally that’s for sure”.

Retson will endure two long days of pre-event reconnaissance before the rally kicks off with a spectator stage on Thursday evening. Two arduous days follow before the rally finishes in a closed road spectacular in the streets of Llandudno on Sunday afternoon.

“Wales Rally GB is undoubtedly the longest and hardest events I’ve ever done and is equivalent to about three BRC rounds all on one weekend. I can’t really approach this in the same way as the other events I’ve done and it will be a feat in itself just to get to the finish. It won’t be easy, but I`ll be enjoying every single stage mile.”

Retson is supported by DJR Services, JSR Services – Blairgowrie Ltd, G S Robertson Ltd, LHS Logistics, JoAgri Ltd, Kevin Donachie Electricians, West Ranga Properties, Robert Morton Joiners & Contractors, Vital Equipment Limited, Andrew Wood Motorsport, CSP Abnormal Load Escorting, GLD Group, The Binn Group and Results Gym Forfar.

Image credit Jakob Ebrey Photography

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