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Fraser Anderson is aiming to get his British Rally Championship Academy Trophy title challenge back on track when he contests the longest and toughest event of his motorsport career when he tackles the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally for the first time in his Baxter and Gillespie-backed Ford Fiesta R2T.

The event will also be the 18-year old Helensburgh driver’s first closed road asphalt rally.

He and co-driver Jack Bowen have been super-fast this year and won the BRC Academy section on the Nicky Grist Stages and led the category by a country mile on both the following Grampian and Trackrod rallies.

However, the ME Rallysport team driver has been incredibly unlucky on the last two rounds of the BRC with retirement in both the Scottish and North Yorkshire forests ending a comfortable 26 and 48.7 second Academy lead respectively.

Having led the BRC Academy after round two, Fraser is now second in the standings, 50 points behind rival Johnnie Mulholland. But with 75 points still available from the three remaining rounds and the scores to drop system potentially working in his favour, there is still everything to play for.

“Mull will be by far the longest and hardest rally that I have ever done and the amount of Red Bull that I will be taking with me to try and keep myself awake will be insane,” says Fraser.

“I’ve only ever driven the Fiesta on asphalt around the Oulton Park racing circuit and we won’t have time to test the car before Mull either. The shakedown stage will be our pre-event test and it will be one of the most important stages we’ll do all event as it will allow me to acclimatise to driving the car on the unique bumpy narrow roads and confirm the car’s set up.

“We have new asphalt springs on the car and we’re going to keep the gravel dampers because we think that might work better on the bumpy roads. That set up will be new to me, as will the wet weather Pirelli tyres which I’ve never properly used before – and as it’s Scotland in October, I’m fairly certain we’ll end up using them at some point.

“The BRC Academy title is still on, but I’ve pretty much got to win every remaining round. That said, I’m going to put my sensible head on for Mull because it’s an event that I must finish.

“Whilst the ferry is only an hour away from where I live, I’ve only been to the Isle of Mull twice – once on a work visit and once on a camping holiday with my dad. I have no experience of driving there, so I’ve been looking at onboard videos and trying to prepare the best I can. There are a lot of crests and jumps, so we’ll be taking extra care to get the braking and positioning on the road correct. The recce’s going to be important as the pace notes will have to be perfect.

“I’m certainly looking forward to the Mull Rally and it will be great experience.”

Based on the island’s capital Tobermory, the 2021 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally starts at 19.30 on Friday 8 October. Leg 1 contains five night time stages totalling 50 miles, with the first car finishing at 00.33. Leg 2 starts at 11.20 on Saturday 9 October and contains a further eight stages totalling 51.5 miles. All of these stages are run in daylight, before an early evening rest halt prior to the start of Leg 3. That gets underway at 21.30 and contains a final four stages totalling 46 miles all run in the dark, including the Calgary Bay/Loch Tuath stage which at 21.89 miles is the longest of the rally. After all 17 special stages and 148 stage miles have been completed, the first car is due to reach the finish at 01.22 on Sunday 10 October.

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