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Rallyschool boosts junior support.

THE Chris Birkbeck Rallyschool in Brotton have extended their agreement to sponsor the Junior Rallycross Open Championship next year.

The series features 14-17-year-olds - among them Stokesley's Kelly Bird - competing in identical one litre Rover Minis.

Rallyschool owner Chris Birkbeck said: "The 2008 Chris Birkbeck Rallyschool Junior Rallycross Open Championship was a tremendous success, producing one of the best seasons of racing in the category.

"Several of the junior drivers have spent time at the Rallyschool throughout the year and their improvement on circuit has been noticeable in a number of areas.

"We are delighted to have extended our agreement with the Open Championship into 2009 and look forward to being again part of one of the best Rallycross Championships in Europe," he added.

As part of the agreement, the Rallyschool will reward the top three drivers in the Junior Championship at the end of the season with a day's test drive/tuition with a leading rally driver.

In addition, a representative from the Rallyschool and PSM Motorsport Ltd will select the two most improved drivers after round four of the championship to receive a day's tuition at the Rallyschool as a prize.

The Rallycross Open Championship will also run a three-day Junior Rallycross Camp at the Rallyschool between April 14-16.

Meanwhile "Mad" Mark Watson has confirmed he will defend his overall Rallycross Open title next year.

The Barnard Castle driver will again be at the wheel of his division one Citroen Xsara, which brought him the crown in both 2007 and 2008.

The Xsara will be going to Tony Bardy Motorsport in Scotch Corner over the winter for an engine rebuild and Watson is hoping to gain more power from the engine for the new season which gets underway at Croft on March 22.

"We enjoyed some close racing last season," he said, "and we are aiming to build on that during 2009."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2008
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