Ellon ace Clark ready to tackle Turkey test

Aberdeenshire 25-year-old Barry Clark will make his second World Rally Championship appearance in four weeks when he tackles the opening stages of the inaugural Rally Turkey.

The Ellon driver, who safely negotiated his way through last month’s Rally Jordan as a last-minute replacement for Argentine driver Luis Perez Companc, will again drive his Ford Focus RS WRC 07.

And the Scot, whose primary aim is to again build on his learning experience, will pack his car with spares in an effort to guarantee he gets to the finish in good time.

“We’re taking nothing for granted,” the talented young Scot, who also works at the M-Sport team in Cumbria where Ford’s WRC cars are built, said at his Antalya base yesterday (Thurs). 

“We’ll have some track control arms, and maybe get some steering arms and compression struts in as well. Basically, whatever we can fit in the car.

“I know my way around a Focus! In fact, when this car retired at the end of day two in Greece when Aris Vovos was driving it, I spent the next day preparing my own rally car for this event. Plus, the cars all have a fairly comprehensive toolkit with them as well, so I’ll be ok.”

Clark, who finished just outside the top 10 on his WRC debut in Jordan last month, was initially to take part in one WRC event in 2008 using a Ford Focus RS WRC07, part of his prize for winning the 2007 Fiesta Sporting Trophy International series.  

However, as a result of that success he was able to secure additional sponsorship to compete on two more events behind the wheel of last year’s WRC Manufacturer Championship-winning car.  

In addition to Turkey, he will take on Rallye de France – Tour de Corse, which he has contested once before in 2006 and finishing seventh in the FSTi category.  To wrap up the year he will contest the closing WRC round, Wales Rally GB, at which he has had three previous outings in 2003, 2006 and 2007. 

Defending world rally champ Sebastien Loeb starts the three-day event as favourite. The Frenchman, piloting his Citroen leads the Ford of Mikko Hirvonen by just one point in the title race.


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