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Hi. I posted this thread on the British Rallying section of the forum, however there has been such a good interest fron Irish Rallying fans that I thought I would post it here as well.

I know the competition is based over in England, however we are based 10 miles form Leeds/Bradford airport so cheap flights are a doddle, and last year 2 of our finalists came from Ireland! One of which has already registered for this years competition!

Next month sees the eagerly awaited launch of the 2006 Innovation Motorsports Go-Rallying.com Scholarship. With all rounds being held at the fabulous RallySchool UK forest complex near Leeds, potential applicants will once again be assessed on their driving, co driving and mechanical skills.

This unique rally scholarship was launched last year by Innovation Motorsports boss Chris Moore as part of an initiative to introduce newcomers to the sport, whilst finding the best drivers, co drivers and mechanics from both newcomers and experienced people alike. The successful team will be formed from the winning driver, co driver and two mechanics, and will take part in a fully funded season of rallying with the Innovation Rally Team. This year the winning team from 2005 are taking part in the inaugural Fiesta Sporting Trophy- arguably Britain’s most prestigious One Make Rally championship!

Speaking on behalf of the Scholarship, company director Chris Moore had this to say:

“So far the interest in the scholarship has been great. We appreciate how hard it is to get started in this sport, let alone make a name for yourself. So we sat down and devised a scholarship that caters for everyone. For anyone who has never even seen a rally car before, or who has been dying to get started in the sport but didn’t know how or just didn’t have the funds- this is the ideal place to start. Likewise for anyone who is currently competing but would like to make the step up to the next level- we would like to hear from them too!”

The most unique part of the Go-Rallying.com scholarship is that Innovation are looking not just for a driver, but also the co driver and two mechanics that form the rest of the team, so on round one each applicant is assessed on not only their driving ability, but also on their ability in each of the different roles in the team.

“It’s a fun, yet serious day of assessments that enable us to see what level people are at, whilst at the same time giving those who are undecided the chance to sample the different roles within the team. The day is packed full of driving [in the RallySchool UK Subaru Impreza’s and Peugeot rallycars], co driving [alongside professional rally drivers] and mechanical assessments [alongside professional rally mechanics]. At the end of the day we ask each applicant which role they would like to go for in the team, and those that have reached the required level are invited back to the second round- the semi final!”

“The semi final is a bit more intense, and focuses completely on the role you wish to go for in the team. drivers only cover driving related assessments, likewise co drivers and mechanics are only assessed on skills relating to the those roles within the team. The highest scorers in each of the three elements are then invited to take part in one final day of assessments, the Grand Final. Here they are once again scrutinized in great detail, and only the best are selected for the winning team!”

“One of the most important elements of the scholarship is that everyone has a great time. The assessments are all designed to be fun and enjoyable, however they also give us a chance to assess peoples hidden abilities. For example, Niki Savelio- one of last years winning mechanics, started out in the scholarship wanting to be a driver in the team, however after sampling the various mechanical assessments on the first round he decided that he would prefer to go for a mechanic. Remarkably he went on to win a place in the team!”

Commenting on the fantastic season that lies ahead, Dan Boardman, last years scholarship winning driver had this to say:

“I just couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won the scholarship last year.” He said.

“It was a dream come true! I really didn’t expect to win it- it was a really tough, but I enjoyed every minute of it. And then to find out I was going to be competing in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy, in a two car team alongside the boss of Innovation [Chris Moore] was just amazing! Chris has had a lot of success in one make rallying in the past- he really knows the game, so to have him as my mentor for the season is just fantastic! I’ve been desperate to compete at this sort of level for years, but I never thought it would be possible! We’ve all put a lot of work into making this year happen, so I’m just going to knuckle down and give it my best shot!”

The first round of the season has already got underway. The Malcolm Wilson Rally, held in the forests around Cockermouth- in Cumbria, was on March 11th and attracted twenty three identical Group N Fiesta ST 150’s. Both drivers performed impeccably on the event, with Chris using his experience to overcome two punctures to finish a fine 4th place overall, while Dan drove a fantastic race to bring the car back in 8th place, after he too suffered two punctures during the rally. The next event in the series co insides with the opening round of the British Rally Championship- the Pirelli Rally on May 14th. Chris has previously won the trophy event outright in a Peugeot 206, so he will be using his valuable experience once again to help bring both Fiestas home well within the points.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in this years scholarship is urged to register online at www.Go-Rallying.com as places are likely to fill up fast. Alternatively you can call Innovation Motorsports direct on 0800 1957822.

So far many of last years applicants have re entered this years scholarship, giving credit to the quality and value for money of this unique rally scholarship. Who knows, very soon you too could fulfil your dream of becoming part of a professional rally team!
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