Testing times ahead for Simpson
While Pirelli Star Driver Daniel McKenna and his British championship rival Osian Pryce will be gunning for victory in the international section of the Jim Clark Rally this weekend, Neil Simpson is contesting the national part of the asphalt event with one aim in mind.With round six of the European Rally Championship taking place in Belgium next month, Lancastrian Simpson is using the Scottish event as a test for the Ypres Rally, which takes place from June 19-21. Simpson, who is returning to competition this year following a lengthy break, will be up against almost 100 crews in the Pirelli-shod Skoda Fabia Super 2000 he shares with Duns-based co-driver Claire Mole.

“For us, the Jim Clark Rally is very much a test for the forthcoming Ypres Rally,” said Simpson, who finished fifth overall on his last Jim Clark Rally outing 14 years ago. “We haven’t driven the Fabia S2000 in the wet, so we’re hoping it’s going to be raining in the Scottish borders. It’s unusual for a driver to say that before a Tarmac rally, but it very often rains in Ypres, and when it does conditions out there are extremely difficult. Wet roads on the Jim Clark Rally will allow us to find a good wet-weather set-up for the car, which we can then take to Belgium and use if needed.”