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Co-driver Woodburn set to tackle Belgian roads

Steve Rokland/Tom Woodburn in their Peugeot 208 R2 in Carlisle. Picture: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Steve Rokland/Tom Woodburn in their Peugeot 208 R2 in Carlisle. Picture: Jakob Ebrey Photography
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Morecambe rally co-driver Tom Woodburn will make his first competitive outing in Belgium for five years this week, as he tackles round two of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, The Yenties Ypres Rally alongside current Junior series leader, Steve Rokland.

Woodburn, 23, guided the Norwegian to a dominant win on the opening round of the series at the Pirelli International Rally, taking fastest time all but one stage of the event to cross the finish ramp over a minute ahead of the nearest rival in their 
Peugeot 208 R2. Despite being in his eighth year of competition and enjoying success in Kenya, Barbados and Scandinavia as well as the UK, Woodburn has somewhat less experience of the forthcoming Belgian roads.

However, his short-lived outing in 2013 at the Monteberg Rally Sprint will be a valuable asset for the pre-event favourites as Rokland has never visited in the country before.

As the championship makes the shift from the gravel of Kielder forest in Cumbria to the closed public roads of Belgium the aim for Woodburn will undoubtedly be to extend his seven-point lead in the championship standings, despite the tough competition in the Junior BRC category.

“I knew that we would be competitive in Carlisle but winning the Pirelli by such a margin was a real confidence boost for Steve and I and a great way to start the season,” said Woodburn.

“It wasn’t without its issues either, so we could have easily had a bigger gap to play with, but the result was important and it’s vital we carry that momentum into Ypres.”