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    Welshman Jason Pritchard can’t wait to head out to Lisburn this weekend for the Carryduff Forklift Down Rally, the first Northern Ireland rally event to be included in the Protyre UK Asphalt Championship.

    The fourth round of the Championship will be based at the Eikon Centre and Pritchard alongside his co-driver Phil Clarke will be up against a top class field and a number of challenging stages throughout the day.

    The 30-year-old, who is a three-time British Historic Champion, will compete in his Focus WRC on Saturday and it will be the first time he’s used the car on tarmac outside of the Isle of Man.

    Pritchard, who finished third and first in the first two rounds (Eypnt and Isle of Man), is aiming to bounce back after the disappointment of not finishing the stages in Belgium in round three:

    “I’m really looking forward to the event, the organisers have been superb from the very beginning and I know they will be putting on a fantastic rally this Saturday. “We were obviously dejected after not finishing in Belgium in the previous round, but that’s rallying. You must take the ups with the downs, it’s crucial for my championship that I finish with points on the board out in Northern Ireland on Saturday. “Nothing in Motorsport is certain so we just have to go out there on Saturday, do our own thing and most importantly, enjoy the rally.”

    The list of drivers for Saturday, which has been extended to 130 to accommodate the demand for entries, includes a whole host of top names and Pritchard knows the appeal of Saturday, to drivers and spectators alike:

    “I’ve known the event organisers for a long time and I know how much hard work goes into the rally, I’ll be starting the event as car number two out of 130 entries and I remember refreshing my computer screen when the entries opened to ensure I got in straight away.” “It’s not just the quantity of cars, it’s the quality as well. I know the event attracts many supporters and I’m aware that fans from Wales will be heading over as well, so I’m incredibly excited to get out there and get going. As always, I wouldn’t be able to compete on Saturday without the support from my sponsors: North Road Garage, Harkness competition tyres and Pirelli.”

    Saturday will be round four out of the six round series across the UK and Europe, next up after Northern Ireland for Pritchard will be round five back in Wales and the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally before the season-ending Keldine Autos Cheviot Stages Rally taking place on the Otterburn Army Ranges in Northumberland at the end of October.

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