08 August, 2007

Irish rally superstar to drive Eklund Saab in Belgium

From ERC24, by Tim Whittington:

Ulsterman Nesbitt has raced in Rallycross twice before, driving Pat Doran’s Escort WRC at Brands Hatch in 2004 and racing George Tracey’s MG Metro 6R4 at Mondello Park last winter. It is Tracey who has encouraged Nesbitt to try his hand in the ERC.

“I’d spoken with George [Tracey] about doing an event or two a couple of times and we got to a stage where logistics meant it was going to best to use a car from Per Eklund. I was away on business recently and when I came back it was all arranged,” said Nesbitt, for whom Rallycross is an addition to his rally events.
“I hope to do one or two more rallies this year, Rallycross is a good way to keep my hand in, I’m certainly not ready to hang up my gloves and stop rallying yet. I enjoy Rallycross, it’s a very sociable event and you can do your racing and then be back in the office the next day, it’s less time consuming than rallying.”

Nesbitt first came to prominence in 1996 when he won the Donegal International Rally in a Toyota. In a successful period driving Subarus he subsequently won the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in 2000 and 2002 and took an historic hat trick (2002, ’03 and ’04) of wins in the Jim Clark Rally.
Nesbitt also drove a Subaru in Sweden in 2004 where he made his WRC debut. More recently he has driven for Mitsubishi in WRC and Irish events.

At present Nesbitt is only certain to race in the Belgian event, although there is a possibility that he may extend his deal to include the following weekend’s Dutch ERC round. Although Nesbitt has relatively little experience of driving in Rallycross he is familiar with the sport and regular in the BRC paddock where his younger son Matthew races in Junior Rallycross.

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