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Baja GB: Dakar-Star Derrick Edmondson enters englisch Baja.

Burntwood's Derrick Edmondson is the latest name to enter the inaugural Baja GB, a candidate round for the FIA International Cup for Bajas, which takes place in mid Wales on August 18th-20th. Edmondson has tackled the Dakar Rally on a KTM motorcycle in recent years and the UAE Desert Challenge, the final round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, at the wheel of a Land Rover Warrior. On this occasion the experienced campaigner has entered his diesel-engined Warrior in the T1 category.

"I am looking forward to the Baja and supporting Britain's first real entry into top level Baja-type rallies," said Edmondson, who runs a KTM franchise from Norton Canes, near Cannock. "I will drive a BMW 3.0-litre diesel-engined Warrior. I used the car all last year in the Goodyear Off-Road Challenge and had success in the clubman class. I entered these events to gain my international licence so that I could have a go at the UAE Desert Challenge. I was lying fourth overall behind the factory Mitsubishis with a day to go and then I had some technical problems."

Edmondson will be co-driven by Cannock's Neil Ruffle. "Neil co-drove for me on some special stage rallies in the past and was the top British finisher on a motorcycle in last year's Qatar Baja." Other car entries received in the last few days include Mike Jones from Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds and Rick Spurgeon from Brixworth, near Northampton, while Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Ian Myers will be hoping for success in the motorcycle category in the saddle of his 525 cc KTM.

The organisers have also confirmed a new service and camping area for the event at The Farm in Bleddfa and race officials admit that this will give more space for marshals, competitors and officials, close to all the facilities and rally headquarters. Catering will be available in a large marquee on site throughout the event and there will be toilets and showers on hand.

Baja GB officials have also confirmed that Diana Andrews will provide commentary, not only at the ceremonial start in Llandrindod Wells on Friday evening (August 18th) and at the finish on Sunday afternoon, but also at the Service Out control of each section in the service area. The official finish has also been moved to the service area to enable marshals, guests, families and service crews to attend.

"This week has been particularly busy, fine tuning the logistics of the event and getting the course ready in Radnor forest," said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the MSA's Cross-Country Committee and Clerk of the Course for Baja GB 2006. "We have extended the entry closing date to allow stragglers to get their entries in and I will be chasing those who have pledged to enter and have not yet sent off the relevant paperwork!"

Baja GB has the full backing of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Forestry Commission Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and Andrew Davies, the Welsh Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

Regulations and entry information for the motorcycle, quad and car categories are available from the Baja GB office, Tel: + 44 1686 626641, Fax: + 44 1686 626218, e-mail: [ ] and online at [ ].

The entry fee for cars has been reduced to £600 and the closing date for bike, quad and car entries has been extended to August 10th. Potential entrants in the National class must ensure that their vehicles comply with Blue Book regulations.

2006/07/31 I 16:14 CET I Editor: Perkins

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