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Leading Australian tarmac rally specialists Adam Spence and Erin Kelly will swap their French wheels for a Japanese car on Scottish tar, taking on the famous Jim Clark Rally in the UK on May 31.


Spence, from NSW, and Kelly, Qld, are top contenders in the sealed-surface Australian Targa Championship, recently winning the Showroom Class at Targa High Country in their Renault Megane RS250. In a first for the pairing they will travel 18,000km to compete an international maximum specification, 235hp Group N Honda Civic Type R rally car provided by front-wheel drive specialists EuroRallye.


The two-day National A-level event, consisting of more than 160 competitive stage kilometres on closed public roads around the host town of Duns in Scotland, is the only closed road rally on public roads in the UK. The competition is fierce - Spence and Kelly will be up against competitors in the the UK’s premier rally series, the MSA British Rally Championship.


Inaugurated in memory of Jim Clark, Scotland's first World Formula 1 Champion who was killed in a racing accident at Hockenheim in 1968, the rally was first held in 1970 as a round of the Shell/Motor World Scottish Rally Championship, and has been run every year since.


The Jim Clark stages have a reputation for being extremely fast with big jumps, ditches and hedges to catch out the unwary. Crowd numbers in excess of 25,000 are expected at this year’s event, where over 3000 spectators can be crowded around a single corner!


Spence says the television coverage of UK asphalt rallies first stirred the pairing’s interest.

“Erin and myself are living the dream by competing in the Jim Clark Rally,” he said.


“We decided to have a crack at a UK event, and this seemed the obvious choice as it has a mixture of everything. The roads are narrower than in Australia, but just as fast, and the jumps will be a real challenge.


“Erin and I have a number of stage wins behind us now. If we can get a single stage win in our category at this event it will be a true highlight and a dream come true!”


Kelly added: “When Adam asked me about the rally, I said yes without hesitation. It is a new challenge for us both, and will be an amazing experience to represent our country.”


Iain Shirlaw from Eurorallye, which is supplying the car and support for the Australian pairing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Adam and Erin to the EuroRallye team for the Jim ClarkRally. The car is now undergoing a full strip down and preparation for the event. I am looking forward to see how Adam adapts to the naturally aspirated Honda in comparison to the turbocharged Renault that he is used to.”



To follow the team as they prepare and represent Australia in this iconic event, visit Redbackracing.com.au or follow on twitter at @redbackracingau

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