Australian co-driver, Anthony McLoughlin, has spoken glowingly of his driver of six years, Liu Chao Dong, who passed away on Wednesday.

The Chinese Rally Champion died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 26.

"It’s a very big shock, not only for me but for all that knew him," McLoughlin told RallySport Mag.

"I have spent the last six years co-driving for Dong and we have had great success, winning three Chinese Championships and last year we both achieved a life long dream, competing in Rally Great Britain in an official Ford Focus World Rally Car.

"He was a great guy and a great mate and will be sorely missed," he said.

McLoughlin flies to China today (Friday) for Dong's funeral, to be held on Saturday.
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