Defender Challenge rides into Sherwood Forest

Round 3 of Defender Challenge will see seven teams take to the start line

Race to take place as part of Dukeries Rally in Nottinghamshire on Saturday 7th June

Round 3 of the Defender Challenge by Bowler series will take place this weekend as part of the Dukeries Rally in Nottinghamshire.

Fans will be able to see seven teams compete for top honours as the inaugural year of the Defender Challenge by Bowler rally series progresses into its third round.

Teams will be based at Southwell Racecourse, the hub of the 55th Dukeries Rally, where scrutineering will take place as well as the official start/finish and awards presentations activity. The rally course will test the teams and their Bowler-prepared Land Rover Defender 90 vehicles across 44 stage miles through Sherwood Forest, comprising dirt roads and loose gravel tracks including stages through the Sherwood Pines.

Competition amongst the Defender Challenge teams is building ahead of the race. Driver Edd Cobley is set to return after his victory in Round 1 at the Mid Wales Stages rally, whilst the Race2Recovery team will be aiming to build on their win in the last round, a race that also signalled their series debut. Damian Taft, a previous Camel Trophy rally competitor, will also be up for the battle as he seeks to hold onto his status as number one in the driver rankings.

Speaking ahead of race weekend, Race2Recovery Team Owner Ben Gott said: “It was great to get off to such a flying start in Round 2 of the Defender Challenge by Bowler. It was reward for the team’s efforts and also great to repay the support from our sponsors Land Rover who have made our entry into this series possible. The other teams will also be aiming to improve round-on-round so we’re relishing the increased competition.

“We’re also excited about our team development in relation to this rally series. A lot of people are aware of our team’s work with injured servicemen and women and our commitment to inspiring people through their rehabilitation. Over the coming rounds, we’ll be able to introduce new members to our team, including disabled civilians, and their participation in this series will offer them a great chance to gain rally experience in a variety of roles.”

2014 is the inaugural year of the Defender Challenge by Bowler and Round 3 will see the starting line-up feature seven teams, with more teams likely to join in upcoming rounds. The series has been created to offer competitors a clear pathway to progress to further international rally raid competition such as the Dakar Rally and the Africa Race.

Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "We're extremely pleased with the reaction that the Defender Challenge by Bowler race series has had so far. For a brand new rally series to already have seven registered teams by only the third round is a great achievement and goes to show how well the series has established itself in such a short space of time. It’s also clear from the spectator reaction that rally fans are enjoying the added dimension these Bowler-prepared Land Rover vehicles are adding to racing across the UK.”