Ed Cobley rallies to victory in Rnd 5 of Defender Challenge Series

Ed Cobley wins Round 5 of the Defender Challenge by Bowler series, held at the Woodpecker Rally in Ludlow, Shropshire. Cobley now leads the Defender Challenge Championship with just two stages to go.

Land Rover-backed Race2Recovery team claim their fourth consecutive podium finish.

Ed Cobley claimed victory in Round 5 of the Defender Challenge by Bowler, as the Woodpecker Stages rally in Shropshire hosted the race series for the first time.

Six teams battled wet conditions in Ludlow, as their Bowler-prepared Land Rover Defender vehicles raced across 43 stage  miles of gravel tracks amongst some of the best forest stages in the country.

After a tough weekend of rallying, Cobley, helped by his co-driver Allan Jackson, topped the podium for a fourth  successive stage.

Cobley, who works as an instructor at the East of England Land Rover Experience in Leicestershire said: “I’m ecstatic to  make it four in a row, thanks to the Land Rover Defender 90. It was so slippy, but the car once again did everything we  asked it to do.

“It’s an iconic car, and I think this series is showing another element to the Defender. It’s been a brilliant event I’m  looking forward to the next round already.”

It was also a good weekend for the Land Rover-backed Race2Recovery team, who celebrated their fourth consecutive podium finish in Ludlow.

Driver Ben Gott said: “It was another brilliant race – the car is in tip top condition so we couldn’t ask for much more. It’s been a great weekend and to finish second was unexpected.

“It’s just the second event with the Defender 90, but I think we’re pretty much used to it now and are looking forward to the next event.”

2014 is the inaugural year of the Defender Challenge by Bowler race series, which features seven rounds, held across the UK. The series has been created to offer competitors a clear pathway to progress to further international rally raid competition such as the Africa Race and Dakar Rally.

Drew Bowler, Managing Director of Bowler Motorsport, who also raced at the Woodpecker Stages said: “The series is going really well and is delivering its aim of bringing in new people to this kind of motorsport. The feedback from the competitors is really good and everyone is enjoying it.”