Roger Albert Clark Rally countdown, Paul Griffiths‏

Crews and teams and now making final preparations for this year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally (28-30 November) and to mark the final week before the rally, we’ve asked a number of leading contenders for their thoughts about the coming event.We’re publishing one set of answers every day this week and we continue with Paul Griffiths who starts at number 9 in his Ford Escort Mk2 with Iwan Jones on the notes. It will be Paul’s first competitive outing since he finished second on the 2013 event and his car has since had a bare-shell rebuild.How tough will it be in Kielder? “Kielder is always tough. There can be a lot of changes in the road surface, and you have to be neat and tidy. But it can also be a very quick place, with long narrow straights and crests and some corners can be sandy at times. Kielder at night is a very hard place to drive quickly: it always rains and mist or fog can be an issue. You cannot attack the corners as there are deep drainage ditches each side and a good co-driver is so important. Sometimes it does not feel that you are going quickly, but being neat and tidy can make your times quick in there.”

Who should be setting the pace? “Matt Robinson and Nick Elliott will be very quick and Matt Edwards also along with Julian Reynolds if the car is good. All these guys have done a lot of events and seat time is a big plus. On paper Robinson should walk it as he has done so many rallies this year, but it’s a long event and car issues can affect the results.”

Who will be the surprise of 2014? “The surprise could be the German in the Porsche: he talks a good fight in the press!”

When will the rally be won and lost? “Saturday evening and Sunday are where it will all happen, with stage after stage. If you can be in the top six at the start of Sunday, then you have a chance.”

Will the night stages be critical? “Night rallying is always critical, even more so with a map rally. However the plus with night stages is that your tyres do not get as much stick as you drive more neatly.”

For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit‘This Sunderland event is brought to you by MAKE it Sunderland’

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