PENCOMBE rally driver George Thomas has been selected for a highly coveted place in the MSA British Rally Academy. A panel of experts comprising of David Lapworth, Mike Broad, Phil Mills and Robbie Head selected five drivers and three co-drivers from the UK.

This, the first ever British Rally Academy intake, comes after a bumper entry of more than 50 of Britain's young rally talent applied to be part of the entry-level scheme. It aims to take British National B and single-make rally participants to British Rally Championship level and beyond.

Based at Edinburgh University, the scheme uses seminar and development days, to concentrate on sports psychology, physiology, team building, sponsorship and personal development as well as driving skills.

Robert Reid, former co-driver to the late Richard Burns, gave Thomas the good news of his successful application.

"I'm so chuffed to have been picked and couldn't believe it when Robert Reid rang me," said Thomas. "It's a real opportunity to learn aspects of rallying from the top professionals and I'm looking forward to my first trip to Edinburgh next week for a thorough assessment."

To follow Thomas's progress, check out the Rally Academy website at