A HEREFORDSHIRE rally enthusiast is one of the leading names taking on the gruelling Roger Albert Clark (RAC) Rally over the coming days.

Withington farmer Roger Chilman is taking on the five-day rally which includes 301 stage miles and a total route of 1,100 miles.

The event starts on Thursday evening in Leominster when 140 cars, including European entrants will get their race campaign underway.

Crews will leave Leominster Town Centre for two night stages in the fast Radnor Forest before returning to Brightwells Auctions for the overnight halt.

After an early 7.30am restart from Leominster, Fridays action will see drivers tackle the smooth flowing forests of Crychan, Halfway, Gwibedog, also Epynt stage with a gravel and tarmac mixed test these stages will be done twice,before a late afternoon finish.

Competitors then make the long trip north for its base for the next three days in Carlisle.

Sunday offers no respite ether with a loop of the tough Scottish forests of Ae, Craik, Castle 'Or, Twiglees and Greskine before a Monday evening finish in Carlisle.

After a superb third overall two years ago on his first attempt at the event Chilman is ready for the test with Patrick Walsh in the co-drivers seat.

They will be in the Securcom, Connop & sons, Morspan Construction, Brightwells, Wales Motorsport backed Escort RS1800.

"Two years ago I wasn't sure what to expect, but having done the Carlisle Stages and the Scottish this year, I feel a bit better prepared, but I've still not done a lot of gravel miles this year." said Chilman

"Make no mistake it's going to be tough, you need to set consistent stage times, but try and stay out of trouble as it's such a long event.

"It's attracted a superb entry so the competition is going to be very strong, but I'm really looking forward to it.

"Huge thanks to my sponsors as without them I wouldn't be here."

This is the last great challenge in British rallying, the event in lots of ways replicates the old RAC rallies of the 70s & 80s with its format, stage mileage, stages in darkness and this year running on the old RAC Rally date in November.

For all details and spectator information go to: racrmc.org