RALLY DUO LOOK TO VOLVO AGAIN

THE successful East Midlands Rally team is gearing up for a new season and they ve put their faith in an old favourite.

THE successful East Midlands Rally team is gearing up for a new season and they ve put their faith in an old favourite.Having won the Heart of England Rally championship last year in a Ford Escort 1300, the duo of Bill Douglas and Paul Ohren-Bird are going back to a Volvo 240GLT.

"We ve sold the Ford and will compete with the reliable Volvo 240GLT on selected rallies around the Midlands and mainland Europe," said Ohren-Bird, from Watford village, pictured.

"We have also not ruled out the Network Q Rally of Great Britain, depending on sponsorship coming forward."

They are a tried and tested team. Driver Douglas, from Ravensthorpe, who played in goal for Northampton Town Reserves, has 31 years experience, including 10 RAC rallies.

Ohren-Bird has 13 years experince, changing to co-driving in 1995 to exploit his attention to detail and navigational skills.

The decision to drive the Volvo, last used in 1997, guarantees plenty of exposure from the media.

It is an unsual sight in a rally, which tends to be a good crowd puller.

It has a hard act to follow as last year the East Midlands team took third place in the BTRDA championship only five points separating the first three after nine rounds and 1773 miles!

"The Ford Escort competed with great effect," said Ohren-Bird.

"It was a fantastic year with consistently good results. We will be looking for more of the same in 2000."