Simpsons SKODA Managing Director, Neil Simpson, will start his very first World Rally Championship event at this month’s WRC Rally Spain – an opportunity he’s hugely grateful for.

Neil will drive Simpsons SKODA’s own SKODA Fabia Rally2 Evo, which will be run by the successful German based Toksport team and will be registered for WRC3 category.

Despite rising through the ranks in the British Rally Championship throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Neil has never done a WRC event before.

Neil says “ I always ended up doing gravel notes for somebody or being involved in some other way in my early days - when I was allegedly quite good at this rallying lark. So the opportunity to compete on a WRC event has always eluded me.

“I remember when I was driving for Volkswagen in 2001 that we went out to Catalunya with a view to competing in the WRC the following year – but I didn’t think it would take another 20 years to actually get there!

“ I’ve always wanted to do WRC Spain – it’s a rally I’ve been very fond of as an onlooker and also when working with various younger drivers over the past couple of years. Serkan Duru from Toksport has made this happen for me and I’m hugely grateful for that.

“I feel very privileged to be competing and I just can’t wait to get going”

Neil hasn’t competed since the Condroz Rally in Belgium two years ago and his expectations for the event are therefore measured. He’s simply hoping to complete the event and enjoy the experience.

Neil added “ I am keen to compete more in 2022, probably somewhere in Europe again. Whether that’s a National Championship, an ERC campaign or a limited WRC campaign I really don’t know at this stage. I’m 50 years old next year and it would be a really nice way to celebrate reaching that milestone by doing a few more rallies”

As part of our Vision Zeropledge our participation in the event will be subject, as always, to us fully offsetting the carbon emissions of all of our motorsport associated activities.

Neil will be co-driven on this event by the experienced, Belfast based, Mike Gibson.

You can follow Neil’s progress in Spain at https://www.wrc.com/