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Cobley takes Defender glory in Scotland

Team Hartford are this week celebrating after triumphing in the inaugural Defender Challenge by Bowler championship.

A victory at the final race of the season in Scotland meant Team Harford, driven by Edd Cobley, edged out the Race2Recovery team to the title.

Cobley, who works as a Land Rover Experience instructor at Rockingham Castle, was able to dismiss any pre-race nerves to win the final round.

Speaking after the rally, “I was very nervous at the start line because it is so easy to throw these things away. I was driving very cautiously but it paid off and I am really chuffed with the result”.

Adding, “I am honoured and proud of the team and the car, and off course what Bowler has done with the vehicle. It’s been a great championship and we have made some life-long friends which is what rallying is all about.”

Cobley went into the Borders Hill Rally needing only to finish ahead of the in-form Race2Recovery team but despite another podium finish, their sixth in a row, the team, which enables people with disabilities to participate in professional motorsport only managed second place in the championship.

Surrey’s Ben Gott was still happy with how the season went and the work of his female co-driver Stephanie Boddez who has won praise for her efforts this season, “It’s been a brilliant year. We are very thankful to Land Rover for its sponsorship over the past twelve months.

Adding, “It has meant that the team has learnt new techniques, and Steph has really blossomed, helping her on the road to international rally raids in the future.”

2014 was the first season of the Defender Challenge by Bowler race series - made up of seven rounds across the UK.

The series was created to offer competitors a clear path to further international rally events such as the world famous Africa race and Dakar Rally.

In fact, three teams from the Defender Challenge are currently preparing to compete in Dakar in 2016.

Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’d like to congratulate Edd Cobley on winning the first ever Defender Challenge championship. The series has proved to be a huge success and has showcased the unique abilities of the Land Rover Defender.

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