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Barratt heads Down Under for finale
World Rallying's leading lady, Natalie Barratt, heads Down Under this weekend for the final round of the 2005 season, the Telstra Rally Australia.

The OMV World Rally Team driver will tackle the spectacular Perth-based event behind the wheel of her favoured Subaru Impreza with Finland's, Kaj Lindstrom, assisting from the co-driver's seat again.

Sixty-two cars, representing no fewer than eighteen nationalities, are lined up to tackle the demanding special stages.

It is not the first time the Manchester driver has ventured onto the perilous Australian 'red marble gravel'.

"It really is a great rally, but it is certainly one of the trickiest on the calendar too," she explained. "The surface of the road is like red marble which means it's very slippy, whether it's wet or dry and it's often difficult to see the edges of the road.

"The stages are generally very narrow and there is no room for error, but like any rally, you have to be 100% committed.

"There are long road sections between the stages and the service, so even if you sustain minor damage to the car - which is pretty easy to do with the amount of tree stumps on the rally, the likelihood of making it back to service and staying in the rally is dramatically reduced.

"These long road sections mean your chances of making it to service, and remedial help from the team for even the smallest error or mechanical failure could be massively jeopardised."

Rally Australia is also home to the legendary 'Sotico' forestry complex and the awesome 'Bunnings Jumps' where the cars literally 'take off' before a spectacular splash down in a watery ford. "Without question, I think it is one of the most spectacular finishes to the World Rally," adds Barratt.

Rallies a Mitsubishi in the British Championship.

Date of birth:
Lives: Alderley Edge, Cheshire (UK)
Status: Single
Rally debut: 1996
WRC debut: 1998 Rally GB

Rally Highlights

2005 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship - Mitsubishi Lancer

2004 FIA Junior World Rally Championship

2003 Racing a SEAT Leon Cupra R in the SEAT Cupra Championship. Selected Clio Cup Races

2002 Gp N Mitsubishi Lancer - Sweden and Cyprus Rallies, Hyundai Accent WRC1 - Catalunya, Rally of Wales, Hyundai Accent WRC2 - Acropolis, Punchestown (Ireland), Hyundai Accent WRC3 - Rally New Zealand: 1st Lady; 21st o/a, Hyundai Accent WRC3 - Rally GB: 1st Lady; 22nd o/a

2001 Gp N Mitsubishi Lancer - FIA Teams' Cup - 5th, Swedish Rally 1st Lady; 7th Teams' Cup; 8th Gp N; 29th o/a,Cyprus Rally 1st Lady; 3rd Teams' Cup; 8th Gp N; 21st o/a, Acropolis Rally 1st Lady; 4th Teams' Cup; 10th Gp N; 35th o/a, New Zealand Rally 1st Lady; 10th Gp N; 36th o/a, Rally Australia 1st Lady; 5th Teams' Cup; 19th Gp N; 36th o/a

2000 Gp N Mitsubishi Lancer - rounds of the World and British Championships, Rally GB: 2nd Lady; 14th Gp N; 35th o/a, Corsica: 1st Lady; 15th Gp N; 33rd o/a, Donegal Int Rally: 1st Lady; 3rd Gp N; 12th o/a, Rallye Charlemagne: 1st Lady; 12th o/a (French Division 1 Rally), Scottish Rally: 20th o/a, Kall Kwik Rally: 9th o/a, Catalunya Rally: 1st Lady; 15th class; 38th o/a;, Rally of Wales: 1st Lady; 17th o/a, Arctic Rally: 1st overseas Lady; 47th o/a, National RallySprint Championship contender

1999 Gp N Mitsubishi Lancer - rounds of the World and British Championships, Rally GB: 1st Lady; 12th Gp N; 37th o/a (started car #115), Mid Wales Rally: 1st Lady; 9th o/a, Manx Int. Rally: 1st Lady; 9th o/a, Jim Clark Rally: 21st o/a, Scottish Int. Rally: 17th o/a

1998 Gp A Honda Civic Vti / Gp N Mitsubishi Lancer - British Championship. Series: 3rd Ladies Cup; 4th Class A6, Rally GB: 2nd Lady; 11th Gp N; 38th o/a, Bulldog Rally: Mitsubishi debut

1997 Gp N Honda Civic Vti - British Championship, Series position: 2nd Ladies Cup; 3rd Class N3; 4th Junior

1996 Nissan Micra Challenge, Monteberg Rallysprint: 1st Lady

1995 First competition licence raced a Peugeot 306 and Ford Fiesta XR2, Former instructor at the Nigel Mansell Racing School at Oulton Park

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