“Over the years, I met some great people and made many friends, and I’ve stayed friends with them.
“I also kept in touch with the sport, and helped Skoda UK when they were contesting the IRC with Andreas Mikkelsen a couple of years ago.
“Obviously, having two Skoda dealerships means that I have strong links with the factory and the motorsport arm, so it was natural to go for a Fabia. We went over to the Mlada Boleslav factory in the Czech Republic to buy a car, and came back with this fantastic Fabia Super 2000.”
After the Autosport Show, the team, which will be managed by rally driver Ashley Field, plan an intensive testing programme prior to a first appearance on the Legend Fires North West Stages.
Simpson, who will have highly-rated Northumberland navigator Claire Mole alongside him for the season, has pencilled in another seven events for 2014.
Although not finalised, they are expected to be Le Touquet, Manx International, ERC Rally Ireland, LAMC Dublin, Wexford or WRC France, and the Condroz Rally.
“The plan for the first event is just to get round without any problems and get the car home in one piece, after that we'll see,” added Simpson.
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