Whenever somebody takes up a sport, the ultimate dream is to become a professional at their given choice.

For Craig Drew, of Bream, that dream came true last week when he agreed a deal with Subaru USA to co-drive David Higgins (pictured, inset) on the 2011 Rally America National Rally Championship.

Higgins, twice an American champion, will form a two-car team run by Vermont Sports Cars with BMX Legend David Mirra.

Drew, one of Britain's top co-drivers, had just been crowned 2010 National Asphalt co-driver's champion, and over the last five years had gained vast experience in Britain, China and the Middle East.

"It all happened very quickly really," said Drew.

"David (Higgins) rang me to ask if I would co-drive for him in the USA.

"It's something I only dreamed about when I started out co-driving for my brother Paul, to become a professional co-driver as there are very few full time co-drivers worldwide.

"I have been very lucky to have sat with some of the best drivers in Britain in Damian Cole, Nik Elsmore, Adam Gould and of course my dad.

"I am really excited about sitting next to David and working with both Subaru USA and Vermont Sports Cars – their record speaks for itself, they are a very professional set up."

The programme for 2011 consists of six rounds of the American Championship, all of which count, plus an X-box game at the end of the series.

They will use a 2011 Impreza N16 which has a 384 bhp engine and is fitted with a 6 speed sequential gearbox.

All events are spread over two days covering on average 160 competitive miles, but only one pass of the stages during the recce, makes note-making very important, although the Jemba pacenote system designed in Sweden is available.

The duo will face some tough competition from the current American and Canadian champion Antoine L'Estage in a factory Lancer Evo 10, Monster Energy supremo Ken Block who is rumoured to be using the all new Fiesta WRC, and teammate David Mirra.

Drew flies out to Vermont in early January for five days to meet the team and spend time testing prior to the opening round the Snowdrift Rally on 28th and 29th January, which is a full snow rally.

There is a seven-week gap mid-season when the team hopes to conduct a five day test to evaluate new parts on the car before the last two rounds.

Their is also a chance that one or two European rallies may be added to the programme.

Higgins, who has driven the car very briefly, described it as "awesome and like a WRC car".

Long-time friend Paul Willetts said: "I am really pleased for Craig, it's something he has set his sights on for a long time and he deserves his chance.

"He is very professional in his approach to every event and works very hard.

"It's an excellent opportunity for him, to work with a professional team and a top driver like David.

"He is an excellent role model to any aspiring young co-driver."

Pictures by Chris Yandell, Subaru USA.