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2018 British Rally Championship

Posted: April 20, 2018 3:49 PM - 7103 Hits


Posted: April 20, 2018 3:49 PM

One of Ireland best rallying talents, four times British Rally Champion, Keith Cronin (31) will campaign a Hyundai i20 R5 in this year’s British Rally Championship that includes a round of the World Rally Championship – the Dayinsure Rally GB and the Ypres Rally.
In addition, Keith, from Ballylickey, County Cork and his Killarney co-driver Mikie Galvin will also contest the WRC event, RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana.

The campaign is being supported by Hyundai Customer Racing Team along with assistance from Michelin Tyres via Midland Tyres. The car will be run by the Letterkenny based outfit PCRS (Philip Case Rally Sport). Keith has retained his three long time sponsors, Tria Oil, Michael O’Brien Plant Hire and Cremin Coaches.
The deal has taken several months to come to fruition following initial discussions between five time Irish Rally champion Eugene Donnelly, Hyundai and members of the Cronin team and in particular, Donal O’Donovan, a former European Police Rally champion.
Cronin is regarded as one of the most talented Irish rally drivers and in 2017 he won his fourth British title in dramatic style at the 138.com Rally Isle of Man. Indeed, his BRC wins have come in four different cars - Mitsubishi, Subaru, Citroen and Ford, illustrating his ability to work with any manufacturer or their support teams.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out again, physically I am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been and that’s important as well. The BRC campaign involves a round of the WRC and the ERC and then there is Rally Spain, so it’s an exciting venture. I’m looking forward to working with PCRS and along with the support of the Hyundai Customer Racing Team and Michelin Tyres through Midland Tyres, I think we have an exceptional package.” said Keith.

Commenting, Eugene Donnelly said,
“I’m delighted to be involved with Keith, we have worked tirelessly over the last few months get all this in place. I saw the opportunity to get him (Keith) into a Hyundai car and I’m really pleased that we have got everything over the line. Hyundai were very keen on Keith, not just about his obvious talent, but also on his ability in terms of testing and development. ”

Meanwhile, Andrew Johns, Senior Sales Associate, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing remarked,
“We are very pleased to have Keith and Mikie in an i20 R5 for the British Rally Championship. To have such a successful crew and team make the decision to run the car in the championship is a huge honour. In the combination of the crew and the car we are confident that the team has a winning formula for the campaign ahead. Obviously, with his previous victories in the championship we know Keith can be at the top of the times again this year in an incredibly competitive championship. With the first rally of the year fast approaching, we must turn our attention to working together with the crew and team, supporting them as they challenge for the rally win, and the overall title.”

With the Hyundai i20 R5 that Cronin will drive for the season unlikely to be ready for next week’s opening round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli Rally, Keith will campaign the Hyundai i20 that Eugene Donnelly has driven in the opening two rounds of the Irish Tarmac Championship, the car, also run by PCRS, will be converted to gravel specification.
A former winner of the Pirelli Rally, Keith hasn’t competed since last September, “Yes, its good to be back, we will have a test early next week and then it is straight to the Pirelli.”

Issued by Cronin Motorsport

Cronin Returns in Hyundai i20 R5 - The Drive For Five

Posted: April 20, 2018 3:51 AM

Reigning Prestone MSA British Rally Champions Keith Cronin and co-driver Mikie Galvin will return to Britain’s premier rallying series in a Hyundai i20 R5 in 2018.

Irishman Cronin is one of the most successful drivers in British Rally Championship history as the Cork-based driver recorded his fourth title on the Isle of Man last season in an epic last stage dual. The Tarmac titan edged Sweden’s Fredrik Ahlin to the title by a mere one tenth of a second and a single championship point to put him equal with the late-great Roger Clark in the record books.

“Last year was the toughest yet,” explained Cronin. “It didn’t start off too well, we had a lot of bad luck early on with retirements and punctures and we were at a massive low point but we kept fighting and fighting to recover it and we had the perfect outcome on the Isle of Man.”

What’s more, after his 2017 success, the 31-year-old has now lifted the trophy in four different cars with four different co-drivers and Cronin in 2018 will now ‘drive for five’ as he goes for a fifth BRC title to put him level with Jimmy McRae – the most successful driver in BRC’s 60 year history.

“When times are difficult and you are putting a deal and plan together for the year, you don’t necessarily think about what you have done but when everything is sorted and you are enjoying your rallying it is really nice to look back and reflect and remember the success but also the challenging times. To have the name on the trophy is fantastic but to equal a legend like Roger Clark is rather special.”

The Irish driver is the most successful driver of the modern era and has enjoyed a fruitful time in the British Rally Championship since his debut in 2009. Cronin clinched the British crown driving a Mitsubishi Evo 9 at his first attempt in a head-to-head showdown with three-time champion Mark Higgins.

The driver from Ballylickey scooped back-to-back titles a year later at the wheel of a Pirelli-supported Subaru Impreza. After a year’s sabbatical, Cronin retuned with a bang in 2012 to clinch his third title, this time at the wheel of a front-wheel-drive Citroen DS3 before claiming his fab four in 2017 at the wheel of the latest Ford Fiesta R5 from M-Sport.

“The best one – that is a tough one as they were all special in there own way. The first one was special as it was the first but the most rewarding and satisfying was last year. Previously it was either wrapped-up or I held all the cards and it was my own hands. That final event on the Manx last year – we gave it everything. I had to win both events and the rest I had no control over. There were a few scary moments, and riding over hedge was not in the plan! That final stage, we gave it our all and it was unbelievably tense at the stop line, trying to work out whether we had done it or not. When we found out – the relief was indescribable.”

After clinching his latest title with M-Sport in a Ford Fiesta R5 last season – Keith will switch to a Hyundai i20 R5 for the six-round series in the quest to make it five titles with five different marques.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge and the 2018 season. We haven’t driven the Hyundai yet but we plan to get plenty of seat time in before the Pirelli. We are of course looking for another title and to equal Jimmy [McRae].

“To mount a challenge we are going to need to have a clean run and stay out of trouble. If we didn’t have the problems on the gravel events last year, we would have made it easier for ourselves! The championship looks good and I am looking forward to Ypres as we learnt a lot there and we hope to have an even stronger showing this season.”

Cronin and co-driver Galvin will line-up with the other Prestone MSA British Rally Championship crews on the opening round of the series – the Pirelli International Rally, next weekend (28 April).

Prestone BRC Championship manager Iain Campbell welcomes Cronin’s return to Britain’s premier rallying series.

“We are delighted to have Keith and Mikie return to the series, to join an already impressive line-up ahead of the first round. The comeback is rather special, especially in our 60th anniversary year and it would make great headlines if Keith could match Jimmy McRae with an impressive five titles. As always, he won’t have it his own way as there are a host of drivers who would all be eager to take the championship spoils in our Diamond Jubilee season.”

Claire Fenton, Head of Marketing for Prestone said:
“It’s fantastic to hear that Keith Cronin will be returning to the BRC this year.

“We had the honour of presenting him the winner’s trophy last year after an exhilarating season that ended with an amazing finale in the Isle of Man. We’re looking forward to following his progress this year and potentially seeing him make history with a fifth BRC crown. We wish Keith and his team the best of luck.”

The five-event, six-round series will once more cover the length and breadth of the British Isles in 2018, with rallies in England, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man as well as an overseas round in Belgium for the exciting Ypres Rally. The season curtain call will come on the FIA World Rally Championship round, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, where the champion could be crowned on the final stage of the season once again.

More Details at:

Pirelli confirms prize packages for British Rally Championship

Posted: February 27, 2018 6:18 AM

Pirelli in association with the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, is pleased to confirm substantial prizes for Pirelli registered crews in this years series.

The Italian tyre firm has been a consistent supporter of Britain’s premier rallying series, helping to produce world champions such as Colin McRae and Richard Burns. This season, Pirelli will increase its involvement in the same year that it returns to the FIA World Rally Championship.

Pirelli will be providing prizes on each event as well as at the end of the year. On every rally, first place will receive £1000, second place £600 and third place £300. Pirelli has a strong reputation for supporting young drivers in the Junior category, first place will receive £500 and second place £250; while the first Cadet Cup driver will receive £200 and second cadet £100.

However, Pirelli isn’t just providing prizes event by event. To incentivise the fight for the championship further, Pirelli will be giving the 2018 British Rally Champion £1500 and the British Junior Champion £1000.

These prizes demonstrate Pirelli’s commitment to rallying as one of the many motorsport disciplines the Italian tyre brand supports. It offers specially-developed P Zero tyres for asphalt and Scorpion tyres for gravel, directly derived from the specialised tyres that also figure on the World Rally Championship.

The BRC consists of six rounds, starting in Jedburgh for the Border Counties Rally next month from March 10-11 and finishing in Wales in November, at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. Round two is very special for Pirelli as it takes place around the home of one of its two British facilities, in Carlisle.

The Pirelli International Rally will get underway from the Dalston Road manufacturing plant, where Pirelli employees and their families will be able to watch the ceremonial start. Competitors will then head to Kielder Forest for the competitive action.

Pirelli UK operations manager Matthew Corby said: “As we step up our involvement in the British Rally Championship, we’re delighted to help our crews with a selection of generous prizes that will help them make their way up through the sport: a key priority for Pirelli globally. The British Rally Championship is acknowledged as one of the most competitive national rally series in the world, which has already produced an impressive array of world champions and factory WRC drivers. With the help of these latest initiatives, we aim to continue that trend in 2018.”

With excitement building and the new season just days away, we are delighted to welcome further involvement from Pirelli ahead of the 2018,” enthused Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Manager Iain Campbell. “The prizes for 2018 will really incentivise our crews and help cover costs when putting a championship campaign together. Pirelli has a long association with the BRC and has helped nurture the best young rallying talent. We look forward to working with them throughout 2018 to help bring on the next generation of stars.”

Michelin Peugeot Sport Cup announces BRC prize fund for 2018

Posted: February 26, 2018 3:50 AM

Michelin Motorsport and Peugeot Sport UK/Ireland have joined forces to create the Michelin Peugeot Sport Cup which will run in the 2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship for the 208 R2 in the Prestone MSA Motorsport News Junior BRC – offering a substantial total prize fund of £24,000 for the season ahead.

The Cup, which will be open to any Peugeot 208 R2 crew in the Junior BRC who competes on Michelin tyres and uses Total oils supplied by Peugeot Sport UK/Ireland distributor Race & Rally, will be eligible to fight for a cash incentive based on their performance in the series.

If a 208 R2 team win the Junior category outright they will receive an impressive £2,500 on each round with £1,000 awarded to second place Junior and £500 to third if they are piloting a 208 R2 on Michelin rubber.

The Junior BRC is one of the most hotly contested championships in Europe and is open to competitors under 26 years of age. Talented youngsters will tackle each of the seven rounds of the series in R2 specification machinery with the 208 R2 taking second last season in the hands of Northern Irishman William Creighton and Liam Regan.

At the time of writing, seven Peugeot Sport UK/Ireland 208 R2 crews had signalled their intention to contest Britain’s premier rallying series. To support the contenders in the championship, distributors Race and Rally will provide on-event back up for crews competing in the French manufacturers cars.

The substantial prize fund from Michelin is also complimented by end of season prizes for the highest and second highest place 208 R2 crew. The highest placed Peugeot crew will receive a visit to the Porsche Experience Centre in Silverstone for a Driver Evaluation and on-circuit driving day with the runners up bagging a trip to Clermont, France for a tour of the Michelin Global HQ of the Motorsport Facility.

Raymond Moore, Head of Peugeot Sport UK/Ireland is delighted with the partnership with Michelin and the incentives on offer to the Junior BRC 208 R2 crews.

“The Junior BRC is always one of the closest fought categories in rallying and the Peugeot 208 R2 has proved its worth for several years as one of the leading marquees in the series” says Moore.

“With so many crews using the 208 R2 in this year’s series, we are overjoyed to partner with Michelin to be able to offer an additional incentive to Peugeot crews, enabling them to have the chance to win a substantial prize fund towards their season’s rallying. Michelin has been the choice of many champions over the years and the 208 has been developed with the brand in mind. The Cup will further enhance an already strong Junior entry and we look forward to seeing how contenders fair on the opening round in March at the NCS Border Counties Rally.”

“We are delighted to welcome the Michelin Peugeot Sport Cup for the season ahead,” explained Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Manager Iain Campbell. “The 208 R2 is a extremely popular car and we are excited to see so many already register for the series and we hope this news will encourage a few more crews to come and join the action. The Junior BRC has been a hotbed for international talent with fierce competition throughout the last two seasons and I see 2018 being no different as the pace will be phenomenal right from the word go.”

For more information on the Michelin Peugeot Sport Cup, contact raymond@raceandrally.com or call 028 9521 3335 / +44 28 9521 3335

Horgan brings R2 Skoda to the BRC

Posted: February 22, 2018 9:31 AM

Irishman Kevin Horgan will contest the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship this season in a Skoda Fabia R2, with Liam Fouhy in the co-driver’s seat.

Twenty-six-year-old Horgan is the latest driver set to contest Britain’s premier rallying series, with the Cork-based ace looking to make an impact in his first campaign in the championship.

“Two years ago, I won the Irish Tarmac Junior series and I did bits and pieces last year and looked at the BRC from afar. 2018 would be my last opportunity to compete in the Juniors and watching Marty [Gallagher], Callum [Devine] and William [Creighton] made me see how fun and competitive it was. I just wanted to get involved and take on a new experience. The events are a major draw and they all offer something different. I am looking forward to Ypres and Wales Rally GB – to compete on a European and WRC event will be like a dream come true.”

As Horgan prepares to tackle the Junior BRC, the competition is set to be intense once again with a high-calibre collection of drivers – making it one of the most competitive junior series in the world.

“This will be my first time doing the BRC and competing at this level in Britain. We are confident of a good showing but we have to be realistic – some of the guys have a year on us in terms of experience. We want to be scoring solidly on every round and if we are there or thereabouts come the Isle of Man and Wales Rally GB, who knows what can happen. Either way, I am looking forward to the challenge!”

With the Skoda marque joining the Junior BRC, the Czech machine is due to make an impact on Britain’s stages with Horgan at the wheel.

“I am looking forward to bringing the Skoda R2 to the BRC. It’s nice to have something different. A friend said the car was available and the idea of the BRC came up, so it was a case of why not! I haven’t driven the car yet as we are waiting for some suspension components. Once that is all together, we plan to do a round of the Irish Tarmac or Forestry Championship. Failing that, a few days’ testing before the Border Counties will get us ready for the start of the season. I am looking forward to it and to showing off our final livery. It will certainly be eye-catching.

“I would like to thank Woodford Trailers, Eurol Lubricants, Automania, Brickfield Construction, Acesigns, Alan Gordon Engineering, HRX Motorsport, Ears Motorsport and E.Tarrant & Sons Skoda for their continued support and I look forward to working with them in 2018.”

Organisers make ADAM Cup more accessible

Posted: February 20, 2018 6:21 AM

Following the announcement at the Autosport show in January that the inaugural season of the UK ADAM Cup will take place this year and follow rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, series organisers have now revised the calendar to provide teams more time to prepare. Consequently, the first event will be the Pirelli Rally on 28th April (round 2 of the British Championship) and not the Border Counties Rally on 10th March (round 1), thereby increasing the lead-time for ADAM Cup competitors by seven weeks. “We could only make the initial announcement when everything was in place and we understood at the time that the amount of lead-time between then and the first round of the British Championship would make things tight for teams”, said series coordinator Simon Slade.
“By adding another seven weeks to the start of the season it will give competitors more opportunity to prepare and, by reducing the calendar by one round to four, it reduces cost for teams too.”

In addition to the later start and further increasing accessibility to the series, the Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team has offered ADAM Cup cars for hire on a one-off basis at a reduced rate of just £1000, as team manager Simon Mauger explains:
“We have a couple of cars in our workshops that are prepared and ready to go. We really want drivers to see just how good they are and what a great series the ADAM Cup is, so we are reducing the hire price of the cars to £1000 per rally to make entry more accessible. Of course, tyres, entry fees etc. have to be paid for, but as an arrive-and-drive package for a round of the British Championship, this deal represents excellent value for money. Added to this, if the driver enjoys the experience and wants to buy a car, we’ll knock £1000 off the purchase price!”

Regulations for the ADAM Cup are now available.
These provide full details about the series, including sporting and technical regulations, together with details for the extensive prize fund. To request a set of regulations, an entry form and further information, please contact the organisers.

Supporting the series are some of the best-known and well-respected brands that are synonymous with motorsport: Vauxhall Motorsport, Pirelli, Speedline Corse, Ravenol, Goodridge, PIAA, AP, Mintex, Motamec Tools and SuperPro.

2018 ADAM Cup Calendar

    Pirelli Rally (gravel) 28 April
    Ypres Rally (asphalt) 22/23 June
    Ulster Rally (asphalt) 17/18 August
    Rally Isle of Man (asphalt) 13/14/15 September
For further details, series regulations and entry information please contact:
simon@rpmpromo.com / +44 (0)1935 424873

For car sales and technical information please contact:
majormotorsport1@gmail.com / +(0)1869 388200

Gallagher guns for Junior BRC glory

Posted: February 7, 2018 2:58 PM

Irishman Marty Gallagher is the latest high-profile Junior BRC runner to signal his intent for the 2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship.

Gallagher was one of five drivers to stand on the top step of the Junior BRC podium last year, when the Peugeot 208 R2 driver clinched the final round of the series on the dramatic Rally Isle of Man. With that winning feeling still fresh in his mind, Gallagher along with co-driver Dean O’Sullivan will be aiming to repeat the success into 2018.

“The BRC was the only place to go,” stated Gallagher. “The competition in the British championship is perhaps the best in Europe and we wanted to be fighting on the best stages once again.”

Marty had a rollercoaster of a season by his high standards as the Donegal-based driver secured three podiums but suffered a cruel retirement on his home event, the Ulster Rally last year.

“2017 started off badly with punctures and things just didn’t go well for us. But by the Nicky Grist Stages in the summer, everything started to click and that’s when I knew we could fight on both the gravel and Tarmac. The win on the Isle of Man was a real confidence boost and we hope to be there or thereabouts in 2018”

Fast forward to 2018 and the young gun is keen to put a mixed season behind him to focus on a full JBRC title tilt.

“Obviously we want to win the championship. That has to be the aim. Having done a season-and-a-half in the BRC, I feel I have a good advantage going into the first round – so long as the bad luck disappears! To be in the same car with Dean [O’Sullivan] alongside will really help. I’m just pleased I haven’t scared him away yet!”

The seven-round series takes in a whistle-stop tour of the British Isles, and the Peugeot driver has his eyes very much on the latter part of the season and has one round on his mind.

“If I had to pick one round, it would be Rally Isle of Man. It was pure class last year. The roads remind me of Donegal and that’s what I grew up on. All of the events will be special and I would like to get to Wales leading the championship or at least fighting for it, going into the decider.”

Hyundai R5 prizes for Junior BRC runners in 2018

Posted: February 7, 2018 4:10 AM

The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, along with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, has today (7 February) confirmed that two Hyundai i20 R5 test days are up for grabs for crews tackling the 2018 Junior BRC.

In 2017, the British Rally Championship experienced one of the closest and most hard-fought championships in recent years and the Junior BRC was no exception. Five different crews took to the top step across the eight rounds with the glory being shared between the Ford Fiesta R2T, Peugeot 208 R2 and Opel ADAM R2 machines.

The 2018 Junior BRC prizes will be on offer for drivers aged 26 and under, competing in the front-wheel-drive R2 category. The award will include a day-long test with the Hyundai Motorsport team, with drivers getting behind the wheel of the latest i20 R5 in southern Europe

The first prize up for grabs will be for the driver and co-driver leading the Junior BRC after the third round of the series – the Renties Ypres Rally. The second test day will be awarded to the overall champion at the end of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. If the result is the same crew, the test will be awarded to the runner up in the 2018 series.

The successful teams will join the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing test team for a day’s running in the i20 R5. The opportunity to get behind the wheel of the car will give the crew a chance to sample the speed and handling of the four-wheel drive R5 machine, which all the Junior BRC entrants will be aiming to move into as their careers progress.

“We are delighted to announce such an exiting prize with Hyundai Motorsport ahead of the new season,” enthused BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell. “The Junior BRC in 2017 created a monumental fight for supremacy on the stages and 2018 will be no different. It’s a real incentive for aspiring crews and will enable our young drivers to get a taste of the next step on the rallying career ladder, as they get to work side by side with some of the best in the WRC business.”

“We are excited to be able to offer two 2018 Junior BRC crews the chance to test the i20 R5,” declared Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Senior Sales Associate Andrew Johns. “The BRC is a very competitive series, with some very strong crews in all the classes. The opportunity to drive the car will provide a good foundation for the young drivers and co-drivers in the early stages of their career as they aim to progress to the senior category in future years.”

Registrations for the eagerly anticipated 2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship season are now open ahead of the opening round –the Border Counties Rally on 10/11 March. Visit www.msabrc.com for further championship information.

The ADAM Cup is go!

Posted: February 6, 2018 4:04 AM

Organisers are delighted to confirm that the ADAM Cup is to launch in the UK this season. The one-make series for controlled specification Vauxhall ADAMS will follow the first five rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, with younger competitors eligible to enter the increasingly popular BRC Cadet Class.

Cars will be based on those competing in the highly competitive and successful Opel ADAM Cup in Germany with the addition of a UK-developed ‘gravel’ kit for use on forest rallies. New and used examples are currently available for purchase or hire from the Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team - 2016 British R2 and Junior Champions.

A valuable prize fund is now in place for ADAM Cup competitors. This includes vouchers redeemable for parts, products and services worth over £1000 awarded on each round, with a further haul of prizes presented at the end of the season. The overall winner will receive a supported drive on the 2018 Wales Rally GB - or alternativly the first three rounds of the 2019 British Rally Championship - should they wish to continue in their own car for the final two rounds of the British Rally Championship that are hosted by the Wales Rally GB.

“We are delighted to have finally brought everything together so that we can announce the running of the ADAM Cup this season”, said Series Manager Simon Mauger. “Of course, we would have liked to confirm things earlier, but with the prize fund in place, cars readily available - plus a valuable association with various suppliers and sponsors - we finally have a fantastic package on offer. And, with competitors able to drop two rounds and count their best three scores, even if they can't make the first round it means they're still in with a chance of winning.”

Series coordinator Simon Slade, who has previously ran a number of successful manufacturer-backed one make series, added:
“Most of us involved with the sport in the UK agree there is a real need for a high-profile, aspirational, reasonably priced and professionally run one-make series. The ADAM Cup ticks all these boxes!”

Organisers extend an invitation to all competitors who are thinking about entering the ADAM Cup to come and test drive a car to find out just how good they are to drive and to appreciate their impressive build quality.

Supporting the series are some of the best-known and well-respected brands that are synonymous with motorsport: Vauxhall, Pirelli, Speedline Corse, Ravenol, Goodridge, PIAA, AP, Mintex, Motamec Tools and SuperPro.

2018 ADAM Cup Calendar

    Border Counties Rally (gravel) 10 March
    Pirelli Rally (gravel) 28 April
    Ypres Rally (asphalt) 22/23 June
    Ulster Rally (asphalt) 17/18 August
    Rally Isle of Man (asphalt) 13/14/15 September
For further details, series regulations and entry information please contact: simon@rpmpromo.com / +44 (0)1935 424873

MH Motorsport sign McErlean for Junior BRC assault

Posted: February 5, 2018 6:28 AM

Talented young Irish rally ace Josh McErlean will join British Rally Championship team MH Motorsport to contest this year’s Junior Prestone MSA British Rally Championship at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta 1.0litre EcoBoost R2T.

After a one-off outing in the M-Sport machine for the Nicky Grist Stages during last year’s championship, McErlean will re-join the MH Motorsport squad for a full assault on the championship, starting at the NCS Border Counties Rally in March.

Finishing third in the Junior battle thanks to Norwegian Oscar Solberg in 2017, the Hampshire based rally team have signed McErlean for the season in a bid to become Junior champions.

At just 17 years of age McErlean has shown an impressive pace during his debut BRC season in 2017. After campaigning an outdated Citroen C2R2 during much of the year, his outing in the MH Motorsport Fiesta in Wales last July gave a glimpse of what to expect from the Irishman, setting top three stage times in his inaugural outing in the car.

Team Principle Mike Harris is delighted at the new signing and believes Josh will be the perfect addition to the team.

“We had been keeping an eye on Josh for much of last season so when we had the opportunity to put him into one of our R2T’s, we grabbed it with both hands,” said Harris.

“He returned a very mature drive on the Nicky Grist Stages and it was more than enough to convince us that we wanted he back full-time this season. With our close links to M-Sport and the backing behind us, we are confident that we can give Josh the best possible chance of the Junior title in 2018”.

McErlean is equally pleased with the prospect of what lies ahead this season with the team.

“I am delighted to have secured a drive with MH Motorsport for the upcoming season in the British Rally Championship after all the hard work put by my family and sponsors,” said Josh.

“A top team, in a first class car, competing in such a prestigious championship, it doesn't get much better than that!”

He feels that it is the right package to compete at the sharp end of the ultra-competitive Junior BRC category.

“With MH (Motorsport) coming up with an excellent package that suited the needs of both myself and my sponsors it didn't make much sense to look elsewhere. We came away from the Nicky Grist Rally knowing we had the pace to compete at the front, we got to grips with the Fiesta considerably quickly and this was helped by the outstanding handling and stability of the M-Sport built car. The support MH offered before, during and after the event was tremendous, the simple combination of all factors simple cemented the decision for this year.”

However, McErlean’s hopes for overall honours remain grounded and he is well aware that it won’t be an easy season.

“The Junior BRC is shaping up to be another cracking year of competition. With plenty more experience heading into this season, the aim for 2018 is of course to become Junior BRC champion, but that’s easier said than done! We will take it round by round and see how it plans out, staying cool and get points on the board early on in the season will be important. During pre-season testing, I hope to adapt the car more to suit my driving style, look to see what areas we can improve and make sure we are ready to attack the first round in Jedburgh!”

Creighton guns for glory in Junior BRC return

Posted: January 31, 2018 2:36 PM

Last seasons Junior BRC runner-up William Creighton will return to the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship in the hope to go one better in 2018.

The 20-year-old William Creighton has signaled his title ambitions ahead of a full season in Britain’s premier rallying series. He will return to the stages in his potent Peugeot 208 R2 and will once again be expertly guided by Liam Regan in the co-drivers seat. With the clock ticking ahead of the first round, Creighton is itching to get going.

“I have just come back from a trip to Monte Carlo and I have the rallying bug in a massive way,” enthused Creighton.” I cannot wait to comeback to the BRC for a full on assault. We looked at all out options for this year and it was a clear-cut decision to return to the BRC compared to anything else. The level of competition and number of quality drivers really helped bring me on last year.”

William was mister consistent in 2017 as the young Northern Irishman notched up five podiums along with two wins in his first foray into the BRC. Playing down his chances, the Peugeot 208 driver stated he would feed himself into the gravel before stronger pace on the asphalt in the latter pat of the season. Underestimating his ability, Creighton bagged a podium on round one before sealing his first win on round two, to make everyone sit up and take him seriously as a championship threat.

“We were surprised at how quick we would be and how close to the pace we were. The Red Kite Stages before our BRC campaign was a real test as we went up against Meirion [Evans] in his own backyard. Unfortunately he retired early, but it was great day to learn about the car on gravel. Then going into the night stages on the Borders was a real eye opener.”

A year on and as championship runner-up last year, Creighton goes into the new season as the man everyone will want to beat. With the target, William was quick to focus on his own campaign.

“I try to block these things out but naturally I could be the favourite and I will be of course going for the title. Like last year I will be focusing on each rally and I am pleased to have Liam [Regan] and the whole team back together as keeping the consistency will be important for a title assault.

Asked about whether he was looking forward to a new season. The Ulsterman was very quick to answer.

“ I am so excited to get back onto the stages and this years season will be quite something. Ypres in the summer, a WRC round at the end of the year to look forward to as well as our home rally, the Ulster. It’s going to be another tough year on some proper classic stages.”

McCormack on the prowl for BRC success

Posted: January 25, 2018 8:43 AM

Marty McCormack will return to the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship in 2018 with David Moynihan in the co-drivers seat in the striking Tiger Risk Rally Team Skoda Fabia R5.

McCormack is one of the first drivers to register for Britain’s premier rally series after a strong 2017 as the Ulsterman claimed three podiums on his way to sixth in last seasons standings. With a long winter break out of the way, the 32-year-old is already fired up ahead of the 2018 calendar.

“We did the championship last year and really enjoyed the events, so it was a natural decision to return to the BRC in 2018,” explained McCormack. “I loved the Borders last year. “The line-up of drivers and cars was electric and the atmosphere got the championship off to a great start.”

After back-to-back podiums on the Pirelli and Scottish Rallies, McCormack started as one of the favourites for the Ypres Rally, after several stellar performances previously. Marty’s massive Flanders roll was the only blot on his copybook last year as the Irishman bounced back to take fourth on the Nicky Grist and a hard fought podium on home soil, on the Ulster.

“We were there or there about last year as we punched in several fastest stage times. We were pleased with our gravel pace but I expected to do better on the Tarmac events. The accident in Ypres didn’t help us but that is the biggest area we want to address for this year. We want to return stronger and to fight at the very front. I haven’t been in the car since the Ulster last year so will need an event or two to get back onto the pace.”

Consistency will be the key going into his second year in R5 machinery as McCormack is set to be run by Dom Buckley Motorsport throughout the season as he sets about adding more podiums and his first BRC win to his already impressive rallying CV.

Prestone gears up for new British Rally Championship season

Posted: January 19, 2018 9:43 AM

The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship is ready to ‘excel in extremes’ once again as Prestone launches its exciting plans for the year ahead.

Prestone, maker of the No.1 coolant in the US, will return as headline sponsor for the MSA British Rally Championship – topping up a powerful relationship first established during a successful 2017 season.

New for 2018, Prestone has strengthened its line-up ahead of the opening round by signing two ambassadors to report from all six events of Britain’s premier rallying series. Henry Catchpole and Luke Barry will host the coverage throughout 2018 as they further supplement Prestone’s large on event presence.

Former features editor at Evo magazine, Catchpole has been a lifelong rally fan. More recently Henry has written for various titles including DriveTribe and BBC Top Gear magazine, as well as turning his hand to presenting for Carfection, where he currently spends his time testing and reviewing the latest super and performance cars. Henry owns a gravel-specification Ford Escort MK2 and has first hand experience of the British Rally Championship, having competed back in 2008 in the Swift Sport Cup.

Luke Barry is the fresh face on the motorsport scene. The young Scot is an aspiring journalist who balances his undergraduate studies at Edinburgh Napier University with a role as Press Officer for the MSA Scottish Rally Championship. A rally fan through and through, Luke grew up with the Jim Clark Rally on his doorstep and has closely followed every British Rally Championship season. Barry has a particular soft spot for the BRC’s F2 era and has recently been selected for Autosport’s journalism academy.

Commenting at the recent Autosport International Show, Head of Marketing for Prestone, Claire Fenton said:
“Following a hugely successful 2017 season, we are incredibly excited to be able to support the British Rally Championship for a second year.

“Our team has really got on board with the Championship, with us all becoming big rally fans. It’s been fantastic to offer first fill of Prestone to a large number of drivers and then follow their progress across the season.

“This season we’ll be building on the success of last year with a team of experienced ambassadors who will be reporting from the thick of the action, sharing live updates and amplifying Prestone’s partnership with the BRC. We can’t wait to get back into the service park.”

Ben Taylor, Managing Director of championship organiser, International Motor Sports, said:
“Prestone’s support of the BRC was instrumental in the development of the Championship last year and the level of brand awareness and recognition that it was able to achieve from a standing start was extraordinary.

"The entire Prestone team has been welcomed into the rallying community and we look forward to working with them in 2018, taking this partnership to the next level.”

As well as being the official Coolant/Antifreeze of the 2018 season, in the coming weeks Prestone will be launching an online shop of co-branded clothing and accessories with the British Rally Championship.

The 2018 series will once again see the best drivers, in the best cars, tackling the best events. With the calendar now confirmed, 2018 consists of seven points-scoring rounds in six territories, as the BRC tours the British Isles, with events in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and a concluding double header on the FIA World Rally Championship round – Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. A trip to Belgium for the classic Ypres Rally provides a popular mid-season overseas adventure, as the BRC underlines its standing as the world’s premier domestic rally championship.

Let battle commence!


Posted: January 15, 2018 7:22 AM

Swift Go Rally Team has chosen M-Sport to run their campaign in the 2018 MSA Prestone British Rally Championship – Welshman Matt Edwards taking the helm behind the wheel of an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta R5.

Ever-improving throughout 2017, Edwards took last year’s championship down to the wire. A string of consistently strong results included second places at the Ypres Rally, Nicky Grist Stages and both rounds of the Isle of Man Rally – missing out on victory by a mere 0.1 seconds at the latter.

Finishing the championship in third place, Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod will be hoping for further improvements in 2018 and have every chance of challenging for the ultimate prize – a British Rally Championship crown.

Continuing its international feel, this year’s championship will travel to six events across six different regions: the Border Counties Rally, the Pirelli International Rally, Renties Ypres Rally in Belgium, the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally, the 138.com Rally Isle of Man and Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

With prestigious events such as Ypres and Wales Rally GB on the agenda, the world will be watching as Edwards and the Swift Go Rally Team look to impress.

Swift Group is the UK’s No1 brand for caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes. With a rich rallying heritage, Swift has sponsored Edwards for several years – supporting his development into one of British rallying’s most promising competitors.

This year, the Welshman’s Fiesta R5 will carry the branding of Swift Go – a new motorhome hire business from Swift Group. The Swift Go ethos is: One simple price, with everything you need – even the Wi-Fi. The first depot, based near Manchester, opens in March 2018. Book now at www.swiftgo.co.uk

Matt Edwards said:
“Excitement, anticipation – just two things I’m feeling ahead of 2018. This is a fantastic opportunity and I’d like to thank Swift Group and M-Sport for giving me the perfect platform with which to find that extra performance and push for more.

“We had a great year in 2017 and that’s something I want to build on this season. Consistency is really important, and what kept us in the mix last year. Our Tarmac pace was something of a nice surprise too so if we can keep that up, and be consistent on all surfaces, anything is possible.

“Ideally, I’d like to be in the top-three on the first two gravel events of the year – improving on our sixth and fifth place finishes last year. If we can be somewhere near the front early on, we can build our challenge from there and try to fight for some victories. And if the consistency is there, that should see us in contention for the championship which is of course the ultimate goal.”

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Matt impressed a lot of people last year and it’s great to see him behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 again in 2018. The Fiesta has claimed the British Rally Championship crown for the past two years running – with Elfyn Evans in 2016 and again with Keith Cronin in 2017 – and I see no reason why that shouldn’t be our goal in 2018.

“Matt works incredibly hard and his dedication matches that of the young team who operate our British Rally Championship programme. He has the speed, but he also has the consistency and that is something that delivers championships time after time. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how Matt and the Swift Go Rally Team progress as I’m sure is every British rally fan.”

Swift Group Commercial Director, Nick Page, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting one of British rallying’s brightest talents in Matt Edwards once again in 2018. After a hugely successful 2017 season driving the Swift Rally Car, we’re supporting Matt and co-driver Darren Garrod to achieve even more in 2018.

“Swift and the rallying scene have a long and fruitful history, which goes back to the early days of our company and the enthusiasm of our chairman, Peter Smith, for motorsports.

“There’s also a real synchronicity between our products and motorsports. Competitors need something mobile and comfortable, that can be parked up and provide a home from home while they’re at an event. Our motorhomes are the perfect fit.”

Competitors Guide Available

Posted: December 18, 2017 3:49 PM

Direct Link:

RSAC Scottish Rally - 2018 event statement

Posted: August 16, 2017 6:24 AM

RSAC Scottish Rally will not be a round of the 2018 British Rally Championship

The Board of RSAC Motorsport Ltd were very disappointed to be informed by the organisers of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) that the RSAC Scottish Rally would not be a round of the championship in 2018.

The rally has been supportive of the BRC over many years, through thick and thin, and sometimes to its financial detriment.

In 2017, the rally moved from its usual June date specifically to accommodate the desire of the championship to introduce a foreign event to its calendar, and additionally changed many other aspects of the event including the route, service area and finish venue to suit BRC requirements, notwithstanding the challenges these created for the organising team and the adverse impact on the event’s financial budget.

Despite this news, planning for next year’s event is already well underway, with a focus on providing a great event and experience for both competitors and spectators.

With the ongoing valued support and engagement of Dumfries & Galloway Council and the organisers of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, the organising team look forward to welcoming everyone to the region for the 2018 Scottish Rally.

2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship calendar announced

Posted: August 16, 2017 5:48 AM

As the exciting 2017 title race heads to Ulster this weekend, the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) has today (16 August) confirmed its 2018 calendar.

The series will feature six rounds in six territories, as the BRC tours the British Isles, with events in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Wales. A trip to Belgium for the classic Ypres Rally will once again be a popular overseas addition, as the BRC underlines its standing as the world’s premier domestic rally championship.

One of the highlights of the 2018 campaign will be the championship finale, which will be held on the biggest stage possible – Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The WRC event will offer BRC crews and their partners the chance to be at the heart of the country’s biggest rally. A double-header format on the legendary Welsh stages will allow competitors to vie for championship honours and also go toe-to-toe with the leading names in world rallying.

The calendar announcement completes a busy week of good news, with the confirmation that title sponsor Prestone has renewed its commitment to Britain’s premier rally series for another year.

IMS Managing Director Ben Taylor

“Putting a calendar together is always a difficult process, particularly when there are more candidate events than we can accommodate. We have had to take some tricky decisions and as a result both the Nicky Grist Stages and the Scottish Rally have missed out this time around. We are really grateful for their commitment to the BRC in the past two years and, as classic events, we wish them every success in 2018.

“As the BRC becomes more popular and successful, we have to ensure that it delivers on other aspects as well as simply the stages and organisation; we need crowds and venues, a strong impact on the local area and the creation of spectacular events to ensure that the championship continues to grow.”

Prestone commits to British Rally Championship for 2018 campaign

Posted: August 16, 2017 5:46 AM

The MSA British Rally Championship is delighted to announce that leading coolant brand Prestone will continue its sponsorship of Britain’s premier rallying series into the 2018 season.

Prestone’s first foray into sponsorship was announced in January and since then the brand has actively supported the British Rally Championship throughout the season. Prestone’s high-profile support has already enhanced the pioneering company’s reputation and visibility, with prominent exposure being generated through the BRC’s far-reaching TV, media, online and social media channels. This is further strengthened by its strong on-event branding and unrivalled spectator engagement, including the popular Prestone Rally Simulator where rally-goers have the opportunity to beat the BRC professionals and pick up some fantastic prizes.

Prestone products are the perfect match for the challenging conditions of the British Rally Championship, as the brand quite literally ‘Excels in Extremes’. Prestone is backing up those claims first-hand, with its products being used by the top teams in the Service Park in 2017. From the damp and rough Scottish forests to the sun-kissed asphalt in Ypres, Prestone’s products have stood up to the variety of conditions and helped crews to spray the podium champagne at the end of each event.

“We are delighted that Prestone has seen the value and success that the partnership with the BRC offers,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of championship organiser International Motor Sports. “The Prestone team have really rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in to supporting the championship – engaging with our teams, events, competitors and spectators – and next month they will even take the BRC into Tesco with a new dual-branded pack. To secure the continued backing of such a major brand is a huge endorsement for us and enables us to push forward with the development of the championship to make it even stronger in 2018.”

Head of Marketing for Prestone, Claire Fenton said:
“Following a hugely successful 2017 season we are incredibly excited to be able to support the British Rally Championship for a second year.

“Our team has really got on board with the championship, with us all becoming big fans. It’s been fantastic to be able to offer first fill of Prestone to a number of drivers and then follow their progress across the season.

“The continued sponsorship really cements our partnership with the BRC; we can’t wait to get back into the service park in 2018.”

The news comes at an exciting time for the BRC as with just two events to go, the championship is set to reach fever pitch with the title race wide open heading towards the season finale on the Isle of Man. Swedish star Fredrik Ahlin leads the way from Welshman Osian Pryce at the top of the standings, but only 12 points separate third to sixth. Matt Edwards, Keith Cronin, Rhys Yates and Marty McCormack are all in with a chance of clinching the coveted crown and sealing their place in the history books alongside some of the greatest names in rallying including Burns, McRae, Mikkola and Vatanen.

The championship continues this weekend with the classic John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally on 17/18 August as the crews tackle two days through the fast, narrow roads around the city of Derry/Londonderry.

Championship Rounds

Posted: August 16, 2017 5:41 AM

  1. Border Counties Rally, Jedburgh, Scotland - 10/11 March 2018
  2. Pirelli International Rally, Carlisle, England - 28/29 April 2018
  3. Renties Ypres Rally, Ypres, Belgium - 29/30 June 2018
  4. John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally, Derry/Londonderry, N. Ireland - 17/18 August 2018
  5.  138.com Rally Isle of Man, Douglas, Isle of Man - 13/14/15 September 2018
  6. Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, Deeside, Wales - 4/5/6/7 October 2018
Calendar subject to approval by the MSA 

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