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BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP


2019 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship
1 Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, Llandudno, Wales 16 February
2 Quality Hotel West Cork Rally, Clonakilty, Republic of Ireland 16/17 March
3 Pirelli International Rally, Carlisle, England 27 April
4 Renties Ypres Rally, Ypres, Belgium 28/29 June
5 Ulster Rally, Antrim, Northern Ireland 17 August
6 The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, Castle Douglas, Scotland 14 September

 

PRESS RELEASE: 7 April 2019

Double top for Cave in the BRC

Tom Cave produced a faultless drive to win the third round of the British Rally Championship – the Pirelli International Rally last weekend (27 April). Along with co-driver Dale Bowen, the Welsh pairing marched to a 17.6 second victory in their Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 R5 on the third round of the series and for Cave he made it two wins on the bounce in Britain’s premier rallying series. WRC2 star Rhys Yates made an impressive return to the series to clinch second in his Skoda Fabia R5, while 2011 BRC champion David Bogie in another Fabia R5 produced a spirited drive to seal the final spot on an all-star podium.

The Pirelli International Rally got underway at the impressive Pirelli factory just outside Carlisle where the British Rally Championship runners were flagged away at a vibrant family fun day. 60 miles of fast and furious action through the iconic Kielder forest followed, with the champagne being sprayed in nearby Brampton town centre for those who conquered the demanding gravel stages. Joining the BRC regulars was Hyundai factory driver Jari Huttunen, who provided high-speed competition in his Hyundai i20 R5.

Huttunen was quickest out of the blocks on the opening stage, but it was Hyundai team mate Tom Cave who would go quickest on the second test. Cave debuted the i20 R5 on the Cumbrian event in 2017, but had to retire with mechanical failure. There were no such problems this time round as the West Cork winner continued to flex his muscles as he galloped away to a 17.6 second victory to claim maximum points for a second consecutive event to lead the overall drivers’ standings. Cave was pleased with the victory – and was also delighted to give his co-driver his first BRC win.

“It’s a nice feeling to get two on the bounce,” said Cave. “We had a good morning loop and that set the tone for the rest of the day and I managed the gap this afternoon. Thank you to everybody who got the car here, the tyres worked really well, and I am really pleased to give Dale [Bowen] his first rally win. Heading to Ypres, we are really in the championship fight and I really want to take this momentum into the next round and push on for another win.”

Rhys Yates made a welcome return to the British Championship on the Cumbrian round. The Englishman has been excelling in the World Rally Championship this year and used the Pirelli round to gain vital miles before his next WRC2 outing in Portugal. Aboard his Skoda Fabia R5 and with James Morgan calling the notes, Yates made an instant impact, setting fastest time on the third stage as he charged to second place overall – repeating his best BRC result which he achieved exactly 12 months ago.

Huttunen finished third overall but wasn’t registered for BRC points which meant 2011 champion David Bogie rounded out the BRC rostrum in his Skoda Fabia R5. After an early bath last year, the Scotsman fought tooth and nail, as he battled at the front of the field, despite a mid-event puncture.

Reigning Champion Matt Edwards and co-driver Patrick Walsh started at car one after Edwards’ 2018 success. The Welsh pair struggled with road sweeping duties early on, but despite that – diced for the overall win. However, disaster struck, as on stage three the M-Sport driver suffered two punctures on the rough, demanding stages. Struggling on, the duo attempted to nurse the car on the road section back to service but in the process were in breach of the regulations and thus were struck from the overall results.

 

With half the season complete, the BRC will return to action on the Renties Ypres Rally after the summer break on the 28-29 June.

BRC Championship points after round 3/6

Drivers
1 Tom Cave – 50
2 Matt Edwards – 43
3 David Bogie – 41
4 Marty McCormack – 27
5 Josh Moffett – 25
6 Rhys Yates – 18
7 Josh McErlean – 14
8 Desi Henry – 12
9= William Creighton – 10
9= Jonny Greer – 10

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 16 Feb 2019

Edwards starts title defence with stellar home win

Reigning British Rally Champion Matt Edwards took a sensational victory on home soil as he kick-starts his title defence in the best possible style by wining the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally. Along with new co-driver Patrick Walsh, the M-Sport driver won the opening round of the season in fine style by winning the Llandudno-based event by 26.5 seconds. 2011 BRC Champion David Bogie and navigator John Rowan brought their Skoda Fabia R5 into second place while Marty McCormack drove his similar machine to a fine third overall with Barney Mitchell reading the notes.

The 2019 British Rally Championship got underway at the weekend (16 February) with the spectacular Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally providing the exciting season curtain raiser. New for 2019 was the Service Park, right in the heart of Llandudno town centre – bringing Britain’s premier rallying series closer to the shoppers and café goers in the seaside resort. From the town centre start, the BRC crews ventured into ten legendary Welsh forestry stages, with 60 competitive miles providing the opening round gauntlet.

Defending champion Matt Edwards clinched the 2018 title on Wales Rally GB four months ago and returned to the scene in 2019 looking to clinch his first Cambrian Rally and get his defence up and running. The Welshman wasn’t the quickest out of the blocks on the first stage. That honour went to sparring partner David Bogie. The Scotsman drew first blood and was determined to take the fight to Edwards. However, Edwards was not going to be beaten in his own backyard and on stage two he began his march and took the lead on the Alwen test. The North Wales-based driver took a further seven fastest stage times to eventually return to Llandudno town centre to spray champagne.

Bogie rolled out of the first round last year and was determined to get his season underway with a bang. The Flying Scotsman strung a solid day together behind the wheel of his Czech machine and claimed a fine second place after a ding-dong battle with Tom Cave.

Cave returned to the BRC after a years absence and brought the Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 R5 to the Welsh stages. On his home BRC event, Tom pushed the previous champions to the limit and traded times with Bogie in the fight for the rostrum positions. Going into the night stages Cave trailed Bogie but turned the tables after the first test under moonlight. However, disaster was to strike the Welshman as on the final stage, two punctures dropped the Hyundai driver down the order. With no more spares in the car, he and Dale Bowen were forced to retire – unable to get back to Llandudno.

Marty McCormack and new co-driver in the BRC Barney Mitchell were in a solid fourth all event and profited from the misfortunes of Cave to take the final podium in their Skoda Fabia R5 on the final stage – making it a lock-out for Pirelli tyres and McCormack’s first BRC podium since the Scottish Rally in 2017.

Series returnees Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan in their Skoda Fabia R5 made a welcome comeback and took fourth while 2018 Irish Tarmac Champion Josh Moffett clinched fifth. Both will be pleased to bag some early points before the next round on the Tarmac in West Cork, Republic of Ireland.

 

 

 

2019 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship

All BRC roads lead to the World Rally Championship

The series will feature six rounds in six territories, as the BRC tours the British Isles, with events in Scotland, England, Ireland 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 2019 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.

 

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