Wednesday 12 September 2018

Rally - The secret’s out

The 2019 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) is coming to Scotland next year, but not where you might think. Iain Campbell was spotted looking around Castle Douglas and Galloway last weekend, but no-one would go on record as to why he was there. Today, the BRC has confirmed its calendar and now we now. When the BRC regulars head north up the M6 next year they won’t be turning right to head for Jedburgh, they will be turning left, but driving past Dumfries to Castle Douglas.

Next year’s series will therefore comprise 6 rounds in six different countries, Llandudno in Wales, Clonakilty in Ireland, Carlisle in England, Ypres in Belgium, Antrim in Northern Ireland and Castle Douglas in Scotland. Wales Rally GB is the nominated reserve round in case of fire, flood or snow!

The move south westwards makes organisational sense. Plenty of accommodation for the entourage which accompanies the series, access to the huge Galloway Forest Park and it’s handy enough to attract the Irish crews over for the ‘craic’. There is one area of concern and that is suitable hard-standing for service areas, but the Solway/Machars/EACC team is already on the case.

The Cambrian Rally is another addition to the series and with support from Conwy County Council, will form the curtain raiser in February next year.

The Quality Hotel West Cork Rally will go head-to-head with the Irish Tarmac Championship for an early season clash. That will be followed by the Pirelli Rally at Carlisle which drew praise and favour this year with its 85 mile route packed into a five-hour period.

The Renties Ypres Rally will again enable BRC competitors to go head to head with Europe’s finest (Brexit permitting!) before a return to Irish roads for the Ulster Rally playing host to the final Tarmac event of the year and the second encounter with the Irish series.

The Galloway Hills Rally will host the championship finale for both the BRC and our own Scottish Championship regulars. That should spark some added interest, eh?

BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell commented: “The announcement of the calendar shows our commitment in listening to what our competitors want - furious competition from the start but not overly demanding in the amount of time away from work or home life.  It also brings us into head-to-head competition with the Irish Tarmac Championship on two occasions and also with the Belgium Rally Championship in June.  This lifts the pace of everyone, as we all want the bragging rights as winners on these rallies.”

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

Reserve Round – Dayinsure Wales Rally GB – Date TBC
*Calendar subject to approval by the MSA 

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