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British Rally Championship Champions Collection

Dr Tumbo
David Napier
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Post  reeft1 Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:32 pm

CDM wrote:Paul

A Reliant Sabre kit on ebay 19/07



Thanks Chris - i have my beady eye on it!

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Post  CDM Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:26 pm


Good stuff.

Mmmm you can see how bad it is just in the metal!!???

Good luck, just dont sweat too loudly that we can all here!!



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Post  reeft1 Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 pm

CDM wrote:Paul

Good stuff.

Mmmm you can see how bad it is just in the metal!!???

Good luck, just dont sweat too loudly that we can all here!!


I’ll try not to!

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Post  reeft1 Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:17 pm

2 more additions and photos updated. Will Sparrows Mini from the 1970 Red Hackle Rally with the weird extension on the bonnet to house bigger air filters for the carbs and Keith Cronin's Renault Twingo RS R1 which he used in the 2012 opening round (the Sunseeker) before switching to the Citroen DS3.

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Post  reeft1 Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:19 pm

3 more additions - the 1958 Standard Pennant from the RAC rally (base model British Heritage Models) and the 1962 RAC and 1963 COI Reliant Sabre 4's (no records located of what number the COI car carried) which are pretty rough but were based on extremely rough TW white metal kits.

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Post  reeft1 Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:30 am

2021 British Rally Championship season review (taken from the BRC website)
The Motorsport UK British Rally Championship made a sensational return to the stages in 2021 as a bumper list of contenders, awash with champions from the past and present, were all eager to do battle for the prestigious title.

After a year’s hiatus thanks to the pandemic, a shuffled season saw an action-packed seven round calendar announced offering a dynamic mix of events on both gravel and asphalt, visiting each one of the UK’s four home nations.

Round 1. Neil Howard Stages in assoc. with Graham Coffey Solicitors

In a first for the BRC in its 63-year history, the BRC would contest an event held entirely at a race circuit as the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park opened proceedings in May.

In a star-studded entry list, it would be Irishman Sam Moffett who took first blood, taking victory by a slender but all-important one-second margin over the chasing M-Sport pilot Rhys Yates.

Moffett and co-driver Keith Moriarty hustled their Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a maiden BRC win as Yates and co-driver James Morgan equalled their best BRC result. However, on paper, it was Frank Bird and Jack Morton who topped the leader board after a blistering day of action on the Oulton stages, only to fall foul of a technical regulation that handed them exclusion.

Osian Pryce and Noel O’Sullivan would keep the pressure on the front-runners to take their Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 to the final podium spot.

Round 2. Nicky Grist Stages

July heralded a more traditional BRC encounter as the legendary forests of mid-Wales offered up another scintillating prospect of Britain’s elite crews battling it out for honours in the world-class gravel stages of Halfway and Crychan on the Nicky Grist Stages.

Bouncing back from a “trying” opening round, it would be two-time BRC champion Matt Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod who took his Melvyn Evans Motorsport Polo GTi to a five-second victory over fellow Welshman and BRC returnee Tom Cave after a thrilling battle in the classic Welsh forests.

Edwards, bidding to be the first driver in history to take three BRC titles in a row, secured the first victory for the Volkswagen Polo GTi in the British Rally Championship – ending a 21-year drought for the German marque, with team mate Pryce yet again rounding out the podium in his Michelin backed machine.

There would be drama further down the field as the Proton Iriz R5 of Ollie Mellors and Max Freeman headed for the sun in a dramatic accident just a few hundred yards into the opening test of the rally. The crash would end their BRC title bid for the season whilst Freeman recovered from a subsequent leg injury.

Yates missed out on a podium in fourth whilst a familiar name made a sensational BRC comeback; Matthew Wilson. The 2005 champion would be tasked by M-Sport to make in-roads into the Melvyn Evans Motorsport lead in the team charge and his appearance would be one of many throughout the season alongside team mates Yates and Seb Perez.

Round 3. Grampian Forest Stages

The third round saw the BRC head for the northeast Scottish forests of the Grampian Stages for the first time in well over 20 years and the super-fast tests of Drumtochty and Fetteresso would provide yet another unpredictable encounter.

It would be M-Sport Director Matthew Wilson who stormed to his first victory in the BRC since 2005 as he took an inspiring win in the Ford Fiesta Rally2. After opening up an early advantage on the first stage of the day, he would never relinquish the lead to win by a comfortable 20 seconds from Pryce, as Yates wrestled with pop-off valve issues to finish 18 seconds shy.

Four-time BRC champion Keith Cronin made a shock comeback to the series in Wales. Driving a Hankook Ford Fiesta Rally2, he and co-driver Mickie Galvin built their pace gradually throughout the season to take fourth on only Cronin’s second event behind the wheel since 2018.

A name missing from the list of finishers would be Edwards. Wilson’s nearest challenger at the mid-point of the event, Edwards suffered from a chronic misfire in his Polo and despite the team affecting repairs in service, he was forced to park up on the final loop throwing his third title challenge into disarray.

Round 4. Trackrod Rally Yorkshire

With three rounds completed, the BRC had seen three different winners and that scenario had the potential to continue in the Yorkshire forests at the end of September as the championship made a return to the Trackrod Rally.

Yates impressively led the standings after a consistent season but with just 14 points separating the top five and the prospect of the bonus point Joker cards being brought into play over the closing rounds, choosing a champion at this stage of the season would have been a risky affair.

Yet there was a strange familiarity with the Trackrod and the rally was arguably decided on the Friday night. Just one stage was on offer, but the dry, dusty and unforgiving Dalby forest under the cover of darkness proved pivotal.

Edwards opened up a whopping 17-second lead through the 12-mile test as others battled with visibility in the still September night. Pryce was his closest challenger although he would be forgiven for not feeling very close to the front at all, with five more stages in store the next day.

But Edwards’ form continued all rally long, winning all but one of the events super-fast tests to go some way to reconcile his Grampian retirement.

Round 5. Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally

Title charge firmly back on for Edwards then?

Well, he wasn’t out the woods yet – well, actually for one round he was, as the BRC made its maiden voyage to the iconic island of Mull for the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally. The toughest and most demanding event on the calendar, with most of the event’s closed public road mileage taking place overnight, the Mull Rally would test even the most experienced of BRC crews.

Its status on the British rallying calendar is legendary; its stages favour the brave, those that can see in the dark – and the locals. But the British Rally Championship contenders had been eyeing up the challenge all season

Sadly, just a handful of protagonists made the journey and it was a two-horse race between Edwards and Pryce as they sat on the start line of the opening test. But by the time Pryce was shown the 10-second countdown, Edwards was already off the road.

An uncharacteristic error by the Conwy man saw him damage the rear of the Polo after cutting a left hander and pivoting into the scenery. He limped through and with roadside repairs, Edwards could make it back to service, albeit almost 7 minutes lost.

What followed was an Edwards masterclass. Seven stage wins and numerous stage records were broken over the next two days with Edwards throwing everything he had at catching Pryce. Overhauling him would be a tough ask and Pryce enjoyed a mature drive to keep Edwards at arm’s length, taking his first BRC win since the two-wheel drive era in 2012.

Junior BRC contenders William Creighton and Liam Regan were another crew to shine on the tricky island event, taking a sensational third in their Ford Fiesta Rally4 – no mean feat from the progressive young driver.

Round 6. Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally

After a searing season of action on the stages, the fight for the three BRC categories was set to reach an important phase as dropped scores begin to take effect on the title race, and the Cambrian Rally marked the penultimate round of the season.

The popular North Wales forests have often witnessed World Championship battles, and the fight for top honours on the slippery gravel stages could well shape the 2021 BRC outcome. Four drivers headed into the event with a chance of the championship; Edwards, Pryce, Yates and Wilson. But by the time they emerged from the seventh stage – that was down to two.

Pryce was on form. Ten seconds faster than anyone else on the opener saw Edwards have his work cut out, despite being on home soil. Retaliating on the third test enabled him to claw back four seconds but a second, fairly major error in 2021 followed in the next, damaging his Polo’s suspension and dropping 1m 47seconds to Pryce.

That allowed Pryce to cruise to his second BRC win of the season and ensure the title fight would go down to the wire in Ulster. Seb Perez was an impressive second place for M-Sport after a clean run saw him get to grips with the Fiesta in fine style.

What of Edwards? Well – read this to see how he managed to recover to third place – and keeping his title hopes firmly alive into the final round of the season.

Round 7. Modern Tyres Ulster Rally

It all came down to this.

Pryce vs Edwards.

With dropped scores and Joker scenario’s taken into account, Edwards HAD to win to take the title. If he didn’t anything less than score maximum points, it would be Pryce who would take the trophy back to Wales.

Ahead of them, the tricky, bumpy and hugely unforgiving Ulster lanes around Antrim and with an almost `winner takes all` approach – the fight for the title in the lanes would undoubtedly be blistering.

Joined by some of Ireland’s best drivers, the BRC contenders would enter a battle royale – and it would be first blood to Pryce. But by the second stage Edwards took control and as he settled into the Northern Ireland roads, Pryce was feeling less than comfortable.

Despite briefly taking back the lead on the fifth test, Edwards once again regained control to head into the final loop of three stages with an eight second lead. At this point, it is worth pointing out that Pryce and Edwards were about 1m 30secs ahead of ANYONE else, such was the intense battle for the title.

But on the penultimate stage of the final round; the title race was decided.

Losing grip under braking to a square right, Pryce put his Polo into a field and on its roof  and out of the rally, out of the fight.

A third championship victory in a row – a feat never accomplished in its 63-year history went to Edwards after a nail-biting final encounter of the season. He and co-driver Darren Garrod could spray the champagne that night with Edwards a record breaker, firmly planting his marker as the best in the business.

Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes took third, giving Hyundai their first podium of the season in their i20 R5 whilst Cronin bagged his maiden rostrum spot of 2021 in third.

IXO base model, homemade decals
British Rally Championship Champions Collection - Page 3 IMG_4207_(002)

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Post  reeft1 Fri Sep 08, 2023 10:35 pm

Taken from https://www.britishrallychampionship.co.uk/news/2022-british-rally-championship-season-review
Being a three-time British Rally Championship runner-up must be quite tough for a career-minded driver. There must come a point where you either concede defeat or stare the challenge in the face, tighten the belts and dig deep.
In 2022 Osian Pryce did just that. Assembling the same team which took him to second place in the 2021 title race, Pryce and co-driver Noel O`Sullivan elected to return to the BRC for another [and maybe even one last] shot at the coveted crown.
The BRC had tormented Pryce for several years, coming aching close to the top spot but with a largely unknown field of BRC1 contenders to battle against this time around, would 2022 finally be his season?
Unknown that is, apart from a four-time BRC champion in Keith Cronin. If anyone knew how to win titles, it was the Irishman and returning to the series in an attempt to equal Jimmy McRae’s five-time record, Cronin would quickly become Pryce’s fly in the title ointment.
Perhaps predictably, it was a tit-for-tat title fight between the two experienced drivers with a healthy mix of newcomers throwing their hats into the ring to keep the “stalwarts” honest.
The season kicked off in Essex for the first time in its history and Cronin led for much of the opener in Clacton, before Pryce overhauled him on the final loop, handing the Welshman the first win of the season and arguably the psychological advantage.
A swap to new rubber for Cronin at the Jim Clark Rally saw a calmer approach from the Volkswagen Polo GTi driver but eyes were fully on Pryce during the opening night’s loop of stages. Failing to stop and change a puncture breached an event regulation and the Welshman was excluded, allowing Cronin to cruise to victory. One all then.
The first gravel encounter at the Nicky Grist Stages saw Pryce take win number two and the perfect response to the calamity of the Jim Clark points situation, but Cronin replied with success of his own at the Grampian.
Three rounds remained and it was level pegging. Joker opportunities would mean a few extra points were up for grabs, but both played tactically, and it was the newcomer to the series, Rali Ceredigion that would prove pivotal in the title race.
Once again Cronin set the early pace but in the darkness of the opening loop, fired his Volkswagen off the road during the tricky night-time leg, leaving Pryce to quite literally, secure a home win. Advantage Pryce.
Trackrod Rally Yorkshire would be the decider and if Pryce could keep Cronin at bay – that elusive title was his. Cronin did all he could to curb a gusty drive from Pryce in Yorkshire, but the damage was done. Finally, Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan joined a list of greats including the likes of Colin McRae, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist and Hannu Mikkola.
But it wasn’t all about the two Polo drivers this season. A dynamic mix of BRC1 newcomers marks an exciting chapter in the top-flight series with some inspiring speed coming from many corners of the entry lists.
The only other British Rally Championship winner in 2022 was a well-deserved one at that – Ruari Bell. The Skoda Fabia driver had been knocking on the door of the top step all season long, securing no less than three podiums along the way. But success finally came at the Cambrian Rally, pushing WRC ace Oliver Solberg throughout the day to stamp his mark on the BRC scene once and for all.
If luck was on his side, James Williams may well have challenged for the title in his Hyundai i20. Seven stage wins during the season highlights the potential in the young Welshman but he could not quite bring it all together to take a win. Third place in the standings is however no mean feat for a debut BRC1 campaign.
Eamonn Kelly wrapped up the Junior BRC title in fine style, allowing himself to see out the season in a Polo R5 at the Cambrian and took second place in the process – undoubtedly one to watch in 2023.
Garry Pearson would swap from a Fiesta to a Fabia mid-season, encouraging a shift in speed and would lead the Cambrian Rally after the opening leg. But misfortune came knocking during the season and the only podium came at his home event – the Jim Clark Rally.
Other notable performances came from Elliot Payne in his Ford Fiesta Rally2 and Jason Pritchard in his Polo GTi. Pritchard bagged a fastest time on the gravel of the Grist and rounded out his home forest rally with a maiden BRC podium.
Andy Davies enjoyed his first foray into the BRC in a Fiesta R5, despite a topsy-turvy year, with Meirion Evans bringing his Polo GTi out for two events, fourth at the Jim Clark was a highlight.

2022 VW Polo GTI R5 Pryce Claction and Tendring IXO base plus home made decals British Rally Champion 2022
British Rally Championship Champions Collection - Page 3 Pryce_2022_finished

Last edited by reeft1 on Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  reeft1 Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:09 am

Extracts from https://www.britishrallychampionship.co.uk/

M-Sport factory driver Adrien Fourmaux stamped his mark on the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship by taking victory at the opening round of the 2023 season, The Malcolm Wilson Rally.
In difficult conditions, Fourmaux and co-driver Alex Coria took their Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a convincing victory in the snow-laden Cumbrian stages, finishing 53 seconds ahead of last-years BRC runners up Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin. Elliot Payne and Tom Woodburn delivered an impressive drive in their Fiesta Rally2, recording their debut BRC podium in third.
Based at the home of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in Cockermouth, the Malcolm Wilson Rally was set to take a new generation of top-flight BRC1 contenders into classic stages in the Lake District forests and kick start the new season with the ultimate gravel test.
But mother nature delivered a cruel blow in the 48 hours ahead of the event, with heavy snow severely impacting access to the stages, leaving the organisers no choice but to significantly alter the itinerary just hours ahead of the rally start as the planned eight stages became five.
Fourmaux, who mounted his inaugural BRC campaign in the search of seat time outside of his World Rally Championship campaign with the M-Sport squad, took the stages in his stride and professed to find the classic Grizedale loop once of the nicest forest stages he encountered.
And the Frenchman had a right to be upbeat, setting fastest time on three stages and a time 17 seconds quicker than anyone else over the first Grizedale test, Fourmaux kicked off his BRC campaign in fine style and was understandably delighted with the win.
However, it could have easily been a different story as crews emerged from the opening Greystoke stage, it was James Williams who was out front, but only by a tenth of a second. Williams and co-drover Dai Roberts adapted to their new Michelin-rubbered Fiesta Rally2 with ease, giving Fourmaux and the chasing pack something to think about over the following Grizedale stages.
Cronin didn’t quite feel at home in his Volkswagen Polo GTi on the first pass of Greystoke but was third and his troubles were amplified in Grizedale, catching the Rally1 Puma of WRC driver Jourdan Serderidis and dropping a chunk of time. Fastest time over the next test showed the intent was there, but power steering issues in his Volkswagen Polo GTi hampered a chargeback. Second place was a solid start to his fifth title chase.
Despite electing not to carry out pre event recce, Elliot Payne returned a sensational drive in his Fiesta Rally2 to round out the podium spots. A cautious approach to the Grizedale loop ensured he was well placed to take advantage from other misfortunes, and he did just that, taking third and his first ever BRC podium.
The battle between fourth and sixth was a fascinating watch over the final two tests of the rally in Greystoke. With the ice now thawed, it was maximum attack from all sides and the biggest climber was stage one victor, Williams. A puncture in Grizedale dropped him down to sixth but a fight back ensued over the mud strewn tests and the young Welshman hauled his way back to fourth by the finish.
Callum Black was back in the BRC for the first time since 2014 and brought his Fiesta Rally2 home in fifth spot with Jack Morton on the notes. Using some new rubber for the first time meant he would pick up the pace as the day progressed and battled with returnee Garry Pearson in the Hankook backed Skoda Fabia.
Pearson suffered clutch woes on the longest test which hampered progress, but he and Hannah McKillop salvaged sixth. Eamonn Kelly wasn’t enjoying the conditions over the morning stages and lacked the confidence to push, but took seventh in his Polo with Conor Mohan on the notes, ahead of Hugh Bruton and Drew Sturrock. Allen Dubasu claimed his first BRC finish with a solid run his his Fiesta Rally2 with Max Freeman alongside.
The British Rally Championship switched its focus to asphalt for round 2 and the first of four back to back asphalt events, as the Jim Clark Rally took crews to the rapid closed road stages of the Scottish Borders.

Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux was almost untouchable at the Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally, taking back-to-back Motorsport UK British Rally Championship victories, with a sensational event win.
Fourmaux and co-driver Alexandre Coria, opened a whopping 28-second lead after the opening two tests on Friday night, and were never headed throughout Saturday’s tests, taking their Pirelli shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a second consecutive BRC win. Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin were their nearest challengers in second, with Callum Black and Jack Morton rounding out the podium.
The breath-taking closed roads in the Scottish Borders near the Duns rally base would predictably provide an action-packed weekend of rallying with over 66 miles of competition spread over two days. Friday evening would prove pivotal in the fight for the top spot, and it was Fourmaux who blew away the opposition over the two passes of Longformacus.
The WRC superstar opened a 12-second lead on the first pass and by the time the sun disappeared over the North Sea, he extended that to 28 seconds as crews headed into the overnight halt.
Nearest rival was Cronin and armed with Michelin’s on his Volkswagen Polo GTi for the first time this season, the Irishman would admit to having to get up to speed compared to Fourmaux’s hefty seat time of late.
Local ace Garry Pearson was third quickest on the opener but threw his Hankook-shod Polo off the road on the second pass and he and co-driver Daniel Barritt would go no further.
That left James Williams and Dai Roberts just over four seconds back in third, adapting well to their new-for-2023 Ford Fiesta Rally2 on their maiden asphalt outing.
Saturday offered a frantic schedule of just six tests, three stages repeated and little chance for huge gains in time. But you would have to scan down the timesheets to find Fourmaux as Cronin did his best to make inroads on the leader. By now, last year’s BRC runner-up had settled nicely into the Polo after eight months out of the seat on a sealed surface.
But it wasn’t enough, and the Frenchmen could afford to manage their lead to take yet another maximum score and their second British Rally Championship win of 2023.
Cronin had some consolation in second, having played second fiddle on the Malcolm Wilson Rally too, his pace this time around was much closer to the sharp end. As a four-time champion, Cronin knew what it takes to win titles.
The fight for third was much more intense heading into the second day with just 25 seconds separating third to sixth. Williams enjoyed a great start to the day, beating Fourmaux and just 1.7 seconds adrift of Cronin on the opener. With one stage to go before service, Williams was just 11 seconds behind, but his hard work would all come to nothing on Fogo, crashing out of third.
Furthermore, the battle for the final podium place became a one-horserace on the Fogo test, as not only did Williams exit, but so did Elliot Payne and Tom Woodburn in their Fiesta Rally2, also crashing out of the rally after a solid performance.
That left Black to sweep up and claim third, despite an impact with a rock on the opening Saturday loop and a pop-off-valve issue, the Fiesta pilot nursed it home to score his first BRC podium since 2014.
Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson enjoyed a positive asphalt debut in their Skoda Fabia, taking fourth place but inherited the spot after Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock beached their Fabia on the second pass of Ayton.

Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux secured his third Motorsport UK British Rally Championship win of the season, after a scintillating performance at the Ardeca Ypres Rally in Belgium.
Fourmaux would lock horns with fellow countryman Stéphane Lefebvre over the opening loop of stages before the former Citroen factory driver exited the event after a spectacular roll on Friday afternoon.
That left Fourmaux and co-driver Alexandre Coria with just the task of managing their pace over the remaining tests, which the Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 crew executed perfectly, to take yet another maximum haul of points for their championship. Their win would also give the British Rally Championship its first victory at the Ypres Rally on its fourth visit to the popular Belgian event.
A last-minute registration for Davy Vanneste proved fruitful for the Belgian, taking his Volkswagen Polo GTi to second on his BRC debut whilst Garry Pearson kept the Belgian ditches at arm’s length to secure his first BRC podium of 2023.
Ypres Rally is one of the most highly regarded rallies in the world, with breathtakingly fast stages and unforgiving cuts a feature of the two-day event. The longest in the BRC calendar, it was always highly likely to throw up some surprises over the 137 miles, 18-stage rally; and it didn’t disappoint.
The BRC would go head-to-head with its Belgian counterparts in the Belgian Rally Championship and the local heroes are often hard to beat on home turf. After qualifying determined road order on Thursday night, Friday’s opening leg housed eight tricky tests with a mid-afternoon start and the finish in the fading daylight.
It was Lefebvre and Fourmaux who became the targets, swapping fastest stage times by just tenths of a second over the opening loop. But the Michelin-backed Citroen C3 Rally2 of Lefebvre and co-driver Loris Pascaud would leave the road on the Messen-Middelhoek stage in dramatic style, rolling around 12 times after getting out of shape in a tricky section of the test.
Fourmaux enjoyed a comfortable gap to nearest rival Vanneste and much like the Jim Clark Rally before, was able to manage his lead throughout the second day. Even ECU issues in the closing stages didn’t unsettle the Frenchman, and he was eager to bring home the spoils after his last visit here as part of the World Rally Championship, saw him crash his Rally1 Puma in dramatic style.
But there were no such troubles this time around, taking both the BRC and coveted Ypres Rally victory, his home event.
Vanneste and co-driver Kris D’alleine inherited second after Lefebvre’s demise on Friday and that’s where they would stay after the battle for the remaining podium spots went the way of Pearson.
The Scotsman and co-driver Daniel Barritt were delighted to clinch a BRC podium after a Jim Clark Rally to forget, their Hankook rubbered Polo crossing the ramp in Ypres without a scratch on it, an impressive feat on Pearson’s first attempt at the Belgian event.
But it could so easily have been different.
Despite limited testing before the event, James Williams and Dai Roberts were taking the fight to the Belgian crews and sat third BRC crew overnight as the confidence grew. But power steering failure forced their Fiesta Rally2 into a ditch and the subsequent time lost extracting the Ford meant they would drop significantly down the order. Fourth was little comfort for a sterling drive throughout the weekend.
In a rally of attrition, the Belgian lanes claimed many crews but their resilience and desire for points saw them overcome adversity throughout the weekend.

Adrien Fourmaux etched his name alongside an illustrious list of rallying legends by taking a sensational Modern Tyres Ulster Rally victory and a maximum score in the fourth round of the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship.
The Pirelli shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 ace stamped his authority on the leaderboard from the opening stage on Friday afternoon and was never headed, to give him and co-driver Alexandre Coria four wins on the bounce in the BRC and tighten their grip on the championship with three rounds remaining.
But it wasn’t a straightforward fight for the Ulster Rally win for the Frenchman. Aiming to join a list of previous winners such as Colin McRae, Walter Rohrl, Stig Blomqvist and even his own boss M-Sport’s Malcolm Wilson, he would be faced with biblical rain and heavy winds courtesy of Storm Betty which graced much of Northern Ireland on Friday afternoon.
The already tricky lanes around the Newry rally base turned into torrents of running water, but the WRC2 ace is well-versed in what it takes to win a rally and as with many of his victories this season, made hay while the sun shone on the opening loop of tests.
The early lead enabled him to consolidate the position when the weather deteriorated in the fading light of Friday night and he would head to bed on Friday night with a seven-second cushion to nearest challenger Callum Devine. Saturday’s weather was mixed, but slightly more predictable and once again it was a Fourmaux masterclass in managing pace and a rally lead, firing in stage-winning times when he was comfortable and playing it safe when it mattered.
He returned to the podium in Newry with a fourth BRC maximum score and a fifty-point advantage in the standings. But with Fourmaux destined to miss the following round and with double points on offer at the final encounter of 2023, the championship was far from a done deal.
Recognising that fact was Garry Pearson, who elected to play his bonus point-inducing joker in Ulster and the Scot implemented his plan almost to perfection. Driving his Hankook-backed Volkswagen Polo GTi, Pearson and Daniel Barritt simply couldn’t find the confidence in the torrential rain and were in a lowly 15th overall after the opening Friday loop.
Electing not to fight Fourmaux for the win, Pearson’s confidence grew as the weather improved and his sensible approach netted him second BRC contender home, his best championship result to date.

In Fourmaux’s absence, James Williams secured his very first Motorsport UK British Rally Championship victory by taking third overall at the fifth round of the series, the JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion.
The 25-year-old Newcastle Emlyn driver and co-driver Dai Roberts excelled on home soil after being reunited with a Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 N Rally2, setting a scintillating pace throughout the weekend to finally seal Williams’ maiden BRC top score, a result he has hankered after since entering the Junior BRC category in 2017.
The Aberystwyth-based event would provide 100 breathtaking stage miles spread across two days, with the super-fast, undulating moorland roads complimented by narrow, hedge-lined lanes to offer one of the toughest challenges on the BRC calendar. The Ceredigion lanes attracted thousands of fans to watch the action on the stages with a truly international feel to the event adding a very special buzz to the region and the rallying community over the two days of competitive driving.
Inch-perfect precision would be required to make the most out of the task ahead and Williams set his stall out early, with third overall on the opening stage and just five seconds shy of early rally leader Meirion Evans. But the brutal Welsh lanes bite back, and Williams made it an uphill task for the remainder of the weekend by taking a trip into a field on the second test, dropping him down the order to sixth.
But the fightback was on for the young charger and despite a brush with a bale on the fan-packed Aberystwyth Street Stage, Williams’ intent was clear. Setting four four scratch times during the second day of the event, he clawed his way back onto the rally podium and with it, that all-important BRC victory. Made even sweeter by playing his bonus points-inducing Joker card, netting him the full five additional points for his win.
Whilst rally winner, 2022 British Rally Champion Osian Pryce and co-driver Stephane Prevot were able to take a convincing win, it would be Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt who took yet another BRC runner-up spot in their Hankook-backed Volkswagen Polo GTi. Pearson enjoyed a largely trouble-free weekend behind the wheel, even briefly leading the BRC chargers after Williams’ excursion.
But the Scot would be forced to settle for second behind a charging Williams, however, he remains the closest charger to series leader Adrien Fourmaux with two rounds remaining this season.
Alan Carmichael threw his hat into the BRC1 category ring after acquiring a brand new Hyundai i20 N Rally2 at the start of the week. But the Northern Irishman would struggle to adapt to left-hand-drive from the outset. After progressively upping his pace over the opening day, a heavy impact on the front right would eventually put him and co-driver Claire Williams out of the event.

Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux added his name to a spectacular list of champions, by sealing the coveted Motorsport UK British Rally Championship title with victory at Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.
The M-Sport factory ace and co-driver Alexandre Coria blitzed the opposition throughout the two-day event, returning a flawless performance behind the wheel of his Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to take the overall rally win and with it, the sought-after crown which would head back to the squad’s Dovenby Hall in Cumbria for the first time since 2019.
After the opening 12-mile Dalby Forest test on Friday night, a battle was brewing between Fourmaux and his nearest championship rival Garry Pearson. Fourmaux stopped the clocks just over one second faster than the Scotsman and would need to call on all his World Rally Championship experience to extend that advantage in the daylight of Saturday.
And extend it he did, blasting through the tricky Yorkshire stages with apparent ease to win every single stage of the rally, ensuring he could scribe his name on the trophy alongside superstars such as Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Stig Blomqvist, Ari Vatanen and Elfyn Evans.
Fourmaux was a tour-de-force in the British Championship in 2023, winning every one of the events he contested, meaning he and co-driver Alex Coria took the crown with a round to spare. Further proof, if needed that a return to Rally2 machinery could well put him in good stead for a shot at the World Rally Championship Rally1 top-flight once again in the near future.
That left second place to Pearson and co-driver Daniel Barritt who were sampling their Volkswagen Polo GTi on the gravel for the first time. Complete with a change to Pirelli rubber for the weekend, the pairing put in their best performance of the season so far, ensuring the title was within grasp should Fourmaux falter.
Keeping Fourmaux honest in the darkness of Dalby was a confidence lift but once the daylight arrived, it became a tougher prospect to match his times and despite a gallant effort, would have to take runner up spot away from the weekend.
The battle for the final podium places was less clear cut however but taking third would be Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson. Switching to Michelin for the event, Petch entered into a tussle with Tom Williams who returned to the BRC for the first time since 2021, both drivers swapping times throughout the weekend.
Some set-up changes to Williams’ and co-driver Ross Whittock’s Fiesta Rally2 helped matters on Saturday, but it was too late to catch the Skoda Fabia Rally2 driver and Petch would go on to make good use of his bonus point-inducing Joker card, with third spot and a career best BRC result to boot.

Having already won the title, Fourmaux sat out the final round of 2023, and Garry Pearson finally secured a Motorsport UK British Rally Championship victory by taking second overall at the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally.
The Duns driver and co-driver Hannah McKillop pushed eventual rally winner Tom Cave throughout each of the event’s five tests, to take their Pirelli-shod Volkswagen Polo GTi to Pearson’s maiden BRC victory and more importantly, sealing second place in the championship behind title holder Adrien Fourmaux.
The Llandudno-based event once again offered up some of the best stages in the world, courtesy of the North Wales forests which have seen World Rally Championship title fights played out over the decades. Its unforgiving and technical nature, coupled with tricky and damp conditions in tests such as Cloc and Brenig, would mean there was little margin for error.
Whilst Fourmaux had wrapped up the title in Yorkshire, Pearson still had the pressure of requiring a finish to secure second in the championship and that alone was a big ask in the brutal and world-renowned forests tests.
But Pearson’s season went from strength to strength and the Scot was one only a handful of drivers to emerge from the morning loop of stages with no real stories to tell. His relaxed and calm approach throughout the afternoon, plus a scratch time over the final stage, ensured he could claim his first BRC win of his career.
The return of Ollie Mellors and the Proton Iriz Rally2 to the BRC proved to be a fruitful one, taking second spot, although not taking points away from the remaining championship contenders this weekend.
However, a finish was looking unlikely at the halfway point, as the Michelin-backed Iriz pulled into the stop line of the Brenig test with the car driving at unfavourable angles. That was courtesy of a heavy impact with a log pile and Mellors admitted to being surprised that the car was still driveable after the hit on the rear corner.
But the team were able to repair the issue back in service, ensuring Mellors and co-driver Ian Windress could secure their best BRC finish to date.

2023 Ford Fiesta Rally2 Fourmaux Ypres IXO base plus Rallydecalsshop decals British Rally Champion 2023
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