… 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship calendar unveiled
… including events in Northern Ireland and Belgium …
The new-look 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship will contain six events, with a good geographical spread of high-quality and challenging rallies making it a true national championship – with a round in Belgium adding an international flavour.
The BTRDA organised championship will begin on 10/11 March with the Tour of Epynt, before heading to the Isle of Man for the Manx National Rally on 11/12 May. Round 3 will be the Rally van Wervik (9 June) – an event in West Flanders that has always been very popular with British competitors, and is often used as a test ahead of the Ypres Rally (a round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship). Another new event follows – the Down Rally on 21 July, which will have around 100 miles of closed road stages in Northern Ireland. The penultimate round will be the Mewla Rally on 25/26 August, while the sixth and final round will be the Cheviot Stages Rally, held over the Otterburn ranges in Northumberland on 20/21 October.
The main focus of the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is to encourage active competitor participation throughout the classes, from drivers emerging from the junior and single-venue championships to experienced competitors wanting to enjoy motorsport at a high level. Details of the class structure, which has been designed to attract the greatest variety of cars and drivers and will include historic as well as modern cars, will be confirmed in the 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship Sporting and Technical Regulations, which will be published later in the year.
To be eligible to score Championship points, a competitor must have purchased their tyres from either Protyre Motorsport or from one of its official suppliers. Protyre is the largest suppler of Pirelli, Michelin and Hoosier motorsport tyres in the UK, and it can supply any brand of tyre. The advantages to registered competitors is that not only will they receive a very competitive special rate, Protyre will operate a comprehensive on-event service at each round, offering tyre delivery, tyre fitting, emergency supply of tyres and advice.
Protyre will offer a generous event-by-event prize fund to users of Pirelli, Michelin and Hoosier motorsport tyres. This will include a total of 72 free tyres for the top three placed drivers overall (1st overall on each event receives a prize of x 6 tyres FOC; 2nd x 4 tyres and 3rd x 2 tyres). Protyre will also reward success in selected classes with tyre incentives and rewards.
End of season awards include the ARC Trophy & BTRDA Award for the first placed driver and the Motordrive Seats Perpetual Trophy & BTRDA Award for the overall co-driver. The Hendy Ford Performance Trophy, plus a voucher for £100 redeemable at Hendy Ford Motorsport, will be presented to the driver of the highest placed registered Ford, the West Wales Fabrication Award, plus £200, will be presented to the driver of the highest placed registered Historic vehicle and the Melvyn Evans Motorsport Junior Award will be given to the highest placed driver in the overall points table aged Under 25 on 1 January 2018. In addition, Nutt Travel will offer registered competitors a 15% discount on Irish ferry crossings, plus an end of season draw of a free Irish ferry crossing. Other class incentives and awards will be announced in due course.
A half hour highlights package from every round will be broadcast on television in the UK, with the coverage also being able to view on-line via the championship website and Facebook pages, as well as the Special Stage Facebook page, website and Special Stage Mobile App. There will also be live streaming from each round on the Special Stage Facebook page, and live radio interviews on RallyFM.net.
Mike Broad, President of the BTRDA, said: “This is the start of an exciting three year project which will see the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship focus on the classes, as well as the big guys at the front. It’s a national championship with an international flavour – with the Down Rally in Northern Ireland giving the series a good national geographic spread and the Rally van Wervik in Belgium offering an exciting challenge in nearby mainland Europe. In its starter year, the 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship will contain six rounds – which gives it room for growth, should one or more other top quality asphalt rallies be added to the calendar in the future.”
Jane Evans, Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship Co-ordinator, said: “After many months of consultation and planning, we are delighted to unveil an exciting six round 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship calendar of events, a class structure which we hope will attract a huge variety of cars and drivers and a really generous prize fund. The response to the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship returning in 2018 has been phenomenal, highlighting the passion, enthusiasm and demand for a top quality national Tarmac series in the UK. It will be a very inclusive series, which will appeal to a wide number of competitors. It’s a championship where up-and-coming talent can cost-effectively climb the ladder up from single venue events, either within or outside the new 1400cc class. A focus on the new class structure will ensure that a huge variety of old, new and hybrid cars will compete in close competition, and we’re confident of an exciting battle for outright rally wins and overall title success. And the action from every event will be streamed live on-line, with a thirty minute highlights packaged broadcast on television. This is the start of an exciting three year sponsorship deal with Protyre. We will hit the ground running in 2018, and aim to develop the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship into the great national championship everyone involved in British rallying wants it to be.”
Shaun Chetwyn, Protyre Motorsport Manager, said: “I am delighted to offer our support to the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship for a minimum of three years, starting in 2018. We have already established a great relationship with Jane Evans, the Championship Co-ordinator, and together we’re committed to developing the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship into one of the best contested and promoted national championships in the UK. We’re delight to be able to offer quality incentives to registered drivers as part of the sponsorship package and would urge all competitors to make Protyre their company of choice for the 2018 series! We’ll also be attending every championship rally with a comprehensive on-event tyre service, and look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones throughout the 2018 season.”
2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship calendar
10/11 March….Tour of Epynt
11/12 May….Manx National Rally
8/9 June….Rally van Wervik
21 July….Carryduff Folklift Down Rally
25/26 August….Old Forge Road Garage Mewla Rally
20/21 October….Keldine Autos Cheviot Stages Rally