… British Rally Championship gets radical new look for 2021 …
Motorsport UK has announced dates and details for an action-packed 2021 British Rally Championship. Britain’s premier rallying series will feature seven events across the four home nations, with events in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
The new-look calendar will once again offer crews in R5 and Rally2 cars in the top-flight as well as R2 and Rally4 cars in the Junior BRC a challenging, action-packed campaign with asphalt and gravel rallies providing seven different and unique challenges.
The 2021 season will begin on a sealed surface for the first time in over 40 years, with a trip to Northern Ireland for the classic Circuit of Ireland. A name synonymous in the world of rallying, the Belfast-based event will play host to the phenomenal, bumpy, challenging Irish roads and unpredictable weather conditions – the perfect BRC curtain raiser.
From a BRC staple, to a brand-new challenge for Britain’s best crews, as the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring and Clacton will welcome the BRC to the south east of England for the very first time. The rally was the first closed road event in England back in 2018, and since then has gone from strength to strength, and will offer a journey into the unknown – making competition an exciting spectacle in the Essex lanes come April.
The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally will be home to round three of the championship. The iconic roads through the Duns region in southern Scotland are a favourite for drivers and rally fans alike as the rally returns to the BRC bill.
After the mid-season break, the series recommences on the fast and flowing stages of mid Wales, as the Nicky Grist Stages signals the start of four back-to-back gravel rallies. Last seen on the calendar in 2017, the round proved to be a make or break for drivers’ championship campaigns – expect the 2021 encounter to be no different.
New for 2021 will be the Grampian Forest Rally. The event based to the west of Aberdeen will utilise the fast, flowing and smooth gravel stages in the Banchory region. Like Clacton earlier in the year, this new addition in the summer will see a battle royal in the forests with a brand-new challenge facing the title protagonists.
Trackrod Rally Yorkshire returns to the fold as the penultimate round of the championship. The challenging and unforgiving Yorkshire stages in Dalby Forest will favour the brave, as the fast and furious shoot-out will be welcomed onto the calendar for the first time in eight years.
The Cambrian Rally will provide the 2021 curtain call – and potentially the championship showdown. With unprecedented support from Conwy County Council, this British rallying favourite will use the iconic Wales Rally GB stages, and come October will play host to the crowning of the 2021 British Rally Champion.
The hugely popular Mull Rally on the Isle of Mull, situated off the west coast of Scotland, will be the reserve round for the 2021 series.
British Rally Championship Manager Iain Campbell said: “Taking inspiration from our 2016 British Rally Champion Elfyn Evans’ strong showing on the world stage, 2021 will be a ‘reset and restart’ for the sport, as rally competitors and fans have missed the action on the stages in Britain this year. We have been working on a new calendar for a while and we have waited as long as possible, so that we could consider the direction government restrictions across the British Isles and the rest of Europe.
“We have also concentrated our efforts to support all home nations and to have an even mix between asphalt and gravel surfaces. The start of the season will begin on asphalt, with crews only having to convert their cars once this season, thus reducing the time and cost for our competitors. I believe we have achieved this, with some new venues and some returning national classics from years gone by.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in the BRC for helping bring our plans together for 2021. We are looking forward to a new season, as we have all missed the red-hot action and commitment from the BRC competitors.”
2021 Motorsport UK British Rally Championship Calendar
Round 1 – Circuit of Ireland, Belfast – 2/3 April
Round 2 – Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton, Clacton – 24/25 April
Round 3 – Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally, Duns – 28/29 May
Round 4 – Nicky Grist Stages, Builth Wells – 10 July
Round 5 – Grampian Forest Stages, Banchory – 14 August
Round 6 – Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, Scarborough – 24/25 September
Round 7 – Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, Llandudno – 30 October
Reserve Round – Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally, Isle of Mull – 8/9 October