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British Rally Championship Calendar 2022

Motorsport UK has announced its exciting 2022 British Rally Championship Calendar*

1 - Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton - Clacton - 23/24 April
2 - Beatson's Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally - Duns - 27/28 May
3 - Nicky Grist Stages - Builth Wells - 9 Jul - 3/4 September
4 - Grampian Forest Stages - Banchory - 13 August
5 - Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion - Aberystwyth - 3/4 September
6 - Trackrod Rally Yorkshire - Filey - 23/24 September
7 - Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally - Llandudno - 29 October
Reserve Round - Oulton Park Stages - Oulton Park - 5 November

* Provisional until ratified by Motorsport UK

19th October, 2021

Neuville wins - Evans closes championship gap

Thierry Neuville took control of the penultimate round of the 2021 championship with eight straight fastest times in his Hyundai i20 across the middle of the three-day asphalt rally to secure back-to-back Spain victories by 24.1 sec. Second place for Elfyn Evans in a Toyota Yaris means the fight for the drivers' title goes to a final round decider in Italy next month. Evans headed Dani Sordo's i20 by 11.2sec and trails team-mate Sébastien Ogier by 17 points with 30 points available at Monza.

After demoting Evans from the lead on Saturday morning, Neuville's progress at the front was serene until a big scare ahead of the closing Wolf Power Stage when a starter motor problem meant co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe had to push their i20 into the regroup before the stage. The crew managed to restart the car and tackled the test without further problems, but the incident clearly rattled Neuville.

Evans felt uncomfortable on dirty roads when the smooth asphalt speed tests in the Costa Daurada hills were tackled for a second time, but the Welshman slashed the deficit to Ogier from 44 points with victory in Finland earlier this month and now second in Spain. Ogier tried a variety of set-up changes to no avail but had enough pace to stay ahead of a charging Sordo, who won all four of Sunday?s special stages to demote Ogier and claim the final podium place.

Ogier, pursuing his eighth title in nine seasons, struggled for pace in the first half of the rally. While set-up changes gave the Frenchman fresh heart, but he could not hold off the Spaniard.

Neuville and Sordo's 1-2 in the bonus points-paying Power Stage means the fight between leader Toyota Gazoo Racing and Hyundai Motorsport for the manufacturers? crown will also go to the last round. Kalle Rovanperä finished fifth in another Yaris, almost 50sec adrift of Ogier, with Gus Greensmith overcoming several problems to complete the top six in a Ford Fiesta at the final rally for co-driver Chris Patterson.

Oliver Solberg celebrated his first WRC asphalt drive in an i20 World Rally Car with seventh, equaling his career-best result. Top-tier debutant Nil Solans was eighth in another i20, with WRC2 winner Eric Camilli and Nikolay Gryazin completing the leaderboard.

2021 Driver's Championship
1. Sebastien Ogier - 204
2. Elfyn Evans - 187
3. Thierry Neuville - 159
4. Kalle Rovanpera - 140
5. Ott Tanak - 128
6. Craig Breen - 76
7. Takamoto Katsuta - 68
8. Dani Sordo - 63

It's now down to a 2-horse race for the title-deciding final round at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza, which will take place on 18 - 21 November.

18th October, 2021

Pryce wins Beatson's Mull Rally

Osian Pryce strengthened his position at the top of the championship by securing his first British Rally Championship victory since 2013, scooping maximum points at round five of this year's series, the demanding Beatson's Building Supplies Mull Rally [8-10 October].

Pryce and co-driver Noel O'Sullivan took their Melvyn Evans Motorsport Volkswagen Polo GTi to a long-awaited BRC win, as teammates Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod faltered on the opening stage of the rally, eventually recovering to second place. Junior BRC frontrunners William Creighton and Liam Regan put their Ford Fiesta Rally4 on the final step of the podium after a blistering drive across the relentless Mull roads.

Steeped in history, the iconic Mull Rally is widely regarded as one of the toughest events on the British rally calendar. The small island off the west coast of Scotland is well known for its brutal stages and unforgiving schedule which sees much of the event's 148 stage miles taking place under the cover of darkness.

But it would be the opening stage of the 17-test event that would shape the entire outlook of the weekend. Just a few corners into the marathon rally, Edwards would suffer self-confessed 'brain fade' and fired his Pirelli-shod Polo off the road, losing seven minutes in the process. The resultant and rather significant rear-end damage would cause further time loss for the two-time champion, leaving Pryce to open up an unassailable lead.

However, the Welshman would battle handling issues in his Michelin-backed machine throughout the weekend but managed to nurse the car through the merciless stages to secure his first BRC victory in eight years. It would also be O'Sullivan's maiden BRC win, further strengthening the pairings hold on the top of the championship standings with two rounds remaining.

Edwards was left to lick his wounds from Friday night's disaster but refused to go quietly. Mounting a Mull Rally masterclass, Edwards never gave up and proved beyond doubt why his previous two titles were no fluke. The Conwy driver won an impressive eight stages, setting a string of new event stage records along the way, to climb from 142nd overall to fifth by the end of the event, enough to clinch the second BRC crew home and keep his title hopes remain alive heading into his home round, the Cambrian Rally in a few weeks time.

William Creighton and Liam Regan would also suffer opening leg concerns with clutch issues hampering progress for the Junior BRC contenders. Lying in sixth place in JBRC after the second stage of the event, Creighton would storm back up the leader board by the end of the leg to lead by the overnight halt.

From there, Creighton was never headed, and the Northern Irishman threaded his Rally4 Fiesta through the slippery and unforgiving stages in impressive style. Finishing a breath-taking eighth overall at the highly specialist event, Creighton also secured the Junior BRC victory, adding to his previous two wins already this season and enter into a three-way tussle for the title as the season switches back to gravel in Wales next month.

Scotland's Finlay Retson was another Junior to return an impressive showing on the island to take the second spot in his Fiesta Rally4. With co-driver Rhys Stoneman alongside, Retson battled with brake issues throughout the weekend to take a mature approach to the lengthy event and secure vital points in his chase for a maiden Junior BRC title.

Junior BRC leaders Eammon Kelly and Conor Mohan would once again add to their podium tally this season, meaning they finish all but one round of 2021 in the top three. With consistency key in the fight for the championship, Kelly kept his Fiesta Rally4 out of trouble to take third place, albeit five minutes adrift of winner Creighton.

Johnnie Mulholland and Calum Maguire secured the Academy Trophy victory after nearest challengers Fraser Anderson and Jack Bowen failed to make the start of the rally with engine issues. Mulholland took his Fiesta R2T to his fourth win of the season and almost certainly sealing the title in the process.

The battle for top honours in the Motorsport UK National Rally Title was a spectacular affair throughout the weekend. Fastest out of the blocks on Friday night was the sensational Jason Black and Karl Egan in their raucous rear-wheel-drive Toyota Starlet. Despite the water-filled roads, Black was in fine form to lead by 44 seconds, before punctures dropped him out of contention.

With the inclement weather favouring the four-wheel-drive contenders, it would be the Ford Fiesta crew of John Morrison and Peter Carstairs that led after the opening leg, before giving way to Alistair and Colin Inglis on the eighth test after a trip into a field. The pairing managed to hold onto the lead until the penultimate test before being overhauled by Garry Pearson and Niall Burns who were on a dazzling charge back up the order.

Pearson would struggle with brake issues throughout the weekend in his Mitsubishi Evo IX and a subsequent off left him with a lot of work to do over the closing stages of the rally. But a relentless drive saw the duo storm into the lead to claim their second win of 2021.

Inglis would fail to emerge from the final stage of the rally, leaving Black to take second place despite a puncture fuelled weekend and Morrison rounding out the podium places. The British Rally Championship returns to more familiar territory for the penultimate round of the season as the Visit Conway Cambrian Rally takes the series back onto the gravel from its Llandudno base in just three weeks time.

Motorsport UK British Rally Championship Points - Overall After Round 5

Drivers
1. Osian Pryce 96J
2. Matt Edwards 80
3. Matthew Wilson 53J
4. Rhys Yates 53J
5. Sam Moffett 37
6. Josh Moffett 24
7. Keith Cronin 22
8. Tom Cave 18
9. Seb Perez 18J
10. William Creighton 17J

Co-drivers
1. Noel O'Sullivan 91
2. Darren Garrod 80
3. James Morgan 49
4. Keith Moriarty 37
5. Dale Furniss 28
6. Elliott Edmondson 25
7. Stuart Loudon 25
8. Andy Hayes 24
9. Mikie Galvin 22
10. Liam Regan 17

15th October, 2021

Breen & Nagle join M-Sport for 2022/3

It's the news we've been expecting; M-Sport Ford have announced that Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will spearhead the M-Sport Ford World Rally team's attack on the 2022 and 2023 FIA World Rally Championship. The multi-year agreement will see their recent impressive performances rewarded with a full WRC campaign behind the wheel of the all-new M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car.

In what is the most exciting development in the 31 year old's WRC career, Breen will receive the full commitment and expertise of the Cumbrian squad as they aim to replicate their successes in 2017 and 2018, the last time there was such a radical overhaul of the sporting and technical regulations.

Having sampled the Puma Hybrid Rally1 car on gravel in Cumbria a few weeks ago, Breen was more than impressed and excited by the team's latest creation and is now fully focused on delivering the results and success that both he and the squad know is possible.

2022 will see all-new technical regulations, with the WRC moving to a new and exciting era of competition. Space frame chassis coupled with 100kw Hybrid Motors delivering additional 130hp bursts of power throughout the special stages and 100% sustainable fuel moves the sport into a more environmentally conscious direction, whilst still retaining the core DNA of the world's most exciting off-road motorsport series.

Despite only ever having partial WRC campaigns to date, recent results have seen Breen and Nagle become the talk of the service park. A third placed finish on last weekend's Rally Finland has meant the Irishman has achieved four podiums in his last seven events, and he currently lies 6th in the drivers' championship despite only competing in half of the season's events!

Breen and Nagle have long been in the sights of M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson. Having won the 2011 FIA WRC Academy in an M-Sport-built Fiesta R2, this championship title would deliver Breen a career-transforming prize package allowing him to step up to the wheel of a Ford Fiesta S2000. The following season Breen would win four S-WRC events seeing him take another outright championship title.

Thanks to M-Sport-s 'Ladder of Opportunity,' Breen was then able to kick-start his career at the top level, competing up until now partial season programmes with a number of other WRC teams, but in 2022 he will return to where it all began, with the 2017 Manufacturers and Drivers', and 2018 Drivers' WRC Champions. M-Sport and Breen now have the chance to add to Breen's impressive recent statistics, and are more determined than ever to help him succeed in what looks to be one of the most exciting seasons in decades.

Breen's full-time career as an M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 driver will start in October with a multi-surface test in Spain. With just over 100 days before the team lines up for the start of the iconic Monte-Carlo Rally, the team cannot wait to start this new chapter and bring success to him, the team and his global fan base.

News of other crews in M-Sport's driving line-up for next season will be announced in due course.

8th October, 2021

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