BRC 2013 Round 4 - Rally of Northern Ireland

Next weekend's Rally of Northern Ireland, the fourth round of the 2013 MSA British Rally Championship, comprises of a new base and stages. The second asphalt round of the 2013 series takes the crews to Northern Ireland where the event headquarters is in Enniskillen, situated in the Lakeland region close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. The stages for this year's event are all new, with several having formed part of Ireland's past round of the FIA World Rally Championship, combining fast and flowing tarmac with tighter, more technical and bumpy roads

The fourth round of the series marks the end of the eight-week summer break and the second half of a hard-fought season, with this and two more rounds to go. Currently Kukka Kornonen leads the championship 8 points ahead of Alastair Fisher who is three points ahead of fast charging Welshman Tom Cave, whose performance on tarmac is known to be competitive. Tom made the running on the Jim Clark Rally earlier in the year, swapping fractions of a second with Kornonen, but with the Fast Finn showing excellent pace so far and local hero Alastair Fisher also expected to be very fast, Cave knows it will be a tough fight as the series resumes.

With Rally Northern Ireland providing the longest distance of the BRC events, around half of that run on the Friday afternoon and evening, competitors know that they will have to push from the very start to stand a chance of success.

In addition to the main scoring system for the MSA British Rally Championship, the IRDC will be operating its popular Driver Improvement Award scheme, leading to an overall winner at the end of the season rewarding drivers who have made the largest percentage improvement on their stage times.

The recce for the event takes place on Thursday 22 August while shakedown is on the morning of Friday 23. The event itself begins at 12.45 on Friday, with two loops of three stages plus a run around the Superspecial stage at St Angelo airfield, the location for the service area.

The total distance for Friday is 65 miles, with a further 64.5 competitive miles on Saturday, split over eight stages in four loops, with two more runs around the St Angelo stage. The first crews are expected to arrive at the ceremonial finish in the centre of Enniskillen at 17.45.

21st August, 2013