BRC - Modern Tyres Ulster Rally 20th November

The 2021 Motorsport UK British Rally Championship comes down to the final encounter of the season, the Modern Tyres Ulster Rally next weekend [20 November] the seventh round of the series.

The stages around the Newry rally base will see the British Rally champion crowned on Saturday night, but standing in the way is over 93 competitive miles of merciless closed-road special tests with every passing corner ready to usurp any one of the title protagonists. Add into the mix the prospect of the latter stages taking place under the cover of darkness and it's all set to be a gripping final blast of 2021.

Aiming for a record-breaking third BRC title in a row is Conwy driver Matt Edwards who heads to Northern Ireland with the number one on the door. But fellow Welshman Osian Pryce will be doing all he can to take his maiden British Rally Championship title and starts the event with an eight-point lead in the standings, on paper at least.

Taking dropped scores into account, in simplistic terms Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod need to take their Pirelli-shod Volkswagen Polo GTi to maximum BRC points if Edwards is to clinch a place in the history books. Standing firmly in his way though, Melvyn Evans Motorsport teammate Pryce and co-driver Noel O'Sullivan will be threading their Michelin rubbered Polo through the stages with precision and undoubtedly with more than one eye on the times.

If Edwards doesn't take the top score, Pryce can afford to cruise home thanks to his impressive points tally accumulated over a season that has seen the Machynlleth driver finish on the podium on every round so far. With two wins apiece to each of the protagonists, it's a winner takes all scenario but one thing is for sure, the Volkswagen marque will secure their first-ever British Rally Championship title in the process.
A stellar entry will line up to tackle the Ulster lanes and any one of the impressive field could hamper the title chase for Pryce or Edwards. Both Sam and Josh Moffett return to the BRC fold after a mid-season break although it's unclear if they will be registering for points at this stage. If anyone knows how to win titles, its four-time BRC champion Keith Cronin who makes his 2021 debut on asphalt in his Hankook backed Ford Fiesta Rally2. Continuing to develop the tyres throughout the season, Cronin and co-driver Mickie Galvin could well throw up some surprises during the day.

Cathan McCourt and Liam Moynihan impressed on the gravel of the Grampian Rally in August despite making their debut in a brand new Fiesta Rally2 and are well in line for a podium spot. Seb Perez bagged his first BRC podium at the Cambrian and will be looking to round out his season in style. His and co-driver Gary McElhinney's recent WRC Spain experience will put them in good stead on the Northern Ireland asphalt and are M-Sport's sole entry at the weekend.

Having made a stellar return to the stages at the Cambrian Rally, former Junior BRC front-runner James Williams will tackle the event in a Fiesta Rally2 to gain valuable experience in four-wheel-drive machinery for the future, ably co-driven by Dai Roberts.

12th November, 2021