Jim Clark Rally - BRC Round 2

The Motorsport UK British Rally Championship heads to Duns in the Scottish Borders for the Beatson's Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally [26-27 May], round 2 of the series, on which the infamous lanes around the market town have been a staple of the UK's premier rally series over the decades, and as the British Rally Championship enters its 65th anniversary season, the Jim Clark Rally heralds the first of three asphalt events on the roster and a mix of deceptive moorland roads coupled with twisty country lanes.

And the country's top-drawer series has added a star-studded list of names to the entry list with an impressive array of top-flight crews in Rally2 machinery, joined by Rally3, Rally4 and National Rally Title contenders, each aiming to grab some early top scores to gain momentum at the early part of the seven-round championship.

Fresh from a sensational performance in the World Rally Championship in Portugal, Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux adds a truly international flavour to the Scottish event as he aims for back-to-back BRC wins in his Ford Fiesta Rally2. The M-Sport Ford factory driver enjoyed a convincing win on the opening round of the season on the gravel of the Malcolm Wilson Rally, but he and co-driver Alexandre Coria will need to bring their `A-Game` to Duns if they are to repeat that maximum score.

Breathing down their necks will be a wealth of top-class BRC contenders, led by none other than last year's Jim Clark Rally winners Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin. The Irish pairing endured a tough opening round and struggled with their Volkswagen Polo GTi, but the change to asphalt, coupled with Cronin's extensive experience on the event could well play into their hands. The four-time BRC champion salvaged second in March but will be gunning for a win this time around.

An on-form Callum Black need not worry about his asphalt pace after winning the recent non-championship Manx National Rally, despite making his sealed surface debut in four-wheel-drive machinery. He and Jack Morton will be eying a repeat in Scotland in their sharp-looking Fiesta Rally2.

In the ice-covered first stage of the 2023 season, it was Ford convert James Williams who led the BRC contingent with a stellar performance before Fourmaux got his teeth into the gravel but if that pace continues, Williams could well take his maiden BRC win at the weekend. With Dai Roberts alongside, the pairing have settled perfectly into their new Fiesta Rally2 and is flourishing in their new surroundings.

A career-best third place for Elliot Payne at the Malcolm Wilson Rally is a sign of the youngster's progression but the switch to his non-preferred surface may see him switch tactics in the Fiesta Rally2. A solid score here could bode well for his and co-driver Tom Woodburn's title hopes.

If anyone knows how to tackle the Borders roads, it's Duns man Garry Pearson who will be going all-out on an event which passes his door. Pearson will also raise the bar with a switch to a Volkswagen Polo GTi for the remainder of the season - the very car which took Osian Pryce to the title in 2022 with Melvyn Evans Motorsport. Pearson also enlists the ultra-experienced Daniel Barritt in a bid to nail a victory on home soil.

Alan Carmichael and Arthur Kierans will tackle their first BRC round of 2023 in their Hyundai i20, whilst Hugh Brunton and Drew Sturrock have been looking forward to getting their Skoda Fabia Rally2 onto a sealed surface at the `Clark`. Stephen Petch has put his opening stage retirement on the Malcolm Wilson firmly behind him and wheels out his new Skoda Fabia Rally2 for the event. Michael Wilkinson joins him in the co-driver's seat.

22nd May, 2023