BRC

Yorkshire: Series class preview

Rally 3 / Diesel Cup It would be easy to assume that the Rally 3 class would be won by the fastest car, but as with so many sports that rely on machines, reliability is playing a part in shaping the outcome. Fin McCaul's consistent runs...

Rally 3 / Diesel Cup

It would be easy to assume that the Rally 3 class would be won by the fastest car, but as with so many sports that rely on machines, reliability is playing a part in shaping the outcome.

Fin McCaul's consistent runs have only been marred by a costly crash on the Isle of Man. He leads the category and the Diesel Cup in his oil burning BMW from Steve Graham in his diesel Astra, taking a win and two second places. Graham also bowed out on the Manx lanes with a crunching crash, inverting the distinctive green Vauxhall in treacherous conditions.

O'Mahony is joint second in the much more powerful S1600 Clio, but mechanical problems on the first two rallies kept him at bay, his patience paying off with a pair of wins before Yorkshire.

Stefan Davis' return to the BRC in his Puma, now painted lurid orange, has been less than successful, a catalogue of mechanical problems putting paid to him continuing in the championship.

Rally 2 / Citroen C2R2 Cup

As old as the Championship, Martin Roberts proves that life at 50 can still take place in the fast lane. He leads the Rally 2 class in his immaculately presented Citroen C2, although he will be the first to admit that it is his tenacity that has got him to the finish on every rally so far.

Early leader Andrew Hockridge would still be in prime position but for missing the Chatsworth event in his C2. His first foray into an International status championship has been a real eye-opener, but a pair of second places put him in a strong position when the two worst scores are dropped at the end of the year.

In an arguably stronger position is Renault driver Gould, his two wins and consistent pace bode well for a late surge, taking to the swap from his 2007 Fiesta easily. He shares third with Matt Cotton, although the Cornishman's position is through consistency and a monumental off on the Pirelli knocked his confidence, still scoring using Super Rally.

Jason Pritchard's season had a knock from the outset, breaking his foot in a pre-season road accident. Despite this he has a win to his credit on the Isle of Man, regaining confidence as the year progresses.

Rounding out the top six Rally 2 drivers is another graduate of the BRC's support series. Luke Pinder won the "Stars" as it was called in 2007, with it a class winning prize drive on Rally GB. A potentially excellent season has been blighted by transmission problems in his Puma, but his stage times are good and he is hopeful of a break in fortune on the nearest event to home.

Rally 1 / Suzuki Swift Sport Cup

All eyes will be on the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup competitors as they head to Trackrod Rally Yorkshire this weekend -- because one of them could leave the event as champion.

After four of the six rounds of the Swift Sport Cup, Mark Gamble leads the points table by six points over Gordon Nichol. But with five of the six results counting towards the championship, it is possible that Gamble could leave as champion.

With Nichol having won the first round, and Gamble having taken two event wins, both men will be fighting hard to keep position on the fast straights of Yorkshire.

But never to be underestimated in any fight so far this year has been the determined Irish young gun Ross Forde, who took his first win on his home event, the Ulster Rally last month. Having already dropped a score, Forde appears to be out of the running, but with the others yet to drop their lowest score, a good run in Yorkshire could put him right back in the mix.

The three former winners are joined by their regular rivals -- rally newcomer and journalist Henry Catchpole, Nick Rowland who has just returned from contesting a round of the Chinese Rally Championship in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9, Danish Suzuki regular Niki Bjerg, and BRC newcomer Richard Boot.

An addition to the usual suspects on the Trackrod will be Australian S1600 champion Molly Taylor. Having initially expressed interest in competing in the championship this year, she will use the guest car as a taster of the championship ahead of a possible entry in the 2009 series.

With the possible prize of a fully paid drive in a S1600 Swift on Wales Rally GB up for grabs, the spectacular competition in the Cup will be even closer in Yorkshire.

All the action will take place around the central base of Pickering's showground, with a full day of nearly 100 competitive miles in some of north Yorkshire's classic forests.

-credit: rallybrc.co.uk

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About this article
Series BRC
Drivers Steve Graham , Molly Taylor
Teams Citroën World Rally Team