BRC champion Milner supports new British rally series

Budget series gets British Rally Champion boost ahead of 2004 Britain's most talked about new rally championship has received a major bonus ahead of its inaugural season, with a thumbs up from no less than the Double British Rally Champion Jonny...

Budget series gets British Rally Champion boost ahead of 2004

Britain's most talked about new rally championship has received a major bonus ahead of its inaugural season, with a thumbs up from no less than the Double British Rally Champion Jonny Milner.

The Formula 1000 Championship will run within the boundaries of the Association of North Western Car Clubs (ANWCC) Stage Rally Championship next year, and is open to one litre rally cars. The lo-cost high fun championship will have nine rounds, all based on sealed surfaces, and has been set up to encourage a low cost platform for novice or experienced competitors to compete on a budget.

After making his name in small capacity cars in both rallycross and rallying, Toyota Corolla WRC driver Milner has given the series his full support, and will be piloting a "celebrity" car on one of the rounds to further enhance the new formula.

Jonny said: "Encouraging people into taking up the sport can be a difficult thing, and cost is usually a deciding factor for most people. The Formula 1000 Championship is very well thought out and is a great place for people to start - especially youngsters.

Its vitally important that the next generation of potential rally stars can have a safe yet fun environment in which to learn about rallying. With the cars being one litre and only modified for safety grounds, its an extremely cost effective way to start rallying. I think its a great idea and one that I am more than happy to support. Driving a one litre Nissan Micra will come as something of a culture shock after driving the 300bhp Corolla, but I'm sure it will be a lot of fun for everyone involved!".

Milner recently clinched his second consecutive British Rally Championship title on his home event in Yorkshire, the Trackrod Rally. The former Shell Scholarship winner began his career driving a Mini in Rallycross, before winning the British title in a Peugeot 205. The French manufacturer then persuaded the Yorkshireman to move into rallying, where Milner wowed spectators with his committed sideways driving style. Milner took his first outright International rally victory on the 2002 Rally of Wales, before claiming his first British Rally Championship title later in the year.

Tristan Dodd, one of the organisers of the new championship, is hopeful of attracting more support from established drivers as the season progresses next year:

"Its a fantastic boost for the championship that Jonny has given us a very public thumbs up. We're very grateful to him for agreeing to pilot the Celebrity Micra on a round of the series. I'm sure that will be of great interest to everyone! We've already had pledges of support from the likes of Super 1600 driver Simon Hughes and North West rallying stalwart John Hardman, so Jonny's support is brilliant for the competitors and the series. Its not everyday that a budget competitor will be able to go head to head with the one of the best British drivers! It really is a massive boost for the series at this early stage."

Interest in the new championship has been considerably higher than imagined, with well over 100 interested potential competitors contacting the organising team before the recent official launch at the Three Sisters Kart Circuit near Wigan.

More details on the championship can be found at www.anwcc.org - follow the links to Formula 1000.

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Series Other rally
Drivers Simon Hughes