The EuroRallye Cup returns to the North Yorkshire forests next weekend for the opening round The Kall Kwik Rally. Front wheel drive rally car specialist EuroRallye promotes the series, which will run within the 2005 ANCRO Clubman's Gravel Championship, with extra support from leading Vauxhall engine builders Martin Bowyer Developments and Compomotive Motorsport Wheels.
Defending Champion David Beesley makes a welcome return to the series in his immaculately prepared Vauxhall Corsa Kit Car. 'The competition was excellent in 2004 and opening the Cup up to include all makes of front wheel drive cars will make it even better.'
EuroRallye proprietor Iain Shirlaw will compete in the series in the EuroRallye Proton Satria kit car. 'I have very much enjoyed working with ANCRO promoting the ANCRO Clubman's Gravel Championship. It is an excellent Championship utilising many of the UK's classic gravel stages. The 2005 EuroRallye Cup will provide an ideal platform to showcase small-engined front wheel drive rally cars which is the core of my business.'
Two competitors set to miss the first event are Roger Priestnall and Paul Bonner. Roger is on holiday for the Kall Kwik but will join the series on the Barrett's Rally of Kent in his Ex Works Proton Satria Kit Car. Paul Bonner is negotiating to buy the 2004 EuroRallye Cup pacesetting Corsa kit car from Andy Gwynne. Paul will join the Cup later in the season.
The 1400 class will be equally competitive. Mark Simpson makes a welcome addition to the Cup in his recently acquired Puma Kit car. Mark shrugs off the title of pre-event favourite in the 1400s saying that it will take time to adapt to the new car.
Taking the challenge to Mark will be Brian McGuinness. The amiable Irishman found a breathtaking turn of speed in his 8V Nova at the end of last season and is confident that he has lost none of that over the winter break.
Fellow 1400 Nova 8V pilot Colin Hope looks forward to a better season in 2005. Partnered by Nick Patrick the pair were beset by mechanical gremlins in 2004 after their roll on the Astra Stages. Given a trouble free run Colin will be comparing his times to friend and rival Brian McGuinness.
The EuroRallye Cup is also open to competitors from the Peugeot 1400 Challenge. Competing for Cup points as well as Peugeot and Championship points will be Luke Pinder. Partnered by Nicola Fearnley the Yorkshire duo is aiming towards the prodigious Peugeot prize of a fully financed Peugeot 206 Super Cup drive in 2006. Ten Peugeot crews are expected to register for the Peugeot series and challenge the Novas in the EuroRallye Cup.