The MSA British Rally Championship calendar will have a new opening round for 2009, but will still retain six representative rallies, one from each of the countries in the British Isles: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of...
The MSA British Rally Championship calendar will have a new opening round for 2009, but will still retain six representative rallies, one from each of the countries in the British Isles: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
International Rally North Wales will precede the previous season opener, the Pirelli International, by just three weeks, starting 2009's BRC at the end of March on some of Europe's best forest stages. Changes are also afoot with Rally Isle of Man moving a week earlier in the calendar and reducing their current three day format down to just two.
While the core of the BRC will remain the same, other less significant changes include new stages and a new home in Carlisle for the Pirelli, a Kelso base for the entire Jim Clark Rally and a return to the Friday night and Saturday format. The Ulster organisers are considering some new stages and host venue too, but negotiations are ongoing and the location is not yet confirmed.
The penultimate round in previous years, Rally Yorkshire, will form the backdrop for an exciting end of season battle for the MSA British Rally Championship title. At present this is the only event to remain wholly unchanged, but the organisers are keen to ensure that the rally remains fresh and vibrant.
After three successful years as part of both WRC and BRC, Wales Rally GB will host an end of season "Best of British" celebration. By linking with the BRC, the event organisers are offering incentives and prizes to the newly crowned British overall, junior and class champions and all other registered competitors who have an aspiration to contest the UK's round of the World Rally Championship.
"Mindful of the feedback we have received from competitors and aware of the current and future economic climates, I believe we have provided a mouth watering and exciting Championship calendar which incorporates the best events in the UK. We are seeking to add a seventh rally to the calendar, a gravel event in another region of the UK, but mindful that budgets may be tight in 2009, coupled with difficulties in the cramped calendar, we have postponed this move until 2010." said Championship Manager, Mark Taylor.
"The changes mentioned provide vibrant, more cost effective and exciting rallies that strive to be the highest calibre. Add this to a celebration of the British Champions in front of the rest of the World at Wales Rally GB, next year's BRC promises to be an epic."
2009 MSA British Rally Championship calendar
28th March -- Bulldog International Rally North Wales (Gravel)
Based in Llangollen this is a brand new event for the modern BRC and sees a welcome return to the classic stages of mid and north Wales. For 2009, the organisers promise an international one day format using some of the best forest tracks in Europe.
17th/18th April - Pirelli International Rally (Gravel)
Based in Carlisle using the Kielder forest, the 2009 rally retains the popular Friday night and Saturday format, the 2009 event will see the use of new stages in Kielder and a new rally base at the prestigious Carlisle Racecourse.
22nd/23rd May - Jim Clark International Rally (Asphalt)
Based in Kelso in the Scottish Borders, new for the 2009 will see the International rally service in the town and will a return to the popular Friday night, Saturday format.
10th/11th July - International Rally Isle of Man (Asphalt)
Based in Douglas at the TT Grandstand, listening to customer demands the 2009 rally has compacted the format to just two days, cutting a full day off the schedule. The route will still be a tough and demanding classic event around the islands infamous roads.
21st /22nd August -- Toddsleap.com Ulster International Rally (Asphalt)
This rally uses the closed public roads around the farmland and idyllic rolling countryside of Northern Ireland. For 2009, the organising team are planning a brand new route and special stages.
26th September - International Rally of Yorkshire (Gravel)
Based in the North Yorkshire market town of Pickering, this popular event enjoys the close proximity of the forests once used extensively on the RAC and Lombard Rallies. This event is now the only stage rally that uses the Dalby forest complex, infamous for its ultra fast nature and terrain.
23rd /25th October - Wales Rally GB (non points scoring event)
The last round of the 2009 WRC will include celebrating the Best of British, showcasing the newly crowned British Driver and Co-driver, Junior, Class and Cup Champions in front of the world's media. The details of the celebrations which will include a city centre parade will be announced later in the year.