The third round of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge takes place this weekend, when crews embark on the first asphalt surface event of the season, the Jim Clark International Rally, which also hosts the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA...
The third round of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge takes place this weekend, when crews embark on the first asphalt surface event of the season, the Jim Clark International Rally, which also hosts the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.
Starting in Duns, the birth-place of the legendary racing driver from whom the event takes its name, the rally is held entirely on closed public roads in Berwickshire. Of the 33 entries that make up the overall field, just four of the seven registered Evolution Challenge crews are making the journey to the Scottish Borders, all occupying a position in the top-ten seeds.
First of the crews to cross the starting ramp is Alistair Fisher and co-driver Rory Kennedy, who held the Evo Challenge lead for the first half of both round one and two before transmission issues intervened. They are therefore are due better fortunes and could well take their maiden Mitsubishi series victory on this event.
So far, this year could not have gone better for Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts, who have won both rounds of the Evolution Challenge on the Bulldog and Pirelli Rallies. They currently not only top the Evolution Challenge standings, but also lead the British Rally Championship as well and are hoping to maintain their early-season performance now the surface switches to asphalt.
After scoring a third place last time out, Owen Murphy and James O’Brien are looking to improve on the result this time around, as their car was down on power throughout the Pirelli Rally. Murphy will be calling on his season of tarmac experience from 2008, when he contested the Evolution Challenge in Ireland, where the series features only closed-road events.
Daniel Sigurdarson and his sister Asta Sigurdardottir will again be making the trip from Iceland to continue their British Rally Championship campaign. Sigurdarson’s main aim will be to get to the finish unscathed, as his only previous asphalt outing was on the Isle of Man two years ago, when an excellent run ended abruptly after a high-speed argument with the Manx scenery.
Having won the Reivers Rally (a national-status event which runs alongside the international rally) outright last year, David Bogie and Kevin Rae have opted to enter this event in order to score points towards the Scottish Rally Championship. They will therefore not be eligible to score Evolution Challenge points this time around.
The Jim Clark International Rally gets underway at 7.00pm on Friday, the evening featuring three stages run twice before crews head to the service area at Kelso Racecourse for the overnight halt. The event re-starts from the racecourse at 8.30 on Saturday morning and sees four stages run twice before finishing in Kelso at 5.15 that afternoon, after covering a total of 134 competitive miles.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK is supported by: Mitsubishi Motors UK, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JRM, Cyprus Automobile Association, Fairways Mitsubishi, Speedline Corse wheels, Murray Motorsport, CL brake pads, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights - who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.
For the first time this season the winner of the Evolution Challenge in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, will win the same prize: A supported drive in the FxPro Rally Cyprus, the final round of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). Then, whichever of the three teams are first home on this event will be crowned European Evolution Challenge Champions. Added to this, the winning driver in the UK will be a guaranteed nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out.