NEWS: MSA British Rally Championship Season Opener

The MSA British Rally Championship 2014 is all set for season opening action this weekend – with Round 1 starting in the border town of Carlisle and into classic Cumbrian rally country, May 3-4th.
The Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally starts from Carlisle United Football Club, Brunton Park, where the service area will also be hosted for the very first time. And Saturday’s super fast gravel forest stages are preceded by a bit of razzmatazz and a starting ceremony in Carlisle City Centre, as a rally parade, autograph session and the official ramped rally start all take place there from 9.30am, bringing the sport to the masses. Good call.
A Full entry list including NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy, MSA British Historic Rally Championship and Armed Forces Rally Team Land Rovers HERE. And information on the event, stages, programmes, schedules, tickets etc. can be found HERE.
Meanwhile, for more information on the MSA British Rally Championship visit
Follow the BRC on Twitter @britishrally or like them on Facebook MSABritishRallyChampionship.

So, who's in it to win it this year in the thrilling BRC then?
Carrying the prestigious number one on the door of their Citroën DS3 are last year’s championship runners-up Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss; bet against them at your peril! However, the Welsh youngster’s rise from third in 2012 to second last year, does come with some pressure to go that final step and the question will be, can they handle it? Last year a puncture cost them any chance of victory in Kielder, but they must hope that three wins at the end of 2013 will give them a psychological advantage.
Ireland probably offers the closest challenge to Pryce’s goal, coming in the form of last year’s Pirelli Star Driver Daniel McKenna and his steadfast co-driver Arthur Kierans. They step up from the high revving Fiesta to another DS3, the weapon of choice of the British Rally Champion for the past two years. Their steed is part of the stunning Pirelli prize drive and they have already tested its capabilities at home, taking sixth overall on the fourth round of the European Rally Championship in Ireland.
Then there's Callum Black and James Morgan. A tried and tested partnership in a tried and tested package; their distinctive black DS3 took them to sixth on two of last year’s rallies, one on asphalt and one on gravel. And another DS3 and another with championship aspirations, having stepped up to the top BRC1 class this season, is Timothy Cathcart. The 19-year-old from the Ulster Rally’s home town of Enniskillen has a secret weapon in his quest for victory though – the vastly experienced Dai Roberts will sit alongside to guide his youthful charge, hopefully helping to dispel any memories of the driver’s non-finish on last year’s ‘Pirelli’.
And Ireland’s pot of rich rallying talent is once again on show in the next BRC1 pilot. Sticking with Citroën in their move from C2 to DS3 are County Mayo’s David Carney and fellow Irishman Ray Fitzpatrick. Last year saw them get a great grounding in the BRC events, starting all six. Recording non-finishes in Scotland and Yorkshire probably cost them a podium place in the RallyTwo category, but they ended the season well, taking a fifth place in their class on the final event.
A number of the BRC2 crews have a fighting chance at the overall podium too, their story already told HERE, but further back in the running order are the protagonists for the BRC3 and MSA British Junior Rally Championship title: Every one of the wannabe Junior Champions is new to the main championship and although the only female driver in the main series, Kim Baker, does bring plenty of experience, it is from the co-driver’s seat and it all looks very different from behind the wheel.
Reigning NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Star of the Future Chris Wheeler heads-up the juniors, joined this year by Charlotte Banner – a newcomer to the BRC. And former U18 World Karting Championship driver Gus Greensmith has made the bold move from circuit to rally, which should be interesting.Other names to watch out for are Jonathan Jones and Jez Rogers and 16-year-old Cameron Davies with Phil Hall.
Looks like a good year, with many potential podium winners... so stay tuned.


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