First run in 1958, the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship has been the making of many a rally legend with five BRC Champions going on to become World Rally Champions. It has been the series that has launched careers, seen manufacturer campaigns delivered and entertained millions of rally fans at home and abroad.
The 2017 British Rally Championship returned with a bang on events across the British Isles. Britain’s premier rallying series took in asphalt special stages and gravel tests on seven rallies in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Belgium, with the championship curtain-call on the legendary Isle of Man. Timed to the tenth-of-a-second, the iconic British stages provide the perfect backdrop for the best drivers in the best cars to go head-to-head for overall supremacy. The championship was decided by one tenth of a second on the very last stage of the season.
Open to all rally cars that conform to FIA homologation regulations, the very latest rally machines tackle the special stages that make up each round. There is also a National Rally Cup for cars that have an Motorsport UK rally log book competing on the same course. An integral pathway for young drivers, the Junior BRC provides a stepping-stone for under 26 year-old’s to hone their skills on both gravel and asphalt, as well as the all important pre-event recce process.
In a change to the published calendar in 2020, the re-formatted BRC will now start in May with seven challenging events across the four home nations, before closing out the season in November. Four gravel and three asphalt events will make up a compact yet thrilling 2021 season, offering a formidable mix of events.
Oulton Park will host the opening round of the 2021 BRC tour for the very first time as the Neil Howard Stages in association with Graham Coffey & Co Solicitors sees the BRC contest a circuit-based event for the first time. The impressive Cheshire venue played host to the opening special stage of Wales Rally GB in 2019 which provided a unique and challenging backdrop for the best rally drivers in the world. That setting will now provide the starting point for the BRC elite in what is sure to be a close-run first round thanks to its tightly-packed yet unforgivable format.
The Nicky Grist Stages houses the first gravel event of the season in July, with a one-day blast across classic Welsh forest stages from its Builth Wells home providing the perfect backdrop to kick-start the series.
Originally announced as a qualifier back in December, the “Grist” hasn’t appeared on the BRC tour since 2017 but is a firm favourite for many championship protagonists.
In a first for the BRC line-up, crews will make the trip to Kincardineshire in North East Scotland for the Grampian Forest Rally. Ultra-fast and flowing stages will provide crews with a new challenge and offers up a perfect leveller to the 2021 championship in August.
Trackrod Rally Yorkshire makes a welcome return to the calendar in September, offering flat-out Dalby Forest tests both under the cover of darkness on and in daylight. Last seen on the BRC roster in 2013, the English forests are renowned for throwing up a few surprises.
One of the most popular stage events in the UK steps into the fold in early October, as the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally hosts a spectacular weekend of closed road rallying on the Isle of Mull. Arguably the toughest challenge in rallying, the island event houses a unique format with much of the competitive mileage in the dark, offering an additional challenge to crews and worthy of inclusion of the BRC tour.
Opening the series during the past two years, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally switches to an October date in 2021, providing imposing forest stages made famous by Wales Rally GB from its base in Llandudno.
The final round of the 2021 British Championship will be played out across the infamous and tricky closed-public roads of Northern Ireland at the Today’s Ulster Rally. In a shift from its traditional August date, the unpredictable climate in the North Channel will provide a dynamic twist on the BRC curtain call as the battle for the title could well be played out on icy stages this November.
The British Rally Championship offers all the road surfaces and challenges that the aspiring rally driver needs to conquer to be successful. Where else gives you this competition?
It’s going to be another epic adventure. Let the battles commence!