As the action-packed 2019 series heads to an exciting final round showdown, the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship (BRC) has today (4 September) confirmed its exciting 2020 calendar.
In 2020, Britain’s premier rallying series will feature six rounds in six territories, with events across the UK in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The series will once again visit Belgium for the classic Ypres Rally as well as the popular staple in Irish Rallying, the West Cork Rally – successfully introduced into the series last year.
The new-look calendar will once again offer crews a challenging, action-packed campaign, with asphalt and gravel rallies offering six unique challenges – varying in length, mileage surface and format.
Where is the British Rally Championship going in 2020?
The Cambrian Rally will provide the 2020 curtain call once again with iconic stages as featured on Wales Rally, the scene for the first battle of the year. With unprecedented support from Conwy County Council, this British rallying favourite gets the championship underway in February next year with the BRC teams returning to the heart of Llandudno once again.
The Welsh season opener will be backed up by fast and furious action on the picturesque Cork roads. The Clonakilty Park West Cork Rally will feature iconic Irish stages for the best in the British Championship to go head-to-head with the Irish Tarmac Championship for an early season clash over 150 miles in Clonakilty, Republic of Ireland.
A return to England will be in store for the drivers and co-drivers in April. New for 2020 will be the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton. First run in 2018, the event has grown from strength to strength and will offer the BRC its first trip to Essex in its 62-year history and will give competitors and fans a completely new event with the closed road stages in the South East of England offering a step into the unknown – making competition an exciting spectacle.
After a short break, action resumes on the famous Renties Ypres Rally in June as the BRC goes toe-to-toe with some of the best drivers in the World at another rallying heartland. Coupled with the Belgian passion for rallying, it’s sure to provide an exciting second overseas excursion for the intrepid BRC crews.
The bumpy, challenging Irish roads make a return, with the classic Ulster Rally playing host to the final Tarmac event of the year and the second encounter with the Irish series. Phenomenal stages coupled with the unpredictable weather conditions – this event could play a decisive part in the fight for one of rallying’s most coveted crowns next season.
The Galloway Hills Rally in Scotland will once again play host to the championship decider. The rally utilises one of the largest forest estates in the UK and the forest tracks are a real favourite for the BRC stars. With the championship going down to the wire in recent times, expect more nail-biting drama on the final day of the season next September.
Junior BRC offering €60,000 JWRC prize for 2020 champion
The British Rally Championship in collaboration with WRC Powerhouse M-Sport and global tyre manufacturer Pirelli, will for a second year provide a career changing €60,000 to put towards a drive in the Junior World Rally Championship.
In 2019 the prize will be awarded to the top Ford Fiesta driver in the series and as it stands heading to the final round, three drivers have a mathematical chance of taking home the cheque.
For 2020, the same prize is on offer but next year the Junior BRC switches to a one-make Ford Fiesta R2T championship – providing a perfect step for drivers aspiring to join the Junior WRC as the world series uses identical one-litre turbo-charged machines. The Junior BRC has always provided unpredictable competition, with eight different crews spraying the champagne in 2019 and coupled with identical cars, 2020 is all set to bring the closely-fought competition to another level.
New BRC Academy the perfect stepping stone into the BRC
The British Rally Championship will launch a new BRC Academy Trophy for 2020, offering drivers under the age of 25 the chance to contest the same six-round series as the stars in the top-flight and Junior BRC.
With the JBRC the perfect stepping stone into the FIA Junior World Rally Championship, the BRC Academy will sit below and offer the first step on the BRC ladder – providing the home for older generation front-wheel-drive R2 cars from Citroen, Ford, Opel, Peugeot and Skoda. Intense competition throughout the season is expected from the stars of tomorrow, with the eventual winner being crowned a British Champion – and with it, free entries into every BRC round in 2021.
Furthermore, those competing in this class will also have another incentive as the highest placed driver at the end of the season will win a fully subsidised drive on the Wales Rally GB National Rally in a state-of-the-art Ford Fiesta R2T courtesy of EDSL Sport.
2020 British Rally Championship Calendar*
8 February – Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, Llandudno, Wales
14/15 March – Clonakilty Park West Cork Rally, Clonakilty, Republic of Ireland
25/26 April – Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton, Clacton-on-Sea, England
25-27 June – Renties Ypres Rally, Ypres, Belgium
21/22 August – Today’s Ulster Rally, Newry, Northern Ireland
19 September – Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally, Castle Douglas, Scotland
Reserve Round – Wales Rally GB – Date TBC
*Calendar subject to approval by Motorsport UK
BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell
“We may have one more round to run, but plans are well underway for the 2020 championship season,” enthused Iain Campbell. “The announcement of the calendar shows our commitment to providing the best all round package for events for our competitors and spectators. We have a mix of short, sharp one-day shootouts to longer, tougher international events.
“Our calendar allows competitors to compete on some iconic stages against some of the best drivers in the world, as we go head-to-head with the Irish Tarmac Championship on two occasions and also with the Belgian Championship – lifting the pace of everyone in the process.
“I am delighted to welcome the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton event onto the calendar for next year. The rally will be in its third year and will offer a brand-new challenge for our crews and bring the championship to a new geographical location – which is really important for us to grow the following and fan base of the BRC.
2018 BRC Champion Matt Edwards
“The 2019 season has been a fantastic challenge, with lots of close competition on every round – and with the title still up for grabs, there’s still a lot to look forward to this year.
“The BRC visits some unique events and the competition we go up against includes some of the best competitors in the world, and that really progresses us as drivers and raises the standard for the entire series. Starting in Wales on the Cambrian will be special again and the Scottish forests at the end of the season will be fitting for the season finale. Throw in some of the most iconic Tarmac rallies in the world and the 2020 calendar will once again provide tough year of competition.
“New events always add a new challenge for competitors, and the event in Clacton-on-Sea will certainly provide that. I am fully supportive of new events, full of ambition and I look forward to seeing how the team prepare and make the step-up to join the BRC calendar next year.”
2019 BRC title protagonist Tom Cave
“The BRC is one of the premier championships in Europe and the pace at the front is as fast as it has ever been and that shows when we go up against other series’. 2020 has a good mix of events across the year and Clacton will be a brand new unique challenge. As it will be the first time in the calendar it will create new stages to compete on and new opportunities to take the BRC to a different part of the country.”
2011 BRC Champion David Bogie
“The BRC calendar has a strong mix of asphalt and gravel with some popular events to go to. With top-quality competition again it will be another great fight come the Galloway Hills at the end of the year.”
Further initiatives regarding next season will be announced in due course, but in the meantime the 2019 championship continues later this month with the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (14 September) as the crews tackle the one-day showdown on the legendary Scottish forestry stages