Reigning Motorsport UK National Rally Champion Alan Carmichael will step into the British Rally Championship this season as he makes the switch to the top-flight BRC1 class.
The Hyundai i20 driver with former BRC champion Arthur Kierans in the co-drivers seat, returned a stellar season in 2022, winning four rounds and sealing the title with a dramatic finish in Yorkshire. A last-minute cooling issue forced them to stop on the final test of the rally but they managed to nurse the car back to the finish ramp and celebrate their title.
Now, Northern Irishman will step up to BRC1 and fight for the prestigious British Championship title outright. His right-hand drive Hyundai can contest the class and, thanks to a ruling brought in a few seasons ago, will run in full FIA homologated specification, aside from the difference in driving position.
He will be following in the footsteps of 2021 National winner Garry Pearson who also progressed into the championship proper after securing the title and Carmichael believes his pace of late will put him right in the mix.
I think I will do well this year” he says.
“I’m pretty consistent and have a good finish record, that’s important for a good result at the end of the season. I am looking forward to the new season and the new challenges that BRC1 will bring, I would certainly love to be top three”.
Carmichael skipped the opening round last season but proved his worth on both surfaces with a start-to-finish victory on the asphalt of the Jim Clark Rally and an impressive showing at Rali Ceredigion. Gravel wins came at the Nicky Grist and Grampian but with a new look to the BRC calendar in 2023, he will still need to dig deep to rub shoulders with the leaders.
“I used to favour asphalt but the BRC itself has really brought me on [as a driver] at the gravel events which I love doing now more than asphalt. And with Arthur [Kierans] now beside me, he is really helped me progress my driving and speed so I really owe a lot to him and his experience. He is now a BRC and National Title holder; I would say that is a record on its own”.
“I hope to have a good year, good craic and see where we can get to and hopefully the odd top three finishes. Then I will be happy”.