Image Credit: Ruaidhri Nash Photography
Reigning Irish Forestry Champion Cathan McCourt and co-driver Barry McNulty will join the British Rally Championship for the first time in their Ford Fiesta R5.
Irishman McCourt wrapped-up the Irish series last season and quickly switched his focus for a full season in the BRC. The gravel expert will be using the 2020 championship to learn the events, improve his speed on asphalt and look to establish himself against the series front-runners towards the end of the season.
“We won the Irish Forestry Championship last year, so it felt like the right step. I am more suited to gravel which is perhaps rare for an Irishman, but the BRC will enable me to keep my hand in on that surface, but yet keep learning about asphalt and we have plenty of types on the calendar this year. We are back in the Fiesta R5, and we will use that for now. It’s a well proven car and suits my driving style and has plenty of BRC history as it has won the last four titles.”
For Cathan this will be his first foray into Britain’s premier rallying series and the Fiesta driver has already identified a few key events he is looking forward to this season.
“I can’t wait to get up to Scotland, Scottish stages really appeal to me and think will suit me after time in the Irish forests. I am working a lot in the UK so it made sense to do the BRC as I can juggle work and rallying commitments a lot better.
“Each year I have events I want to tick off and for 2020 I wanted to do a foreign event and Ypres is right up my street. I will be really switched on and match fit after Donegal so I will hope to have a good event to lead into Ypres. However, I am not going to be bullish as those stages with the cuts will demand the respect. Some of these boys have done it multiple times and this will be my first go, so I plan to feed myself in and get to the finish with all the miles under the belt. That will be the same for all events. Get the finishes, pick-up some points and get as much out of 2020 as possible.”
For McCourt there is a bigger plan as he puts a mature head on young shoulders and lays down his ambition for the season ahead.
“2020 is all about getting the experience as we also have an eye on a full attack in 2021 if everything goes to plan. There are some quick guys out there so we want to be as close as we can, learn the formats and stages and by the Galloway Hills we want to be knocking on the door.”