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. Of course, it has moved on a little since its inception and the on its 65th anniversary, the BRC is now open to all rally cars that conform to FIA homologation regulations which sees the very latest rally machines tackle the special stages that make up each round.
Also tackling the series and providing an integral pathway for young drivers, the Junior BRC provides a stepping-stone for under 27 year-old’s to hone their skills on both gravel and asphalt, as well as the all important pre-event recce process. Also for young chargers, the Academy Trophy offers the perfect introduction to the BRC for contenders in `entry level` machinery.
There is also a National Rally Champion title for cars that have an Motorsport UK technical Passport, competing alongside BRC crews on the same events.
So, lets dive in a take a look at the classes available in this year’s championship.
The British Rally Championship
BRC1 houses the top flight class in the UK and will undoubtedly see contenders fighting for overall British Rally Championship honours. It’s home to the Rally2 category (or R5 in old money) and enjoys models available from brand names such as Ford, Skoda, Hyundai, Citroen, Volkswagen, Proton, Peugeot and the new Toyota Yaris Rally2.
With four wheel drive, a sequential gearbox and a turbocharged powerplant which produces around 300BHP, these machines are all ratified by the FIA and can contest any International event across the world.
Also eligible in this class are FIA Rally2 kit cars and S2000 screamers, along with a Rally2 / R5 cars which have been converted to right hand drive, provided the conversion has been documented and the rest of the vehicle complies with its homologation papers.
The newest category to make their mark on the stages, Rally3 offers a cost effective route into four-wheel-drive and is used by top-rung championships like the FIA Junior WRC. With just two manufacturers joining they frey so far in Ford [Fiesta Rally3] and Renault [Clio Rally3], more are expected soon as Rally3 is quickly proving accessible to rapid youngers and enthusiasts alike.
Earmarked as the perfect stepping stone from Rally4, the Rally3 examples have many qualities seen in its Fiesta Rally2 older brother, with slightly less power. However, with a fast pilot, it could well challenge the BRC1 crews. BRC3 will be home to the Rally3 category and two former Junior champions will step into the class this season.
Emerging talent is often found in BRC4 which is home to the newer Rally4 generation, as well as R2 and R3 machinery from pre-2018. Also in BRC4, you will find the Junior British Rally Championship and a selection of Academy Trophy contenders, although obviously age limits apply. In Junior BRC [up to 27] and they must use R2 or Rally4 eligible cars and the Academy contenders may only use R2 or Rally5 cars.
The Ford Fiesta has been the backbone of BRC4 from the R2 to Rally4 era, but the new generation of Peugeot 208 has captured the hearts of many youngster. The 208 R2 won the series in 2019 with now WRC ace Josh McErlean & the Rally4 example took it’s maiden win at the Nicky Grist in 2022. Opel [Cosra], and Renault [Clio] also have Rally4 examples for the category. Citroen and Renault offer an R3 model for this class to boot
Don’t be fooled by these small but mighty pocket rockets. When driven well and at maximum attack, they can even trade times with the classes above so it’s well worth watching.
This is the entry level class into FIA Homologated rally cars and is home to Rally5/R1 models. With very few R1 (pre-2018) vehicles still in existence, the focus is on the newer specification Rally5 cars which come from Ford [Fiesta] and Renault [Clio]. Contenders in this class, subject to the criteria can also compete for the Academy Trophy.
National Rally Champions
Have you ever wanted to compete along side the British Rally Championship? Well, you can in the National Rally Champions category! Open to any rally car that complies with the Motorsport UK Stage Rally Car Regulations with a Motorsport UK Vehicle Passport or CCLB, this category offers everything seen in the BRC, including recce, longer events, media coverage and more. Costs also remain competitive with access to Carless Fuels’ Hiperflo Super Plus.
There are simplified classes catering for all as can be seen below:
- Class 1 – All 2WD non-homologated cars up to 1450cc
- Class 2 – All 2WD non-homologated cars 1451cc to 1650cc
- Class 3 – Front wheel drive non-homologated cars – 1651cc to 2050cc
- Class 4 – Class 4 – Rear wheel drive non-homologated cars – 1651cc to 2050cc
- Class 5 – Class 5 – All 2WD non-homologated cars over 2051cc
- Class 6 – Class 6 – Any 4WD car not classified in BRC1, BRC3 or Class 7
- Class 7 – Class 7 – WRC cars running in their homologation specification from before 31/10/2016, as well as any Rally2/R5 derived car not complying with BRC1
Class 7 is new for 2023, allowing those with Rally2 / R5 machinery with larger restrictions or those in national trim (R5+) to compete on some of the best rallies in the country. The series has seen everything from Skoda Fabia R5’s, to Toyota Starlets and Opel Kadett’s!
For more information on any of the classes or you have an eligibility query, please contact the BRC on firstname.lastname@example.org.