The hunter and the hunted; the race for the Junior BRC title

The Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally will once again round out the British Rally Championship season at the end of October and this year, it will also host the Junior BRC title decider between young chargers Kyle White and Kyle McBride.

White has taken four victories so far this season and is in the box seat when it comes to the standings thanks to an impressive season behind the wheel of his Peugeot 208 Rally4. It’s been a long road trodden for the 27-year-old too, embarking on his maiden Junior BRC season in 2021 in the older specification R2 Peugeot and leading the series early on against more powerful machinery.

Last year, he once again took on the challenge but lost out to an on-form Eamonn Kelly. In 2023, White seemed fresher, ready for the fight and has delivered so far. He and co-driver Sean Topping have been the pace setters and only an off-road excursion in Ypres blotted their copybook. It’s a simple task for the pairing too, just finish; and that will be enough to take the crown back to Northern Ireland.

“It would mean the world to me to add my name to such a prestigious trophy,” says White.

“I remember as a kid tuning in to watch the British Rally Championship and I always said I would love to become a British Rally Champion. This will undoubtedly be the most difficult rally I have done to date, there is a huge amount of pressure to reward all the people who have got me this far, but more importantly, we have to keep our feet on the ground and take this opportunity by the horns.”

Almost in contrast, McBride landed in the BRC Academy last year and duly won, grabbing free entries to each round of the 2023 Juniors. Using that wisely, he mounted a campaign this season and has been arguably White’s closest challenger.

Now, McBride and co-driver Liam McIntyre find themselves waiting in the wings for the title, ready to take advantage of a slip-up from White. They are more than capable too, having taken their first Junior win at the Trackrod, the Fiesta Rally4 crew are in the hands of the gods if they are to secure the crown, but still need to keep their wits about them during the weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to the Cambrian, it will be my first time doing the rally and obviously it’s the last round of the championship” says McBride.

“Most importantly the championship goes down to the last round and I can’t wait to get going. [I must remember] it’s my first year doing the Junior BRC and it’s really encouraging for me how I have improved all year to bring the championship down to the last round and it would be a dream come true to win the championship of course.

“I have looked up to so many people who have competed and won the British Championship and it would mean so much to me and my team. I never even thought I would even get the opportunity to do the series at the age of 19 and here we are taking the championship down to the last round, so I am really thankful to all the people around me and to my sponsors who have helped me get this far and the MI Rally Academy for their dedication and hard work”.

The North Wales stages are the perfect proving ground for the Junior BRC decider, and we can’t wait to watch it play out.

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