The Cumbrian forests will echo to the sound of the British Rally Championship for the first time in decades, as the Malcolm Wilson Rally hosts the 2023 curtain raiser. With a bumper day of rallying on offer through stages such as Grizedale and Greystoke in March, the event is set to be the longest gravel rally in the calendar.
The Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally signals the start of four back-to-back asphalt events and takes the series into Scotland in May. The blisteringly fast closed-road stages around the Duns rally base offer a formidable challenge for crews in a two-day event which once again offers a Friday night blast in the Scottish Borders to test contenders’ mettle.
Last on the BRC calendar in 2019, the iconic Ardeca Ypres Rally returns to the bill in June in an exciting move which offers a demanding 130 miles of closed Belgium roads. Based in the heart of Ypres, the legendary rally will see the BRC contenders go toe-to-toe with the Belgian Championship and it often attracts some of the best drivers in Europe, all eager to etch their name on the top of the leader board. A flagship mainland Europe event, it will undoubtedly provide a thrilling challenge for the BRC regulars, testing their resilience over the unforgiving ditch-lined roads.
After a year’s sabbatical from the series, the Modern Tyres Ulster Rally sees the BRC return to Northern Ireland for the prestigious two-day closed road event. Having hosted a sensational 2021 BRC season finale, the bumpy and challenging lanes will also see the BRC, and Irish Tarmac Rally Championship crews resume their friendly rivalry for top spot in Newry in August.
The Get Connected Rali Ceredigion made its way into the hearts of the BRC crews after a stellar event this season and returns for a repeat run in 2023. The Aberystwyth-based closed-road encounter provides an exceptional challenge across the bumpy and unforgiving moorland roads in September.
Switching back to gravel for the final two rounds of the season, Trackrod Rally Yorkshire offers yet another impressive forest test as the rapid, yet narrow stages offer little room for error. The now traditional Friday night foray through Dalby sets the scene perfectly for this popular event at the end of September.
Once again rounding out the season, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally brings the curtain down on 2023 in North Wales. Iconic stages, made famous by Wales Rally GB, could well be the deciding tests of the championship and the event will continue its Friday night leg to kick off the event.
2023 Motorsport UK British Rally Championship Calendar
Round 1 – Malcolm Wilson Rally – Cockermouth – 11 March
Round 2 – Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally – Duns – 26/27 May
Round 3 – Ardeca Ypres Rally – Ypres, Belgium – 23/24 June
Round 4 – Modern Tyres Ulster Rally – Newry – 18/19 August
Round 5 – Get Connected Rali Ceredigion – Aberystwyth – 2/3 September
Round 6 – Trackrod Rally Yorkshire – Filey – 22/23 September
Round 7 – Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally – Llandudno – 27/28 October
What is the BRC?
How fast can you go from A to B, over a narrow, twisty road that you have only seen twice before? That is the task that all rally drivers in the British Rally Championship face every time they start a special stage.
Winners come from the crews that have the lowest time, or in other words, have covered the timed special stages in the quickest time. When not on these tests the crews are governed by the same traffic laws as you and I.
Seven events covering the UK, plus a trip to central Europe make up the 2023 British Rally Championship. What makes the BRC so different from other events across the country?
Reconnaissance – the BRC is the only series where competitors get to make their own pace notes of the stages before they compete over them. A two pass, convoy recce takes place on all the gravel and asphalt rallies. This gives the crews the chance to make descriptive notes on what the road is like and at what speed they should be able to drive the stage.
Set servicing opportunities – competitors will only get the change to refettle their cars when they get back to the main service park for each event. Any servicing at the roadside can only be carried out by the crew with spares carried in the car, so no outside assistance is allowed.
More mileage than normal – most gravel rallies in the UK offer a maximum of 45 competitive miles. A gravel BRC round will average 50 miles, whilst the asphalt rounds will offer the challenge of almost 100 competitive miles.