British Rally Championship

Why BRC won’t be crossing the Irish Sea in 2022

The British Rally Championship has revealed its list of seven gravel and asphalt rallies for 2022. The series which will start in Clacton and end on the Cambrian Rally features new and returning events but crucially all are situated within England, Scotland, and Wales.

The Jim Clark Rally, Nicky Grist Stages, Grampian Forest Rally, Rali Bae Ceredigion, and the Trackrod Rally are the others to feature in BRC’s 2022 calendar.

BRC crews won’t visit recent overseas events like the Ulster Rally, West Cork Rally, Ypres Rally, or even island-based Mull Rally.

Speaking to Rally Insight, championship manager Iain Campbell explained why BRC is sticking to mainland events in 2022.

“The 2021 events have been well received by our competitors,” explained Campbell. “And remember, this is a participation sport, paid for by the competitor, not by spectating fans.

“Mainly due to the short nature of the rallies – short as in time away from work, which pays for the sport and in the competitive mileage which saves on overall budget for fuel, insurance, tyres etc.

“So the thought for 2022 was to continue in this vein. Don’t get me wrong we all; competitors, events and championship would all love to put on longer events.

“It just isn’t viable for the British Rally Championship with where the market place is at the moment.”

Interestingly BRC’s three planned asphalt rallies for 2022 didn’t form part of this year’s championship. Albeit, coronavirus played a large part in this.

So, what can we look forward to when BRC hits the sealed surface events next year?

“The BRC has never been to the Corbeau Seats Tendring and Clacton Rally,” said Campbell. “We have tried twice now but Covid put paid to it each time.

“Being on the south-east coast of England brings the sport and the championship to a new area.

“Jim Clark was a staple of the BRC calendar before. They have large ambitions for the event and the stages provide a good fast challenge to the crews. They are very different from Clacton and Ceredigion.

“Rali Bae Ceredigion is a very new event. It was very well received when it ran in 2019 and the promotion that the event produces is exceptional. Plus the stages are very tight and challenging.

“This is another event with big ambitions for its future.”

Fresh additions always add an extra dimension to proceedings and the championship’s thought process proves to be pretty solid.

Of course from an Irish perspective it is a shame to see the Ulster Rally and West Cork Rally omitted, especially considering the number of Irish crews entering this year’s championship. While they are not present this time around, Campbell was by no means ruling them out for a future return.

“Putting together a calendar is never simple or straightforward. Events have fixed dates for lots of reasons and they may not always meet the schedule that we are looking for.

“So, like everything in our sport, it becomes a compromise of getting the best mix of events across a schedule that is feasible for the competitors.

“The organisation behind the Ulster Rally is superb. The event is always a short, sharp, shock of fabulous stages.

“The welcome from everyone in Clonakilty for the West Cork Rally was brilliant. The event was excellent, and it always is when we take on the Irish Tarmac Championship head-to-head.

“Both are events I would love to take the championship back to. For 2022, I don’t think it was financially viable for us to go to West Cork and I couldn’t get the dates to work for the other rounds to get to the Ulster.”

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Photos courtesy of British Rally Championship

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