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2008 British Rally Championship

Posted: March 2, 2009 4:46 PM - 14399 Hits

2008 MSA British Rally Championship standings declared final

Posted: March 2, 2009 4:46 PM

Following the outcome of the Motor Sports Council National Court Tribunal and based on its recommendations, the 2008 MSA British Rally Championship standings are declared final.  

The 2008 Drivers Champion is confirmed as Guy Wilks, with Co-drivers Champion Rory Kennedy and Mitsubishi Motors UK as British Teams’ Champions.  

More Details and Final Points:

Full judgement of Mitsubishi National Court Tribunal

Posted: March 1, 2009 10:07 PM

Mitsubishi Motors UK fined £60,000

Posted: February 27, 2009 10:09 AM

The Motor Sports Council National Court was convened today at the Royal Automobile Club as an Investigatory Tribunal to consider the evidence given by Mitsubishi Motors UK to the National Court on 26th November 2008 in appealing the exclusion of Guy Wilks' Mitsubishi Evo IX from the results of the International Rally Yorkshire in September 2008.  

Having considered all the evidence, the National Court Investigatory Tribunal found that Mitsubishi Motors UK had put the consideration of competitive advantage above that of safety and that this was clearly unacceptable.  

The Court ordered that Mitsubishi Motors UK pay a total amount of £60,000 in fines and costs, but did not order any suspension or exclusion as a result of the findings.

MSA refers Mitsubishi case to MSC National Court

Posted: December 20, 2008 5:35 PM

On Friday 11th December 2008, the Motor Sports Association made a formal referral to the MSC National Court for an inquiry as follows:  

It appearing to the MSA from the presentation at the pre-event scrutineering at Wales Rally GB on the 3rd December 2008 of cars numbered 60 and 61, each of which being a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX group N class 4, crewed by Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh and Gwyndaf Evans/Gareth Roberts respectively and entered into Wales Rally GB by Mitsubishi Motors UK that:-  
1)         There may have been a breach of the General Regulations of the MSA and/or
2)         The results of a competition namely the International Rally Yorkshire, held on the 26/27th September 2008 whose  results were made final on the 4th December 2008 and/or Wales Rally GB held on the 4th-7th December 2008 and whose results were made final on 7th December 2008 may have been incorrectly and/or improperly declared and/or
3)         Some other irregularity may have occurred  

For the following reasons:  
Namely that on the 26.11.08 the MSC National Court, when hearing an Appeal by Mitsubishi Motors UK relating to the International Rally Yorkshire 2008, was advised on behalf of Mitsubishi Motors UK, that, amongst other things, the standard/homologated steering column for the Mitsubishi Evolution IX had had to be replaced as the pinch bolt fixing of the standard/homologated component had been a serious problem from early 2005 and, that for example:  

"The problem was that the steering wheel easily came loose under rally use when attached to the pinch bolt fixing on the steering column.  When the steering wheel worked loose it would simply spin round on the steering column without turning it.  The spines on the pinch nut fixing are very fine and do not enable the steering wheel to be fixed to the steering column securely enough for rally use." and "We, therefore, changed the pinch bolt top fixing of that steering column for the standard Mitsubishi taper and nut fixing from the EVO VIII steering column, because the pinch bolt type fixing was clearly not suitable for rally use." and
"The modification to the top fixing of the steering column simply enables the driver to control the direction of car in a safe and proper manner and without risk of the pinch bolt fixing steering failure described above, which could have serious consequences for the driver, co-driver and spectators."

However, despite what the National Court was advised, seven days later on the 03.12.08 Mitsubishi Motors UK presented their cars for pre event scrutineering on Wales Rally GB, Britain's round of the World Rally Championship with the standard/homologated steering column.  

The MSA hereby refers these matters to an MSC National Court Investigatory Tribunal for an Inquiry in accordance with the General Regulations and specifically Background to the Regulations paragraphs 26 and 21(ii) (Page 69 and 68 respectively in the Competitors' and Officials' Yearbook 2008).

  For the avoidance of doubt this referral is within 60 days after publication of the final results for both International Rally Yorkshire and Wales Rally GB.  

The General Regulations provide that after giving interested parties an opportunity to be heard, The National Court may make such order as it deems proper and if it concludes that a breach of the Regulations may have occurred, either order that the matter be referred to a subsequent National Court or alternatively deal with the matter itself and impose such penalty as it thinks fit.  

The MSA will be making no further comment as it is now a matter for the National Court.

Points After Round 5 (Pre Rally GB)

Posted: October 10, 2008 7:58 PM

1= Mark Higgins 78
1= David Higgins 78
3 Guy Wilks 76
4 Jonathan Greer 61
5 James Wozencroft 53
6 Brian O’Mahony 37
7= Stuart Jones 31
7= Gwyndaf Evans 31
7= Adam Gould 31
10 Phillip Morrow

1 Team TQ.com 152
2 Mitsubishi Motors UK 149
3 Atlas TEG Sport 117
4 Revolution Wheels 109


Posted: October 10, 2008 7:56 PM

Fin McCaul scored his fourth Diesel Rally Cup win of the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship season, to make his position at the front of the Cup unassailable after Rally Yorkshire last weekend.

He and co-driver James Smith were reunited after a two year break, but the pair quickly gelled, taking stage wins from their rivals Steve and Tony Graham on each of the morning’s stages.

The black BMW 120D was certainly entertaining on the Championship’s return to the loose forestry stages, Fin commenting early on, “We seem to have gone backwards with our development of the suspension, the back end is all over the place.” But he was reassured when informed that the whole field had struggled on the morning’s marble-like surface.

The Graham brothers had no answer to McCaul’s pace, although they did take a stage win in the Pickering Showground spectator stage, albeit by a mere tenth of a second. “We had a bit of a scare this morning when there was a loud bang from what sounded like the transmission,” Explained Steve at service, “But it hasn’t recurred so we’re hopeful it was unimportant.”

After stage eight, with McCaul already pulling comfortably ahead, the Grahams appeared unexpectedly back at service, the problem having manifested as a broken differential.

McCaul’s victory effectively secures the Diesel Rally Cup for the second year in a row; nobody now able to catch the amiable UK domiciled Irishman. ”It is great to win again,” he said, “but I feel sorry for Steve and Tony, there’s been great camaraderie all year. These cars are quicker than people think and I hope more people sign up to run in the diesels next year. And the fuel bills aren’t too bad either, we did the whole rally on a single tank!”

TV Guide

Posted: September 15, 2008 3:18 PM

BRC TV Guide available on the Championship Website:

BRCMedia YouTube channel now online

Posted: September 15, 2008 3:16 PM

TV news edits from the Sky Sports coverage of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship are now online on YouTube.

The short compilations are a snapshot of the full Sky Sports programme that goes out on the Monday immediately after each of the six rallies. As they are edited to go to regional TV stations, some have no commentary to distract you from enjoying action from the top crews.

Rally Isle of Man and the Ulster are featured so far, but Greenlight Television is working to update the new BRCMedia YouTube channel with all the edits from the season to date.

Clips from the final two rounds, Rally Yorkshire and Rally GB will be posted shortly after each event, but in the meantime visit www.youtube.com/user/BRCMedia and enjoy the action.

Mitsubishi UK Rally Team releases Morrow from contract

Posted: July 25, 2008 9:25 PM

The Mitsubishi Motors UK Rally Team has today confirmed that Phillip Morrow has been released from his contract as a works driver for the remainder of the 2008 season.

The decision was taken following the outcome of the first three rounds of this year’s Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.

General Manager for Ralliart and team principal Paul Brigden said:
“This is a very unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in and we are disappointed to see Phillip leave the team. We trust that this decision with allow him to pursue his career in another direction and we wish him the very best of luck with his future rallying campaigns.”

Mr Brigden continues: “Following this decision we will now reassess our strategy for this year’s remaining three rallies to see if we can still achieve our goal of retaining the British Team’s and Driver’s titles.”

The team will make an announcement as to whether it will run one or two cars for the rest of the season at the beginning of August. It now turns its attentions to round four of the British Championship, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally, which takes place on 22nd & 23rd August.

Posted: July 25, 2008 9:24 PM

New BRC Website

Posted: April 3, 2008 11:03 AM

Date Change for Rally GB

Posted: March 26, 2008 9:47 PM

Bumper crop of entries in BRC's 50th year

Posted: March 20, 2008 11:40 AM

The Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship is shaping up to be a real epic with a bumper crop of entries in its 50th year.

By mid March, 37 drivers and 35 co-drivers had registered, exceeding the total amount received last year with over a month still to go to the first round. A good spread of entries has been received across all four classes including the inaugural Suzuki Swift Sport and the Citroën C2R2 Cups. Registrations have come from England, Scotland, Wales and both sides of the Irish border as well as Denmark, Sweden and Finland . While competitors of all ages are welcome to the championship, the average has reduced, with an increase in junior drivers and co-drivers sampling the BRC for the first time.

“We are delighted with the increased interest and entries for the 2008 season, the competition is shaping up to be the hottest yet and there are still so very good calibre drivers yet to sign up.” said BRC manager Mark Taylor, “I think it shows that there is a demand for high quality, well organised events, providing great camaraderie amongst the crews and teams, a real “rally” experience with recce and plenty of stage mileage to go at. We offer an opportunity to win money in every class and the Pirelli Star Driver competition will be hotly contested in 2008, providing the eventual winner with a fully funded top flight drive in 2009.”

More Details:

IRDC Performance Award to continue/BRC Rallies commit to shakedown stages/BRC adopts WRC style numbering /Citroën C2R2 Cup boosted by additional support

Posted: February 26, 2008 7:16 PM

IRDC Performance Award to continue
The International Rally Drivers Club scheme to recognise improvement will continue in 2008 in both the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship and the Silverstone Tyres BRC Challenge.

The initiative was launched in 2007 to award prize money to the most improved driver on each round of the championships, taking the opener in Carlisle as a base point for improvement.

All crews will have their performance data entered into the IRDC database and their improvement will be reported after the second round of the championships and all subsequent rounds, with £200 prize money going to the most improved on each event.

As an added bonus each registered competitor in both BRC and BRCC will become an associate member of the International Rally Drivers Club, having access to the members’ only sections of the IRDC website for news, reports and developments.

Competitors will carry the distinctive IRDC crest on their sunstrips throughout the year and at the end of season awards ceremony the most improved driver will take home the IRDC trophy and receive complimentary tickets to The BRC Bash.

Mark Taylor, BRC manager said, “The scheme will obviously benefit drivers who make the effort to push themselves as the year goes on. So the prize money doesn't necessarily go to the winner or class leader, but to the person who makes marked improvements from event to event.”

For more information about the International Rally Drivers Club visit www.irdc.org.uk

BRC Rallies commit to shakedown stages
All the events in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship have made a commitment to provide a shakedown before the start of their rallies. The aim is to give competitors a chance to re-familiarise themselves and fine tune their cars before the start of the event.

Drivers contesting the season opener, the Pirelli International Rally in April, will be most eager to get some mileage under their belts before attacking the famous Kielder Forest in earnest. The event’s organisers have planned a shakedown to help blow the cobwebs away after a break of over four months, or to give newcomers a chance to sample Kielder’s fierce reputation at first hand before the start.

The Jim Clark Rally has previously used Floors Castle as a shakedown and spectator stage, but this year the focus will be on testing rather than playing to the crowd. There will be a three mile test stage situated close to the event’s Service Park at Charterhall, which is more representative of the area’s fast but, particularly in the wet, extremely slippery roads.

In 2007 the Rally Isle of Man shakedown stage was a huge hit with competitors who flocked to the short section of road, using it well over a hundred times in just a few hours. This will be repeated in 2008 and it is hoped that allowing competitors to blow off some steam will reduce the number of early event incidents.

The Ulster Rally also has plans to run a shakedown within two miles of the event’s Armagh City base, which is likely to be around 1.5 miles long, with a selection of straights and flowing bends.

Rally Yorkshire will try to engage a section of forest nearer to the stages than the private tests organised in previous years, as the particular character of the North Yorkshire forests is unique.

Finally Wales Rally GB opened up its shakedown to privateer drivers in 2007 with some success, a strategy that the UK’s round of British and World Rally Championship plans to repeat in 2008.

Mark Taylor, “We are finding more and more that competitors are seeking a full weekend of sporting experience for their money which includes reconnaissance of the stages, promotional opportunities, enjoying fun and camaraderie and now, an opportunity for a pre event shakedown of their cars. It proves again that qualifying rallies of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship are providing competitors real enjoyment and a value for money experience.”

Shakedown Dates
    Pirelli Thursday 17th April
    Jim Clark Friday 23rd May
    Isle of Man Wednesday 16th July
    Ulster Friday 22nd August
    Yorkshire Thursday 25th September
    Rally GB Thursday 27th November
All shakedown dates TBC – see event websites/regulations for full details.
BRC adopts WRC style numbering
The Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship will adopt World Rally Championship style door and rear window numbers for 2008, the first time this style has been used in the UK outside the WRC.

The move is intended to give competitors more space for their own advertising and has been welcomed by the events too.

“We have been lobbying for this change for some years now,” said BRC manager Mark Taylor, “and we think it will please both competitors and events alike. The smaller door numbers allow a bigger area for both event and competitors’ sponsors, while moving the large numbers onto rear windows helps keep track of the cars more easily on the stages.”

This style of numbering has been used in the WRC for several years now, so the rectangular style, positioned towards the top of the doors, should not be too difficult to get used to. The sizes will be as per FIA/WRC regulations to maintain parity between the championships.

“All the BRC cars at the Autosport International show in January sported the new style plates and we had some positive comments during the show.” concluded Taylor.

Citroën C2R2 Cup boosted by additional support
harles Hurst and Citroen Sport have signed a deal which will see additional support for the UK Citroën C2R2 Cup which runs exclusively in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.

The C2R2 Cup now in its second year has already attracted a number of competitors and with the support of Charles Hurst Motors, Citroën Sport and new partners Total Oils, it will be a big step forward from 2007.

As the UK official distributor of Citroën Sport competition parts, Charles Hurst Motors will again be providing on event management and the provision of parts and technical support though their www.citroenpartsdirect.com division.

In addition to the existing Rally 2 class BRC prize fund, which is paid out on each qualifying round of the Championship, registered C2R2 Cup finishers will share £1750 per event with £500 to the winner down to £100 for sixth place. The popular one make series is also augmented by the provision of matching awnings, ground sheets and crowd barriers to ensure the C2R2 “Village” is a Citroën focal point in the BRC service areas.

“The additional support from Charles Hurst and Citroën Sport is very welcome indeed and it is fantastic for competitors and their teams, offering even more prize money and increased profile on each event.” said Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship Mark Taylor

The premise of a single make championship is to provide a level playing field for competitors but also to have an identifiable brand. Consequently each registered drive and co-driver will be required to wear Citroën Sport branded rally suits and carry C2R2 Cup championship decals on the cars.

Raymond Moore from Charles Hurst commented, “We have been working hard over the closed season to find additional support . Citroën Sport have been very supportive introducing a number of initiatives. Together with support from Total Oils, we can boast a good cash prize fund and end of season prizes."

The overall prize for the C2R2 Cup winner at the end of six qualifying rounds of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship will be a place at the Citroën Sport shootout to decide a supported drive on a round of the 2009 Junior World Rally Championship.

All C2R2 Cup competitors are automatically eligible for selection to the Pirelli Star Driver competition. In addition, the highest placed Junior driver will also be entered in the BRC’s Pirelli Star Driver shootout offering a chance to win a fully funded drive in the 2009 British Rally Championship.

For full details of the 2008 Citroën C2R2 Cup including sporting and commercial regulations please visit

Pirelli Star Driver car announced
Darren Gass, winner of the inaugural Pirelli Star Driver competition unveiled his prize car, a top International spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 on the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship stand at the Autosport International Show last Thursday.

The inaugural Pirelli Star driver will be entered on all rounds of the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, in its striking Pirelli livery it will be maintained by ADR Motorsport as an independent team.

“Its been killing me over Christmas waiting to find out what the Pirelli deal would be”, said an excited Darren, “I am absolutely delighted to find that Pirelli are giving me a brilliant opportunity to progress my career, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 won last years British Rally Championship and it will be a great car in which to progress and learn. I can't wait to get started, I want to do myself and Pirelli’s proud.”

His prize of a fully funded drive in the 2008 BRC was awarded after he and five other finalists were selected, one from each of the six rounds of the 2007 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship. The 19 year-old from near Armagh in Northern Ireland came out on top after a final gruelling two day assessment based at M Sport back in mid December.

“We have deliberated long and hard about what direction to take when Darren won the prize. The plan was always to make it a logical step and we intend to assist Darren in other key areas in order he has every opportunity to progress through the sport.” said Martin Pallot from Pirelli UK.

All the competitors who register for the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship, irrespective of which class they enter, will be eligible once again for Pirelli Star Driver selection.

Martin Pallot concluded, “We’re all eager to start the new season, I think it is a lot clearer now what Pirelli and the BRC Management team are both offering and trying to achieve with this scheme. If you are a driver who is serious about his/her career you have to be part of it. We are already enjoying working with Darren and we look forward to nominating more Pirelli Star Drivers from the BRC events, offering the 2008 winner a Pirelli prize drive in 2009.

Phil Pugh, Guy Wilks, Phillip Morrow, Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi announces 2008 UK Works Rally Team line-up at Autosport International
This year’s Autosport International sees Mitsubishi Motors UK announce its 2008 Works Rally Team line-up, with reigning British Champion Guy Wilks retained for a second season and joining the 2007 Evolution Challenge Champion Phillip Morrow for an assault on the British Rally Championship.

Following a stunning season with the Mitsubishi team last year, when he recorded five victories out of seven rounds, Wilks put himself well and truly in the frame for re-selection by the Cirencester-based Mitsubishi importers. Throughout the season, he was often comfortably the quickest driver in the field, having recorded more fastest-stage times than all of the other BRC drivers put together!

“I am delighted to be re-joining the Mitsubishi team”, said Wilks. “We had such a good season last year I could hardly say no! To be honest, 2007 was a bit of a learning curve for me in four-wheel-drive machinery, so now I know what to expect I am really looking forward to getting back into a Mitsubishi and carrying on from where I left off.”

Having also enjoyed a successful season in 2007, Phillip Morrow joins the team by virtue of him winning the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge – the highly competitive, one-make series for Group N Lancer Evolutions. After posting six victories in the first seven rounds, the young Ulsterman did not need to contest the final round, such was his command of the championship last year.

“After four years of competing in the Evo Challenge I am so pleased to have finally won it”, said Morrow. “And now, to take up what is the best prize in British motorsport and drive for a works team is just fantastic. In fact I still can’t believe it and it is only now being at the Autosport Show with the team that it is starting to sink in. I can’t wait to get the season underway!”

2008 sees the MMUK team’s fourth season in the British Championship and, having claimed the team’s title and finished first and third in the driver’s standings, Team Principal and General Manager for Ralliart Paul Brigden, says that the plan is to go one better this year.

“Of course it’s difficult to top last season, but we had our fair share of misfortune and, although there was no doubt that we had the quickest cars out there, we missed-out on a one-two result at the end of the year. Therefore, our goal for 2008 has to be to finish as many events as we can in first and second places and to end the year retaining the team’s title and occupying the top two places in the driver’s championship.”

For the 2008 season Wilks will continue to be partnered by his regular co-driver Phil Pugh, with Morrow accompanied by the experienced Daniel Barritt.

ADR Motorsport will continue to prepare and run the two works Lancers, one of which is on display on the Mitsubishi stand at the Autosport Show, the other currently being built in the company’s Chesterfield workshops.

The team welcomes Lovell Group and Virgin Money as new sponsors for 2008. They join the team’s technical supporters: Sparco, Speedline Corse, PIAA, Ricardo, and Performance Friction Brakes.

Darren Gass wins Pirelli Star Driver competition
2008 BRC Calendar Announced
Classic events remain the cornerstone of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship for 2008, but some changes are afoot for 2009.

The Championship announces its provisional timetable for next season, and the six events used for the past 2 years will remain but there are some important date changes; notably the movement of the Ulster International Rally into August and Rally Yorkshire which moves from early October to late September.

“The current events are very popular with competitors and remain some of the best organised rallies in the British Isles.” Commented Mark Taylor, ”Rally Yorkshire’s move was a long term objective for the event organisers and combined with Ulster’s move to August Bank Holiday weekend it gives the series a better spread throughout the year.” Whilst there are six rallies on the calendar, Rally GB is split into two separate point scoring events making for a seven individual point scoring Championship. Running to International FIA regulations all of the rallies offer reconnaissance of the special stages which is of paramount importance to competitors in a recent survey of drivers.

Whilst the same six events are retained for 2008, the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship organisers are aware of the current uncertainty surrounding the FIA World Rally Championship calendar from 2009 and the effect this may have on the status of Wales Rally GB. In order to retain a fresh and vibrant mix of championship events BRC organisers are planning changes to the event line up in 2009.

Mark Taylor added, “We must be receptive to our customer’s needs and keep the Championship alive with fresh initiatives and a mix of character events. We would like to increase the Championship calendar by adding a seventh qualifying round without adding additional cost to the overall budget for teams and competitors. It is clear not all our rallies need to be two day events; Rally Yorkshire has shown what can be achieved in a single day. We also strive to maintain a good geographical spread around the UK, and therefore would like to retain a rally in Wales and seek another event elsewhere. We would welcome interest from rally organisers.”

2008 Calendar (subject to MSA Approval)
18/19 April - Pirelli International Rally - Carlisle, Cumbria
24/25 May - Jim Clark International Rally - Duns, Scottish Borders
17/19 July - International Rally Isle of Man - Douglas, Isle of Man
22/23 August - Ulster International Rally - Armagh, Northern Ireland
27 September - International Rally Yorkshire - Pickering, North Yorkshire
5-7 Dec – Wales Rally GB - Cardiff, Wales

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