British Rally Championship revamped for 2016

Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan celebrate their victory in the 2015 Ulster Rally
Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan celebrate their victory in the 2015 Ulster Rally

The MSA British Rally Championship is set to return and the revamped series will take in seven events across the British Isles with two rounds in Northern Ireland.

The new-look BRC calendar is filled with some of the most iconic events in Europe as well as some new, exciting challenges, all ready to host the country’s premier rallying championship in 2016.

The Builth Wells-based Nicky Grist Stages joins the schedule on July 9/10 as the first mixed-surface BRC rally since 1987.

With gravel stages in the famous Welsh forests and tarmac tests on the spectacular Epynt Ranges, the format will be similar to that of the famous Welsh International of the 1980s.

The legendary Manx International on the picturesque Isle of Man will return to the BRC on September 15/17 as the season finale.

The island roads are the ultimate challenge and they will play host to the crowning of the 2016 British Rally Champion.

With the event worth double points, however, the title battle is sure to go to the end of the very last stage of the year.

From Wales, the series will travel across the water to take on the classic Circuit of Ireland Rally before a run of gravel tests on the Pirelli Carlisle and RSAC Scottish rallies, with the mixed-surface Nicky Grist Stages shortly after.

The BRC then travels back across the Irish Sea for the Ulster Rally before heading to the Isle of Man for the championship curtain call in September.   

The 2016 BRC season will be open to rally cars conforming to FIA homologated classes. The top category will see the exciting R5 cars do battle with S2000 and RRC cars at the front of the field, while support classes including the Junior BRC for R2 specification cars will showcase the very latest rally machines on the special stages.

There is also a National Rally Cup for non-homologated cars that have an MSA log book that will compete over the same events with the same challenges.

The Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Stages Rally was postponed due to adverse weather conditions, with several of the special stages under water and the organisers hope they can run the rally at a later date.