Ulster Rally to host British Championship finale

November’s Ulster Rally will bring the curtain down on the 2021 British Rally Championship, with the Newry-based event acting as the sixth, and final, round of the mixed surface series.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 1:36 pm

After an enforced delay, the British Rally Championship moves into gear in early July, with registered crews having to negotiate a total of five rounds in England, Scotland and Wales before they can begin to make plans for the short trip across the Irish Sea to the Ulster Rally.

The British Rally Championship was called off in June of last year after just one round due to the coronavirus health pandemic, with this also leading to the Ulster Rally being cancelled.

However, all stakeholders are confident a full campaign will take place this season given the speed at which the vaccine programme is currently being rolled out across the four nations.

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Matt Edwards (L) and Patrick Walsh earned an important British Rally Championship win at the Ulster Rally in 2019 – a result that paved the way for Edwards to clinch a second title. Credit: Jakob Ebrey.

Promoted by Northern Ireland Motor Club Limited, the Ulster Rally has been a mainstay of the British Rally Championship for many years – and organisers are pleased the tie-up is continuing.

“The Ulster Rally is delighted to welcome the British Rally Championship back to Northern Ireland, and to our event, later in the year,” said Event Director Richard Swanston.

“Hopefully, the fight for the many titles will come down to the last round and where better for the drivers to battle it out for the overall British Rally title than the tricky roads of Ulster?

“The weather has always played a big part – and had a big say – in our event, and with the Ulster Rally taking place in mid-November this year, I am confident that theme will continue.

“Plans are progressing well for the 2021 instalment of the Ulster Rally and I am sure it will provide a dynamic and exciting twist for all involved with the British Rally Championship.”

This is the first time the Ulster Rally is being held outside of its traditional August slot, and the British Rally Championship’s Manager believes the unpredictable climate in Northern Ireland in early winter will add another layer of intrigue to the UK’s blue riband rally series.

“The Ulster Rally is always a tough event that succeeds in serving up a short, sharp, shock of intense competition,” said Iain Campbell. “Just how the challenge will change with the November date, we will have to wait and see.

“But as a constant on the British Rally Championship calendar, we look forward to this being our final 2021 round – something that is also new for the Ulster Rally,” he added.

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