Three top teams have registered for the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Teams Rally Championship as the prestigious award goes two wheel drive in 2011. After several years of battling Mitsubishis and Subarus, the field will open up to include cars from many more manufacturers with Ford, Renault and Suzuki represented so far this year.
M-Sport Ford has entered a two car Fiesta R2 team with an intriguing twist; the plan to nominate the best drivers for specific events. M-Sport’s Andrew Wheatley explains the rationale, “We originally planned to nominate one driver plus the championship leader on each event, but obviously at the start of the season we have a dilemma. We are now in the difficult but enviable position of being spoilt for choice from the Fiesta SportTrophy entries on the Sunseeker.”
Team nominations will need to be made by close of entries, but one team already has two crews champing at the bit to start scoring points. Autosport Technology Team Renault will field two Twingo R2 rally cars with a truly international feel; Finnish 2010 BRC sensation Mikko Pajunen returns with new-to-the-series co-driver Jani Salo, while complete BRC newcomers Siim Plangi and Marek Sarapuu will travel from their native Estonia .
Plangi has already tested the car at the Sweetlamb test complex and was impressed with what he found, “I can compare Twingo with my other front wheel drive rally cars and I am very satisfied with it. Brakes are bit smaller than my previous cars, that needs bit time to get used to but for the rest I have only positive words of the car.”
586 Sport’s Callum Black and co-driver Paul Wakely bring with them the experience of victory in the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship’s support series, the BRC Challenge. They will pilot the Suzuki Swift S1600 that brought them victory on last year’s final BRCC rally, but at present they will be alone in scoring points for the Brackley-based team.
At the recent AkzoNobel (Dulux Trade’s parent company) conference, to which Black brought one of the team’s less powerful Swift Sport Cup cars, he said, “We are currently building a second car which could be available for the Jim Clark Rally at the end of May. Whatever happens I’m looking forward to pitting this car against the rest of the front wheel drive machinery.”
Rallye Sunseeker International is almost exactly two weeks away, the ceremonial start taking place on Pool Quayside from 18.00 hrs on Friday 25th February.
For more information on the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship visit www.rallybrc.co.uk
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