Almost 40 drivers have now signed up to take part in the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship and its support series, the BRC Challenge.

While series organisers had expected numbers to fall away compared to 2008 due to the current economic climate, numbers have continued to rise ahead of the new campaign and as many as 20 cars could yet sign up for the Fiesta Sporting Trophy alone - which joins the BRC for the 2009 campaign.

Five crews have already signed up for the Swift Sport Cup despite Suzuki's decision to withdraw its support for the season ahead while a number of Rally 4 category cars and drivers have committed to the series.

Adam Gould's Pirelli TEG Sport Impreza is nearly ready for a test session and David Bogie's Mitsubishi Evo X is scheduled to debut on the first round, Rally North Wales.

Entries from Ireland are bolstering the four wheel drive category too, with Owen Murphy, Keith Cronin and Daniel Barry on the list of Mitsubishi drivers, while BRC regular Rob Swann and Dave Weston Junior are amongst the Subaru runners.

"The interest for the 2009 British Rally Championship has been really high over the closed season and I have a list with 74 names of people who have indicated an interested in entering this year," championship manager Mark Taylor said. "I would certainly hope to get somewhere close to last year's field of 40 cars on the first round. The British Rally Championship is certainly cheaper than it has ever been and without the might of the works teams, the opportunities are wide open."

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