Crash.Net WRC News
Wales Rally GB moves to increase entry
5 June 2013
Wales Rally GB organiser International Motor Sports has announced a new partnership with the BTRDA Rally Series as another key component to its far-reaching 'Road to Wales' initiative.
As part of IMS' efforts to ensure the new-look Wales Rally GB provides a fitting finale to both the World Rally Championship and busy UK rallying season, efforts are being made to encourage top local crews to take an end-of-season opportunity to compete on the world stage and, following the recent offering of free Wales Rally GB entry to six frontrunners from the MSA British Rally Championship, the event is now launching a similar partnership with the British Trial and Rally Drivers Association.
The REIS-Get Connected BTRDA Rally Series is the most popular championship in the UK with over 260 registered contenders this year, and incorporates selected rounds of the MSA English Rally Championship and Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship within its nine-round series.
The crew that captures the premier Gold Star Championship will be rewarded with a free entry into the three-day National Rally being run alongside Wales Rally GB, while the winners of the BTRDA Rally First Championship – a class for lower cost two-wheel-drive production cars – will receive a free entry into the two-day version of the National Rally, once again running on exactly the same classic Welsh forest stages as Wales Rally GB.
“We are determined to ensure our round of the World Rally Championship sits at the pinnacle of a thriving UK rallying scene,” said IMS chief executive Andrew Coe, “This is one of the few sports where enthusiastic amateurs, as well as budding young stars keen to make a name for themselves, can compete alongside world champions and it should be the one big end-of-season event on which everyone wants to compete. That's why we are doing everything we can to encourage and assist the cream of UK rallying, whether competing in the BTRDA or British Rally Championships, to be a part of what's going to be a massive and unmissable Wales Rally GB. It will not only be a great experience for the winners but also provide spectators with even more top class action to follow.”
BTRDA championship co-ordinator Steve Gregg is naturally thrilled with IMS' generous proposition.
“The British Trials and Rally Drivers Association is delighted to be offered these prizes by the Wales Rally GB organisers,” he said, “As the largest rally championship in the country, this invitation gives our BTRDA competitors the opportunity and incentive to compete in the UK's premier event. It will also ensure that the BTRDA maintains its long association with the event having provided a team entry for its members on previous rallies.
“The choice of the overall BTRDA Gold Star Champion and the Rally First Champion to receive these prizes also ensures that spectators will have the opportunity to see both the country's top national driver as well as a Rally First driver from one of the most successful formulae introduced by the BTRDA to encourage and retain competitors into the sport.
“Wales Rally GB in all its previous guises was always an event that British competitors, including many who came from the BTRDA Rally Series, had on their 'must do' list and we hope this new partnership will encourage more to take up the challenge and support the excellent opportunity the event now provides for British competitors.”