The winners of the UK's premier national rally championships will again all receive free entries into Wales Rally GB as a key component of the on-going 'Road to Wales' initiative, it has been confirmed.
Introduced 12 months ago, the 'Road to Wales' scheme included a number of different programmes all of which combined to revitalise Britain's concluding round of the 2013 WRC.
“Building on that success, which resulted in crowds returning to the legendary Welsh forest stages in record numbers, the top three finishers in the country's premier 2014 MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) will again be rewarded with invitation entries into Wales Rally GB, as will the two crews that win the British Junior and RallyTwo categories within the BRC,” a statement from the organisers of Wales Rally GB read.
Meanwhile, adding to the incentive, both the 2014 BRC Challenge Trophy champion and winner of the BRC 'Stars of the Future' will also be offered free entries – this time into the three-day National Rally that runs alongside the star-studded international event and shares many of the same challenging special stages.
No cost entries into the National event will be provided as well to the winner of each of the MSA English Rally Championship, the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship and McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship as well as the BTRDA Rally Series. This swells the number of prize entries to a dozen.
“Wales Rally GB is the pinnacle of rallying in the UK and we are determined to maximise its pre-eminence to the full benefit of all those involved in the sport,” said Andrew Coe, chief executive of rally organiser International Motor Sports. “Whether it's encouraging and rewarding those competing in our top national championships or providing those aspiring to be future world champions with vital WRC experience, the provision of these prize entries was extremely well received last year. That's why we are delighted to be expanding the scheme to 12 by including both Scottish and Northern Irish Championships for the first time in 2014.”
Underlining the success of the scheme, the top three finishers in last year's BRC all accepted their prize drives in 2013 and took full advantage of the opportunity to shine on the world stage. The newly crowned 2013 BRC Champion, Jukka Korhonen, underlined his talent by winning the competitive WRC3 class on Wales Rally GB while BRC runners-up Osian Pryce and Tom Cave further enhanced their reputations with outstanding achievements in the challenging Welsh forests. Another beneficiary, Euan Thorburn, won the three-day National event.