26 September 2014
WRC: National winners gain passport to Wales Rally GB
British talent takes up offer of places amongst rallying's elite on the season-ending Wales Rally GB.
With the conclusion of the 2014 British Rally Championship at Rally Isle of Man, up-and-coming British crews have secured prestigious entries into Wales Rally GB through the Road to Wales initiative which paves the way for winning drivers to compete against the best in the world this November.
Ireland's Daniel McKenna was victorious in the MSA British Rally Championship after a season long battle with Osian Pryce. While both drivers had accidents in the final stages, it was Pryce who came off worse and could only limp to the finish, allowing McKenna to claim his first BRC title. Both drivers have the opportunity of competing at Wales Rally GB where, if they both take up their prize drives, Pryce will look to use home advantage to finish ahead of his great rival.
Dean Raftery was able to snatch a fantastic third in the overall standings, which also netted him the BRC RallyTwo Championship title. Both of these results entitle Raftery to a free entry to Wales Rally GB, an impressive achievement for a driver who only started rallying two years ago! The accountant from Galway is aiming to claim his prize drive and, if he does, will be hoping to further impress in the forests of North Wales.
Also joining Raftery following RallyTwo success is fellow Irishman Calvin Beattie who, as Raftery cannot take up two free entries, inherits a surprise Road to Wales WRGB entry by default.
Another impressive young driver to secure a Road to Wales place is 17-year-old student Gus Greensmith. Although he narrowly missed out on third place in the British Rally Championship to Raftery, he did secure the MSA British Junior Rally Championship with five class wins out of six, as well as the BRC Class Three Championship.
A last-gasp triumph for Scotland's Ross Hunter allowed him to claim victory in the BRC Challenge Trophy and, with it, his offered place on the National event at Wales Rally GB. Season-long leader Richard Sykes suffered a 100mph crash as well as a broken driveshaft, handing the calm and collected Hunter the title.
Joining the triumphant BRC crews will be MSA English Rally Champion Matthew Robinson. The veteran should once again be on the start line for the Wales Rally GB National Rally having secured the title with two rounds to go, and is expected to take up his free entry enabling his Ford Escort Mk2 to become a crowd favourite once more in the Forests and at the RallyFest stages.
With other Road to Wales prizes yet to be decided in the BTRDA Rally Series Gold Star Championship, Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship and ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, there are still plenty of crews in with a chance of gaining free entries to Wales Rally GB and the possibility of competing against the best drivers and teams in the world.
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