Junior BRC champ to receive Hyundai i20 Rally2 World Championship prize drive
The winner of the 2021 Motorsport UK Junior British Rally Championship will be offered a career-defining opportunity to contest a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, behind the wheel of a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing i20 N Rally2.
Thanks to a collaboration between the British Rally Championship and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, the Junior BRC champion will have the use of the latest generation Rally2 car from the Alzenau based squad, with additional support from the BRC at a European round of the WRC in 2022.
The prize drive opportunity comes as the Junior BRC reverts to an open formula for all Rally4 and R2 category vehicles this season, offering a wide range of eligible vehicles to score points in the series for under 26-year-olds.
A tried and tested proving ground for young drivers eager to make their mark on the European and world stage, the British Rally Championship has previously partnered with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, which enabled 2019 Junior BRC champion Josh McErlean to contest his home round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB.
“There is no doubt that the Hyundai i20 R5 prize drive on Wales Rally GB was one of the turning points in my career and played a significant factor in me becoming a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver this year,” says McErlean.
“The Junior BRC really brought me on as a driver and ensured I developed my skills and pace on both asphalt and gravel surfaces. The drive on Wales Rally GB in a Hyundai was simply unbelievable and gave me a springboard to the rest of my career. I have a lot to thank the BRC and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for and anyone who gets to tackle an event as I did is very, very lucky indeed”.
The Junior BRC champion will be contesting the very same stages as current WRC frontrunners and former BRC contenders Craig Breen and Elfyn Evans during their World Championship outing and Championship Manager Iain Campbell is looking forward to seeing another JBRC graduate sample the WRC.
“The Motorsport UK British Rally Championship is delighted to offer this amazing prize in association with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing,” he says.
“We are always very eager to ensure young and talented drivers in the British Championship are recognised and have a platform to be able to showcase their skills and have an opportunity to receive career-defining opportunities. Thanks to the backing of the championship, Hyundai Motorsport and our supporters, we can offer yet another fantastic prize for our Junior winners”.
Andrew Johns, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Operations Leader said:
“Continuing our cooperation with the British Rally Championship for 2021 is very exciting. In the past few seasons we’ve been able to welcome some very talented drivers into an i20 R5, including Josh McErlean who is now part of our Customer Racing Junior Driver Program this year.
Joining a WRC event with the i20 N Rally2 is a great opportunity for the successful driver to show their pace against the best drivers in the world, and act as a first step in the next stage of their rallying career. The series’ organisers have done a great job putting together a calendar of events under difficult conditions, and I look forward to following a very competitive season.”
The revised Motorsport UK British Rally Championship calendar starts on 31st May with the Neil Howard Stages in assoc. with Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors hosting the opening round at Oulton Park Circuit.
The series will be played out across seven rounds, visiting each of the four home nations, with three asphalt and four gravel events making up the thrilling BRC tour this season.
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