Kelly flat out chasing BRC title

After six rounds and hundreds of stages miles, both the British Rally Championship and Junior British Rally Championship titles will be settled on the Newry based Modern Tyres Ulster International Rally on the weekend of the 19th/20th November

Reigning British champion Matt Edwards kept his hopes of retaining the BRC1 crown for a third successive campaign alive at the penultimate event in Wales last month. Makeshift repairs to his car on road sections before the start of the last three stages staved off certain retirement, and allowed the Volkswagen Polo driver to complete the event and bag some precious points.

Fellow Welshman Osian Pryce currently enjoys an 8-point buffer heading into the closed-road event in Newry once the dropped score rule is applied and will be assured of a maiden British Rally Championship title if Edwards fails to win on Irish soil next Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Junior BRC trophy will return either to Moira in County Down with the current leader, William Creighton, or north west to County Donegal in the hands of Eamonn Kelly.

Creighton won last time out on the Cambrian to make it three straight class wins, while Kelly’s identical front-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta Rally4 car was stopped in its tracks by driveshaft failure.

In the simplest terms, if Kelly manages a second win of 2021, he would take 25 points plus five bonus points for playing his ‘Joker’ card. In that case, Creighton must finish eighth – or higher.

“When you count dropped scores, I think the odds are stacked against us,” said Kelly. “However, stranger things have happened in rallying and regardless of what happens I really want to go out and further prove that I can win such events, so it’s a no brainer. It’s flat out from the word go.”

Adding an extra dimension to the Ulster Rally are the Moffett brothers – Sam and Josh – as well newly-crowned Northern Ireland champion Jonathan Greer, four-time British champion Keith Cronin, and this year’s Cork 20, Donegal Harvest and Tour of the Sperrins victor, Callum Devine.

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