Pirelli-supported British Rally Championship to open in Dorset
2011’s Rally of the Year, Rallye Sunseeker in Dorset marks the opening round of the 2012 MSA British Rally Championship. The rally begins with a ceremonial start at Poole Quay at 18:00 on Friday 24 February, with the main action taking place on 25th, during which crews will tackle 12 stages over 66 miles in the Wareham and Ringwood Forest complex. Pirelli, the official tyre sponsor since 2007, will supply asphalt and gravel specification tyres to the Ford, Citroën, Renault and Skoda crews throughout the prestigious six-round championship.
Gravel events will offer competitors the use of 15″ Pirelli K6 tyres, whilst the asphalt events will be contested on a mixture of 15″-17″ RX7 tyres and RE7 tyres. The N3 will also be available in 15” for very wet conditions on asphalt.
The 2012 BRC will continue to encompass several one-make series – namely the Fiesta SportTrophy, Twingo Renaultsport R2 Trophy UK, Citroën Sporting Trophy and Renaultsport R1 Trophy UK. This year’s championship will also feature a national support series, the BRC Challenge (BRCC).
Carl Naylor, Pirelli Tyre UK’s motorsport manager, said: “Last year’s ceremonial start saw the seaside harbour packed with over 10,000 spectators who were keen to meet the drivers, get up close to the cars and collect autographs. It was a fantastic start to the season and I am certain that this year’s event will be no different.”
2012 Pirelli Star Driver
Rallye Sunseeker will also mark the opening event for Pirelli’s 2012 Star Driver, Finland’s Jukka Korhonen, whose entry will be run by British team TEG Sport; the team which has fielded the Star Driver entry for the last three seasons. Pirelli has chosen a Skoda Fabia in R2 specification as Korhonen’s challenger for 2012. This car is designed to help drivers make the transition from the BRC to the FIA WRC Academy, a hugely-competitive support category to the World Rally Championship, which uses Pirelli as its sole tyre supplier.
“The new front-wheel drive car provides a perfect entry level to international competition,” explained Naylor. “The Skoda Fabia R2 puts out close to 180 horsepower from a 1.6-litre engine, assisted by a five-speed sequential sequential gearbox and bespoke suspension. It’s the ideal car to showcase our Pirelli Star Driver programme, and I am certain that Jukka will do it justice.”
The winners will be welcomed back to a champagne podium finish in front of Bournemouth Pier on Saturday evening. After the finish, a charity dinner and prize-giving ceremony will be held in aid of the Children’s Trust, in conjunction with the International Rally Drivers Club, at the Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth.
Viewers at home can keep up to date with all the action from Rallye Sunseeker by tuning into Sky Sports’ programme, British Rallyzone. The series’ official webpage will host Rally Radio, featuring live interviews and updates throughout the season.