Pirelli Star Driver Daniel McKenna has become the latest driver to win the British Rally Championship with the help of Pirelli, thanks to his victory on the final round at the Rally Isle of Man last weekend. Last year, the 27-year-old Irishman was elected by a panel of motorsport experts to the coveted Pirelli Star […]
Pirelli has announced the expansion of its Star Driver Scheme, which has previously helped up-and-coming talent such as Elfyn Evans reach the top of world rallying. In a change to the previous on-event selection process, the 2014 MSA British Rally Championship’s Pirelli Star Driver nominations will be awarded to each of the BRC’s five category champions at the end of the season.
Pirelli has crowned British Rally Championship 2 winner Daniel McKenna its UK Star Driver honour ahead of five other finalists. During the two-day shootout at the Sweet Lamb motorsport complex in Wales, McKenna impressed a panel of five judges the most, winning a full, seven-round British Rally Championship campaign courtesy of the series’ tyre supplier. McKenna, from County Monaghan, will compete in a Citroen DS3 R3 supplied by DGM Motorsport.
Osian Pryce won the Trackrod Yorkshire Rally, round five of the British Rally Championship, following a three-way battle that took the event to the final stage. Pirelli, on whose tyres the BRC is competed, said that the rally matched last year’s corresponding event, which staged one of the championship’s closest finishes, for excitement. The manufacturer’s supported Pirelli Star Driver Mark Donelly helped make the event for Pirelli, driving a mature rally to bring his Pirelli-backed Citroen DS3 R3T home in fifth. Meanwhile championship leader Jukka Korhonen – a former Pirelli Star Driver himself – looks likely to clinch the title in the Dorset and Hampshire forests, where the six-round series concludes with Rallye Sunseeker International (18-19 October).
Last month Mark Donnelly was named as Pirelli Star Driver 2013 and therefore the winner of a fully-paid drive in the 2013 British Rally Championship. According to the company, Donnelly impressed a panel of four judges with his maturity, technical know-how, media awareness and raw talent behind the wheel.
Pirelli has confirmed it will appear at the annual Autosport International Show in Birmingham where the Italian tyre manufacturer will showcase a motorsport-focused display that includes the new Pirelli Star Driver Citroen DS3 R3.
The vehicle to be used in next year’s Pirelli UK Star Driver scheme has been confirmed after the Italian tyre maker reached an agreement with Citroën Racing. Contenders in the 2013 Star Driver programme will put their skills to the test behind the wheel of a 1.6 litre, turbocharged Citroën DS3 R3.
The penultimate round of the MSA British Rally Championship will move to Northern Ireland this week for the second all-asphalt round of the series, the Todds Leap Rally Northern Ireland on 17-18 August. Pirelli will bring a mixture of 15” to 17” RX7, RX5 and RE7 asphalt tyres; the RX7 is a medium compound tyre for dry conditions, while the RE7 is for dry and damp conditions and can be used as a full wet. The N3 will also be available in one 15” size for wet conditions. The tyre supplier also boasts the involvement of its 2012 Pirelli Star Driver, Jukka Korhonen, who will travel from his native Finland where he was competing on Rally Finland, round eight of the World Rally Championship. Korhonen made his competitive debut on asphalt in May when he finished second in class on the Jim Clark International Rally at the wheel of a TEG prepared Skoda Fabia R2.
Former Pirelli Star Driver Elfyn Evans claimed victory in last weekend’s Neste Oil Rally Finland, round three of the Pirelli-backed WRC Academy. Evans’ win marks the Briton’s second consecutive victory in this year’s series.
The fourth round of the MSA British Rally Championship will take place in the Scottish Borders next week; the 41st running of the Jim Clark International Rally (1-3 June). Pirelli is tyre supplier to the championship, and will take a mixture of 15” to 17” RX7 and RE7 asphalt tyres to the fourth – and first all-asphalt – round of the UK’s premier rally series. The popularity of the Jim Clark International is underlined by Pirelli UK Motorsport’s operation manager, Matthew Corby: “Apart from Wales Rally GB – a round of the FIA World Rally Championship – the Jim Clark International Rally attracts the greatest number of spectators of any British rally.”
Double British Rally Champion and former Pirelli Star Driver Keith Cronin claimed victory on this weekend’s Pirelli International Rally, the third round of the 2012 Pirelli-supported MSA British Rally Championship. Pirelli Star Driver Jukka Korhonen shone in his TEG-prepared Skoda Fabia R2 at the weekend, securing his best finish of the season with sixth overall, and second in class. Meanwhile, a sterling performance in a Ford Fiesta R2 allowed 21-year old, Jussi Kumpumaki who is part of the Finnish Ford Junior Team, was presented with the coveted Pirelli yellow jersey and a nomination towards the end of season Pirelli Star Driver shoot out.
The Dyfi and Dyfnant forests in north Wales hosted the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales, supplied by Pirelli’s K6 gravel tyre, over the weekend, where local driver Tom Cave secured his maiden victory at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 R3T. Pirelli said that its K6 control tyre coped well with the unseasonably warm and dry conditions. In other Pirelli news, the company-backed Star Driver, Jukka Korhonen drove his TEG Sport prepared Skoda Fabia R2 with a “measured approach” that rewarded the Finn with his first points finish; he claimed seventh overall and second in class.
Pirelli Tyre’s UK motorsport manager believes that Dorset and Hampshire’s Rallye Sunseeker “marks a new beginning for the British Rally Championship”. While Ford announced that it would join the manufacturers’ championship, the tyre-maker was providing tyres to two-wheel drive vehicles – the only cars eligible for points in this year’s series for the first time since the 1990s. Ireland’s Mark Donnelly took the spoils at an enthralling curtain-raiser, set in the Wareham and Ringwood forest complex close to the rally base in Bournemouth, 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.
Pirelli will provide tyres to the MSA British Rally Championship for the next two years. The premium manufacturer has supplied the control tyre to the series since 2007, and was previously contracted until the end of the 2012 season. Pirelli says the addition of two years has shown its ongoing commitment to national-level motorsport.