Big names bring back the BRC fever

And the Mk I calendar has been updated by an all-singing RS1800 Mk II version. Or, if you like your rallying a bit more nineties and noughties, the Evo II.The Nicky Grist Stages will replace the Jim Clark Rally (which isn’t running to its usual closed-road format next season) and the season-closing Granite City Rally is replaced by Rally Isle of Man.

So, they might have different names, but that’s the Welsh and the Manx back on the books.

This year’s Nicky Grist Stages will run to a two-day format: one in the woods and one on Epynt, hence the return of the Welsh.

BRC manager Iain Campbell said: “To have the opportunity to run the Nicky Grist on gravel and asphalt and return to a  ‘mini’ Welsh International of the Eighties  was to good to pass up.

“And one of the hardest decisions we had back in June was leaving the Isle of Man off the calendar.  However, at the time the calendar was being devised it was thought that Wales Rally GB could be held in early October and the Manx date was to close to our WRC round.”

After its year out to find itself, the BRC’s back with a bang in March, with the opening round: the Mid-Wales Stages, an event based in Newtown – a venue at the heart of Britain’s WRC round.

The other ingredients are all there to make the BRC’s return a fever-filled festival – including the Circuit of Ireland, Kielder, the Scottish, the Ulster, four-wheel drive cars and one heck of a post-event party at the hotel at the far end of town with a nightclub underneath. The Palace?