The dramatic British Rally Championship will take another exciting turn this weekend as the Today’s Ulster Rally hosts the penultimate round of the closely-fought series.
The narrow, bumpy lanes of Northern Ireland have always played a crucial part in the BRC title race and 2019 will be no different, as Matt Edwards and Tom Cave come to Newry, tied on 68 points.
After a Ceremonial Start in the Albert Basin on Friday evening, nine stages will provide the gauntlet for the penultimate round of the series on Saturday. Despite the summer August calendar date, the changeable weather conditions provide the biggest challenge for the crews as the first half of the stage could be bone dry, while the final section could be covered with lashing rain – making tyre choices and driving style, all so important.
2018 Ulster Rally winner and reigning British Champion Matt Edwards will travel across the Irish Sea in high hopes after his 2018 success and recent BRC win on the Ypres Rally. Along with co-driver Patrick Walsh, the M-Sport pairing will be looking to put their Pirelli-backed Ford Fiesta R5 on the top step to back up their two wins to date so far this season.
Fellow countryman Tom Cave last visited the Ulster Rally in 2016 and will be giving it everything to go toe-to-toe with Edwards on the iconic tarmac. The Hyundai i20 R5 star is putting together a strong campaign this season with navigator Dale Bowen. Cave has Irish Tarmac form this already as the Michelin-supported driver clinched the BRC win on the West Cork Rally back in March. The title race couldn’t be closer, and those keen rally fans will be in for a monumental fight between the two title protagonists.
While the BRC title fight this year looks set to be between two drivers, a whole host of local stars who will be eager to put the cat amongst the pigeons in order to stamp their own mark on the 2019 Ulster Rally.