Hard-charging clubmen will be better rewarded in this year’s Ravenol Welsh Challenge, writes Peter Hughes.
The series will run once again this season in conjunction with the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship but distribution of the £3,000 prize fund has been changed.
In a further move to support grass-roots rallying, the Championship organisers have announced that a free entry on the Wales Rally GB national rally will go to the top junior driver in the series as part of the Road to Wales initiative run by the organisers of the World Championship round, IMS.
The new look Ravenol Welsh Challenge will see the registered contender who makes the biggest improvement on their start position on each of the eight Championship rounds receive a £150 voucher to be spent on Ravenol Direct products as featured on the Ravenol direct website.
End of season prizes will be £1,000, £500 and £300 vouchers for the top three places respectively.
The free entry on Wales Rally GB national rally will go to the best registered driver aged under 23 on 01/01/2017 who has not previously won the junior title.
If the Under 23 category is decided on or before Round 7, the Woodpecker, then the Under 23 category winner will be offered the Free Entry on Wales Rally GB National Event but if the Under 23 category is undecided after Round 7, The Woodpecker Rally, then the Free Entry to Wales Rally GB National will be offered to the contender in the Under 23 category with the best five scores from seven events.
As the championship organisers unveiled these developments for the 2017 season they also announced the top event from the 2016 championship with the award going to the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally, organised by Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club.
Championship co-ordinator David Evison said, “2016 saw the Pirelli Championship grow in stature and quality and the Woodpecker organisers had to overcome some stiff opposition to take the award.
“We are grateful to Ravenol and IMS for their continued support and we are confident that the revisions made will produce an even more attractive series for competitors.”