Reigning Junior British Rally champion Kyle White officially unveiled his 2024 campaign at this month’s Autosport Show and will be piloting a Hyundai i20 R5 for the re-vamped Probite British Rally Championship.
The 27-year-old from Dunmurry in Northern Ireland (above right) secured the coveted Junior title on his third and final attempt at the series, as thanks to surpassing the age limit, it would be his final season in the hotly contested category.
Having spent two years behind the wheel of a Peugeot 208 Rally4, White would have to look elsewhere for the forthcoming campaign and after working tirelessly in the off-season to find the budget to step up into the BRC1 top-flight category, White has acquired a Hyundai i20 from Europe for his BRC title tilt in the Rally2 category.
The covers came off his brand-new charger at the popular Autosport Show and he became the first driver to register for the upcoming British Rally Championship season as registrations opened at the NEC last week.
“It’s surreal to say that I own a Hyundai i20, and to have the opportunity to step up into the BRC1 category is mind blowing” said White.
“From watching the series as a young boy with the likes of Gwyndaf [Evans] winning at the time, to now competing against some of the elite drivers in the world is very humbling, given that our small team is punching way above our weight is testament to the hard work we have put in over the years”.
White launched himself onto the BRC scene in 2021 after returning a giant-killing performance in an older specification Peugeot 208 R2. He and co-driver Sean Topping kept the more powerful Rally4 machinery at bay for much of the season, even leading the championship early on, before falling away as the season progressed.
As a prize for winning the title, White would be eligible for free entries into each round of the 2024 championship, a prize fund estimated at over £5,500 and that would be instrumental in his decision to try and make the switch to four-wheel drive machinery and ultimately, the BRC1 class.
“It made sense to enter the BRC this year, as I am now familiar with the rallies and that can play a vital part in adapting to the new car.
“We have very limited expectations for this year, I haven’t driven the car yet and apart from a small test before the first round, we will have no seat time and we will treat this year as a learning year, with hope that we can compete for victory in the latter stages of the year.”
The Probite British Rally Championship will enjoy a fresh new look to the calendar in 2024 with two new events joining the six-round roster. But White is confident that won’t hamper his assault throughout the season.
“The British Rally Championship has taken a huge step forward with the calendar this year, but the most important part for myself was the new media package the series is working towards, to bring the maximum exposure for our sponsors.”
Reece Tarren, British Rally Championship Manager is delighted to welcome White back to the BRC.
“The Junior British Rally Championship has always been a highly regarded series for young drivers to hone their skills across both surfaces, on top events in an ultra-competitive playing field” he says.
“The likes of Elfyn Evans, William Creighton, Josh McErlean and many others have all cut their teeth in the Junior BRC and gone on to progress their careers at world level. But it also provides the perfect proving ground to progress as a driver and Kyle has proved that over the last three years.
“Seeing him step into BRC1 makes us feel like proud parents in a way and it’s fantastic to see him achieve a lifelong ambition to step into Rally2 machinery. He’s a real character to have in the series and we look forward to seeing how he progresses over the course of the season.”
The British Rally Championship gets underway at the Legend Fires North West Stages in March, with a six-round calendar covering the country.
Images courtesy of Graham Baalham-Curry