The 2013 MSA British Rally Championship is set for a nail-biting conclusion this weekend, as three drivers head into the season-ending Rallye Sunseeker International with a chance of securing the championship.
The favourite for the crown is Jukka Korhonen, who has led the points standings since the opening round. Two early wins gave him a healthy early advantage, however that has been cut down as the season’s progressed.
Still, a third place in Poole will confirm Korhonen as champion, becoming the first Finn to win the title since Marko Ipatti in 2000.
The two drivers looking to stop that from happening are Alistair Fisher and Tom Cave. The duo both sit twenty points Korhonen respectively, however with a 50% points bonus available for the final event, it is all still to play for.
A win for Fisher, with Korhonen off the podium, would give the Ulsterman the title, and after a superb win on Scottish gravel earlier this campaign, the 25 year old will be confident of challenging for top honours this weekend.
With dropped scores included though, it proves tougher for Cave to secure the crown. If he can take the win, his first of the campaign, he’d need Korhonen to finish outside the top six to steal the title away.
The Sunseeker International will see drivers battle it out across the Dorset forests on Saturday. A new addition to the calendar last season, the event was popular for teams and drivers, leading to a date change from its regular February slot to October, and season finale status.
The winner during 2012’s season opener was Mark Donnelly, the success putting his on his way to winning the Pirelli Star Driver award, which secured him a Citroen DS3 for this season.
The Northern Irishman has found the going tough acclimatising to the new car, and he hasn’t picked up an event win since his Sunseeker success 18 months ago, however he’ll hope having the number one on his car for the weekend can drive him to a winning run.
The driver in-form heading into the event meanwhile is Osian Pryce, the Welshman having picked up victories in the last two events in Ulster and Yorkshire, with his target now to replicate 2012 champion Keith Cronin’s feat of a consecutive hat-trick of wins in a season.
The battle for the BRC RallyTwo honours is set to be just as fierce as the overall event win. Daniel McKenna has taken four straight victories in the class and is favourite for the class win once again, however Jon Armstrong, Steve Rokland and Alex Parpottas will all be hot on his heels aiming to end the winning streak.
Rallye Sunseeker kicks off this evening (Friday 18th) with the ceremonial start at Poole Quay from 17:45, before the action begins in earnest on Saturday morning, with ten stages over the day before they return to the quay for the ceremonial finish.