International Motor Sports, the promoters of the revamped 2016 MSA British Rally Championship, have confirmed that the series will allow four-wheel drive cars in its leading class, supported by a two-wheel drive class structure.
The announcement, made today at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, confirmed that all cars up to and including the R5 specification of car will be allowed to compete in the revamped BRC, with a five year extension also added to the lifespan of the cars after the expiry of their homologation.
Alongside the R5 cars will be a two-wheel drive class structure, with the aim of helping young talent develop and move up the rallying ladder. This will also be helped by IMS, who will work closely with sponsors, teams and manufacturers to create meaningful incentives that will retain aspirational drivers in these classes.
Commenting on the announcement, IMS Managing Director Ben Taylor said: “This is an exciting move and one which will help to establish the BRC as the pinnacle of UK rallying next year. We understand that competitors and teams need to make long-term plans, so we have made this early announcement about vehicle eligibility to give them as much notice as possible about the future.
“The R5 concept was created by the FIA to bring in much needed cost control without compromising on performance. It has been widely adopted throughout the sport, so now seems like the right time to welcome it properly to the UK market.
“The cars are exciting to drive, great to watch and should provide the perfect excuse for the best drivers to come and test themselves in a championship that is still revered around the world.”
Also announced today is the addition of experienced event organiser Iain Campbell, who will be working with IMS on freelance bases to assist IMS in organising the championships return next season.
“I am delighted to have been asked,” said Campbell, who is the Clerk of the Course for the Mull Rally and Deputy Clerk of the Course on Wales Rally GB.
“The start of the 2016 season may be more than a year away, but there is a huge amount of work to do in the next few months to put things in place. I look forward to making a contribution to the creation of the new championship and bringing a fresh perspective to the challenge.”