Elfyn Evans has won the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship after winning the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally.
Elfyn has repeated his family’s success at this very rally that his father Gwyndaf won the championship 20 years ago to become the thirty-eighth different winner of the British Rally Championship.
On the opening day of the 2016 Ulster Rally, Evans was embroiled in a battle with the Republic of Ireland’s Keith Cronin and non-registered entrant Alistair Fisher for the rally lead.
The Welshman at first struggled with tyre choice on the damp Ulster tarmac, but the DMACK British Rally Team driver managed to pull out a +4.5 second lead on the BRC returnee Cronin on Day 1.
Fellow Welshman Tom Cave, came into the Ulster Rally, 29 points behind Evans in the Drivers’ Standings in second, needed a good result if Cave were to reduce the deficit coming into the final round at the Isle of Man Rally.
It did not go according to plan for Cave as he suffered with transmission problems in his Ford Fiesta R5, languishing in twenty-third place after Day 1. Cave managed to make up the ground lost on Day 1, finishing in eighth place. However, it was not enough for Cave to claw the huge deficit back to his fellow countryman.
Evans showed his class once again on the Ulster asphalt as he pulled out a +1:07.6 lead over second-placed Jonathan Greer to take his fourth win of the 2016 BRC season and in the process, claiming his first British Rally Championship title.
Scotland’s David Bogie finished the last of the podium finishers in third in the CA1 Sport Škoda Fabia R5 while Cronin finished fourth on his BRC return.
Marty McCormack was fifth, ahead of Josh Moffett in sixth who both used their ‘Joker’ before the double-points finale at the Isle of Man Rally. Rhys Yates, Tom Cave, Matt Edwards and Alex Laffey complete the top ten finishers at the 2016 Ulster Rally.
Evans said “The event was really tough, in fact it was probably the toughest of the season with the weather changing all the time, stage conditions changing constantly – it was difficult to keep up with everything and do the job in hand. After making a few wrong tyre choices yesterday, we played it safe and erred on the side of caution on the second day to make sure we held our advantage and take the win.
“It feels pretty good to win the BRC title. We had hoped it was possible to wrap-up the title on the Ulster but in rallying anything can happen so we still needed to finish in a certain position and be in front of Tom [Cave] and Fredrik [Åhlin]. To combine it with a win is very special and it’s nice to be going home with the championship, especially 20 years since my Dad [Gwyndaf Evans] won the title on this event.”
Junior BRC – Duggan times Joker to perfection as he claims Junior BRC title in Ulster
Vauxhall Motorsport’s Robert Duggan has claimed the 2016 Junior British Rally Championship after winning the 2016 Ulster Rally.
Duggan had timed his ‘BRC Joker’ to perfection as the Irishman claimed his fourth win of the 2016 Junior BRC season in his ADAM R2, ahead of Norway’s Sindre Furuseth in second and local Northern Irish driver Adam Bustard in third.
Furuseth and Bustard were in a real scrap to claim second place at this rally for the last two days in which the Norwegian got the better of the Northern Irishman to take the second step on the podium.
Duggan said after winning the Junior BRC Championship “We are delighted to have won the rally. Our mind-set coming into this event was to try our very best and try and wrap-up the title, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The other boys were very quick so we also had to push hard from the word go and we pushed it all the way to the end.
“It was a very tough event and most certainly the toughest event I have done. Words cannot describe the feeling, it just hasn’t sunk in yet, it is amazing. It is a huge team effort from family, friends, the Vauxhall team –everything just clicked and it has been a very good year. We couldn’t have asked for much more!”
The 2016 MSA British Rally Championship concludes at its end-of-season round at the 2016 Rally Isle of Man on the 15-17 September 2016.