The calendar for the 2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship has been announced with six events in six territories including the final round supporting Dayinsure Wales Rally GB in October.
As well as finishing the season with a double header format on Rally GB, the BRC will also make a return to Belgium for the Ypres Rally following the success of its first visit to the legendary event this season.
Two rounds from the 2017 calendar however miss out on places in 2018, with both the RSCA Scottish Rally and Nicky Grist Stages set to not be part of the BRC next season.
Beginning on the weekend of 10-11 March, the 2018 season starts with the Border Counties Rally; a repeat of 2017 after the event stepped in to take over from the cancelled Mid-Wales Stages.
The championship stays north again for the Pirelli International Rally on 28-29 April and is then followed by the Ypres Rally on June 29-30.
Then after returning from Europe, the crews will tackle the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally on August 17-18 followed by the penultimate round of the season, 138.com Rally Isle of Man on the weekend of 13-15 August.
Rally Isle Of Man moves from its place at the end of the calendar in 2017 to make room for the new season finale, that supports Rally GB on a yet unconfirmed date in October 2018.
IMS Managing Director Ben Taylor said it was a difficult process to decide when rallies to include on the 2018 calendar, but he was clear that the championship needs to continue its growth that it has seen in the past couple of years.
“Putting a calendar together is always a difficult process, particularly when there are more candidate events than we can accommodate,” said Taylor. “We have had to take some tricky decisions and as a result both the Nicky Grist Stages and the Scottish Rally have missed out this time around.
“We are really grateful for their commitment to the BRC in the past two years and, as classic events, we wish them every success in 2018. As the BRC becomes more popular and successful, we have to ensure that it delivers on other aspects as well as simply the stages and organisation; we need crowds and venues, a strong impact on the local area and the creation of spectacular events to ensure that the championship continues to grow.”
While Iain Campbell, BRC Championship Manager says that the schedule achieved many goals for the series, with the challenge for the crews a tough one that will enable them to develop their skills.
“The events that make up the British Rally Championship next year achieve many goals for us,” said Campbell. “They all offer superb competition on the best stages possible and all the events offer the best platform for the ambitious crews to develop the skills required to take them to the very top of the sport.”
The news of the 2018 calendar comes days before the penultimate round of the 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the Ulster Rally, which takes places this weekend between August 18-19.