Preview: BRC Ypres Rally: Can Cronin Take The Win In Belgium?


Keith Cronin / Mike Galvin - Hyundai i20 R5-N. Photo Credit: Prestone MSA BRC.

Round two of the 2018 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship takes place this weekend in Belgium with the Renties Ypres Rally.

Across two days, the crews will tackle over 160 stage miles both in daylight and at night and the entry list sees the British contingent go up against drivers including current WRC points leader Thierry Neuville and 2017 Ypres Rally winner Kevin Abbring.

BRC1: Cronin Aims For A Repeat of 2017

As Matt Edwards leads the championship going into round two, his title rival Keith Cronin will be looking to claim a repeat of his win in Belgium 12 months ago in his second BRC event aboard a Hyundai i20 R5.

The defending champion will be aiming to not only win the BRC section of the entry but also better his seventh-place overall finish on the event that he achieved last season on his preferred surface of asphalt this year.

Matt Edwards / Darren Garrod – Ford Fiesta R5. Photo Credit: Prestone MSA BRC.

Edwards could also be the winner in Belgium if his pace from last season is to be believed on the event after finishing second in Ypres last season and taking tenth overall.

Second on the Pirelli International back at the end of April, Rhys Yates, has continued to enter several European events as his packed 2018 season continues. The youngster also won the Rally Van Wervik two weeks ago which also saw BRC regular David Bogie compete and is seen as a warmup for Ypres this weekend and Yates has been the fastest BRC entrant on Thursday evening’s qualifying stage in Belgium.

The afore mentioned Bogie will be looking to make up for his early retirement on the Pirelli where he rolled on the very first stage of the season. The Scotchman enters in a CA1-Sport Skoda Fabia R5 alongside Yates.

Marty McCormack is another driver looking to make up for the opening round of the season where he had to settle for fourth after damaging the gearbox on his TigerRisk Fabia and had to nurse the car through Kielder Forest as a result.

BRC1 is rounded out by Alex Laffey in a second M-Sport Ford Fiesta alongside Edwards while Lawrence Whyte continues his transition to a full time BRC entrant in Belgium in another Fiesta.

BRCJ: Røkland Aims To Double Up

Norwegian Steve Røkland took a dominating win in Cumbria back in April and will be looking to continue his perfect start to the season this weekend aboard a Peugeot 208 R2.

James Williams / Ross Whittlock – Vauxhall Adam R2. Photo Credit: Prestone MSA BRC.

He won’t have it all his own way however as several drivers including 2017 runner up William Creighton in a similar 208 and second placed in round one James Williams in a Vauxhall Adam R2 have already shown their pace in the class in 2018.

The large entry list for the class also sees several Ford Fiesta R2T’s entered. Defending BRC Cadet champion Josh Cornwell heads to Belgium in pursuit of more points as he continues his progression to his new class, while Josh McErlean and Alex Waterman both enter with MH Motorsport for round two of the championship.

The BRC Cadet class sees a total of six entries for this weekend, with Pirelli winner Jordan Reynolds, Finlay Retson, Will Graham, Irishman Johnnie Mulholland and Bart Lang who finished third in Cumbria all entered in Ford Fiesta R2’s. Frank Field enters Ypres with an Opel Adam Cup and John Morrison is the sole entrant in the National Rally Cup class in a Mitsubishi Evo 9.

The Renties Ypres Rally takes place this weekend between June 22-23.