20-year-old Josh McErlean from Kilrea, Northern Ireland, had a strong start to the British Rally Championship season opener that was run at the Cambrian Rally last month. West Cork Rally will the second round of the BRC runs this weekend.
Last season, McErlean had great success in proving that he is worthy of the top when he took home the title in the Junior British Rally Championship with a Peugeot 208 R2.
At the Wales Rally GB, the young star debuted in a Hyundai i20 R5 as a result of the prize that he won for the JBRC title, with the support of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing. This year he drives with a similar car provided by Philip Case Rally Sport.
“Of course it’s frustrating to look at the championship scoreboard so early in the season and see a zero next to your name, but we simply have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down and look to Cork as the turning point,” McErlean said.
“I have a huge amount of learning to do in the Irish lanes, just like I had to learn the car for the gravel, so it is like a reset switch has been set really. That will probably mean that we can’t expect to be looking at BRC podiums this weekend, especially with the experience of the other guys around us. But I want to find a pace that I`m happy with and just progress during the weekend. It’s a very long event compared to the Cambrian”.
“I enjoyed West Cork in the [Peugeot] 208 last year and we won the Juniors, but of course this will be a very different attack this time around. We have to focus on getting a solid result and bagging some points and I’ve been working hard on the on-boards from last year to try and hit the ground running, but there is no doubt it’s an important event in my R5 career”.
West Cork Rally kicks-off during the weekend with 220 kilometres and 14 stages to be run at the Irish coast.