Scotsman Allan Smith hasn’t driven a Rally vehicle in anger in three years, and he hasn’t embarked on a full season of Championship racing in over a decade. He’s not fazed by either of these points, however, as he sets his sights on a formidable return to the Rallying scene in the BRC National Rally Championship.
Running alongside the British Rally Championship, the BRC National Rally Championship serves as an ‘open class’ for non-homologated vehicles. Smith will compete in Class 3 of the category behind the wheel of his recently acquired high-revving Honda Civic Type-R (pictured above).
Before his three-year Rallying ‘hiatus’, Smith spent much of his competitive stage Rallying in his native Scotland. However, on his return to the sport, he’s decided to expand his horizons in search of new competition;
“I haven’t been out in a car since 2018 and if I came back, wanted to do more than the Scottish Rally Championship,” says Smith,
“After buying the Honda and seeing the BRC calendar this year it just felt the right thing to do. The BRC looks great and there are some great events in some big woods so I really wanted to get out there again”.
2021 will be Smith’s first full Championship season since 2010, where he competed in the Scottish Rally Championship behind the wheel of a front-wheel-drive Ford Focus. Moving on from the Focus, Smith made the jump to four-wheel-drive machinery, piloting a Mitsubishi Evo VIII in select rounds of the Scottish series. His last event came about in 2018, where he finished in fifth place at the Knockhill Stages Rally behind the wheel of a hired Mitsubishi WRC Proto.
However, after many years of absence, Smith is keen to get Rallying again, and is doubly pleased to be behind the wheel of front-wheel-drive machinery once more;
“I`ve always liked two-wheel-drive because you have to keep it neat and tidy which suits my driving style,” he says.
While he will miss the season opener, at Oulton Park, Smith is excited to get going in his first British Championship and is keen to break new ground;
“I’ve done a lot of work on the car since I got it from Ireland and it’s ready to go now. The calendar looks great and though I won’t be at Oulton Park, I`ve heard some really good things about the Nicky Grist Stages. I’ve never rallied in Wales at all so I`m really excited to be heading there. I know Mull well and of course the Grampian so as long as I keep the speed up this season it should be a good one”.
After three years out of the hot-seat and a whole decade removed from championship competition, Allan Smith will need to blow off the cobwebs fast if he is to make a success of his 2021 campaign. One thing is for sure though, he is ready for the challenge and can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.