19-year-old Eddie Lewis will return to the Junior British Rally Championship in 2021 looking to scoop the overall title, as well as the World Rally Championship drive on offer to the champion.
Competing in an ever-growing field of impressive juniors, Lewis will drive a M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally4 in the series. The Nottinghamshire based driver showed impressive pace on last season’s Cambrian Rally, just missing out on a podium, but was unable to capitalise on this due to the global pandemic bringing most sports to a complete halt.
Starting his career in the F1000 Junior Formula, Lewis then upgraded to a Ford Fiesta R2T. Using this he made an impressive debut on the world stage at the 2019 Wales Rally GB before turning his attentions to the JBRC in 2020, which would ultimately be short lived.
A family-owned historic Ford Escort have ensured that Lewis could keep match fit during this enforced sabbatical, but he and his co-driver Dom Adams cannot wait to get started again in the British Championship.
“It feels like a lifetime ago we were at the first round of the British Championships in Wales and I`ve been pretty much ready to get going ever since,” says Lewis.
“It certainly felt like there was much more to come from us after that first event and the pace we had for much of the rally was encouraging. It’s certainly would have been a podium place had it not been for a final stage puncture, so we are heading to the first round with a positive frame of mind.”
In a change from routine, the British Rally Championship will start with a one-day event based at Oulton Park race circuit and Lewis knows this event will be tricky with a lot of unknowns for him to discover.
“Looking at round one this year I know it won’t be easy,” he says. “There will be a lot of unknowns, especially with the chance you will be catching cars because of the format. I don’t think we will be winning the championship there, but we could certainly lose it so we need to keep our heads for sure.”
This level headed mindset will be vital through the season as the youngster aims to fulfill his goals for the season, winning the JBRC and the chance to drive a Hyundai i20 Rally2 on a European WRC round in 2022.
“This is our chance to shine this season and there is a lot to play for and to be honest we are confident going into the gravel events throughout the year as I have had some experience of the stages before. Our pace was good enough at last year’s Cambrian, but the level of competition looks really high, so good results won’t be easy. “
“We are maybe seen by some as one of the underdogs, which is sometimes a good position to be in. I’d like to think we can cause some upsets throughout the year, but I know we still have to be smart if we want any chance of taking the title.”