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Circuit of Ireland back in British rally series for 2021

 

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Missing out: two-time winner Craig Breen may be absent for Circuit’s return to British Championship

Missing out: two-time winner Craig Breen may be absent for Circuit’s return to British Championship

Missing out: two-time winner Craig Breen may be absent for Circuit’s return to British Championship

A return of the Circuit of Ireland but no Ulster Rally are the stand-out features of the British Rally Championship calendar announced for 2021.

The Ulster Rally, often voted the best round of the BRC series, has been almost ever-present since the championship began but it is absent from next year's schedule - an indication, perhaps, that its regular August date will be taken over by the proposed UK round of the World Championship.

Rally Northern Ireland is provisionally listed as part of the 2021 WRC series but there has been no confirmation the funding which is needed from the NI Executive and the UK government will be forthcoming.

The absence of the Ulster Rally has been offset by the inclusion of the Circuit of Ireland, which is scheduled to kick off the British Championship next Easter.

Neither championship took place this year because of the coronavirus and it remains to be seen when restrictions will be lifted sufficiently to allow an event on the scale of the Circuit to take place. Last run under the Circuit title in 2016, it was won by Craig Breen who is now part of the Hyundai WRC team.

But, for the moment, it is part of a seven-round BRC calendar which takes in all four regions of the United Kingdom.

Rally Tendring/Clacton in the south of England is later in April followed by the Jim Clark Rally (May) in Scotland and the Nicky Grist Stages in Wales (July).

Another Scottish round, the Grampian Stages, in August is followed by the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire (September), with the series finishing in Wales with the Cambrian Rally in October. The Isle of Mull Rally, also in October, is listed as a reserve event.

"It will be a 'reset and restart' for the sport in 2021," said championship manager Iain Campbell. "And Easter in Ireland is always a good place to start."

Belfast Telegraph


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