- The British Rally Championship title could be decided at this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire
- Three-time BRC runner up Osian Pryce could become champion with a round to spare – but must win
- Can four-time champion Keith Cronin bounce back from Ceredigion crash?
- Infamous night-time Dalby Forest test set to challenge crews
- Already crowned Junior BRC champion, Eamonn Kelly continues his season in Yorkshire
- Alan Carmichael could cruise to the National Rally Champion title with a finish
The Motorsport UK British Rally Championship makes a return to the iconic Dalby Forest next weekend, as the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire [23-24 September] hosts the penultimate, and potentially title-deciding round of the 2022 season.
The blisteringly fast English forest stages are well-known across the decades for witnessing epic battles when the World Rally Championship visited the region and now the British Rally Championship will head to Filey on the Northeast coast for its annual foray into the nearby woods.
The longest gravel encounter of the season sees over 56 hard-fought miles on offer for the British Championship protagonists and as if the rapid tests are not challenging enough, Friday night offers up a spectacular 11-mile blast under the cover of darkness in the popular Dalby complex to test the crews further still.
And the battle for supremacy on the six-test event will be more intense than usual as series leader Osian Pryce will battle for the ultimate goal, the prestigious British Rally Championship title.
From the seven rounds in store this season, the Welshman has won three of them and that has put him and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan in the pound seat this weekend. If the Melvyn Evans Motorsport-run Volkswagen Polo GTi crew take maximum points, they can secure the title Pryce has spent so long yearning for with a round to spare.
But only a win will do for the Michelin-backed ace and any other result means the fight will go down to the final round in Wales in October. Pryce has netted two asphalt and one gravel victory in 2022 but will need to be on form if he is to lift the coveted trophy in Yorkshire, even with him nominating his Joker for this round.
Behind him, a host of eager challengers are waiting to usurp Pryce’s efforts. Nearest title protagonist Keith Cronin came into the BRC this season in a bid for a record-equaling fifth title in his Pirelli-shod Polo GTi but will need to ensure Pryce doesn’t take the win next weekend if he is to keep that dream alive.
He and Mikie Galvin suffered a sizeable roll last time out at Rali Ceredigion and the squad has faced a race against time to repair the Volkswagen. It’s a tough ask to be back on the front-running BRC pace after such an incident, but if anyone can, it will be Cronin.
But it’s not just the Irishman that can put the brakes on Pryce’s goal. As the season progresses, there are several BRC1 newcomers that have upped their pace and challenged the leaders, coming within a whisker of victory in many cases
.Ruari Bell and Max Freeman have shown blistering speed this season but have yet to really hook up their Skoda Fabia. A maiden BRC1 podium on the Grampian is a sign of their gravel intent and the rapid Yorkshire tests could suit them perfectly.
Day one leader at Rali Ceredigion James Williams enjoyed giving the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 an impressive UK debut, eventually taking second spot on his home event. He and Dai Roberts are more than capable of hounding Pryce and could well secure their first BRC win.
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