It's all to play for as the young up and coming drivers head for Kielder Forest and this Saturday’s Pirelli Challenge Rally, the third round of the NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge series which offers a unique opportunity for fledgling drivers seeking to graduate to the main MSA British Rally Championship.
The opening two rounds have seen both triumph and disaster for a number of the registered crews and quite a few will be looking to get their championship challenge back on track and get some vital points on the board.
After finishing second on the opening round, Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Citroën C2R2) went one better on the next one and now head the leaderboard from Gareth White/Mike Dickson (Citroën C2R2), third on the series opener, they slipped to fifth on the second round but are one of the few crews to finish both rounds so far.
The winners of round one, James Ford/Neil Colman (Citroën C2R2) then retired next time out with gearbox problems and will be looking to make up lost ground as will Mark McCullough/Elliott Edmundson (Proton Satria) whose promising start to the series came to an abrupt end on the last round with driveshaft problems. Steven Smith/Dan Johnstone's Peugeot 206 exited the first round with a holed sump but came back strongly to take second spot behind Sykes in Wales and could be a team to watch. Still seeking their first points of the season are the experienced Simon Moore/Emma Morrison (Renault Clio) and Richard Archer/ John Connor (Opel Corsa).
The Pirelli Challenge Rally sees an 08:30hrs start from below the ramparts of Kielder Castle and consists of five stages, all in the giant forest complex before a high profile finish at Carlisle Racecourse.