The Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship in association with MSVR launched its third season today at the annual Media Day at Oulton Park.
The championship was devised by Darren Spann from the Bolton-le-Moors Car Club, which has run the enormously popular Neil Howard Memorial Stage Rally at Oulton Park since 2012. After two tremendously successful seasons Spann, together with MSVR, has formulated a championship calendar featuring eight single-venue stage rallies that will be held at racing circuits across the UK, including Oulton Park, Cadwell Park, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Donington Park, Anglesey and, for the first time, Knockhill between November 2017 and April 2018.
The Hockly Swift Cup is an exciting new competition to be run alongside the main championship this year. Giving drivers the chance to drive in a fully prepared rally car, tackling some of the nation’s best circuits for a low cost, the Hockly Cup is open to competitions running in one of Hockly’s spec rally prepared Suzuki Swifts. In addition, competitors will run a control tyre and control fuel. Points will be awarded at each round, with competitors allowed to drop one of the eight rounds. As part of the Cup, Hockly and the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship have provided some fantastic prizes, including rebuilds of items on their car. The overall winner will receive a fully funded arrive and drive in the Hockey Motorsport 1400cc Swift on any National B tarmac rally in the UK in 2018.
The media event was attended by the rally clubs who will be hosting the championship throughout the season, together with series partners Michelin. The French tyre manufacturer will continue to sponsor the secondary Michelin Cup competition, which will give entrants the opportunity to win a brand new set of tyres at each round, amongst other prizes and awards on offer at the end of the season. A new partnership with Protyre as the preferred tyre retailer was also announced, and Tim Hoare from Michelin was on hand to discuss developments in the tyres available.
Another new partnership has been forged with Swift Signs and Shirts, which will see a brand-new Championship clothing range launch in the near future. The range, which will feature the championship logo and have a premium fit and quality to it, will be a vast improvement from the previous range available at the end of last season.
The championship also benefits from a strong media profile, supported primarily by series partner Motorsport News, the UK’s leading weekly national motorsport newspaper. In another new move for 2017-18, for the first-time ever you can watch live coverage of all eight rounds online, as Special Stage TV will stream live coverage on their Facebook page, allowing you to keep up-to-date with the happenings on the circuit from anywhere in the UK.
A handful of lucky competition winners took to the track as passengers in a spectacular Ford RS200 owned by Nigel Mummery and Oulton Park's very own works-prepared Toyota GT86 Rally Cars.
Spann commented: "Today has been a fantastic success, with an excellent turnout of support from the rally clubs and competitors. We have outlined a number of changes for the new season and are delighted to say that everything is looking very positive for the third year of the championship. We can’t wait to get underway at the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park on 4th November.”
Simon Gnana-Pragasam, MSVR Competition Secretary, added: "The Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship was another huge success last season, thanks to the hard work of Darren and his team, together with all of the rally clubs who support the initiative. With the opening round of the third season taking place here in November, it has been great to showcase the championship at Oulton Park today. Having the championship as part of the MSVR portfolio has been a really great addition to the club’s line-up, with rallying adding to the diversity of the club’s offering."
Additional information about MSVR can be found here, with further MN Circuit Rally Championship details available here.