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ekcivicA one-make rally championship for Honda Civics is coming to the stages of Scotland next season! The Brick and Steel Civic Ecosse Challenge will run parallel to the highly successful 205 Ecosse Challenge, which has launched the rally careers of scores of drivers and co-drivers over the last seven years.

The Civic Challenge aims to add the next rung to the rallying ladder above the Peugeot 205 GTi. The series is targeted not only at those who have been successful in the venerable Peugeots, but also at a much wider audience of competitors who may be looking to run near the head of the front-wheel drive field without breaking the bank.

Using the EG and EK Honda Civics – the models produced between 1992 and 2000 – as base cars, the new championship is built on the same principles that have made the 205 Ecosse series so successful. Namely, tightly controlled specifications to ensure a level playing field, a supportive championship environment and cars that are also competitive against the broader Scottish Championship field.

The series has already attracted interest north of the Border, with current Civic drivers Ruary MacLeod, Neil Redford and Billy Davidson all keen to register for 2010. Current 205 frontrunner Graeme Schoneville has also thrown his hat into the ring and is drawing up plans to build a Honda over the winter months.

The Civic Challenge has gained the approval of Subaru Group N head honcho and former Toyota World Rally Team principal George Donaldson. Donaldson has been involved with the 205 Ecosse Challenge as a driver mentor since 2007, and is very excited at the prospect of seeing more Civics on Scotland’s stages.

“The Civic is quite simply an excellent car for the job, as it has a very strong engine and can teach some of the most important skills about driving a more modern vehicle,” he believes. “If you drive a Peugeot 205 well, you can hope to get into the top thirty on Scottish Championship rounds – with a Civic, the best drivers can hope to finish ten or fifteen places higher.”

Championship Chairman and former Scottish Rally Champion Andrew Wood also believes the robust nature of the Civic makes it an attractive package. “The beauty of the Civic is that, like the Peugeot 205, it uses a lot of standard parts,” Wood explains. “You don’t need to do an awful lot to the car to make it go quickly, so we believe the Civic will be very competitive in the overall Scottish Rally Championship as well.”

Brick and Steel Ecosse Challenge – 2010 Calendar
20th March – Brick & Steel Border Counties, Jedburgh
24th April – Granite City Rally, Aberdeen
26th June – Scottish Rally, Dumfries
10th July – Argyll Stages, Inveraray
7th August – Gleaner Oil & Gas Speyside Stages, Elgin
4th Sept – Merrick Forest Stages, Newton Stewart
25th Sept – Colin McRae Forest Stages, Perth
24th Oct – Keith Knox Stages, Otterburn
6th Nov – Kingdom Stages, Crail

Image courtesy of rally-photo.com

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