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Critics will say it is blowing our own trumpet, but with two former MSA British Rally Championship crews in World Rally Championship works teams in 2014, it is time to toot – and toot hard!

Testament to the BRC’s mantra of learning rally craft before moving on, are BRC graduates Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt, who will drive for M-Sport’s World Rally Team with a full programme next year. The 24 year old Welsh driver cut his teeth in one of the BRC’s one-make series, making pace-notes from scratch and getting used to the fierce competition in his two wheel drive Fiesta back in 2007.

By the end of 2008 he had won the Fiesta Sporting Trophy in both Britain and Ireland, repeating the feat in 2010 and using his place in the Motor Sports Association Academy training scheme to help hone his skills.

He impressed the Pirelli Star Driver judges too, taking the BRC Junior title and the coveted Pirelli prize, in what had been a great year for the youngster from Machynlleth. In 2011 he stepped seamlessly from two wheel drive to four, winning two BRC events in his Star Drive year and using the season to prepare for an ultimately successful assault on the WRC Academy.

Happy to return to two wheel drive, his 2012 victory on the world stage was coupled with appearances in the BRC, now all 2WD, at the helm of the Fiesta R2. He even managed a podium despite giving away 50bhp to the front-running Citroën DS3s. Winning the Fiesta SportTrophy International shootout was far from a foregone conclusion, but win it he did and with it a season working for M-Sport.

The rest, as they say, is history. Coupled with his success in the BRC and WRC Academy, his 2013 Fiesta R5 programme impressed M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson sufficiently to bring his and Daniel Barritt on board, stating:

“….I have no doubt that he is ready for this opportunity….We have a long-term plan for Elfyn and Dan and this is just the first step along the path to championship success….”
But that’s not the only early Christmas present for British rally fans. Kris Meeke has also landed a drive with a works team in 2014, the Northern Irishman taking a full-time seat with Citroën.

Lest we forget, the 34 year old has a bit of BRC form too, cutting his teeth early on in the Peugeot 106 one-make series, before battling for two wheel drive honours in the 2002 and 2003 British Rally Championship.

Seven years before Evans took the title, Meeke was also British Junior Rally Champion and like Evans in 2007, he went on to be top-placed two wheel drive runner in a Puma in 2003.

So with WRC experience and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge title in 2009, we hope that Kris and Irish co-driver Paul Nagle and Elfyn and Daniel remember their humble beginnings in something we like to call the best National rally championship in the world. Good luck guys!

For more information on the MSA British Rally Championship visit http://www.rallybrc.co.uk

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