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Now integral to the MSA British Rally Championship structure, the 2014 NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy bursts into life on this weekend’s Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally, it’s crews drawn by the prospect of rallying in the fabulous Kielder forest complex.

For the first time ever, the ‘Challenge crews will run within the BRC field on the stages, providing the opportunity to participate alongside the hottest of BRC young talent, while battling it out in this, the tenth year of the series.

Two former champions are amongst the protagonists, Citroën crew Richard Sykes and co-driver Emma Morrison back to try to add to Sykes’ 2012 tile, while fellow Midlander Neil Matthews also returns after a four year break with new co-driver Claire Williams in his trusty Vauxhall Nova.

Richard Archer and Matthews’ former co-driver John Connor are in it to win it too, but while Archer has event wins to his credit, he has had bad luck with the reliability of his ex works Vauxhall Corsa.

Scot Ross Hunter has also tasted victory on asphalt in his Peugeot 205, but the 2013 third placed driver has yet to make it to the top of the leaderboard on gravel. He and Josh Davidson have an even bigger mountain to climb in Carlisle, failing to finish last year’s ‘Pirelli.

Mark Gamble and Stephen Link are yet to register, but have plenty of experience and the Suzuki Swift should go well. They head four newcomers to the series bringing varied experience, but sharing a desire to get to grips with the classic stages on offer.

Graeme Sherry and Peter Weall debut their Renault Clio after campaigning a Peugeot on Scottish events, while fellow Scots Sean Robson and Ian Robson upgraded their Ford Fiesta last year, both drivers having previously contested the Ecosse 205 Challenge.

Next Big Step supported Niall Moroney may be from the Emerald Isle, but the eighteen year old has made his home in Hertfordshire, choosing experienced Welsh co-driver Elgan Davies to guide his Peugeot 106; the British Isles clearly at their best working together.

Finally Scotland’s fastest female rally driver, Caroline Carslaw, has John Duke alongside in her familiar Ford Fiesta, the pair hoping to put a pre Snowman Rally testing crash behind them.

The NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy event takes place on Saturday 3rd May, using the first six of the main Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally’s ten stages. Based at Carlisle United Football Club’s Brunton Park home ground, the event kicks off in Carlisle City Centre from 09.30 on Saturday morning, the ‘Challenge section returning to the finish at around 6.30pm.

For more information on the NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge Trophy visit http://www.rallybrc.co.uk
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