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Nottinghamshire rally driver Eddie Lewis will return to the scene of his successful World Rally Championship debut this week as he embarks on his maiden season in the prestigious Junior British Rally Championship at the Cambrian Rally (8th February).

Lewis, aged 18 from Newark, will compete in one of the most competitive Rally Championships in Europe in 2020 and will be aiming to scoop not only the coveted Junior BRC title, but a €60,000 prize fund towards a 2021 season in the Junior World Rally Championship thanks to M-Sport and Pirelli.

Backed by Mechanical Solutions, Lewis has embarked on an impressive rise towards the pinnacle of Junior Rallying in the UK, electing to hone his skills in the F1000 Junior Rally Championship for three years behind the wheel of a Citroen C1 before switching to a Ford Fiesta.

Rarely off the podium in his final Junior year in 2018, he proceeded to win the Championship in 2018. Eddie then switched to National competition at the start of the 2019 season in a Vauxhall Adam Cup Car, sampling gravel for the very first time. A trip to Estonia in a Ford Fiesta R2 allowed him to sample modern machinery which led to the acquisition of the latest generation 1.0litre EcoBoost M-Sport Fiesta in the summer of 2019.

Launching straight into his WRC debut in October, Lewis overcame a time zapping off on the second day of the gruelling event to finish inside the top fifty overall, an impressive feat having never driven the car on gravel or the stages prior to the four-day event.

But his plan was always to showcase his skills against other Junior drivers. In 2020, the Junior British Rally Championship switched to a single make formula, offering a level playing field for talent to shine through and Lewis set about launching his intentions for the forthcoming year, starting with this weekend’s Cambrian Rally.

“There is no better place to prove myself than the Junior British Rally Championship,” says Lewis who will be co-driven by Dom Adams.

“I’ve been working up to this point for a long time and as soon as the BRC announced their intentions for an all-Fiesta series I knew that’s where I needed to be. It’s going to be very much a learning year of course. It is way too early to be sighting podiums but I`m looking for an increase in pace event by event and starting with the Cambrian suits me fine”.

The route of this weekend’s season opener takes in many stages used by Wales Rally GB last year and Lewis enjoyed the foray into the North Wales forests.

“It’s good to be starting the season on familiar ground and that should help with preparations. Of course, we have to knuckle down and make sure the pre-event recce is good and our notes are right, but I`m really looking forward to getting stuck into a championship like this.”

He remains realistic about his chances on the first event of the year.

“I like the stages of course but they are very difficult and can easily catch you out. It’s a short rally so if I can improve stage by stage then I`ll be happy, experience and miles under my belt are more important than anything at this point in the championship”.

The Visit Conway Cambrian Rally offers seven stages near to the event’s Llandudno base, totalling 43 miles of competitive action before an early evening finish on the promenade in the town.

Eddie is backed by Mechanical Solutions, SSSI Ltd, Newark Steel, John Haugland Winter Rally School, Speedline Corse & Pirelli.

Image credits – Jakob Ebrey Photography

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