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Official M-Sport Ford re-sellers EDSL Sport will have a new look to its line-up as it heads to round two of the Junior British Rally Championship, the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally this weekend (14/15 March).

After a confidence-boosting fifth place on his Junior BRC debut at the opening round in Wales last month, reigning Cadet Cup champion Rupert Flynn returns for the gruelling closed-road event on the west Ireland coast. He will be joined for the first time by Dublin based Eamonn Kelly who makes his BRC debut after a season in the Irish National Rally Championship.

Both drivers will be behind the wheel of one of EDSL Sport’s hire cars – the new generation M-Sport MK8 1.0litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2T. They will be gunning for the chance to scoop a €60,000 prize fund which will go to the Junior BRC champion and will be used towards a 2021 campaign in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship thanks to M-Sport and Pirelli.

The opening round of the series took place on the world-famous forests in North Wales as the Cambrian Rally kicked off proceedings on the gravel. Junior BRC debutante Irishman Brian Brady joined the team for the opener and was instantly on the pace of the front-runners despite his lack of experience in the rapid Ford Fiesta R2T.

Sadly Brady would tip the Fiesta onto its roof during the day and with the damage caused to the car, was not allowed to continue by the event’s technical officials. EDSL Sport honours then were left to Flynn who was also making his Junior BRC debut in Llandudno. Staying out of trouble in the tricky forests, he and co-driver Richard Crozier were able to secure a positive start to their campaign.

Flynn will have his sights set on another positive result on the two-day event across the Irish lanes.

“I’m only aiming for another finish really,” he says,

“I did a single venue a few weeks ago to build my confidence in the new car on tarmac and that went well. I, of course, want to get more competitive with the leader’s but I’m being realistic that they have much more experience than me so that’s very much a secondary objective. In West Cork, success would be getting a finish and getting valuable experience on the difficult Irish roads. I’m looking forward to the Ring Stage in particular. It requires a lot of commitment to the notes and it’s a very fast stage, it will really test my trust in the notes”.

Eamonn, son of five-time event winner Donagh Kelly, has built experience of the Irish Tar and along with Motorsport Ireland Academy co-driver Conor Mohan is relishing the opportunity to work with EDSL Sport and kick start their Junior BRC programme.

“I’m really looking forward to working with them [EDSL Sport] and getting to grips with the new car,” says Kelly.

“The guys seem to be enthusiastic which is always good and we’re testing during the week so hopefully it goes well and we can learn as much as possible before Saturday morning. The aim is to try and be consistent and build our speed in the new car. The pace is inevitably going to be really fast but we have to try and find a balance that doesn’t see us doing anything silly either. It’s a long weekend and I can’t wait to get going”.

Team Principal Alex Waterman is enthusiastic about the new line up in Ireland.

“Rupert [Flynn] showed he had a very mature head on his shoulders after the Cambrian result and I`m sure he will take that with him to West Cork,” he says.

“He is getting used to the Fiesta and building his pace with every passing mile so he needs to keep doing that in Ireland as its certainly not a very forgiving place. Especially as there are over 200 kilometres of stages so consistency will be key for both drivers. Eammon [Kelly] has more knowledge of what to expect and I`m very excited to have him on the squad. The Junior BRC pace will be very impressive and from a team point of view, we have a dynamic line up this season. It’s one of the toughest events on the calendar so a result for both of our drivers will be important for us all”.

EDSL Sport will also field Elliot Payne in Cumbria during the weekend, as the third round of the BTRDA Rally Series takes place at the Malcolm Wilson Rally.

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Image credits – Jakob Ebrey Photography

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