Drivers representing Renault UK will mount a stern challenge to defend the French marque’s lead in the MSA British Manufacturers Rally Championship on Bulldog International Rally of North Wales this weekend.
Renault’s first round lead came after a thrilling season opener last month in which Clio R3 crew Mark Donnelly & Dai Roberts not only took top Manufacturers’ points, but won Rallye Sunseeker International outright.
Fellow Clio driver Peter Taylor and his co-driver Andrew Roughead took fifth and with it sufficient points to grab a slender single point lead from rival marque Citroën, returning with their car in Wales.
The principle of privateers scoring points for their chosen car make is an innovative one, but one that has been embraced and which fosters great competitiveness amongst the crews and manufacturers. The Ford Motor Company played a waiting game, but could not bear to miss out on the fun, signing up at the eleventh hour ahead of the opening round.
Therefore, with three makes vying for the prestigious MSA title in some of the world’s most iconic forest rally stages, it will take nerve, speed and agility to hound down maximum points on this classic event.
Further down the field is a trio of Twingo Renaultsport Trophy runners who will play their part too. Although they lack the outright power of the Clios, Chris Ingram/Joe Cruttenden and Nick Allen / Andy Bull could help keep the pressure on the Fiestas, while Garry Pearson / Craig Wallace will push their Class 10 car to try to keep the youngster’s MSA British Junior Rally Championship lead.