Citroen DS3 drivers battle in Ulster

AS BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE RACE REACHES PRESSURE POINT

The MSA British Rally Championship moves on to the penultimate round of the season for this weekend’s Ulster Rally, held in EnniskillenPirelli Star Driver Daniel McKenna will seek to increase his lead in the championship over Welshman Osian PryceThere will be three DS 3s taking part in the event

The MSA British Rally Championship runners face one of their toughest tests this weekend, on the Ulster Rally. The event will feature two days of challenging tarmac roads over fifteen special stages, totalling a distance of one hundred and twenty four miles.

The Citroën DS 3s have dominated this year’s British Rally Championship and the Citroën team have a commanding lead in the manufacturer’s standings. The championship returns to tarmac roads for the Enniskillen event, and with the similar closed road Rally Isle of Man coming up in a few weeks, the tarmac set-ups need to be perfect over the undulating roads.

The pressure is on in the race for the championship title between Pirelli Star Driver Daniel McKenna, and Osian Pryce. It was a win for Daniel on the last round in the Scottish forests after Osian struck gear-box trouble, so the young Welshman needs to challenge Daniel once again. “We need a result this weekend,” commented Osian. “There’s no doubt Daniel is going to go well, but I like tarmac, and I know from last year how tough this rally will be.” Osian has put in some test miles on the recent Harry Flatters Rally over the Epynt roads, his DS 3 is now in fine shape for Friday’s lunch-time start. Osian sits in second in the series standings, with one maximum score to Daniel’s two, and he knows it’s important to try and re-address that balance.

Daniel McKenna and co-driver Arthur Kierans were testing last week with the DGM Sport team and professed to be very happy with their latest set-up on their DS 3. “The car feels good,” said Daniel. “It’s going to be a big race on this rally. I know from contesting it last year in an R2 car that the stages are challenging, and a good concentrated recce will be important to get the notes right. It always seems to rain at some stage during the event, and the tarmac can be unexpectedly slippery. We will definitely be giving it a real go however.”

Local racer Timothy Cathcart lives not far from the St Angelo airfield where the rally will be based for the weekend. His co-driver for the event is Dai Roberts. They are hoping for better fortune at this rally as Timothy adapts to hisDS 3. “I’m really looking forward to my home event, it’s great to have the Ulster Rally down here and let’s hope that we can change our fortunes at home,” commented Timothy.

There will be a total of three DS 3s competing at this weekend’s rally, and the title race between Osian and Daniel is very much a talking point of the entire event. The Northern Ireland Motor Club have once again made a spectator special stage at St Angelo airfield where the fans can see the cars in for servicing. Thousands of spectators are expected to attend this popular event. With only this round and the double-scoring Rally Isle of Man now left in the BRC calendar, the pressure on the top drivers is now at its peak.