Jos Verstappen to make BRC debut on Severn Valley Stages

Jos Verstappen to make BRC debut on Severn Valley Stages

Image: Verstappen in action during his Belgian Rally Championship campaign, credit: Russ Otway/90right.com Jos Verstappen registers for the Probite British Rally Championship 


Former F1 star and father of three-time World Champion Max, enters the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages
Verstappen will make his gravel rallying debut in Wales, joined by Wevers Sport team mate Roger Hodenius
The squad will debut the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 in the UK


Former Formula One racing driver Jos Verstappen will tackle the second round of the Probite British Rally Championship, the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages [13 April].

 

Verstappen, father of F1 superstar, three-time F1 champion and Red Bull Racing driver Max, will make his debut in the BRC and the UK, tackling the world-famous Welsh gravel for the first time. He will drive a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 with regular co-driver Renaud Jamoul, meaning they will also be responsible for the debut of Skoda’s latest Rally2 example.

 

The crew will be joined by Wevers Sport teammates Roger Hodenius and Robin Buysmans in similar machinery who have also signed up for the championship, bringing a truly international flavour back to the BRC.

 

The Severn Valley Stages marks the switch to gravel for the reinvigorated BRC and offers over sixty-two miles of classic Wales Rally GB stages including Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren.

 

Verstappen has enjoyed a progressive rallying career since his first event on the stages in 2022. Tackling the Belgian Rally Championship, the Dutch driver sealed fourth in the series that season, even managing to contest his very first FIA World Rally Championship round in Ypres.

 

Last year’s transition to a Skoda Fabia proved fruitful, sealing three overall rally wins on the closed roads in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, backed up with two more already this season.

 

But despite 23 rally starts so far, Verstappen has never contested a loose surface event and will head to the heart of Wales for his first experience of the class British forest stages.

 

"We are very happy to come to Wales and the British Rally Championship,” says Verstappen.
“Renaud [Jamoul, co-driver] has done Wales Rally GB several times but for me, these stages will be the first.”

 

"I only started rallying two years ago but only with tarmac events. After two test sessions in the wintertime in the south of France, we have decided to do our first proper gravel rally and as Renaud has some really good memories in Wales, this rally was looking like the best one to start with.

 

“We will get some good advice from Tom Cave during our PET [pre-event-test] in Sweet Lamb and we will try to do our best. There is no plan in terms of performance because it will be my first time on gravel but for sure the target is to improve and be as close as possible to the top guys.
“The entry field will be again really competitive, so we are looking forward".

 

This season's BRC line-up enjoys an enviable list of “who’s who” in domestic and international rallying and the opening round of the series, the Legend Fires North West Stages was won by 2019 FIA European Rally Champion, Chris Ingram.

 

But as the championship heads onto the gravel, the already unpredictable championship fight is blown wide open and the iconic mid-Wales stages have caught out even the best drivers in the world over the decades. Verstappen will need to be precise says BRC front-runner Callum Black.

 

“The stages are certainly technical in places, so it’s a challenge for a gravel debut, but you’d say it’s a good choice based on enjoyment” says the Fiesta Rally2 pilot.

 

“Certainly, it’ll be very rewarding if Jos can get a good feeling quite quickly. The stages are on the whole, very enjoyable. I also used them in Wales Rally GB where I felt like it was important to get rhythm, especially in Myherin. You really have to carry so much speed where the road gets wider, but when you get it right it’s very fulfilling. There are quite a lot of logs on the inside of corners this year, so it’ll be important to be neat and tidy at the same time. Judging from his times in Belgium, he won’t be slow, even on gravel!”

 

The Verstappen entry to the event has received widespread coverage in the national press, but with the sign-up to the coveted championship, the spotlight is expected to be on the popular Welsh forests next weekend.

 

Clerk of the Course Keith Ashley is delighted to welcome a driver of Verstappen’s calibre to the rally.
“We are very excited to see such a household name head to the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages this year,” he said.

 

“Having motorsport stars like Jos, plus our sensational oversubscribed entry can only be good for the sport as a whole and we are delighted with the extra spotlight it brings to the rally. It feels like the shot in the arm that gravel rallying needs right now.”

 

Probite British Rally Championship Manager Reece Tarren is fascinated to see Verstappen on the stages.
“What a name to add to the already remarkable BRC entry this season,” he says.

 

“We have British, European and World Rally champions on the books this year and now, we have an F1 driver to add to the list. The following that the entire family have is immense and rightly so, they are at the pinnacle of motorsport across the world and I`m really proud that we can attract the attention of someone like Jos to the series. It’s going to be a baptism for him, acclimatising to the gravel but it’s a magnificent event to do it on.”

 

The Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages kicks off with a ceremonial start in Llandrindod Wells from 18:30 on Friday 12th April, before the action gets underway the following day in the nearby forests.


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