|7||Peter M Stephenson||1:35:43.8|
2017 will be the 41st running of the event and the 26th year of continuous Pirelli sponsorship. Apart from a 3 year move to Gateshead (North East England) the event has always been based in and around Carlisle, which is the home of Pirelli largest manufacturing plant in Britain. All the competitive millage is within Europe’s largest man made forest ‘Kielder’ where its ultra fast sweeping roads have delighted many word class drivers over the decades.
Reconnaissance will be on Friday for the four stages that are each run twice. The shortest test being 11 miles and the longest at just over 16 miles. A pure test of control, concentration and speed. On each day the stages will be split with a remote service within the Keilder forest complex before returning to base in Carlisle.
Starting on Saturday morning and finishing in the centre of Brampton for the rally around 11.00 on Sunday. The finish will have a large TV screen, car displays as well as representation from Pirelli and Prestone. There will also be a shakedown stage on the Friday afternoon after recce for crews who wish to test their cars on a stage representative of those they will compete on the following day.
What happened in 2016?
After the Circuit of Ireland, Kielder Forest provided the backdrop for round three, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally. Returning to take on the BRC regulars was former BRC round-winner Matthew Wilson in an M-Sport Fiesta R5, with Stuart Loudon calling the notes for the Cumbrian star.
Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry were once again the men to beat, but a puncture on stage three shuffled the Welsh duo down the order. Fredrik Ahlin/ Morton Erik Abrahamsen had shown their gravel prowess in mid Wales and seized the opportunity to take their first BRC win on the Pirelli, making them the third different crew in as many events to claim the top spot as Ahlin became the first Swedish driver since 1995 to win a round.
In their one-off appearance, Wilson/Loudon took a fine second as Evans/Parry climbed up the results sheet to round out the podium. Crucially, Ahlin left Cumbria with the championship lead heading to Scotland.
Tom Cave/James Morgan notched up another fourth place, while Marty McCormack and David Moynihan took thier first finish of the year, hustling their Kumho-supported S2000 Skoda into fifth.