AHLIN JOINS CA1 FOR BRC ASSAULT IN 2016
WRC2 driver Fredrik Ahlin will join CA1 Sport for an attack on the seven-round British Rally Championship in 2016.
The Swede is tackling his home round of the world championship next week in a Ford Fiesta R5 Evo and will enter the BRC in a similar car run by Colin Mcrae’s former lead engineer Martin Wilkinson’s Cumbria-based team.
CA1 will also run Ahlin on selected WRC2 events, including Rally Sweden.
“I haven’t done any rounds of the British championship before,” explained Ahlin, 24. “But Martin [Wilkinson] has been telling me a lot about the events and I am really looking forward to it. I think there will be a lot of R5 cars starting the championship, and a lot of good competition.”
Like many other BRC entrants, Ahlin has hailed the arrival of M-sport works driver Elfyn Evans as an opportunity to compare his pace against an overall WRC podium finisher.
“It’s great that Elfyn Evans is coming back to do the BRC, because for sure that will be a very good benchmark for us and allow us to compare ourselves against a very good WRC driver.”
Ahlin is hoping to build on his second visit to the UK last year for Wales Rally GB, where a sensor failure forced him to return to competition on the second day under Rally 2 rules.
“On Rally GB we had some technical problems on the first day and had to superally, but after that we were setting some good times and fighting in WRC2 with the likes of Craig Breen, so hopefully we can take that momentum to the Mid Wales Stages and start the BRC season off well.
“It’s going to be an exciting year contesting the BRC and selected WRC2 events. I want to enjoy it, and of course I want to score some top results. We have the car and team to do it.”
Wilkinson believes that Ahlin will compete at the front of the BRC 1 field when the season starts on the Mid Wales Stages on March 5/6.
“There’s no doubting Fredrik’s pace,” said Wilkinson. “He has proven he can run at the sharp end on WRC2 rounds, which are extremely competitive, and hopefully he can transfer that raw speed into solid points and podium finishes during this year’s BRC. It’s important to start quick out of the blocks on these mostly single day events and coming directly from Rally Sweden should help. We plan to do some testing prior to Mid Wales to help him re-adjust to gravel driving using the Pirelli tyres.”