MN’S ROAD RAL­LY­ING EX­PERT “More fe­male com­peti­tors are needed”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Ger­man mar­que sig­nals in­tent, p36 Pho­tos: Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic

For­mer North­ern Ir­ish Rally Cham­pi­onship com­peti­tor Calvin Beat­tie has com­mit­ted to a full ADAC Opel Ral­lye Cup sched­ule this year af­ter mak­ing his de­but ear­lier this month on Rally Saar­land-pfalz.

Beat­tie de­buted in the se­ries – which is run with non-fia ho­molo­gated Adam cars – with Sch­mack Mo­tor­sport and man­aged fifth in class against some driv­ers who have com­peted in the cham­pi­onship for up to two years.

Beat­tie at­tended the fi­nal round of the 2015 cham­pi­onship and was im­pressed with the class. So much so that on his re­turn home from Ger­many he placed an or­der for an Adam with Holzer Mo­tor­sport.

“I had heard noth­ing but good re­ports from peo­ple about the cham­pi­onship and when I trav­elled over to Ger­many last Oc­to­ber those were con­firmed,” he said. “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to hav­ing the chance to com­pete against 15 other crews in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment. That helps cre­ate a level play­ing field and makes for in­ter­est­ing com­pe­ti­tion. It also means the best driver wins on the day.”

While Beat­tie has had lit­tle seat time in the car he feels he should adapt to it quickly, hav­ing driven an R2-spec Ford Fi­esta in last sea­son’s North­ern Ire­land Rally Cham­pi­onship.

“The hope, of course, is to achieve good re­sults, pick up as many points as I can, and chal­lenge for podium fin­ishes along the way. But, with sev­eral driv­ers re­turn­ing for an­other go at the 2016 Ral­lye Cup, that will be eas­ier said than done,” he said.

Beat­tie’s team-mate this sea­son will be ex­pe­ri­enced Ir­ish co-driver Martin Brady. Brady be­lieves the Adam cam­paign is a shrewd move on the young­ster’s part: “The Opel-backed one-make se­ries is the right place to be this sea­son,” Brady said. “Ger­many will be dif­fi­cult be­cause it is new to us both and we are up against un­fa­mil­iar stages and ral­lies, but once we find our feet I’m con­fi­dent of some good re­sults.”

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