Swede is hop­ing asphalt test­ing will give him an edge in the Bri­tish ti­tle bat­tle

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey, Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic

Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship leader Fredrik Ahlin will forego his Rally Fin­land WRC2 en­try in or­der to con­cen­trate on beat­ing El­fyn Evans to the 2016 BRC ti­tle.

Af­ter lead­ing the cham­pi­onship open­ing Mid Wales Stages be­fore be­ing reeled in by El­fyn Evans, Ahlin took many by sur­prise on the Cir­cuit of Ire­land Rally – the sec­ond round of the series – when he pro­duced com­pet­i­tive times all morn­ing on his first Tar­mac rally for four years. He led the BRC con­tin­gent on the event be­fore a small mis­take put him out of the rally on Sun­day. With two and a half of the four rounds re­main­ing on asphalt, the Swede has iden­ti­fied where to he needs to im­prove.

“The plans have changed a bit,” ad­mit­ted Ahlin, win­ner of the lat­est BRC round in Carlisle. “If we hadn’t been in this po­si­tion of fight­ing for the cham­pi­onship I would have gone to Fin­land for sure. But we’re go­ing to put ev­ery­thing into pre­par­ing my­self as best as pos­si­ble. I know it will be in­cred­i­bly hard: El­fyn has the chance to drive the car al­most ev­ery week, which I don’t have. If you look what we did on the Pirelli Rally, con­sid­er­ing he’d been to Rally Ar­gentina [the week be­fore], I had not been on gravel for two months and we could still go up there and be quick­est on the first stage.”

The Swede is hop­ing he can chal­lenge for the ti­tle af­ter his win on the Pirelli Carlisle was boosted by play­ing his dou­ble points joker on the event. Evans played his on the Mid Wales Stages.

Ahlin – along with his other CA1 Sport team-mates David Bo­gie, Alex Laf­fey and Tom Mor­ton – will un­der­take asphalt warm-ups be­fore Ul­ster and the Isle of Man, but it’s yet to be de­cided whether they will be in the form of tests of com­pet­i­tive events.

Swede won the Pirelli Carlisle Ahlin (r) and Evans (l) have been locked in a tight bat­tle in the BRC

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