Pirelli goes International with FIA Celtic Trophy
This year’s Pirelli Carlisle Rally will return to International status for 2017 with over 100 stage miles, as the British Rally Championship event forms part of the FIA Celtic Trophy for the first time.
The Trophy started last year and ran a solely asphalt calendar in 2016. Trophy co-ordinator Andy Millns wanted the contest to offer drivers in the British championship the chance to score more points. Had the Trophy featured the Pirelli last year, the overall series would have been won by Elfyn Evans. Instead, it was won by Irish Tarmac champion Keith Cronin.
“The idea was to get a better balance between the Irish series and the BRC, to catch more competitors there,” said Millns. “It should make it a tighter competition, which will be good.”
Carlisle deputy clerk of the course Brian Kinghorn believes the time is right to return to International status.
“It’s partly to do with the Celtic Trophy, but also we’ve always aspired to get back to international status when the time was right to do so,” said Kinghorn. “The BRC haven’t pressured us but they’ve always had the preference to move that way as well. We’re happy to be part of an FIA championship. We feel the time is right and the Celtic Trophy were looking for a gravel round on the mainland. We were keen to get involved.”