Show­room class set for most ex­cit­ing sea­son yet

Motor Sport News - - Preview: Btrda Series -

What a dif­fer­ent a year makes. At the start of 2016, the NR4 Class was look­ing like a shadow of its former self.

By the mid­dle of last year it was down to un­der five en­tries per round and the for­mula ap­peared tired, although the five or so that did en­ter usu­ally pro­vided a good bat­tle.

But this year, it’s a dif­fer­ent story. It’s a tale of two fac­tors. First, re­turn­ing fron­trun­ners. Pat Nay­lor, 2015 Pro­duc­tion Cup and NR4 cham­pion, elected not to re­turn in 2016 to de­fend his ti­tle. Although a deal was agreed to sell the car, co-driver Ian Lawrence didn’t want to see it go and a plan was hatched to re­turn to the cham­pi­onship this year ( see rally news).

Join­ing Nay­lor in re­turn­ing is Aaron Mcclure. The quick Mit­subishi Lancer E9 driver has never shied away from a good push, but will be look­ing to add con­sis­tency to his cam­paign af­ter call­ing last year’s at­tack a day af­ter a roll on the Som­er­set Rally. Both will be con­tenders for the class crown.

The other el­e­ment is the sheer devel­op­ment of the two par­tic­u­lar driv­ers in the cham­pi­onship last year.

Andy Davies and ace young co-driver Max Free­man ex­ploded onto the scene in their Subaru Im­preza in their first full year in the BTRDA in their Subaru. A class win on the Plains was a par­tic­u­lar high­light on their way to a last-stage de­cider with the ever-present Russ Thomp­son and Andy Mur­phy, who re­turn this year.

Cou­ple them with Richard Hill and Paul Brit­ton and you have what will likely be one of the clos­est cham­pi­onships any­where in ral­ly­ing in 2017.

Russ Thomp­son and Andy Mur­phy will

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