British Rally Championship – Round 1

June 07, 2021
spectators at British Rally Championship

After a last minute confirmation I had got a much needed ‘team pass’ I was finally loading the car with camera kit. Ahead of me lay a late night 190 mile drive and a few hours sleep in a woodland carpark (don’t ask!) I w as off to the British Rally Championship – Round 1, the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park.

Spectators (…& photographers) had waited many months for live motorsport to return. At 08:30 sharp the sound of anti-lag launch controls could be heard at the start line. Steve Simpson in car 1 blasted in to view… RALLYING WAS BACK!!!

blue rally car Ian skelton Photography
Steve Simpson blasts into view on SS1
Matt Edwards opening his campaign for 3rd title in a row

30 seconds later, Matt Edwards in his VW Polo GTi R5 was the next on the road. Some 15 of the fastest rally drivers in the country in the latest high-tech machinery headed up the amazing 150 car entry. It was only a few short minutes before my main brief for the day, Osian Pryce in car 5 was in my Nikon crosshairs.

omologato watches sponsored rally car
Osian Pryce in the VW Polo Gti R5 for this year
rally car handbrake turn
Smoking RYR style

Incredible commitment from the off, at the end of the first stage, Matt Edwards, Rhys Yates & Osian had all stopped the clock on 7:54. Clearly an amazing day of exciting British Rally Championship action was in store.

Back in Service Area I had work to do. Apart from covering the rally in general, my brief was also shooting for one of Osian’s sponsors, Omologato Watches.

Osian Pryce
Racers wear Omologato
motorsport sponsorship by Ian Skelton Photography
Without photos there is no sponsorship… without sponsorship there is no motorsport!!!

Back on the circuit the drivers were getting into their rhythm, the battle was well & truly on. The rally was over 56 miles, split into 8 special stages. The route for the 4 afternoon stages would feature the famous Oulton Park water splash. Guaranteeing some spectacular images…

Matt Edwards on his way to 4th in the Oulton Park Car Wash
Fiesta R5 rally car spalsh
Rhys Yates exits Oulton Park waterspalsh
British Rally Championship Oulton Park
Kevin Procter definite candidate for ‘Splash of the Day’
spectators at British Rally Championship
Spectators enjoys the action as rallying returns to Oulton Park

Exciting as the front runners are, further down the entry order there was still plenty of action. Some of the club entries were having just as much fun

Ken Sturdy in his Talbot Avenger
Steve Casey & his son Sam in their Peugeot 205
…a little 1/60 panning action
red escort rally car
Josh Payton lovely sounding Mk2 Escort
Josh Moffett activating tyre saving mode
Oli Mellers in the Jaipur Proton Iriz R5

At the end of long day, the top 3 were separated by just 8 seconds. Making the trip across from Ireland, Sam Moffett took his first BRC victory. Rhys Yates equalled his best championship score in 2nd place. Frank Bird in car 4, was excluded from the results after post event scrutineering… promoting Osian Pryce up to 3rd.

Sam Moffett rally car water splash
Sam Moffett & Keith Moriarty taking their maiden BRC victory
Rhys Yates by Ian Skelton Photography
Rhys Yates & James Morgan powering to 2nd Overall
rally car Ian Skelton Photography
3 Right…Good Cut…100… Osian Pryce using all the road and some…

Next round of the British Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages in the forests of Wales. Tarmac is great but the gravel is awesome!!!

By Skelly

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