Continental Crews Coming to Carlisle

Fredrik Ahlin
The lure of the Kielder Forest stages and the resurgence of the revamped MSA British Rally Championship will see a contingent of continental crews tackling next weeks Pirelli Carlisle Rally, giving an international flavour to Cumbria’s top motorsport event and providing competition for the large field of home grown talent. As ever, the bulk of the foreign crews come from Scandinavia with Norway’s Sindre Furuseth bringing his diminutive Renault Twingo to Carlisle for only his second rally in the UK, he was an impressive 13th, and 2nd in class, on the championship’s opening round, winning the Sort Oils Spirit of the Rally award but sat out round two so will be eager to get back in the British forests. The championship’s opening round in snowy Wales saw Swedish star Fredrick Ahlin almost take a surprise win, only missing out on the top podium spot by just 17 seconds. By comparison, the second round was a bit of a disaster and saw Ahlin crash out, having previously damaged his Ford Fiesta when he hit a kerb on the rallies spectator stage, so he will arrive in Carlisle eager to get back on the score sheet. Also from Sweden, Mattias Adielson has made a steady start to his British Rally Championship campaign, getting used to his Vauxhall Adam the Swedish R2 champion finished 14th in Wales and 22nd on the very fast tarmac roads of the Circuit of Ireland. The third Swedish entry comes from Robert Blomberg who is contesting the BRC National Cup category in a Mitsubishi Mirage and is currently in second place in that series. Finnish drivers have made quite an impression on the British rally scene over the years and hoping to continue that trend is young Max Vatanen, the Son of the legendary former world champion, Ari Vatanen, he has a lot to live up to. Driving a Ford Fiesta, Max opened his account with a steady run to 17th place on the opening round but was sidelined with mechanical problems early into round two. Moving across the world to a totally different continent, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally will welcome a trio of young, up and coming Australian drivers, all eager to further their careers. South Australian Rally Champion Guy Tyler has moved to the UK to further his career, his season got off to an inauspicious start when he slid off the road on the snowy Mid Wales event, presumably snow isn’t something they see a lot of in South Australia! Also out in a Ford Fiesta will be 2015 Australian 1600 champion, Rhys Pinter while 19 year old Arron Windrus, will be in a Vauxhall Adam.