Almost 140 crews, a record entry for recent years, will be descending on Carlisle next Saturday for the Pirelli International Rally, the long established event which is the opening round of the 2018 MSA Prestone British Rally Championship attracting it’s usual strong field including three former winners of the event so the competition is sure to be fast and furious. The rally is also a round of the MSA FUCHS Lubricant British Historic Rally Championship and this part of the event has attracted almost 80 entries, again with many former winners in the field, while the FIA Celtic Trophy will see a strong contingent who are taking part in that series, coming to the event form across the Irish Sea. The Pirelli International Rally is once again based at the spacious H & H Borderway Mart, located conveniently just off Junction 43 of the M6 and that’s where the action starts next Friday morning when the cars are checked over and the drivers sign on and collect all their paperwork. There is ample opportunity for the public to view these proceedings and possibly collect autographs and take a few photos. The rally gets underway on Saturday morning, the first Historic crew will have an early start from H & H at 07:30 while the British Championship crews around about noon. The rallies special stages are all located in the Kielder Forest complex where there will be parking facilities for spectators and the rally will finish with a ceremonial town centre ceremony in Brampton where the first car is due at around 6:30pm . There will be a real carnival atmosphere in Brampton with loads of attractions at the rally finish including street entertainment, a giant 60 foot TV screen to see the rally action, a barbeque and loads of free giveaways from Pirelli and Prestone.