Peugeot scoop Junior British Rally Championship 1-2-3-4 at season opener
19 Feb 2019
James Wilson and Arthur Kierans led a Peugeot 208 R2 1-2-3-4 in the Junior British Rally Championship last weekend as the season got underway at the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally (16th February), scooping a £2,500 prize from PEUGEOT UK and TOTAL in the process.
Peugeot Sport UK, run by distributors Race and Rally have secured a prize fund totalling £24,000 for competitors who drive a 208 R2 in the JBRC in 2019, with £2,500 going to the winner of each of the seven rounds, £1,000 to second and £500 to third. The top Peugeot crew in the series will tackle Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship at the end of the season with a free entry to Wales Rally GB.
Six Peugeot Sport UK 208 R2 crews had signed up for the series which kicked off in North Wales, with 52 miles of special stage action on offer over ten stages in the forests south of the Llandudno base.
McErlean was the fastest out of the blocks on the opening stage of the event in Clocaenog, with Gallagher just two seconds behind. McErlean would retain the lead of the hotly contested Junior series until the third stage where Creighton took up the mantle.
By the fourth test, Wilson has made his way to second spot before netting the lead on the very next stage and with punctures affecting a number of leading crews, the battle for victory would be wide open by the time the night stages came around.
“This feels good I have to say,” said Wilson at the stop line of the final stage.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed today, everything has really been first class today. The notes have been spot-on from Arthur and I’m so very proud of what I’ve achieved today. I’m very happy”.
Behind him, Creighton worked his magic in the dark with some impressive stage times to leap from third to second by the end. Despite spending much of the day in fourth, Gallagher vaulted into third on the final test with McErlean consolidating his result in fourth.
There was despair for Scott and David Sloan who were making their JBRC debut in North Wales. The Scottish pairing impressed onlookers with their determination and grit, having no budget to pay for a service crew, they would look after the car themselves all weekend long. Sadly after a strong showing through the day, a cracked gearbox casing on the Welsh ruts forced them out with just one stage remaining.
Getting one stage further was reigning British Ladies Rally Champion Nabila Tejpar and co-driver Max Freeman. But they would also fail to finish the rally, rolling out of the event on the final test.
Raymond Moore, head of Peugeot Sport UK is delighted with the result this weekend.
“You really could not have asked for anything more from our PEUGEOT drivers this weekend,” he said.
“There has been some really fierce battles all day long and they have been superb to watch. I`m so very proud to have filled the top four JBRC places on the opening round of the series and I`m looking forward to seeing how they will perform on the closed roads around Cork next month. Huge congratulations to all our drivers and especially to James for his inaugural win.”.
The series now shifts onto asphalt as it heads to Ireland for the West Cork Rally in March.