London based rally driver Ruairi Bell ensured he is still in with a chance of scooping a 60,000 Euro prize fund from M-Sport and Pirelli towards a campaign in the 2020 Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), with fourth place in the Junior British Rally Championship (JBRC) at last weekend’s Today’s Ulster Rally (17th August).
The 19 year old returned a mature performance behind the wheel of his Marex Spectron and Protec backed M-Sport Fiesta R2T, to ensure he takes the fight for the JWRC prize to the final round of the series in Scotland next month.
With a strong performance on the closed public roads of West Cork in Southern Ireland earlier this year, Bell headed to the Newry based Ulster Rally hoping for a solid result to maintain his lead of the M-Sport Fiesta standings.
With many teams falling foul of the tricky conditions, Bell made a cautious start on the opening stage of the rally.
However, by the third test, he was knocking on the door of the top three, sitting comfortably in 5th place. With drier conditions in the second pass of the stages, Bell found his rhythm, moving to fourth in the Junior category and second Fiesta.
A third quickest time over the final eight-mile blast firmed up his position and thanks to playing the JBRC “Joker” which offered additional bonus points, Bell now heads to the final round of the series locked in a battle for the JWRC prize.
“I always knew this weekend would be tough, but in a very different way from Ypres”
“The roads here are amazingly technical and you really need to be inch perfect. It was a steep learning curve, but we knew that there wouldn’t be anything to be gained by going all out for a top result, especially as the conditions were so unpredictable. The Fiesta championship was the main focus and now we head to the last round with a great chance of winning. There is still plenty to do, but I’m really looking forward to heading to Scotland and fighting for the win”.
The final round of the British Rally Championship takes place in Dalbeattie in the South West of Scotland on 14th September. The event joins the BRC for the first time and offers over 70 miles of gravel stages in the Dumfries and Galloway forests.
Images: Jakob Ebrey Photohraphy
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.