Bell’s World Rally Championship chance goes down to the wire after Ulster Rally result

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.

Ruairi Bell / Darren Garrod Ford Fiesta R2T

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.

Ruairi Bell / Darren Garrod Ford Fiesta R2T

“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

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