Merriman eyes full Asphalt campaign

Triple Welsh National Tarmacadam Rally Champion Richard Merriman is considering a move up to the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship this year, after a highly successful season in 2018 in which he remained unbeaten in the two-litre category in his Vauxhall-engined Darrian T90.

The Pontypridd driver won his class nine times on the nine rallies he finished last year, and always finished inside the top 10 overall as well.

The highlight of a brilliant season was his overall victory on the Toyota Harlech Stages Rally at Llanbedr Airfield in Gwynedd, which was Merriman’s first outright win in the new car.

Co-driven by Kath Curzon, and with continued support from The Roof Hub, Touchline, Gareth Swan + Son roofing, Maesycwmmer Service Station and Fat Jesters print, Merriman now hopes to contest Britain’s premier asphalt rally series in 2019, which beings with the Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt on Sunday 10 March.

“2018 was a very rewarding year, which saw us win the Welsh Tarmac Championship title overall, finish third overall and become class champions on the King of Epynt, finish third overall and win the Tarmac section of the FMP Rally Challenge and win the Forrester’s Car Club Championship,” said Merriman. “Plus we were undefeated in the two-litre class, despite being up against some very good competition.

“Rallying is of course a team effort, and a big thank you to Barry Jenkins for preparing the Darrian throughout the season and servicing it on events, to Neil ‘Central’ Jones for servicing on events, to John Curzon for all the hospitality on events, to our fantastic sponsors and to all of our friends and family for all the support.

“We’re considering what championships to do this year, and moving up to the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship is certainly something we’d like to do. It’s a good calendar of events and we’d be looking for a strong start to the season on Epynt, which is a venue I’ve rallied on many times and know pretty well. Our 2019 programme does depend on funding, and we are looking for additional support from potential new sponsors to do the Asphalt Championship.”

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