Phil Turner will return to the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship next year in his rapid Ford Escort Mk2.
The Welshman finished third in class B11 in both 2018 and 2019. Phil led the class in 2018 after two early wins on Epynt and the Isle of Man and was hopeful of lifting the title this year, although some bad luck – including a gearbox problem after a flying start on the Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt Rally and differential problems on day two of the Masterpixel Media Manx National Rally (after hitting some debris on day one) – put paid to his title aspirations.
Yet together with Lancastrian co-driver Terry Martin, Phil will return for a full Championship campaign next year in his ST Motorsport-prepared, JD Tyres/Rikki Lloyd Butchers-backed red Escort, which is powered by a fabulous Toovey Race Engines two-litre unit.
“The quality of the Asphalt Rally Championship events in 2020 is the best ever, there are no weak rounds and it’s going to be a great year,” says Phil. “Between Terry and I, we have a good knowledge of all the rounds, except for the Three Shires Stages Rally. The Ford Escort is being stripped down as we speak, the engine has gone back to Toovey Race Engines for a complete overall, and the gearbox and axle are both out for rebuilds. While they’re away, I’m going through the shell, suspension and everything else. It will all be back together before Christmas, which may allow us to do a single venue event just to test the car. I’d just like to thank our sponsors for their assistance in making next year possible, namely ST Motorsport, JD Tyres, Rikki Lloyd Butchers and of course Toovey Race Engines, for giving us the best two-litre engine possible.”
“We did the Mewla Rally last year as a bit of a one-off, finishing second in class and eighth overall after a couple of problems,” added Terry. “We hit it off so well that Phil asked me to do four or five events in 2020 – the Tour of Epynt, Manx National and an event in Belgium and an Irish event – but when the Asphalt Rally Championship calendar came out we talked about it and it seemed too good not to do it!”
2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship
20/21 March….Legend Fires North West Stages
11 April….Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt
15/16 May…. Manx National Rally
30/31May….Jim Clark Rally
18 July….Tyrone Stages Rally
6 September….Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally
27 September….Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally