A new-look calendar of events for the 2023 Protyre BTRDA Asphalt Rally Championship in association with Motorsport News has been announced* – with seven rallies/eight scoring rounds taking place over nine months and a good geographical spread of events designed to attract competitors from all regions of the UK.
With continued support from title sponsor Protyre Motorsport – the largest supplier of Pirelli, Michelin and Hoosier motorsport tyres in the UK – the opening round will be a new event to the UK’s premier sealed-surface series, The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally. Organised by Beverley & DMC, the event takes place on Sunday 26 February and will feature a similar (yet extended stage mile) format to 2022 – with two loops of four stages held on closed roads in East Yorkshire. The ceremonial start and prize-giving will take place in a new fan zone in the historic Market Cross in Beverley Market Place, there will be a new centralised service area located just outside the town, the maximum number of entries will increase from 100 to 140 and there will be a spectator area located at the magnificent Burton Constable Hall.
Rounds 2 and 3 will be the Manx National Rally. Organised by Manx Auto Sport, it will feature many of the classic Isle of Man stages in a 130-stage mile route and will be a double header event with full championship points awarded after Leg 1 on Friday 12 May and after Leg 2 on Saturday 13 May.
Round 4 will be the Duns-based Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally. Organised by the Jim Clark Memorial MC, there will be eight stages featuring around 67 competitive miles on classic closed Scottish Borders lanes. There will be two stages on Friday (26 May) evening and six stages on Saturday (27 May). There will also be a pre-event shakedown stage.
The series remains in Scotland for Round 5, which will be the Dunoon presents Argyll Rally on Friday 23 / Saturday 24 June. The Mull Car Club organised event will have closed road stages around the Cowal peninsula in the picturesque Argyll and Bute region, plus its popular Dunoon town centre stage. In total, there will be 14 stages totalling 70 stage miles.
It’s over to Northern Ireland for Round 6, which is the Rathfriland MC and Ballynahinch & DMC organised Down Rally. Taking place on Saturday 22 July, the event will feature some classic closed road stages in County Down in its eight stage/60 stage mile route, including the famous Hamilton’s Folly test.
The seventh and penultimate round of the series will be the ever-popular Nigel Ferguson Fabricators Tour of Epynt. Organised by Port Talbot MC, the first motor club to bring rallying to the rollercoaster military range above Sennybridge back in 1965, next year’s event will take place over the weekend of 5/6 August.
The eighth and final round of the 2023 Protyre BTRDA Asphalt Rally Championship will be the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Sunday 22 October. Organised by Whickham & DMC and Hadrian Motor Sports Club, the event will take place over the Otterburn Military Range in Northumberland and will provide a challenging and fitting end to a hard-fought season.
The best six scores from eight rounds will count.
Following feedback from competitors, there will be more Historic classes next year. Amongst the changes will be the separation of Pinto and BDG engined cars into different classes to allow more competitors an opportunity to win class awards. The modern class structure will remain largely unchanged, albeit with a few updates to accommodate the maximum variety of cars possible.
The refreshed 2023 calendar is part of the Protyre Asphalt’s exciting development strategy led by championship co-ordinator Paul Morris and his team which includes fellow co-driver Paul Wakely and Donna Preston.
Mike Broad, President of the BTRDA, said: “The BTRDA was delighted when Paul Morris volunteered to co-ordinate the Protyre BTRDA Asphalt Rally Championship in 2022. It is no easy task organising a motorsport championship. He has a tight team around him with a wealth of experience and I am looking forward to a successful 2023 series. We could not organise the championship without the sponsorship and assistance that Protyre provide, and I would like to thank Shaun Chetwyn for all his help and guidance. The calendar has a great variation of top asphalt rallies throughout the UK, so I look forward to seeing many drivers enjoying ‘Serious Fun’ in 2023!”
Shaun Chetwyn. Protyre Motorsport Manager, said: “We are very much looking forward to the start of the new season and seeing old friends and new. Protyre, along with the assistance of motorsport’s leading tyre manufacturers Pirelli, Michelin and Hoosier Tires, are proud to renew their sponsorship of this prestigious championship. With the addition of Paul and his team, who bring a wealth of experience to the championship, combined with the new and exciting calendar, it all promises to make the 2023 season very special.”
Paul Morris, Protyre BTRDA Asphalt Rally Championship Co-ordinator, said: “As a new organising team we have one year behind us and, armed with a lot of experience and competitor feedback, we now look forward to a new championship year. I would like to thank Shaun Chetwyn of Protyre Motorsport for his continued support as well as all of our other sponsors, without whom this would not be possible. We welcome Richard Vincent and his team from The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally to the championship, and we welcome back the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Otterburn having had a year out due to calendar clashes. It’s great to see the Down Rally, Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally, Dunoon presents Argyll Rally and the Nigel Ferguson Fabricators Tour of Epynt returning to the championship for the second year running as well as having the Manx National back on the calendar in May. Having worked with all of these rally organisers during 2022, it’s a pleasure to be working with them all in 2023.”
2023 Protyre BTRDA Asphalt Rally Championship in association with Motorsport News *
26 February….The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally
12/13 May….Manx National Rally**
26/27 May….Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally
23/24 June….Dunoon presents Argyll Rally
22 July….Down Rally
5/6 August….Nigel Ferguson Fabricators Tour of Epynt
22 October….Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally
* Subject to final approval by Motorsport UK
** Denotes a double header round