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MN Circuit Rally Championship with MSVR launches at Oulton Park

Thursday, September 24 2015

The Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship in association with MSVR launched at Oulton Park yesterday (Wednesday), ahead of the opening round of the season at the Cheshire circuit on Saturday 7 November.

The MN Circuit Rally Championship is the brainchild of Darren Spann from the Bolton-le-Moors Car Club, which has run the enormously popular Neil Howard Memorial Stage Rally at Oulton Park since 2012. Similar single-venue stage rallies are held at racing circuits across the country (including Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Cadwell Park) throughout the year, and Spann has brought them together to form a cohesive calendar which will run until next spring.

No fewer than 85 competitors have already registered for the championship, with entries to the season-opening Neil Howard Stage Rally massively oversubscribed. Click here to view a provisional entry list.

The hands-on running of each event will continue to be handled by the regional car clubs as before, with Spann overseeing proceedings as Championship Coordinator, with additional support from MSVR - the first time that MotorSport Vision's in-house event organising division has added a rally championship to its portfolio.

This media event launched an exciting partnership between the series organisers and leading competition tyre supplier Michelin. The French tyre manufacturer will sponsor the secondary Michelin Cup competition, which will offer entrants the opportunity to win a brand new set of tyres at each round, whilst a set of 12 tyres and free entry to the 2016-17 Michelin Cup will be awarded to the overall winner at the end of the season.  

The new championship will also benefit from a strong media profile, supported primarily by series partner Motorsport News. The weekly motor racing publication's National Rallying Editor, Jack Benyon, attended the launch, and was lucky enough to benefit from a passenger ride around the circuit in Graham Coffey's World Rally Championship-specification Ford Fiesta.

A handful of lucky competition winners took to the track too as passengers in both the Fiesta and Oulton Park's very own works-prepared Toyota GT86 Rally Cars.

Spann commented: "What a fantastic day we have had at Oulton Park or the launch of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally championship in association with MSVR featuring the Michelin Cup. It truly is overwhelming that we have 85 registered competitors, and it was great to see so many of them here.

"What a launch - I think this is going to be big!"

MSVR Race Operations Director David Scott, added: "The MN Circuit Rally Championship is already showing the hallmarks of becoming a massive success story, with an oversubscribed entry for the opening event of the season at Oulton Park, and I'm delighted that MSVR is involved in what is a very exciting new challenge for our organisation. I look forward to working with Darren, and all of those involved with running the individual rallies throughout the season."

Tim Hoare, Michelin's UK Motorsport Manager, said: "I am delighted to support this innovative championship.  The launch event was a great opportunity for Michelin to get the message out directly to competitors and promoters about the Michelin Cup for 2015/2016.

"The MSVR Championship will give us an ideal platform announce that the latest FIA tread patterns that are used on the WRC and ERC events are now available for UK and ROI customers. The game changer here for the asphalt rally market is the move away from the Wet, Intermediate and Slick tyre model to a single pattern for all tarmac rally conditions as is the case in the ERC and WRC events.

"To achieve this while maintaining the ultimate pace on dry tarmac is not a simple task. With the new Pilot Sport Michelin have made this a reality and have already scored rally wins in top level asphalt rally championships in the UK and Ireland this year.

"I would like to thank Darren the sponsors and all the team for a super launch event and wish competitors good rallying for the championship."

Additional information about MSVR can be found here, with further MN Circuit Rally Championship details available here.

Tickets for the Neil Howard Stage Rally and Fireworks at Oulton Park on Saturday 7 November online for £12 with free entry for under-13s. For more information please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.