Hyundai i20 R5 to make British Rally Championship debut

Tom Cave will give the Hyundai i20 R5 its British Rally Championship debut on the Carlisle Rally in April

Hyundai i20 R5 to make British Rally Championship debut

Cave, who finished second in the BRC last year, taking four podiums from seven rounds in a Spencer Sport Ford Fiesta R5, looked likely to miss this season after the Mid Wales opener was cancelled, an event key to his sponsors.

However, last week Cave announced he would compete on the new opener, the Border Counties Rally, in a Dom Buckley-prepared Fiesta R5.

The 25-year-old will then switch to the Hyundai, which he had been hoping to drive since last season, for the April 29-30 event.

"The Hyundai has previously been seen on rounds of the WRC - including Rally GB - and other overseas events, so I am delighted to have the chance to drive the car in the BRC," said Cave.

"Because it's the first time for the car in the BRC, I'm expecting it to attract a lot of attention.

"I'm intending to do the best job I can for everyone involved and to show the car in the best way possible."

Cave will complete a 100km test in Kielder before the event and will run on DMACK tyres.

The deal remains a one-off, but Cave is hopeful a good showing can provide fresh impetus to enable him to complete the season in the BRC.

"This drive is just for the Pirelli Rally," said Cave.

"But if we can produce a good result, we will have the momentum and more ammunition to take to sponsors, as our aim is to be able to continue in the BRC for the rest of the season."

The Welshman will be serviced by a private customer team of Hyundai Motorsport and will be backed by regular co-driver James Morgan.

Cave's deal means that two of the New Generation i20s will be competing in Britain and Ireland at the same time.

Robert Barrable has a car ahead of the next round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, West Cork, which clashes with the Border Counties.

The i20 made a debut as course car on the Ypres Rally, where its times were quick enough to win the event, while it also won the Rallye du Var at the end of 2016.

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