Evans heads to the European ‘Circuit’.

The Circuit of Ireland is a name synonymous with Irish Rallying and an event made world famous by its five day marathon around the grueling roads of Ireland during the heyday’s of the 70’s and 80’s. Fast forward thirty years and ‘the Circuit’ is set to be provide Lampeter’s Meirion Evans with the greatest challenge of his young career.

Now a two day event based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the event still holds the mantel as being one of the toughest events in the UK rallying calendar, with more than 200 kilometers of fast, twisty and bumpy Irish lanes to contend with. Not only is the event the second round of the newly reformed MSA British Rally Championship, but the event is also a round of the FIA European Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. As a result, more than 21 Junior crews spread across all three championships will take the start in Belfast on Friday evening.

The names McRae (Colin and father Jimmy), Roger Clark, Billy Coleman and in more recent times local Irish hero Craig Breen adorn the Circuit of Ireland trophy but Evans’ eyes remain firmly focused on the Dmack Junior British Rally Championship prize;

“Its very easy to be taken aback by the status of the Circuit of Ireland”, commented Meirion in the week leading up to the event, “but for us, we’ve remained focused on our job and we will treat no event differently. The start of the season hasn’t been the best and the past couple of weeks have been by far the most testing of my career. But we’ve learnt a real lot about ourselves, it never is plain sailing all the time! We’ve both put the misfortunes behind us, thats in the past. We’ve bounced back before and theres no reason why we can’t do it again. We will go to Ireland ready to fight!”

Meirion and co-driver Jonathan Jackson have enjoyed success on Irish tarmac over the last two seasons, taking their best results on the Emerald Isle aboard their Subaru Impreza in 2014 and in 2015, their Citroen DS3 R3;

“We’re quietly confident on the Irish stages, we’ve had a lot of success in Ireland but we’ve never been to the North before which are quite different in nature to what we’ve been used to previously. It’s going to be a big challenge and that’s before the weather comes into play, but were looking forward to it as ever – the start line of the Shakedown stage next Thursday will be a welcome sight that’s for sure!”

The opening leg of the Circuit of Ireland will see the Melvyn Evans Motorsport run Ford Fiesta R2T head to the North of Belfast to take in over 90 kilometers of timed special stages including the biggest test of all – the 31 kilometer test over ‘The Glens’. The stage, which uses the infamous Torr Head coastal road, is one of the longest stages in this years British Rally Championship at close to 20 miles in length. The second leg will see the crew head to the South of the city, with more than 110 kilometers of action before a Ceremonial finish in Belfast where Meirion and Jonathan hope to have restarted their Junior BRC title hopes in earnest!

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