Matthew Wilson is planning a return to the MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) and aims to contest the Pirelli Rally in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 Evo at the end of the month.
For more than six decades, the BRC has forged the careers of many young drivers and – with five British Rally champions going on to become world champion – it’s easy to see why the series attracts some of the best up-and-coming young drivers.
The level of competition, diversity of stages and professional organisation makes the BRC the perfect platform for any aspiring young driver to kick-start a career in rallying, and that is exactly what a 17-year-old Wilson did when he took to the wheel of a Ford Focus RS WRC in 2004.
Although now used to a managerial role, the success of the re-vamped BRC has inspired Wilson to get back behind the wheel – supporting the series that launched his career with his first competitive outing since the 2014 edition of Wales Rally GB.
Scottish co-driver Stuart Loudon is set to call the notes and the pairing aim to take the fight to some of Europe’s most talented young drivers – on some of Northern England’s most iconic forest stages.
Wilson and Loudon might not have competed together before but, having formed Henning Solberg’s gravel crew at last year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo, the pairing have a strong working relationship and will be hoping that holds them in good stead.
Due to the high-demand for the new-evolution Fiesta R5, Wilson is scheduled to make his return in the Fiesta that is currently being used by Elfyn Evans at this weekend’s Rally Argentina.
With the Pirelli Rally taking place just one week after the Argentine fixture, M-Sport will face a race against time with just one day to get the car re-prepped for Wilson’s anticipated return.
Matthew Wilson said: “The success of the re-vamped British Rally Championship and the quality of the entry on the opening two rounds really made me want to get back behind the wheel. The Pirelli Rally is a great event and it’s right on our doorstep so it was the perfect way for us to show our support for the BRC.
“Stuart Loudon will be joining me in the co-drivers’ seat and I’m looking forward to working with him. We haven’t competed together before, but we did work together as part of Henning Solberg’s gravel crew at last year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo. I know how well he works and I’m sure he’ll do a great job on the notes.
“It’s going to be a challenge. The stages may well be on our doorstep but – believe it or not – I haven’t driven in Kielder since 2004! I know that our experience level is somewhat limited, especially when you compare it to those who have already got up to speed and people like Elfyn [Evans] and Craig [Parry] who are rallying week-in, week-out at the moment, but we’ll certainly give it our all.
“As I say, it’s not going to be easy, but I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and just having some fun amongst what will be some very strong competition. Knowing the Fiesta R5 Evo as well as I do, I’d hope that we can hold our own.”