Fresh off the back of a maiden British Rally Championship podium for Inspira Rally Team driver Ruairí Bell, Rali Ceredigion in Mid Wales marked a return to tarmac for the UK’s headline rally series, where Bell delivered a mature performance to finish on the rostrum for a second consecutive event.
Taking a revised approach to proceedings compared to the opening four rounds of the BRC campaign this year, Bell and co-driver Max Freeman built pace through the event with the Inspira Rally Team Skoda Fabia Rally2, opting to learn the conditions and challenging stages instead of risking going off the road with an all-out attack.
Safely through the opening two tests on the Aberystwyth sea front on Saturday evening, the pair increased their pace on the night-time stages on the Welsh lanes, climbing to eighth overnight.
A string of fourth and third fastest times in the highly-competitive international field followed through the day on Sunday and, while maintaining fast pace and keeping the car on the road, Bell and Freeman made it through the 85-mile, 12-stage encounter to finish on the podium for the second time in Bell’s top-flight BRC career, even despite a puncture on the final test.
The strong result puts the misfortune of early seasons rounds well behind the team as it heads into the final two rallies of the campaign to round out a first year at the top level of UK rallying. The sixth and penultimate round of the championship takes the crews back to gravel for the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire later this month [September 23-24].
Ruairí Bell, Inspira Rally Team Driver:
“It was a challenging round of the BRC championship so we used a completely different strategy to what we have so far this year, we tried to play the sensible, long game and it definitely paid off with the podium at the end. It wasn’t what we would normally do, we would usually prefer to go on the attack from the start but this time we took our time, got to grips with the difficult stages, made no mistakes and managed to get to the end with another podium finish. It’s a really positive result and puts us in a really good place with a lot of confidence going to the Trackrod rally in a few weeks.
I must say a huge thanks to the team, we made some big changes to the car on the rally and everything was achieved faultlessly within the small service time allowed! Max did a brilliant job and I do feel a little bad for the copious amount of pace notes he had to call on the stages, but I did hear him take the odd breath so it’s all okay.
This would all not be possible without the support of Inspira Wealth, BVNK, Near Protocol, Climate Positive, C1-R and all my partners supporting us this year.”