Roskell ramps it up with BRC campaign

Front-running national asphalt ace Neil Roskell will join the Probite British Rally Championship in 2024, piloting a Ford Fiesta Rally2.

The two-time Protyre National Asphalt runner-up only started rallying in 2019 but has blazed a trail on a range of sealed surface events across the UK, vaulting from a Circuit Rally Championship title in 2021, into the national scene the following year.

A familiar face on the closed road events across the country, Roskell’s wins include the Manx Rally, and Clacton Rally and would only lose out to eventual National Asphalt winner Callum Back in a final round showdown at Rali Ceredigion last September.

Now, the likeable Lancashire-based driver will mount a dual campaign in 2024 and attempt to master the gravel as he is set to contest several forest events throughout the season; a surface he had never competed on before last November.

Furthermore, he has drafted in the ultra-experienced Dai Roberts into the co-driver’s seat for his inaugural BRC campaign and the newly-formed duo will kick off their British Rally Championship with the Legend Fire North West Stages in March.

“I really want to challenge myself this year, so I thought I would enter and compete in the championship and see how I fare against some the top drivers in the UK” says Roskell.

“I see it as the next step as to where I want to be, trying to improve and progress with my driving. It’s where all the top drivers aim to compete so I thought I could give it a go too! It means a lot [to be in the BRC], the BRC has been around for years, and it is a top rally championship in the UK. I’ve heard that the championship is quite the challenge. It is certainly a big mountain to climb to compete at the top, but to battle it out against the top drivers is a dream. I’ll have to push myself, but I like to push and get the best out of myself.”

Despite his competitive career only spanning four years, Roskell has enjoyed a progressive rise in the sport and now finds himself in the top-drawer BRC. But he remains realistic about his chances on his inaugural season in BRC1.

I just want to be consistent and finish each round of the season this year, have fun on the gravel stages and see if we can hold our own on the roads, not expecting miracles though! Going against some of the competitors this year will bring me on as a driver and allow me to get the best out of the car.

“Hopefully there will be some great rivalries this year, and we can have the laugh and banter on each event. Even though I may be the oldest driver on the grid against the young guns, with my age against me, and the lack of experience compared to them, I will have to push hard.”

The gravel tests will undoubtedly be a tough baptism, after spending much of his gravel career on asphalt. But that challenge is part of the draw.

“I’ve only competed in two gravel events, both in bad conditions, but I really enjoyed it! I like how the car dances about and handles on the gravel, it’s definitely a different style of driving and I see it as a massive challenge. I don’t think I will be as competitive in the gravel, it’s one of my weaknesses and I still have loads to learn. But I like that, as it gives me something to push towards and hopefully not drop too many points in the championship rounds!

“I`m really looking forward to competing this year, will be great to have Dai sat beside me in the car, it will be a new challenge and I can’t wait to get out there and hopefully I can improve my ability this year. I think it will be a very hard season, we will have to work at it and up our game. It’s not about being the fastest, it’s about being consistent.”

Image courtesy of Lindsay Photo Sport

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