Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup

Contenders Revealed For 2024 Stellantis Motorsport Cup

The inaugural Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup IRE & UK has unveiled its challengers for the all-new series, with an impressive list of contenders set to contest the exciting championship.

Promoted by Race & Rally, the manufacturer-supported series has attracted 11 crews for the first running of the Cup, which will see talented youngsters and experienced regulars vying for the chance to scoop a slice of the €75,000 prize fund.

This exciting new prospect will see both Peugeot 208 Rally4 and Opel Corsa Rally4 examples tackle the championship, which contains eight flagship rounds on both asphalt and gravel in Ireland and the UK.

On-event prize money is available for the top five crews home, with a cash pot of €6,000, the winner of each round taking home €3,000. Plus, the Junior champion at the end of the season will receive registration to the 2025 FIA Junior European Rally Championship, entry fees to six rounds of the Junior ERC and 12 tyres per round contested in the series, worth almost €40,000.

Backed by Race & Rally, Michelin Motorsport, Protyre Motorsport Ireland and LP Tents, the championship gets its season underway at the West Cork Rally in Clonakilty in March, joining the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship for the second round of 2024. The Cup will also head to the UK and the British Rally Championship, where it will also be showcased to a huge audience as it joins the FIA European Rally Championship at Rali Ceredigion.

A sensational list of competitors have submitted registrations for the new series, including young charger Keelan Grogan, who will contest his first-ever mixed surface championship in his short but impressive career. With just a handful of gravel events under his belt, Grogan has made only one trip outside of Ireland so far but his efforts have already been recognised, and a Billy Coleman Award nomination came in 2023. Ayrton Sherlock will co-drive this season.

Welsh ace Ioan Lloyd will also tackle the series and is likely to be a strong candidate after being able to sample a wide range of both BRC and Irish Tarmac events within the Junior categories. Lloyd has contested most events in the calendar, winning the Junior BRC section at Rali Ceredigion last year and along with co-driver Sion Williams, is relishing the opportunity to contest a single-make formula.

Robert Proudlock represents Scotland in the Cup as he steps up from an Opel Adam R2 to a Peugeot 208 Rally4 for the season ahead. The rapid youngster has honed his skills in the Scottish Rally Championship and BTRDA Rally Series and now embarks on his biggest challenge to date and has the experienced Steven Brown alongside.

John O’Rourke adds the Opel flavour to the Cup, bringing his Corsa Rally4 to the series with co-driver Tomas Scallan alongside this season. Backed by the main Opel dealer in Wexford, Ferrybank Motors, O’Rourke previously campaigned an Adam R2 and became the first to order a Corsa Rally4 in Ireland. With eyes on the Irish Tarmac Championship this season, he elected to add the Cup to his campaign.

With 20 years of rallying under his belt, Niall O’Sullivan has a wealth of experience to bring to the series, campaigning a 208 Rally4 with co-driver Frank Byrnes. Starting as a co-driver O’Sullivan switched to the hot seat and a Citroen C2 R2 for several years before making the switch to a 208 and would head to Belgium to contest the Stellantis Cup in Europe. His previous experience of the series should assist in his assault, despite most events in the calendar being new to him.

Campaigning a 208 Rally4 for two years, Joseph Kelly is another to step into the Stellantis Cup with an impressive back catalogue of events behind him. Experience on both sides of the Irish Sea over the past two seasons will hold him in good stead and is looking to the competitive nature of the championship to help him develop as a driver. The ITRC class RC4 podium sitter will have Killian McArdle alongside for the year.

Stepping into the one-make arena for the first time, Michael Fitzgibbon was lured by the competition and multi-surface format of the Cup and joins with codriver Carrie Ryan. After switching from, a Honda Civic, Fitzgibbon is a relative newcomer to his 208 Rally4 but is impressed with its characteristics so far and is hoping for plenty of fun during the year.

Motorsport Ireland Junior graduate Kalum Graffin will be looking to further his experience of events and surfaces this year as he steps into a 208 Rally4. Under the guidance of Richard Crozier in the co-drivers seat, Graffin has just 15 events under his belt but cites the Cup as the perfect proving ground to hone his ability for the future. His outlook focuses on finishing every rally and building his pace as the year progresses.

Matthew Boyle has been progressively building experience on the asphalt in Ireland and has secured a number of positive result in 2023, despite being just his second competitive season. The switch to a Peugeot 208 earlier this year will see him and co-driver Gary Byrne step up to the Cup and sample gravel for the first time.

Cian Caldwell is another to have started rallying in 2022 and already has 26 events on record on both gravel and asphalt. Impressive form on both surfaces will make him and co-driver Liam Regan strong contenders this season.

At just 20 years old, Casey Jay Coleman has many years ahead of him but his back catalogue of events across Europe mean he will undoubtedly be a front-runner in the cup. Campaigns in the Irish Tarmac and Junior BRC gave him the perfect grounding, as well as one-off events in Italy. Lorcan Moore will co-drive for the Irish ace.

The Cup will follow the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and Probite British Rally Championship, tackling four rounds of each series on both gravel and asphalt surfaces. The calendar has been constructed to offer the most challenging events on both sides of the Irish Sea, ensuring the greatest competition for all contenders and preparation for the future for career-minded youngsters.

The Cup will kick off in Ireland, with the highly anticipated West Cork Rally in March [15-17], offering three days of top-class Irish lanes including some stages under the cover of darkness, the perfect test for the talented championship contenders.

External Credits:
Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup IRE & UK, issued by MCR Motorsport Media

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