Monday 18 December 2017

Motorsport: Vehicle D-Day for Barrable as decision to be made on next year's car

Declan Quigley

Rob Barrable will find out today if he has clinched a deal to run Jan Kopecky's IRC series Skoda Fabia in the British Rally Championship (BRC) next year.

Barrable travelled to the Czech Republic two weeks ago to test the latest iteration of the machine that has dominated top level Super 2000 rallying for the past season and a half.

The weather foiled his plans for a shakedown on that occasion but the 2010 Billy Coleman Award winner saw enough at Skoda Motorsport headquarters to pitch a deal to run the all-conquering machine in this year's BRC.

"The first time I saw the car I absolutely fell in love with it," says Barrable of the machine that Kopecky used at Monte Carlo and other events on his way to runner-up spot in the IRC this year.

Assuming he is successful in his bid for the coveted machine, Barrable's first outing in the car will be the Sunseeker Rally on February 26. Then he has five weeks to hone his understanding of it in testing for round two.

The Swords native finished 10th overall and second in the BRC Junior category this year as well as taking one-make series wins in the Citroen Trophy in the UK and Ireland with his C2R2.

Co-driven by Damien Morrissey again next year, Barrable is hoping to emulate the achievement of Bantry's Keith Cronin, outright winner of the BRC for the past two seasons but he is aware that the step up to S2000 machinery will provide a steep learning curve. "Next season is about learning the car and really going for results in the second half of the year," he says.

Barrable will dovetail his BRC commitments with regular outings in the Citroen Tarmac championship in Ireland as well as planned outings on Rally Ypres in Belgium and the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, both of which are on the IRC calendar.

Irish Independent

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