The British Rally Championship will head to the north-east for the first time in more than three decades next year.
The Grampian Forest Rally, which is staged on an all-gravel circuit at Crathes, near Banchory, is set to become a qualifying round for Britain’s premier rally championship. in addition to being part of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship.
Some of Europe’s top drivers will descend of Kincardineshire on August 14, with the Stonehaven and District Motor Club-organised event showcasing 45 miles of the region, including Durris, Fetteresso and Drumtochty.
Grampian’s race has been part of the Scottish series since 2016, and last year won the Coogie Urquhart Trophy for best stage.
“We are delighted to welcome the British Rally Championship to the Grampian Forest Rally in 2021 and we are very excited to be hosting the fifth round of the series across our stunning stages here in Royal Deeside,” said Clerk to Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire and rally secretary Gordon Ritchie.
“The rally has proved its popularity over the years with Scottish Rally Championship competitors, who have always enjoyed the event that Stonehaven and District Motor Club put on.
“Next year we are raising the bar once again as the British Championship makes the trip and we are confident of being able to provide another superb event for any competitor who enters, or any rally fan who is out on the stages witnessing the action.”
The British Rally Championship consists of seven rounds, covering each of the home nations, with the Grampian Forest Rally housing the second of four gravel rounds during the season.
The ultra-competitive championship has been instrumental in the progression of World Rally Championship stars such as Elfyn Evans, Craig Breen and Kris Meeke, with the legendary Colin McRae a two-time winner of the championship, vaulting him into the WRC limelight in the 1990s.