Newark based rally driver Eddie Lewis will return to the Junior British Rally Championship in 2021 to fight for the chance of scooping a prize drive in the World Rally Championship.
The 19-year-old Nottinghamshire ace will go head-to-head with an impressive field of talented Junior crews, all eager to scoop the prestigious title and Lewis aims to be at the forefront of that battle, driving his Mechanical Solutions backed M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally4.
Lewis has enjoyed a successful rise through the sport after starting in the F1000 Junior Formula, before upgrading to a Ford Fiesta R2T. After an impressive debut at world level thanks to an outing at Britain’s round of the series – Wales Rally GB in 2019, Lewis would turn his attention to a Junior British Rally Championship campaign in 2020.
Encouraged by his early pace on the season-opening Cambrian Rally in Wales, Lewis narrowly missed out on a podium spot before the pandemic called an early halt to the series and like many athletes, was sidelined for much of last year.
Rare outings in the family-owned Historic Escort ensured he could keep match fit and after the enforced sabbatical, Lewis and co-driver Dom Adams are eager to finally get his Junior BRC campaign underway at the end of the month.
“It feels like a lifetime ago we were at the first round of the British Championships in Wales and I`ve been pretty much ready to get going ever since,” says Lewis.
“It certainly felt like there was much more to come from us after that first event and the pace we had for much of the rally was encouraging. It’s certainly would have been a podium place had it not been for a final stage puncture, so we are heading to the first round with a positive frame of mind.”
In a radically different calendar from previous years, the BRC kicks off with a one-day blast around the iconic Oulton Park race Circuit which will host a bumper entry around the inner circuit and perimeter roads.
“Looking at round one this year I know it won’t be easy,” he says. “There will be a lot of unknowns, especially with the chance you will be catching cars because of the format. I don’t think we will be winning the championship there, but we could certainly lose it so we need to keep our heads for sure.”
But Lewis remains focused on the prestigious Junior BRC title and impressive World Rally Championship prize drive opportunity with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing on a European round in 2022.
“This is our chance to shine this season and there is a lot to play for and to be honest we are confident going into the gravel events throughout the year as I have had some experience of the stages before. Our pace was good enough at last year’s Cambrian, but the level of competition looks really high, so good results won’t be easy. “
“We are maybe seen by some as one of the underdogs, which is sometimes a good position to be in. I’d like to think we can cause some upsets throughout the year, but I know we still have to be smart if we want any chance of taking the title.”
The opening round of the 2021 British Rally Championship, the Neil Howard Stages, takes place on 31st May.
Eddie is backed by Mechanical Solutions, Newark Steel, John Haugland Winter Rally School, and Taylors Motorsport.