Byrnes wins British Rally Challenge

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John Byrnes / Paul Murphy Honda CivicLIMERICK rally driver John Byrnes has won the 2013 British Rally Challenge in the RC3 category, clinching the title at the recent Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire.

Finishing first in class and ninth overall, he wrapped up the championship with a race to spare, the Rallye Sunseeker finishing off a seven-race season for Byrnes and co-driver Paul Murphy.

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The champion was made to work for his moment of glory at the Trackrod Rally, saying: “It’s been one heck of a weekend.  We were lucky on the last stage. The car started to overheat and when the temperature gauge got up towards its maximum we had our doubts about being able to get to the finish.

“When we saw Chris [Wheeler, his nearest rival] pulled in at the side that put more pressure on us to get through the stage.  Somehow we managed, we got back to the finish and we’re really pleased.

“We did what we set out to do, it’s been a learning year for us and we’ve learned a lot so hopefully we’ll be able to come back next year and build on that and get some more results.”

Byrnes is now planning for the full British Rally Championship in 2014, which begins in April with Rally North Wales.