Consistency has been key for Cian Caldwell, as the 20-year-old Navan driver leads the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup IRE & UK standings as the series heads for the Assess Ireland International Rally of the Lakes [4/5 May].

With two rounds already complete, Caldwell has not yet managed to take the top spot in the one-make championship for both Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa Rally4 machinery, but his second and fourth places so far, have been enough to launch him into the lead of the championship.

Co-driven by Liam Egan, Caldwell’s second place at the West Cork Rally is an indicator of his asphalt pace, and the Peugeot 208 driver will be eager to continue his sealed surface form in Killarney.

But, he has just five points in hand over a gaggle of chasing title contenders, with three drivers tied for second place and just five points adrift of the lead. In hot pursuit, are round one victors Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams. An epic start to the season in Ireland was followed by a non-finish at the Severn Valley Stages on home turf in Wales at round two so the Peugeot paring will be eager to bag some important points for the championship.

A mirror image of Lloyd, Robert Proudlock netted a zero score to start the season, but made amends on round two with a sensational win across the world-class stages made famous by Wales Rally GB. He and co-driver Steven Brown battled with Lloyd before his exit but held firm to take the win and stay in contention.

Much like the Cup leaders, an exceptionally consistent run from Michael Fitzgibbon/Carrie Ryan sees them sit in joint second place and the leading non-Junior. Despite limited gravel miles, they netted the fifth spot in Wales and added to their podium result in West Cork, ensuring they are firmly in the fight.

Just a sprinkling of points are spread across the remaining crews with Keelan Grogan/Ayrton Sherlock’s Severn Valley podium keeping them just ahead of Casey Jay Coleman/Lorcan Moore in sixth spot.

But at this stage of the championship, standings are arguably immaterial and with eight rounds in total, the race for the prize fund is still very much open wide. The Cup allows drivers to compete for a staggering €75,000 prize fund across eight epic events in Ireland and the UK.

A cash pot of €6,000 is available to the first five crews home at each event, with the winner collecting €3,000, sliding down to €500 for fourth place. The fifth-placed driver receives one Michelin Motorsport tyre from distributors Protyre Motorsport Ireland. 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.

Very much still in contention are Kyle McBride/Darragh Mullen who scooped second place in Wales – the perfect recovery from a non-finish in West Cork. John O’Rourke/William Nolan upholds Opel Motorsport honours in their Corsa Rally4 but have stuck to the asphalt so far this season whilst Joe Kelly/Killian McArdle continue to progress, taking seventh last time out.

Kalum Graffin/Richard Crozier will have their sights set firmly on a finish after an unlucky start to the Cup, whilst Matthew Boyle/Gary Byrne finally get their title tilt underway after an illness kept Boyle out of the driver’s seat ahead of West Cork. Niall O’Sullivan/Frank Byrnes are another crew eager for a score after a non-finish to kick off the season.

Fourteen classic stages lie in wait, spread across two days and over 205 competitive kilometers. Cod’s Head, Ardgroom and Healy Pass all feature on the roster with challenging stages set to test the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup crews to the limit.


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