THIS weekend sees the 2021 ProTyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Championship eventually get underway with the opening round, when the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally takes place.

Delayed because of restrictions imposed on the sport due to the Covid pandemic, the six round series will now be condensed into just over two months starting with this weekend’s visit to the Epynt military ranges in Wales.

Hoping to make it a winning start are a crew from the region who are planning on contesting the whole series which comprises three events on the UK mainland, a double header in the Isle of Man and the final round in Northern Ireland in November.

Anth Eaton from Northallerton and co-driver Ian Jackson from Stockton will be in action in their Ford Fiesta R4 which is backed by Autotest in Northallerton, Foxes Signs, Morgans Salvage and Snigwig.

Both competitors have long and illustrious careers with Eaton’s spanning over 40 years, during which time he was won the Christmas Stages Rally whilst Jackson was a successful competitor in the drivers’ seat before swapping to navigating and for the past 20 years, has been clerk of the course for the Christmas Stages Rally, which sadly isn’t running again this year.

The rally this weekend will be the first time that Eaton has driven the Rally2-specification car in anger and assuming all go to plan, the pair return to Worcestershire just a week later to contest the Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally which comprises round two.

The Pokerstars Rally in the Isle of Man on October 1 and 2 sees rounds three and four take place in a busy weekend before the Otterburn ranges in Northumberland host round five on October 24 with the Ford Parts Cheviot Rally. The final round takes place in Northern Ireland when Cookstown hosts the MJE Wheel Repair Specialists Tyrone Stages Rally on November 6.