CASTROL, a global leader in lubricants, has announced its partnership with Melvyn Evans Motorsport (MEM) UK, to form the new Castrol MEM Rally Team, that’s set to compete in the 2024 Probite British Rally Championship (BRC).

The team will showcase their talent with a pair of Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 cars adorned in the iconic Castrol rally livery.

Meirion Evans, along with co-driver Jonathan Jackson, will pilot the first car in the UK’s premier rally series – beginning with the North West Stages this weekend (22/23 March).

After strong performances in Ireland on asphalt in recent years, Meirion tried his hand at the Wyedean Stages Rally in the Forest of Dean last year and showed equally good speed on gravel.

This has resulted in the Welshman stepping up to concentrate on the BRC in 2024.

Father and son Melvyn and Meirion are from Pumpsaint, near Lampeter.

The second car is slated for delivery ahead of the third round and will be driven by the 2019 FIA European rally champion Chris Ingram and co-driven by the American ace Alex Kihurani.

The cars have been built by Toyota Gazoo Racing in Finland and will be maintained and run in the UK by Melvyn Evans Motorsport – a two-time BRC Teams champion.

The new Castrol MEM Rally Team paid tribute to Castrol’s rich rallying history with Toyota, displaying the ex-Carlos Sainz Castrol Toyota GT-Four ST185 owned by Nicky Grist at their launch event held at the Rolls of Monmouth country estate.

Nicola Buck, chief marketing officer, Castrol, said: “This partnership marks a thrilling chapter in our racing legacy, as we join forces with Melvyn Evans Motorsport UK to unleash the potential of the Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 cars.

“Racing with Castrol lubricants in an extreme rally environment demonstrates the confidence we and our customers have in delivering high performance.”

Meirion Evans said: “This opportunity is the most exciting one I've had in my career to date.

“For us as a team to be trusted by Toyota Gazoo Racing to bring the first Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 into the UK means a lot to us and to re-establish the iconic Castrol Toyota link and livery is phenomenal, not only for us but for rallying in this country.

“To have Chris [Ingram] as part of the team is fantastic.

“We have been friends since we were both very young, so to get the opportunity to finally work together and represent a brand like Castrol is something we are both excited for.

“It will be a bit of a change for me having driven a Polo for the last few years, but we will try to adapt as quickly as possible to the Yaris so that we can chase results from the outset in what is undoubtedly the strongest field the BRC has seen in over ten years.”

Chris Ingram said: “It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to drive in Castrol colours in the prestigious British Rally Championship in the latest Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, prepared by the esteemed British team Melvyn Evans Motorsport.

“The British Rally Championship’s announcement that it will be covered by ITV will provide a huge boost to UK motorsport and our partners.

“To represent such an iconic brand is a huge opportunity and I am going to give it my best shot.

“Including my team-mate Meirion Evans, we are going to face serious competition from some of the UK and Ireland’s best drivers.

“No driver in history has ever won both the British Rally Championship and the European Rally Championship, so that is my ultimate ambition for the season ahead.”