CONSISTENCY will be key to causing a few bloodied noses and bruised egos among the established stars in the British Rally Championship this season, says newcomer Keaton Williams.

Co-driver Williams is teaming up with Irish star Josh McErlean as his lead driver for his first full British Championship campaign, with the pair – backed by Motorsport Ireland – driving a Hyundai i20 R5.

The BRC season starts this weekend in Llandudno with the Cambrian Rally, with Williams relishing a testing opening race.

He said: "You look at the experience at the front of the field, with double champion Matt Edwards, Tom Cave, Osian Pryce and Rhys Yates, who did Rally Monte Carlo last weekend in the M Sport Fiesta R5, plus Ollie Mellors in the new Proton Iriz.

“But it's a long series so consistency is key for us – this opener is going to be tough, the forests are notoriously slippery, but we're looking forward to it.”

McErlean – last year’s British Junior Rally champion and the winner of the Billy Coleman award, which is given to the top young rally driver in Ireland – tested the new car recently in his home nation ahead of the event.

The North Wales Car Club has attracted more than 100 entries for this weekend’s event which is also the opening round of the British Trial and Rally Drivers’ Association (BTRDA) and Pirelli Welsh National championships.

Saturday’s race will see crews tackle stages used on Wales Rally GB, the likes of Gwydir, Elsi, Crafnant and the notoriously difficult Penmachno forest.