Defender has revealed the 2024 Defender Rally Series vehicle and driver line-up ahead of the opening round of this year’s UK championship on Saturday, 2 March.

This year’s Defender Rally Series UK will have the largest competitive field in the championship’s history, with up to 16 driver and co-driver pairings contesting each event. It brings novice and experienced drivers together to compete in the UK’s premier one-make off-road motorsport championship. Applications are already open – and in demand – for 2025.

This season’s drivers have diverse motorsport backgrounds, from novices and track-day enthusiasts to experienced circuit and off-road racers. All of them will benefit from expert driver coaching and works support across the season.

Each of the specially prepared Defender 90s will feature a unique take on the new 2024 championship livery, customised to suit each competitor with a statement colour behind a signature black pattern.

Mark Cameron, Defender and Discovery Managing Director, said: “The Defender Rally Series showcase our highly capable all-terrain vehicles in the toughest environments. In true heroic spirit competitors take a new Defender 90 and, with only the lightest of specialist rally preparation, embark on a series of punishing challenges to test the durability of vehicle and crew. The Defender Rally Series is inspired by the adventure in the DNA of the brand and we are proud to be pioneers in this gruelling but exhilarating off-road championship”.

The rally-ready Defenders campaigned in the series are closely related to P300 production models with added safety features, including race-specification seats, FIA-approved roll cage and fire extinguishers. They use the same powerful 300PS Ingenium petrol engine, responsive eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and advanced All-Wheel Drive system as showroom models, with all mechanical enhancements, rally support, competition entries and vehicle logistics taken care of by an expert team from Bowler.

The third annual Defender Rally Series features seven rounds and begins with a bespoke Defender event at Walters Arena in Wales (2-3 March). Every round is designed to challenge and thrill in equal measure, allowing competitors to develop their skills in a close and competitive field – whether they are new to rallying or seasoned drivers looking to develop and progress towards higher-level competitions.

Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors, said: “The 2024 Defender Rally Series is our biggest yet, and will give every participant the opportunity to experience Defender at its very best, taking on some of the UK’s toughest, high-speed rally terrain. Combining the engineering integrity of showroom models with Bowler expertise and support provides the ultimate off-road racing package, allowing the drivers to simply arrive and drive. Every Defender 90 is prepared to the very highest standard, and we are thrilled to start a new UK season, as well as a growing number of international events.”

Competitors who will be living Defender’s ‘embrace the impossible’ ethos in the 2024 Defender Rally Series include former Boyzone member Shane Lynch, and Vanessa Ruck, an adventure motorcycle racer and online content creator. She finished fourth in the 2023 UK Championship with multiple podiums to her name, and will also contest the European Baja Championship this year.

2024 Defender Rally Series UK Championship Calendar

Round 1

Walters Arena

2-3 March

Round 2

Rally Nuts Severn Valley Stages, Builth Wells

12-13 April

Round 3

Summer Scottish Hill Rally

31 May-2 June

Round 4

Nicky Grist Stages, Builth Wells

12-13 July

Round 5

Yorkshire Hill Rally

13-15 September

Round 6

Clare Forest Rally Ireland

4-6 October

Round 7

Scottish Borders Hill Rally

15-17 November

As well as the Defender Rally Series UK, participants have the option to embark on specially curated international events throughout 2024. The Defender Rally Series European Baja Championship comprises four events, the first in Wales followed by France, Spain and Iceland, with some intended for those in their second year of the Series with the required rally licence. The one-off Balkan Rally-Raid Experience individual race event takes place in September, with more than 500km of competitive driving.