A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY !….

Round 2: Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages (13th April)

2024 marks the 50th running of Midland Manor Motor Club’s Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages and, to help celebrate this milestone, the second round of the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series has attracted a capacity entry! Victory on the season-opening Malcolm Wilson Rally sees Elliot Payne and Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) arriving in mid-Wales as leaders of the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship, but they’ll be perfectly well aware that, as yet, nothing can be taken for granted…
(The featured image is Elliot Payne & Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star Rally Championship Leaders, on the Malcolm Wilson Rally). 

Elliot also won’t need reminding that his runner-up spot on last year’s event came just one second ahead of 3rd-placed Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) who are back for more as well. However, having only managed a 10th place finish on the Malcolm Wilson, Hirst / Dear find themselves behind Class B13 leaders Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer EVO9), runner-up last time out Vivian Hamill (VW Polo R5) and the Fiesta R5s of Scott Beattie / Peredur Davies and Daniel Sigurdarson in the points table.

All of the above feature in the Severn Valley entry list, as do Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page (Fiesta Rally2) who finished a matter of seconds behind Hirst/Dear last time out, while Perry Gardener and Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) will be hoping for the opportunity to open their Gold Star account following a DNF in Cumbria. From different perspectives, but with similar aims, newcomers to the BTRDA Series Gunnar Johannesson / Isak Gudjonsson (Fiesta R5) and vastly-experienced returnees Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence (Lancer EVO9) will both relish the opportunity to improve their standings as the season reaches its one-quarter distance.

<<< Andy Davison/Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) – Protyre BTRDA Silver Star Rally Championship Leaders

Andy Davison and Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) came up trumps in the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship on the Malcolm Wilson and, as class winners on last year’s Rallynuts, will be justifiably full of confidence when it comes to moving that situation forward. Steve Ward / Phil Sandham (Escort Mk2), who will also have one eye on the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup, are their closest rivals, but both crews will be aware of the presence of Robert Gough in the list of entries – especially as his Escort cleaned up in both categories on the 2023 event!
For the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages, the Historic Cup will be boosted by the presence of Jonathan Brace / Paul Spooner whose Escort had a couple of successful outings last season, while Will & Karen Graham return in the Escort RS1600 that, thanks to the efforts of Ernie Graham, holds both the 2023 Historic Cup & English Rally Championship titles.

Lewis Hooper and Rhys Edwards’ move up to the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup didn’t go according to plan on the Malcolm Wilson, leaving Agnar Sigurdsson / Valgardur Davidsson to claim top spot in their Fiesta, with Garry Whitney / Karl Keating’s version next. Maintaining the Ford dominance, all three crews will be joined by Sam Mason / James Seymour and Rally First converts Alfie Hammond / Phil Boyle in mid Wales.

                                                Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) – Defending Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Champions   >>>>

The Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship table may well have a different look to it by the end of the Rallynuts!  Current leader Callum Black is contesting another section of the event leaving his dad Steve Black, the 2021 Champion, to take over at the controls of the family Suzuki Swift!  Whether this plays into the hands of defending champions Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova), or not, remains to be seen! Whatever, it sets the scene for a fantastic battle in which the likes of Will Banks / Matt Baddeley (Nova), Chris Greenall (Nova), Mat & Dan Evans (Peugeot 205), Ashley Francis-Adams / Mark Ammonds (Micra), & Dylan Fowler-Bishop / Dan Evans (Micra) will all be taking a very keen interest!  Dale Glover / David Smalley (Alfasud Ti) and Chris Bush / Robert Jones (Corsa), both non-finishers on the Malcolm Wilson, will be eager to turn the tide before the situation becomes even more difficult!

While contenders for the BTRDA Bronze Star Championship all have one thing in common – their respective vehicles have a maximum engine capacity of 1400cc – the class structure is split into two. The regulations governing Class 1400S permit more modifications than those for 1400C which, in basic terms, should give the former a performance advantage. However, from the foregoing list of names, Messrs Banks, Evans and Fowler-Bishop don’t appear to have read the script and are ‘mixing it’ very successfully in the battle for overall honours!

The BTRDA Rally First Cup is currently a straight fight between the Peugeot 205 GTIs of Giles Armitage / Josh Rhodes and Martin Beech / Daniel James following the aforementioned defection of first round runners-up Alfie Hammond/Phil Boyle to the ranks of R2 Cup contenders!

 

<<< Giles Armitage/Josh Rhodes (Peugeot 205) – BTRDA Rally First Cup Leaders

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the start in Llandrindod Wells at 8.00am on Saturday morning and full details on locations/pricing can be found at www.rallynutsrally.co.uk/spectators
All photos © Kevin Money / Malcom Ammond.
AH