Author Archives: Howard Wilcock

BLACK’S BEAUTY LEADS THE WAY!…

Preview of Round 7:
As the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series moves towards its finale, Filey plays host to the penultimate encounter, the Trackrod Forest Stages, on 24th September and, following victory last time out on the Woodpecker, Callum Black (featured image) will lead contenders away from the start in his black liveried Fiesta Rally2. Due to his absence from a number of the earlier rounds, he’s not personally involved in the battle for MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star Rally Championship glory but, for those who are, it now gets serious as dropped scores come into play.

Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) are next but, while they have already won two rounds outright, a ‘did-not-start’ and a retirement leave them with no room for error between now and the end of the season if they are to capitalise on their earlier successes. Meanwhile, Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) not only have two victories to their credit but have also backed them up with a pair of second-places and one third.

                                                                                                      Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2)  >>> 

Even so, there is still work to do if they are to achieve their aim and become the latest in a long – and illustrious! – line of BTRDA Gold Star Rally Champions…
Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) were leading the points table prior to an accident on the Nicky Grist Stages in July and, in spite of finishing runners-up on the recent Woodpecker Rally, currently trail Payne / Walsh & Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson’s Fiesta Rally2. All three crews have, so far, only registered one retirement apiece and, thus, still have an element of wriggle-room before Judgement Day at the end of October!

Class B13 is proving to be its usual hot-bed of competition to the point that, without a blemish on their finishing record, Richard Hill / Pat Cooper (Lancer EVO9) are actually leading the Gold Star Championship overall. We could, therefore, be accused of stating the obvious by recording the fact that they also head B13 – currently by a considerable margin! The one crew who could yet rain on their parade is Russ Thompson / Steve Link (also Lancer EVO9) who, similar to Hirst / Dear, already have a couple of gaps on their scorecards and cannot afford to put a foot wrong. Pressure – what pressure?….

In common with Gold Star, the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship has also witnessed four different winners so far this season and, from them, it’s the ‘double top’ crew of Michael McDaid / Declan Casey (Escort Mk2) who are the first two-wheel drive car away as they attempt a hat-trick.

<< Michael McDaid / Declan Casey (Escort Mk2) on the Woodpecker

The Irishmen will have the Talbot Sunbeam VXR of Andy Davison / Tom Murphy and early season leaders Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2) to keep an eye out for while, from the start, current series leader Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) is only a couple of minutes behind this group.
Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers (Fiesta) lead the race to succeed Ioan Lloyd / Sion Williams as BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup Champions, but there is still work to be done before the matter is put beyond doubt. So, a good run over the North York Moors would help immeasurably!
Another category-leading crew to fall foul of the terrain on the Woodpecker was Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm whose Escort came off second-best in a skirmish with some logs. In spite of this setback, they’ve managed to maintain their lead in the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup, albeit by a reduced margin from Michael McDaid / Declan Casey (Escort). James Lepley (Escort) had his best run to-date on the Woodpecker and will be hoping for a continuation in this change of fortune while the presence of Alex Waterman / Glyn Thomas (Datsun 1600SSS) and Ernie & Patricia Lee (BMW 325) provides further variety to the category as a whole.

Long-time Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship leader Lewis Hooper (Nissan Micra) was absent from the Woodpecker, allowing Ed James / Charlie Mason (Micra Kit Car) to overhaul him. Another crew to fall foul of a broken driveshaft last time, Richard Garnett / Stefan Arndt (Micra) were, thus, unable to further their cause while, at the same time, Pete Gorst / Mark Twiname can count themselves lucky as, by the finish at Ludlow Racecourse, their blue Nova was sporting a large dent in its roof!   Nevertheless, returning to the subject of dropped scores, Gorst / Twiname have previously accrued three maximums and, while not sufficient to put the matter beyond doubt, will certainly benefit from them as the season draws to a close.

Having had July and August to regroup, contenders for the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK, are being called to arms for the second time in three weeks on the Trackrod Forest Stages! Richard Hill (Lancer EVO9) leads Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) by a single point, with Ian Joel (Escort Cosworth) and Stephen Petch (Fiesta Rally2) tied in 3rd place, another one point behind.

SPECTATORS : Advanced tickets (no cash on the day) and details are available via the website (www.rallyyorkshire.co.uk/spectator-information).

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcom Almond

A DAY AT THE RACES..!

Preview of Round 6:
The sixth round of the 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, the Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Stages, returns to its traditional base at Ludlow Racecourse on 3rd September for the first time since 2019 and what is one of the most popular forest events in the calendar has attracted a total entry of nearly 170 cars!

After a brief summer break, the battle for the MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship resumes with the ultra-consistent (5 starts > 5 finishes) Mitsubishi Lancer of Richard Hill / Pat Cooper currently in pole position. To date, the Fiestas of Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh and Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear have two wins apiece, while Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson were victorious on the opening round of the season in theirs.

<<    Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear

Following an indiscretion on the Nicky Grist Stages which cost them a finish, erstwhile series leaders Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen’s Fiesta R5 has been returned to the shape originally intended by the designers at Ford and they’ll tackle their ‘home’ event (Perry lives in Ludlow) in an attempt to reassert their supremacy. Joining them for the first time this year will be the BTRDA Rally Series’ 200th registration and 2017 Gold Star runner-up, Callum Black, who has 2015 MSA Asphalt Champion Co-driver Jack Morton for company in his MRF Tyres-sponsored Fiesta Rally2.

As far as Class B13 is concerned, while Hill and Cooper currently hold the upper hand, this particular skirmish certainly isn’t over yet! Class leaders until a big accident on the Kielder Forest Rally in June temporarily halted their progress, Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer EVO9) return to join similarly-mounted Darren Craig / Harry Stubbs, Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence, Rob Wilson / Richard Crozier and winner last time out James Giddings who, from varying distances in arrears, all have one common aim!…

A similar faultless finishing record, thus far, sees Nick Dobson’s Escort [see featured image] dominating the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship points table. Nick took advantage of former top dogs Rob Wright / Mark Fisher’s early exit from the Kielder Forest Rally and has yet to be persuaded to restore the status quo (at least from Wright / Fisher’s perspective!). Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm’s Historic spec. Escort Mk2 is continuing to make its presence felt at the business end of the Silver Star table, while Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers’ Fiesta R2 not only provides some front-wheel drive opposition to the ubiquitous Escorts but also – unsurprisingly! – leads the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup at this juncture.

Although they’ve only contested two events so far, Michael McDaid / Declan Casey (Escort RS1800) have claimed maximum Silver Star and Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup points on both occasions. They’ll be on parade in Ludlow and, based on past performance, could significantly improve their standing in both categories! While, even now, it would be a brave man to bet against Inglis / Chisholm’s success in this year’s Historic Cup, the presence of the likes of Alex Waterman / Glyn Thomas (Datsun 1600SSS) and Jonathan Brace / Paul Spooner (Escort) could well serve to liven up the proceedings!

Although Billy Grew {pictured left] has already made sure that the BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup will be residing in Stafford for the next twelve months, the fate of the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup, itself, is far less certain. As mentioned, Jones / Rogers lead the charge but such is the nature of the competition that, on paper at least, any one of the top seven drivers could claim the trophy. Four different winners from the five events so far (Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan are the only crew with two maximums to their credit) leave everything to play for – and no doubt it will be!…

                   Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan looking for a 3rd maximum  >>>

With the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Cup already secured, Lewis Hooper’s grip on the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship in his Nissan Micra [see image below] is such that, whatever happens on the Woodpecker Stages, his position at the top of the table won’t alter.

 

However, that doesn’t mean to say that his work is done. Richard Garnett / Stefan Arndt and Ed James / Charlie Mason (both Micras) are his nearest rivals but, with three events to go, a possible 90 points are still to be claimed which, at the risk of stating the obvious, could significantly alter the look of the leaderboard when it matters most!

Pete Gorst / Mark Twiname’s run of three consecutive maximums came to an abrupt halt on the Nicky Grist Stages when, well on their way to a fourth, their Nova left the road on the final stage. Although no threat in terms of outright Championship victory, the regulars are joined by 2021 Bronze Star Champion Steve Black (Suzuki Swift) and former front-runners Dave & Freddy Brick (Nova) whose farm overlooks Ludlow Racecourse!….

Having been standing at ease since the Kielder Forest Rally in mid-June, contenders for the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, report for duty on the Woodpecker Stages once more. Following the first couple of rounds, Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) has established a slender one-point lead in the series but, with four events to go, the Ilkley driver knows he will have his work cut out to maintain station.

Dobson’s nearest rival David Crossen (Escort) is absent on this occasion which turns the spotlight on to Richard Hill (Lancer EVO9) and former English Rally Champion Ian Joel (Escort Cosworth). However, in the class-based series, the competition will be very close and, literally, anything can happen between now and the beginning of December.

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves Ludlow Racecourse at 8.30am on the Saturday morning and full details can be found at www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond

PAYNE’S KILLER INSTINCT !…

Preview of Round 5 : Nicky Grist Stages (9th July)
Elliot Payne has won the last two rounds of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series with displays of speed and skill that defy his 19 years. With 2019 British Rally Champion Codriver Patrick Walsh installed in his Fiesta Rally2, Payne heads for Builth Wells and the Nicky Grist Stages with the express intention of making it three-in-a-row. However, as is ever the case, there will be others present in the massive 160 car entry, with a different ‘take’ on the situation!…     The featured image is Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – Winners of the Border Counties & Kielder Forest Rallies

Unlike their rivals, MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship leaders Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) have maintained a 100% finishing record thus far, with 4th place on the recent Kielder Forest Rally representing their lowest score. The pressure is already on for this likeable pair to keep up the momentum as, once dropped scores come into play (following the Woodpecker Stages at the beginning of September), any maximums will really pay dividends…The other two similarly Fiesta-mounted crews with BTRDA Series victories under their belts this season are Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson (Malcolm Wilson Rally) and Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Rallynuts Stages) and, in common with Payne/Walsh, each has one dropped score although, in Hirst/Dear’s case, it was a ‘Did Not Start’ as Declan was far too busy getting married on the day of the Kielder Forest Rally !….

                                                            Stephen Petch & Michael Wilkinson on the Kielder Forest Rally  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As far as Tom Llewellin / Ross Whittock are concerned, they’ve opted to contest the British Rally Championship section of the Nicky Grist Stages which includes a recce and, as such, precludes them from scoring BTRDA points. We wish them well and look forward to welcoming them back into the fold later in the season. There’s still time!….
While Payne Junior was going about his business on the Kielder Forest Rally, dad Charlie and co-driver Carl Williamson (Fiesta Rally2) were lying 6th after the first stage but had retired before the end of the next one, having been caught out by a crest in Bewshaugh. The 2016 Gold Star Champions’ refettled car will take the start of the Nicky Grist Stages in the hope of some better luck!

Richard Hill / Pat Cooper’s impressive season so far sees their Lancer EVO9 currently occupying 2nd place overall in the Gold Star table and, unsurprisingly, leading Class B13 as well. Having ‘won’ the two previous rounds, Russ Thompson / Steve Link retired from the Kielder Forest Rally after a big accident and, points-wise, have fallen back into the clutches of fellow Lancer crews Darren Craig / Harry Stubbs and Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence.

Although MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship leader Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) has a 23-point lead over his nearest

<<<<<  Photo of Nick Dobson on the Kielder Forest Rally 

challenger John Cribbins – whose co-driver, Colin Blunt, leads the Silver Star co-drivers table – they all know that the situation can change in the blink of an eye. With a maximum of 30 points available on every event, at the halfway stage of the season, there’s no such thing as a comfort zone!  Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort), who forfeited top spot following retirement last time out, know that only too well – however, the upside to that is another good score (they’ve already taken one maximum), allied to any sort of problem that might affect Dobson, could conceivably – to their way of thinking – restore the status quo!  What they all need to be wary of, however, is that David Crossen, who has only contested two events so far but scored maximums on both, will be taking the start of the Nicky Grist Stages in his rapid Escort!…

Having suffered the indignity of a retirement on the Border Counties Rally, fortunately without affecting their Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup lead, Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm (Escort Mk2) returned to their winning ways in Kielder. Nevertheless, Ernie & Patricia Lee (BMW 325i) could yet prove to be a thorn in their side, not to mention a returning Alex Waterman / Glyn Thomas in their Datsun 1600 SSS and, surely, James Lepley / Arwel Jenkins’ (Escort) luck has to change soon…

                                          Grant Inglis & Gavin Chisholm (Escort) – Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup Leaders   >>>>>>

Four events have each produced different winners in the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and they’re all be in mid Wales on 9th July. Yaniv Bar took first blood, followed by Mat Jackson, Tony Simpson and, most recently, Jonathan Jones.

<<<<  Jonathan Jones (Fiesta R2) on the Kielder Forest Rally

Their Fiestas are joined by the Peugeot 208 of Scott Sloan and Lucy Wigley’s Citroen C2 and, should Billy Grew (Fiesta) continue his winning ways in the BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup, he’ll be crowned champion at the end of the day!

After a shaky start that resulted in retirement from the Malcolm Wilson Rally, Pete Gorst / Mark Twiname (pictured [right > ] in their Nova on the Kielder Forest Rally) have totally dominated the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship by taking three maximums on the spin. That said, Lewis Hooper has stayed out of trouble and brought his Nissan Micra through to the finish of every event so far to maintain his lead of both the Bronze Star and BTRDA Rally First Cup. This time, the competition is set to be spiced up not only with the addition of 2021 Bronze Star Champions Steve Black / Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift) but also by the return of Aaron Rix / Abi Haycock (Escort) who haven’t been seen since their earlier-than-planned exit from the Rallynuts Stages.

SPECTATORS: The first car leaves Builth Wells at 8.30am on Saturday morning and full details can be found at : http://www.nickygriststages.co.uk/spectators/

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond
AH/010722

WHOSE ROUND IS IT?

Preview of Round 4: Kielder Forest Rally (18th June)
The first three rounds of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series have each produced different winners and, as crews converge on Hexham for the Kielder Forest Rally, the burning question is ‘are we going to see a repeat performance from a particular crew – or will yet another pair of names be added to the 2022 BTRDA Gold Star ‘Roll of Honour’?…

Rallynuts Stages winner Matthew Hirst will not be among those vying for top spot on this occasion as the Kielder Forest Rally clashes with the wedding of his co-driver, Declan Dear! So, while those immortal words ‘I do’ will be heard in a certain part of Surrey, the Auction Mart in Hexham is more likely to echo to the sound of ‘I could’ from Hirst/Dear’s rivals as they seek to capitalise on their absence!

<<<<<    Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear’s Fiesta R5 – An Unlikely Wedding Car?…

Elliot Payne and Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) shown in the featured image, were victorious last time out on the Border Counties Rally and Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson (Fiesta) also have a victory under their belts this season – their Fiesta triumphed on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. However, as crews arrive in the north-east, Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) hold the Gold Star bragging rights – just! Three third-place finishes see them two points ahead of the absent Hirst/Dear and Russ Thompson / Steve Link whose Lancer EVO9 rules the roost in Class B13, also by the narrowest of margins!

Tom Llewellin / Ross Whittock, who were leading the Border Counties Rally prior to their ‘off’ on their first outing in an R5 Fiesta, are back for more, while Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins (Skoda Fabia) have also previously lead a BTRDA Series round – it can only be a matter of time before each crew attains the top step of an event podium. 2016 Gold Star Champions Charlie Payne / Carl Williamson (Fiesta Rally2) have already ‘been there, done that’ and cannot be discounted from further success, even if Payne Junior is currently attracting most of the attention in that particular household!
With the BTRDA Rally Series scoring set at six (best) from eight (events), everyone is allowed a degree of leeway in terms of choice – or, as is more often the case, a couple of non-finishes! – without afflicting lasting damage to their campaigns. In Class B13, while Thompson / Link are marginally ahead of Richard Hill / Pat Cooper (also Lancer EVO9), the normally reliable Escort Cosworth of former Motorsport UK English Rally Champions Ian Joel / Graeme Wood has recorded two consecutive DNFs such that, with less than half the season done, it already finds itself in the last-chance saloon and cannot afford any further errors – no matter at whose door the fault is deemed to lie!..

With all due respect to Rob Wright and Mark Fisher, whose Escort Mk2 leads the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship following the Border Counties Rally, no-one has yet grasped the series by the scruff of the neck and, as with Gold Star, we’ve seen different winners on each event so far, even if Escorts do appear to be the vehicle of choice!…

                                        Rob Wright/Mark Fisher (Escort) – MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star Championship Leaders  >>>>

Nick Dobson’s Escort occupies runner-up spot while, hoping for a good season following the disaster that was 2021, Andy Davison / Tom Murphy are experiencing persistent trials and tribulations with their Talbot Sunbeam VXR, leaving them just outside the Top Ten at this stage. It’s also good to welcome the return of 2011 Silver Star Champion Allan McDowall whose past mastery of his 2.5 litre Escort was such that the words ‘cat’ and ‘pigeons’ spring to mind!….

Fortunately for them, Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm’s attraction to the scenery – and subsequent retirement – on the Border Counties Rally hasn’t affected their Escort’s position at the head of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup. However, the presence in Kielder of Ernie & Patricia Lee (BMW 325i) and Kris Hopkins (Triumph TR7 V8) – both class winners last time out – will possibly preclude a recurrence of such a liberty! Rejoining the fray following their absence from Jedburgh, James Lepley / Arwel Jenkins will also be looking for an opportunity to get up close and personal with the category leaders in their own Escort.

 

<<<<<<<< Tony Simpson/Ian Bevan (Fiesta R2)

Maintaining the theme of different winners on each event, Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan took their turn in the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup on the Border Counties, ahead of Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers. Yaniv Bar / Osian Owen’s 3rd place on the day was sufficient to keep them at the top of the table, while all three Fiesta-mounted crews will be joined by a returning Scott & David Sloan (Peugeot 208) and BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup leaders Billy Grew / Simon Rogers (Fiesta).

Hopefully, by now, Pete Gorst / Mark Twiname will have got their breath back, having had to push their Nova over the finish line in Jedburgh in order to claim maximum Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship points for the second consecutive time!  The car’s fuel pump had failed on the run in to the final control, causing some ‘heartstopping’ moments as the crew was forced to resort to any means possible to cover the final few yards – all caught on camera by Special Stage, even though the interview with Paul Woodford had to wait until Pete was able to speak once more!…

                                                       The Gorst / Twiname Nova at full stretch – with the aid of a functioning fuel pump!…  >>>>>

Avoiding any such excitement, Lewis Hooper’s Rally First Nissan Micra continues to sweep all before it, both in terms of the overall Fuchs Lubricants Championship and, unsurprisingly, the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Cup. Edward James / Charlie Mason (Micra Kit Car) and Richard Garnett / Stefan Arndt (Micra) are keeping in touch with Lewis in front while, at the same time, watching in their rear-view mirrors for Gorst / Twiname who are currently on a charge!

Having been ‘resting’ since mid-March, contenders for the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, return to active duty on the Kielder Forest Rally. Joint leaders preparing to slug it out in an attempt to establish dominance in this ‘class based’ championship include Stephen Petch (Fiesta), Richard Hill (Lancer EVO9), Nick Dobson (Escort) and Yaniv Bar (Fiesta R2). However, as they set off on their merry way, their enthusiasm may well be tempered by the knowledge that just two points behind are a further half-dozen drivers who still have, potentially, five more opportunities to unseat them!…

SPECTATORS: The first car leaves Chipchase Castle at 9.00am on the Saturday morning and full details on locations/pricing can be found at: https://kielderforestrally.co.uk/spectators-timetable/
All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond.

AH 10/06

COUNTY LINES EXTENDED!…

The MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series hasn’t included the stages in the south of Scotland or Tweed Valley forests in its itinerary for many years but now, with the addition of the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally to its 2022 calendar, there will be some crews visiting what, for them, is an entirely new area.
In the race for the MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship crown – which, thanks to the efforts of Euan Thorburn and Garry Pearson, has remained north of the border since 2019 – Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) arrive in Jedburgh as current leaders. Their win last time out on the Rallynuts Stages puts them marginally ahead of Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) and the Skoda Fabia of Ian Bainbridge who is reunited with co-driver Will Atkins once more.

                                                                                                                               Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen >>>

With two Top Ten finishes already, Tom Llewellin / Ross Whittock (Mitsubishi Mirage) maintain a watching brief and, with six events still to run, are ideally placed to mount a serious challenge as the season progresses.
Title photo is of Matthew Hirst & Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) – BTRDA Gold Star Championship Leaders on the Rallynuts Stages

Meanwhile, with mixed fortunes to date, 2017 Gold Star Champions Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson (Fiesta – 1st/DNF) and Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2 -DNF/2nd) also have ample time to move their campaigns forward. That said, a good result in the Borders would, nevertheless, be very welcome!…

The Mitsubishi Lancers of Russ Thompson / Steve Link and Richard Hill / Pat Cooper are inseparable at the business end of Class B13 and, while Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth) and Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence (Lancer EVO9) posed serious threats on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, neither crew made the finish of the Rallynuts Stages. All four vehicles are reporting for duty on Round 3 and, thus, a battle royal can be expected as this one moves a step closer to sorting itself out.

<<<<  Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9) – Joint Class B13 Leaders

 

        Trevor Gamble / Phil Kenny trying a bit too hard!   >>>

 

The Escorts of Nick Dobson and Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm hold sway in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship, with the 2.5 litre version of Rob Wright / Mark Fisher uncomfortably close as we move into the second quarter of the season. Neither David Crossen nor Michael McDaid – maximum points scorers on Rounds 1 & 2 respectively – are making the journey across the Irish Sea on this occasion but, with considerably less miles to travel, Middlesbrough’s Andy Davison and co-driver Tom Murphy have replaced the wheel that went AWOL from their Talbot Sunbeam VXR and caused retirement from the Rallynuts Stages, and will be hoping for a return to the form shown on the Malcolm Wilson Rally!
Following a fraught – and foreshortened! – outing in Cumbria, Tom Naylor / Tom Bishop renew their attempts to bring a front-wheel drive car to the fore in the 2WD category of the BTRDA Rally Series on the Border Counties Rally. Their Fiesta ST fits the bill, but they’ll be mindful of the old adage ‘to finish first’ etc, etc!…

Grant Inglis / Gavin Chisholm’s Escort leads the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup, while the return of Malcolm Wilson Rally class winners Alex Waterman / Glyn Thomas in their Datsun 1600 SSS adds spice – not to mention variety! – to the category. Having failed to make it back to Penrith on the season-opener, Ernie & Patricia Lee’s BMW 325 is having another attempt at opening its scoring this time…

<<<<<<<<<<<  Grant Inglis/Gavin Chisholm (Escort) – BTRDA Historic Cup Leaders on the Malcolm Wilson Rally 

After two rounds, the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup sees Yaniv Bar / Osian Owen (Fiesta) a handful of points ahead of the Peugeot 208 of Scott & David Sloan. A brace of Fiestas crewed by Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan and Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers finished just two seconds apart last time and, so, it’s fair to assume that at least one of them will be trying to reverse the order in Scotland!

Billy Grew (Fiesta R2 pictured right) was less than a minute behind Yaniv Bar on the Rallynuts Stages and leads the BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup, while Midlanders Lucy Wigley / Emma Cooper (Citroen C2 R2) are following up their maiden outing in Wales with a trip to Scotland.

 

Pete Gorst / Mark Twiname’s 1400cc Vauxhall Nova proved to be the class of the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship field on the Rallynuts Stages but, as that was its first outing this season, it not unnaturally finds itself behind a number of other crews who’ve racked up two scores so far, namely Lewis Hooper, Edward James / Charlie Mason and Richard Garnett / Stefan Arndt. The Alfasud TI of Dale Glover / Sean Ward is set to join the regulars in Scotland with the express intention of showing the above trio of Nissan Micras a clean pair of heels!

Lewis Hooper’s mastery of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Cup (two maximums from two starts) is such that, whatever happens on the Border Counties Rally, his position at the head of the table is safe – for the time being at any rate!…

                       Lewis Hooper (Nissan Micra) – BTRDA Bronze Star Championship & Rally First Cup Leader    >>>>>

The Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally takes in six special stages, totalling approximately 45 miles, and the first car leaves the start in Jedburgh at 8.30am on Saturday 14th May.
Prospective spectators should consult www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk/spectators/

AH 07/05.   All photos © Kevin Money & Malc Almond