Author Archives: Howard Wilcock

PETCH PERSISTS….!

PETCH PERSISTS…!  Preview of Round 1 – Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally.

The 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series® hits the road on 16th February when crews converge on Llandudno for the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally. 2017 BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship winners Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson were thwarted in their attempts to take back-to-back titles last year, having to settle for the runners-up spot behind Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod. However, undaunted, they’re back for more and their Fiesta will leave the start one minute in front of the similar car of 2016 Gold Star winners Charlie Payne/Carl Williamson.  Add to that an intriguing entry from the 2013 Gold Star Champions Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton from Scotland (Focus WRC)  – and so, straight away, there’s a battle to keep a close eye on!…   Adding a spot of variety to the current Ford Fiesta domination, the Citroen DS3 R5 of Irishmen Niall Henry / Damien Duffin will, no doubt, provide some tough opposition!

2017 Fiesta ST Trophy winner Sam Bilham moves up to a Fiesta R5 for an assault on the Gold Star Championship this year. Indeed, his Greenlight Sports sponsored Fiesta started life in the hands of Stephen Petch and, most recently, won the Cadwell Park Stages with Guy Smith at the helm.  Former UK Asphalt Rally Champion Steve Simpson and multiple BTRDA Forest Rally Champions Brian Bell / Paul Spooner will also be wheeling out their respective Fiestas for the start of the BTRDA’s 66th year of ‘Serious Fun’!….

Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth) achieved some impressive results in 2018 on their way to claiming the Class B13 crown. A season-ending 5th overall on the Trackrod Forest Stages last September will see them full of confidence as they embark on a new campaign – but nobody said it was going to be easy! The Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 of Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear proved to be a thorn in their side for much of the year – and they’re also back for more! Then Richard Hill / Pat Cooper’s Subaru Impreza and the Lancers of Ieuan Rowlands / Emyr Hall and Richard Sykes / Simon Taylor will also be playing their part in what promises to be a very competitive class.

Meanwhile, the BTRDA Production Cup caters for FIA-homologated Group N machinery, both two and four-wheel drive, and the two front-running Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9s of 2017 winners Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence and defending champions Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy are set to renew their intense rivalry! This time, however, they are joined by a third example in the hands of Scott Faulkner/Gareth Parry who will be intent on upsetting the apple cart!…

Cars contesting the MRF Fiesta ST Trophy also qualify for the Production Cup and, while only benefitting from two driven wheels, as opposed to the four of the Mitsubishis, consistency has seen them punching above their weight on a number of occasions in the past. 2018 winners James Giddings / Sion Cunniff have moved on to the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup – more of which anon – but new recruits Manxman Steven Ormond-Smith, Scotsman Bobby Mitchell and Welshman Elliott Stafford are set to ensure that Giddings’ successor could come from anywhere in the UK!

Notwithstanding George Lepley’s 2018 Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Silver Star® Championship victory in his R2 Fiesta, the two-wheel drive series has been the domain of rear-wheel drive vehicles in recent times. Lining up at the start of the Cambrian in the hope of rekindling that trend will be the Escorts of Owen McMackin / Lee Taylor, Steve Hopewell/Clive Jones and 2011 Champions Allan McDowall / Gavin Heseltine. Breaking the Ford monopoly is the rapid Talbot Sunbeam VXR of Andy Davison / Tom Murphy and, whilst entered in one of the Historic classes, a pair of Hillman Avengers for series sponsor Barry Jordan & Paul Wakely and that man Lepley are also eligible for Silver Star points!  Hoping to repeat his Class H4 win of last season, Tom Coughtrie returns in his Mitsubishi Galant VR4, while Jordan’s main rival may well be David Gathercole’s Escort RS1600.

A Fiesta is still the car of choice for several drivers hoping to succeed Lepley to the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup. In addition to Giddings/Cunniff, Mathew & Tim Tordoff and Richard Wells/Calvin Houldsworth also move across from the STs, while Perry Gardener and Tommi Meadows up the ante from the 1400s for the new season. Intent on showing the Ford devotees the error of their ways, 2017 BTRDA 1400 Champion Ed Fossey returns with a Peugeot 208 R2 and is partnered by fellow Jersey resident Will Rutherford-Child who, himself, sampled 1400 Championship glory with Julian Wilkes in both 2012 and 2013!

In the first full season since Motorsport UK’s relaxation of the rules in relation to the running order on events, much attention will be paid to the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship – in particular the level of entries. Competitors in this category run at the front of the field and initial signs are that the take-up is encouraging. Defending Champions Dave & Toby Brick (Corsa) return and the father-and-son team will, once again, be up against the Talbot Sunbeam of Chris Powell / Jim Lewis. Steve Black / Paul Morris’ Suzuki Swift beat the Bricks last time out, while Callum Black, whose Fiesta R5+ was dicing for the overall Gold Star Championship lead on his last serious attempt in 2017, is back in an MG ZR. Kieran Darrington made a welcome reappearance in his Vauxhall Corsa during last year and, with Abi Haycock reading the notes, he’ll be hoping to put his recent experience to good use. Also listed under ‘returnees’, 2016 BTRDA Rally First® Champions Dominic Hodge / Stefan Arndt are back for an assault on the 1400s in their Nissan Micra.

With classes that include cars up to 2-litre, the BTRDA Rally First Championship allows only limited modifications. The leading crews last year were in Toyotas but interest so far has been shown by such varying machinery as the Seat Arosa of Sam & Liam Johnson, Joseph Keen’s MG ZR and Alan King / Michael Jones’ 2.0 VW Lupo GTI.     Gentlemen, start your engines!….

Seven special stages in some of the classic North Wales forests await competitors on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally and, following their completion, the first car is due back at the finish in the centre of Llandudno at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

Photo is Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson on their way to winning the 2017 BTRDA Gold Star Championship.

Something for everyone in 2019….!

The 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series which begins in 10 days time on the Visit Conwy Cambrain Rally, is open to all stage rally cars and includes a broad spread of categories and competition classes, so there is something for everyone. The 2019 Regulations and calendar of events can be viewed via the Competitors section of this website.

Competitors who have not yet registered for 2019 can do so now via the on-line BTRDA membership registration system or print off a Registration form and post it to Paul Price, the Membership Secretary. If all else fails, you can still register at the BTRDA desk on the Friday afternoon / early evening before the championship event.

The Registration Fee includes BTRDA club membership and registration for both the BTRDA Rally Series and the English Rally Championship. (BTRDA membership gives eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events). There is a £10 discount if both members of the crew register together.  NB:  BTRDA membership and Rally Championship registration is FREE to new BTRDA members under the age of 25 on 1st Jan 2019, for their first year of registration.

*NEW PRIZES FOR 2019*

BTRDA Historic Cup:    On each round of the championship the overall winner of the BTRDA Historic Cup will receive £500 – a total of £3,500 over the seven-event series – and the overall BTRDA Historic Champion will be presented with the prestigious AC de Monaco Trophy at the end of year BTRDA awards ceremony.

BTRDA Junior Championship Awards:   2019 sees the 40th anniversary of legendary rally results provider Tynemouth Computer Services (TCS), and also 40 consecutive years of involvement with the BTRDA Rally Championships. In order to help celebrate this milestone, TCS founder Martin Liddle is supporting the BTRDA Junior Championship with cash awards on each individual round. Based on the Index of Performance classification, as used to calculate the Junior Championship points, the first, second and third Junior Driver on each BTRDA Rally Series event will receive cash awards of £150, £100 & £50 respectively, while the Junior Co-drivers will also benefit to the tune of £75, £50 & £25 – a total of £3,150 over the seven-event series. These awards are open to all registered competitors who were born on or after 1st January 1995.

In addition, there are end of season awards of £250 for both the highest placed Junior Driver in the BTRDA Rally Series and the English Rally Championship, courtesy of Mintex.

ROAD to WALES:     For several years the BTRDA Rally Series has benefitted from a free entry for Wales Rally GB National Rally through its ‘Road to Wales’ initiative. This will continue in 2019 and the prize – worth around £1,000 – will go to the leading BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup driver after the Woodpecker Stages.

Photo on the right is of Fiesta ST Trophy winners James Giddings  / Sion Cunniff on the 2018 Trackrod Forest Stages. They return in 2019 in a Fiesta R2 to have a go at the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup.  >

Main photo above is Pat Nayor / Ian Lawrence (Gp N Mitsubishi Evo 9) trying very hard on the Trackrod Forest Stages.  They will resume their rivalry with Russ Thompson / Andy Murphy (Gp N Mitsubishi Evo 9) once again in 2019.

New BTRDA Historic Cup prizes for 2019…..!

The JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series is very pleased to announce a brand new incentive for this year’s BTRDA Historic Cup competitors.               

 

On each round of the championship the overall winner of the BTRDA Historic Cup will receive £500 and at the end of the year the overall Historic Champion will be presented with the prestigious AC de Monaco Trophy at the BTRDA awards ceremony.

BTRDA Rally Committee Chairman, Neil Cross said “This is a fantastic prize for the winner of the BTRDA Historic Cup on each of our 2019 events.  We hope that these prizes will encourage the clubman Historic competitors to come and compete on the BTRDA Rally Series events and enjoy the close competition over classic forest stages around the country.”     

                                                                                                      BTRDA Rally Series Sponsor Barry Jordan’s Historic Fiat 131 on the Plains Rally   >

These prizes for BTRDA Historic Cup competitors add to the incentives already announced for Junior competitors from Tynemouth Computer Services (TCS) to mark their 40th anniversary, and the end of year awards from Revolution Competition Wheels for the leading drivers in Gold Star, Silver Star, Fuchs Lubricants 1400’s, Rallye R2 Cup, Historic Cup and Production Cup

Registrations for the 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series and the MAXXIS Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship can be completed on-line [see Competitor page] or by post to the BTRDA Membership Secretary.   Competitors are encouraged to register a.s.a.p. so that we can post out the championship decals before the first round of the Series

Entries for the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally have now passed the 100 mark.  The organisers have confirmed that all the forest stages have been regraded / reinstated by Rally4Wales and are in excellent condition.  This combined with the brand new service area in the heart of Llandudno Town makes this a excellent event for the start the 2019 BTRDA Rally Series.

The main photo is 2018 BTRDA Historic Cup winners Ernie Graham / Robin Kellard on the 2018 Woodpecker Stages. 

ENTRIES NOW OPEN for the 66th YEAR OF SERIOUS FUN !

The BTRDA are pleased to announce the 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series and confirm that the 2019 championship registration is now open.
The 2019 BTRDA Rally Series encompasses the 66th BTRDA Gold Star® and Silver Star® Rally Championships, plus the BTRDA 1400 and BTRDA Rally First Championships and includes the BTRDA Historic Cup, BTRDA Production Cup, BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and Fiesta ST Trophy. It is consistently the most popular stage rally championship in the UK and will continue to provide competitors and followers with some Serious Fun!

The calendar includes seven one-day forest stage rallies, starting with the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally in February and finishes with the Trackrod Forest Stages in North Yorkshire at the end of September. The final points tables will be based on a competitor’s best 5 scores, which provides some flexibility to fit in the events around family or business commitments or even to recover from unexpected car problem.
The 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series (Best 5 scores to count)

• Saturday 16th February    Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally   (Llandudno)
• Saturday 9th March      Malcolm Wilson Rally   (Cockermouth)
• Saturday 13th April    Rallynuts Stages Rally   (Builth Wells)
• Saturday 11th May    Plains Rally   (Oswestry)
• Saturday 13th July    Nicky Grist Stages   (Builth Wells)
• Saturday 31st August    Woodpecker Stages   (Ludlow)
• Saturday 28th September    Trackrod Forest Stages   (Filey)

We are grateful for the wholehearted commitment of the event organising teams, because without their efforts we could not promote such a successful rally championship. Regulations and entries for the Cambrian Rally, the opening round of the 2019 BTRDA Rally Series, are now available at www.cambrianrally.com

The BTRDA Rally Series is open to all stage rally cars and includes a broad spread of categories and competition classes, so there is something for everyone.
The 2019 BTRDA Rally Series Regulations are now published in the Competitors section of this website, along with a link to the on-line BTRDA membership and BTRDA Rally Series & Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship registration. There is a copy of the Registration Form that can be downloaded for those who prefer to register by post. (Championship decals will be posted out at the end of January to drivers who have registered for the 2019 Championships).
Please note that the Registration Fee includes BTRDA club membership and registration for both the BTRDA Rally Series and the English Rally Championship. (BTRDA membership gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events). There is a £10 discount if both members of the crew register together.
BTRDA membership and Rally Championship registration is again FREE to new BTRDA members under the age of 25 on 1st Jan 2019, for their first year of registration.

Fuchs Lubricants (UK) take on the mantle of headline sponsors of the BTRDA 1400 Championship for the new season. Following the relaxation of the regulations governing the running order on events, the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship is poised for a strong season as all eligible vehicles, along with all the BTRDA Rally First cars and the older, less powerful Historic Cars will be running within the first group of rally cars through the forest stages on all BTRDA Rally Series events.
Revolution Wheels, REIS the Motorsport Insurance Specialists and Mintex will again be providing invaluable support for the BTRDA Rally Series. We are grateful to all our sponsors and look forward to working with them during the forthcoming year.

2019 sees the 40th anniversary of the formation of rally results provider Tynemouth Computer Services (TCS), and, at the same time, 40 consecutive years of its involvement with the BTRDA Rally Championships. To help celebrate this milestone, TCS founder Martin Liddle will be supporting the BTRDA Junior Championship with cash awards on each individual round.
Based on the Index of Performance classification used to calculate the Junior Championship points, the first, second and third Junior Driver on each BTRDA Rally Series event will receive cash awards of £150, £100 & £50 respectively, while the Junior Co-drivers will also benefit to the tune of £75, £50 & £25 – a total of £3,150 over the seven-event series. These awards are open to all registered competitors who were born on or after 1st January 1995, and are in addition to the £250 end of year awards from Mintex for the leading Junior drivers in both the BTRDA and English championships.

The BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup is open to all FIA homologated R2(B) cars and in recognition of the increasing number of R2 cars we now have separate classes for the R2 cars from the class B10 cars.

The ROAD to WALES:  For several years the BTRDA Rally Series has benefitted from a free entry for Wales Rally GB National Rally through its ‘Road to Wales’ initiative. We are delighted to confirm that the scheme is to continue and for 2019 the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup will again take centre stage. Such is the date of the 2019 Wales Rally GB (3rd – 6thh October), in relation to the BTRDA Rally Series calendar, that the prize – worth in the region of £1,000 – will go to the leading Rallye R2 Cup driver after the Woodpecker Stages which takes place on Saturday 31st August.

Photo is of Alan McDowall / Gavin Heseltine on the NG Stages, courtesy of Malcolm Almond.

NEW FOR NINETEEN..!

The BTRDA is delighted to welcome two new initiatives ahead of the start of the 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series – and both feature long-time staunch supporters of the most popular Rally Championship in the UK….

Fuchs Lubricants (UK) take on the mantle of headline sponsors of the BTRDA 1400 Championship for the new season. Following the relaxation of the regulations governing the running order on events, the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship is poised for a strong season as all eligible vehicles will, once again, be running within the first group of rally cars through the forest stages on all BTRDA Rally Series events.

In confirming the arrangement, Russell Kenyon, Fuchs Lubricants (UK) plc Automotive Director, said, ‘We’re pleased to announce our renewed partnership with the BTRDA in sponsoring the 1400 Rally Championship and wish all participants the best of luck for the coming season and thank the organisers for their continued dedication and good work.”

710 Oil are the official distributor of Fuchs Lubricants products and they will be attending all the BTRDA Rally Series events. Information about the wide range of Fuchs Lubricants motorsport products can be found at www.710oil.co.uk

2019 also sees the 40th anniversary of the formation of rally results provider Tynemouth Computer Services (TCS), and, at the same time, 40 consecutive years of its involvement with the BTRDA Rally Championships. Tynemouth Computer Services were the pioneers of computerised rally results and live update of event results to the Internet as a rally takes place. Their rally results archive goes back to the 1970’s.  www.tynecomp.co.uk/Archive/index.html

In order to help celebrate this milestone, TCS founder Martin Liddle will be supporting the BTRDA Junior Championship with cash awards on each individual round. Based on the Index of Performance classification, as used to calculate the Junior Championship points, the first, second and third Junior Driver on each BTRDA Rally Series event will receive cash awards of £150, £100 & £50 respectively, while the Junior Co-drivers will also benefit to the tune of £75, £50 & £25 – a total of £3,150 over the seven-event series.

These awards are open to all registered competitors who were born on or after 1st January 1995.

Further information and Regulations for the 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series, which begins with the Cambrian Rally on 16th February, will be published on this website.

The 2019 JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series calendar      (Best 5 scores to count)

  • Saturday 16th February    Cambrian Rally   (Llandudno)
  • Saturday 9th March    Malcolm Wilson Rally   (Cockermouth)
  • Saturday 13th April    Rallynuts Stages Rally   (Builth Wells)
  • Saturday 11th May    Plains Rally  (Oswestry)
  • Saturday 13th July    Nicky Grist Stages  (Builth Wells)
  • Saturday 31st August    Woodpecker Stages   (Ludlow)
  • Saturday 28th September    Trackrod Forest Stages   (Filey)

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE !

Newark-based JORDAN Road Surfacing, title sponsors of the BTRDA Rally Series, was set up by Barry Jordan – or ‘Baz’ as he’s universally known! – more than 25 years ago. Having worked in the industry since he left school, he now lists amongst his clients a number of blue-chip companies, including several well-known supermarkets, plus the likes of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire County Councils. ‘As a service provider, we’re a one-stop shop,’ says Baz. Everything, apart from the tarmac, required for their contracts is available in-house and Jordan Road Surfacing’s slogan ‘Working with you – not for you’ obviously strikes a chord that, along with Baz’ dogged determination and hard work, has seen the company evolve into the success it is today.

As a self-confessed ‘petrol-head’, it was Baz’ involvement in rallying that culminated in the JORDAN Road Surfacing sponsorship of the BTRDA Rally Series which features seven of the best forest rallies that England & Wales have to offer. Baz’ love of motorsport, both on two wheels and four, dates back to his teens – indeed, this allied to a particular affinity with Ford Escorts, led to his first rally car arriving as a result of a part-exchange deal when he was 18. His initial foray into the world of competition occurred not far from home on a ‘single-venue’ event held at the former RAF base at Fulbeck in 1985. We’re not privy to how he fared but it was the beginning of an active love affair with the sport that is as big now – if not more so – than it was then!

In the past 30+ years, any number of Escorts have passed through Baz’ hands, not to mention examples of each of the ten different Mitsubishi Lancer EVOs and a Subaru Impreza formerly driven by Juha Kankkunen, the 1991/93 World Rally Champion. None has spent more than twelve months, or so, in the Jordan stable before being moved on but, when a deal for a Ford Focus World Rally Car fell through, it prompted the purchase of an ‘Historic’ specification Hillman Avenger. Not possessing a particularly illustrious pedigree in terms of competition, no great hopes were attached to its arrival but, four years and 68 rallies later, it’s still there!

Baz Jordan and Paul Wakely on their way to another class win in their Hillman Avenger       

Photos © Kevin Money

‘We’ve had such a laugh,” says Baz, ‘and it’s been great fun developing it’. A 100% finishing record on all seven rounds of the 2017 BTRDA Rally Series – no mean feat in itself – saw the Avenger finish 3rd overall in the two-wheel drive category, only beaten by a couple of far more powerful Ford Escorts. This year Baz and co-driver Paul Wakely, from West Wales, have concentrated on the Historic section of the Series, winning their class by a country mile and finishing runners-up in the category overall – and the smiles are still evident!

Running a company the size of JORDAN Road Surfacing is a 24/7 operation that requires a huge commitment and, although acutely aware that he’s in a privileged position which allows him to indulge in his passion (notwithstanding the fact that it’s Baz who has engineered that situation!), he regards rallying as free time. ‘When you’re travelling flat out through the forests, absolute concentration is required – you can’t be thinking about anything else.’ So then, and only then, does work take a back seat…

As a family man, there’s also a balance to be struck, but Baz thinks nothing of getting up at 5.00am on a Sunday morning, going and checking on a couple of jobs and being back home in plenty of time to take his wife out.  Perhaps, in addition to all the other attributes required to maintain such a busy and successful life, ‘Juggler’ should also be added to Baz’ CV!…..

Andrew Haill