Author Archives: Howard Wilcock

IS THE KEY IN KIELDER?…

Preview of Round 4, the Kielder Forest Rally (15th June)
The Kielder Forest Rally will mark the halfway point in this year’s Protyre BTRDA Rally Series but, even with a further four events to run subsequently, the race for the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship is already reaching a critical point. Winner in both 2022 & 2023, Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2), is on a mission to make it three-in-a-row and, as he and co-driver Patrick Walsh arrive in Hexham for the pre-event formalities, the situation is currently looking favourable. Two maximums and one second-place put them, unsurprisingly, at the top of their respective points tables but, with such a wealth of competition, no-one can yet afford to relax!    The latest Championship Points can be viewed HERE
                  The featured image is Elliot Payne and Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star Championship Leaders, on the recent Border Counties Rally.
Turning the clocks back with an outright win on the Cambrian Rally in their Class B13 Lancer EVO9 at the end of last season, Russ Thompson / Steve Link continue to pose a threat to the series leaders, having finished in the Top Four – in BTRDA terms – on each of the three events so far. Meanwhile 2023 Kielder winners, Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5), already have one victory under their belt, having beaten all-comers on the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages back in April and, in spite of a problematic Malcolm Wilson Rally, are currently 3rd in the table, just six points off the lead.
Daniel Sigurðarson (Fiesta Rally2), with recently-registered co-driver Asta Sigurðadóttir, is another with three good results in the bag, while the similar car of Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page is improving on an event-by-event basis – 3rd overall on the Border Counties will give cause for much optimism as the season progresses.

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

As far as Class B13 is concerned, Thompson/Link rule the roost but hanging on to their shirt tails on each occasion have been Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence in their own EVO9. Not only do the former BTRDA Production Cup winners feature in the Top Six Gold Star runners but the situation in their class is such that, should the leaders experience a problem of any sort, top spot could change hands in the blink of an eye!

Vivian Hamill’s perseverance must be applauded – a newcomer to the BTRDA Series this year, he settled straight into the task by taking his Polo GTI R5 to 2nd overall on the Malcolm Wilson Rally but then failed to reach the end of the opening stage on each of the next two events. With the scoring system purposely designed to cater for such eventualities, all is not lost, but a result in Kielder is now required in order to move the Ballygawley driver’s season forward.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship is still wide open! Steve Ward’s Escort MkII currently holds sway but, behind it, Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) have two maximums – their progress only interrupted by a DNF on the Rallynuts! – with Michael Jenkins (Fiesta) upholding front-wheel drive honours in 3rd. The Escorts of Nick Dobson (Mk2) and Will Graham (MkI) are next while Ben Jemison, whose Chevette was runner-up to Davison on the Malcolm Wilson, missed the Rallynuts and retired on the Border Counties, is back for another go in Kielder.

                                                                                                Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) – Class B11 Leader  >>>>>>

At the same time, Ward, Graham & Jemison also occupy the top three places in the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup. Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins, who appeared on the Border Counties in their Avenger to finish 2nd behind Will & Karen Graham, could significantly enhance their standing with a similar performance this time.

After a shaky start, Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards’ assault on the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup is gathering momentum. Their Fiesta, which has won the category on the previous two outings, is set to be joined by similar vehicles in the hands of Sam Mason / James Seymour and Alfie Hammond who will be experiencing his first taste of R2 competition…

While one hesitates to use the phrase ‘back to normal’, the sight of Nigel & Kaz Jenkins’ names at the top of the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship points table would indicate that they are making their presence felt once more! Their Nova’s first maximum of the season came on the Border Counties, comfortably finishing ahead of Paddy Homan’s Puma and the Corsa of Chris Bush / Robert Bryn Jones.

<<<<<  Paddy Homan (Puma) – 2nd BTRDA Bronze Star – Border Counties Rally

In addition to those mentioned above, Bronze Star competitors will be much in evidence in Hexham. Will Banks and Matt Baddeley (Nova) will be looking for a finish, having failed to complete the Border Counties, while Dale Glover / David Smalley (Alfasud TI) and the Micras of Dylan Fowler-Bishop / Dan Evans and Ashley Francis-Adams – runner-up last time out on the Rallynuts – have also proved themselves eminently capable of ‘mixing it’, given the opportunity…

The Kielder Forest Rally welcomes contenders for the Reis Motorsport Insurance Motorsport UK English Rally Championship and Elliot Payne’s name also features at the head of this particular points table. As the only driver who has taken maximums on both the first two rounds, he leads Nigel Jenkins (Nova) by two points, Russ Thompson (Lancer EVO9) by four and Matthew Hirst (Fiesta R5) by six. However, with five rounds to run and each competitor’s five best scores to count towards their final tally, it’s still possible for someone who has yet to come to our attention to move into the ascendancy!    The latest English Rally Championship points are HERE
2022 English Rally Champion Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) was absent from the Malcolm Wilson Rally in March but returned home from the Border Counties with a maximum under his belt. What price a repeat in Kielder?… As we regularly point out, in a classbased series such as this, competitors are set against those in similar cars, such that out-and-out power doesn’t necessarily pay dividends – as a glance at the list of previous English Rally Champions will amply illustrate!…

SPECTATORS: The first car leaves Hexham Auction Mart at 9.00am on Saturday 15th June and full details of locations/pricing can be found at: https://kielderforestrally.co.uk/spectators-timetable/
All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond.
Further information on the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series: www.btrdarally.com & Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship: www.englishrally.co.uk

‘POINTING’ IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!…

Preview of Round 3: Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.
Defending BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Champion Elliot Payne and co-driver Patrick Walsh start the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally, the third round of the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series, as leaders of this year’s Fuchs Lubricants Championship – by the narrowest of margins!    Their Fiesta Rally2 is currently a single point ahead of the Lancer EVO9 of Russ Thompson / Steve Link, with the winners of the recent Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear (Fiesta R5), in 3rd place.

The featured image is Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) – Winners of the recent Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages. 

Although Elliot was victorious on the 2023 Border Counties, he’ll be mindful of the fact that not only were Hirst/Dear a mere 12s behind him as they arrived back in Jedburgh at the conclusion of the event, but also that Thompson/Link were just over a minute adrift.
         
Securing 5th overall on each of the first two BTRDA Series events this season, Scott Beattie (Fiesta R5) is right behind Hirst in the table while Vivian Hamill (Polo R5), who secured runner-up spot on the Malcolm Wilson Rally but then retired on the opening stage of the Rallynuts, could do with a result to maintain the pressure on the opposition. Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page (Fiesta Rally2) have returned two solid performances so far and another in the Borders will do their Championship standing no harm whatsoever!

Steve Ward (Escort Mk2) will be aiming to consolidate his lead in the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship but, at the same time, Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) and Ben Jemison (Chevette HSR) renew their rivalry which saw the former take maximum points on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. However, Jemison did come up trumps in the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup in which, although also currently headed by Ward courtesy of his two scores, he will be handily placed to progress – provided, obviously, that his early-season form is maintained!

<< Ben Jemison (Vauxhall Chevette HSR), the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup Winner on the Malcolm Wilson Rally

The 2023 BTRDA Historic Cup-winning car, Ernie Graham’s MkI Escort RS1600, is now in the hands of his son, Will, who was 2nd in class on the Rallynuts, while a DNF on the Malcolm Wilson leaves Ernie & Patricia Lee (BMW325i) just looking for a finish!
Former Class B11 winner – and 2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Champion! – Nick Dobson (Escort) is back but, having missed the season-opener, continued where he’d left off by taking maximum BTRDA class points on the Rallynuts. The Ilkley driver will now be looking for a similar haul on the Border Counties!…

Having had a false start in their bid for BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup glory, with retirement on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards (Fiesta) have begun the fight-back with a ‘win’ in Wales and now have to deal with the similar cars of Garry Whitney / Karl Keating and Alfie Hammond if this trend is to continue…

By dint of class wins in his 1400C Nova on both Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star® Championship events to-date, Will Banks’ name is in lights at the top of the table! Another performance of a similar calibre could well consolidate his and Matt Baddeley’s positions as, on the one hand, neither of the category winners so far (Callum & Steve Black – Suzuki Swift) will be present this time and, following a troubled run on the Severn Valley Stages, defending Bronze Star Champions Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) are left with some catching-up to do…                                       

                                   Will Banks/Matt Baddeley (Nova) – Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship Leaders   >>>>

Chris Greenall (Nova) and Chris Bush / Robert Bryn (Corsa) will be approaching the event from very different perspectives – Greenall has maintained a 100% finishing record over the first quarter of the season and will be looking to move that forward, while Bush / Bryn have yet to see a finish line…. The BTRDA Rally First Cup still features a Peugeot 205 monopoly but, this time, Giles Armitage will be endeavouring to turn the tables on Rallynuts winner Martin Beech…

The Reis Motorsport Insurance Motorsport UK English Rally Championship takes to the stages once more on the Border Counties Rally. Following the opening encounter there were joint leaders with Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) and Callum Black (Suzuki Swift) both coming away from the Malcolm Wilson Rally with maximum scores. However, while the aforementioned absence of Black from Round 2 leaves Payne out in front on his own, we’re at an early enough stage of the season for any number of other drivers to step up to the plate and join – or even overhaul! – him at the top of the table.

<<<   Elliot Payne/Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship Leaders

Prior to the start the Top Ten drivers are separated by a mere three points, as are 10th-20th places! Including the Border Counties, there are six more events in the calendar and it goes without saying that there is bound to be a fair amount of jockeying for position between now and the Grizedale Stages at the beginning of December…

The Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally takes in six special stages and the first car leaves the start at Jedburgh Abbey at 8.00am on Saturday 11th May. Prospective spectators should consult : www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk/spectators/

All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond.   Further information on the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series @ www.btrdarally.com & Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship @ www.englishrally.co.uk          – ENDS –

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.
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OUT WITH THE OLD!….

As we bid a warm welcome to Protyre, headline sponsor of the 2024 BTRDA Rally Series, and Reis Motorsport Insurance for the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship – both of which start on the Malcolm Wilson Rally – Elliot Payne, the first driver to take back-to-back BTRDA Gold Star® Championship titles for nearly thirty years, returns in an attempt to extend his run of success still further. Elliot’s familiar Fiesta Rally2 is also sporting a new livery, in deference to a change of sponsor, for the forthcoming season.

THe featured post shows Elliot Payne’s Fiesta Rally2 on its way to victory on the recent non-Championship Riponian Stages

The entry list for the Malcolm Wilson Rally runs to around 100 cars and, even at this early stage, it’s quite obvious that the ‘pretenders’ to all the major categories in both the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series and Reis Motorsport Insurance Motorsport UK English Rally Championship will have their work cut out if, by the end of the year, their campaigns are to be deemed successful!  While Elliot Payne – who is reunited with Patrick Walsh, his co-driver for his 2022 Gold Star title, this year – will, undoubtedly, be a force-to-be-reckoned-with in the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star® Championship, it would be reasonable to assume that he won’t have things all his own way. Enduring a disastrous end to last season which saw their Fiesta R5 fail to complete an event after the Nicky Grist Stages in July, proven winners at BTRDA level, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear still finished in the Top Six Gold Star contenders!  Russ Thompson / Steve Link beat all-comers on last year’s season-ending Cambrian Rally in their Class B13 Lancer EVO9 and they are now joined by the similar car of former BTRDA Production Cup winners Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence.

<<<   Russ Thompson/Steve Link (Lancer EVO9) – Outright Winners 2023 Cambrian Rally

Meanwhile, having also sat out 2023, Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) return to the fold once more. Perry’s dad, Shaun, was BTRDA Gold Star Champion in 2006 and 2012, while Perry, himself, finished runner-up on his ‘home’ Woodpecker Stages last time he contested it – so, not only do the Gardener family attributes include the knowledge of what is required to be a winner, but also the wherewithal to produce the goods!…
While any discussions in respect of this year’s Gold Star could be loosely categorised as ‘possibilities’, we can definitely say that the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship trophy will have a new name on it. Current holders Ben Friend / Cliff Simmons are only undertaking a limited programme of events in 2024, leaving the way open for others to take up the cudgel. For example, 2022 Silver Star winners Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2), from Whitehaven, are tackling their ‘home’ event, while Andy Davison and 2019 Silver Star Champion Co-driver Tom Murphy return in their Sunbeam VXR.

Andy Davison/Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) >>>>>

Over the past couple of seasons, several front-wheel drive cars have graced the Silver Star podium on events, as have vehicles contesting what is henceforth to be known as the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup. Endeavouring to maintain that tradition, Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards have forsaken their award-winning Micra in favour of a Fiesta to concentrate on the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and they will be joined by Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page in an as yet un-named car.
Steve Ward / Phil Sandham are targeting the Historic Cup in their Escort Mk2, as are Ernie & Patricia Lee whose BMW 325i finished 2nd in class on last year’s Malcolm Wilson Rally.  Having made their intentions perfectly clear during the latter half of the 2022 Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Rally Championship, Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) returned last season to claim the title with an unbeatable (even by them!) ‘full-house’ – six maximum scores! The husband-and-wife team from the Forest of Dean are back for more but, as is ever the case, they’ll be up against those out to de-rail their ambition – in the nicest possible way! – including, on this occasion, 2021 Bronze Star Champion Steve Black (Suzuki Swift) who has enlisted the help of Jack Morton, Chris & James Greenall (Nova), Ashley Francis-Adams / Mark Ammonds (Micra), Chris Bush / Robert Bryn (Corsa) and Dale Glover / David Smalley (AlfaSud Ti). Brace yourselves!…

<<<<  Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) – Little (1400cc) Giant-Killers in 2023

For the first five events in its seven-round calendar, the Reis Motorsport Insurance MSUK English Rally Championship follows the BTRDA Rally Series and, as such, also begins on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. Anyone registered for the BTRDA Series is automatically eligible to score ERC points and, as it is class-based, it’s not necessarily the most powerful cars that come out on top. Not for the first time, this was graphically illustrated by Ernie Graham who was the 2023 Champion in his immaculate MkI Escort RS1600. For the new season, Ernie is pinning his hopes on a Lancer EVOX which, in addition to defending his ERC title, also puts him slap-bang in the middle of a very hotly-contested Class B13 in the BTRDA Series!…

For details of the Malcolm Wilson Rally: www.malcolmwilson.co.uk

All photos © Kevin Money and Malcolm Almond

MANY HAPPY RETURNS!…

With just a month to go before the opening round of both the 2024 Protyre BTRDA Rally Series and the Reis Motorsport Insurance MSUK English Rally Championship, the Malcolm Wilson Rally (8th / 9th March), competitors’ intentions are becoming clearer and the entry list, which already extends to more than 90, contains a number of former BTRDA Series and English Rally Champions who are returning to the scene of their former glory as they attempt to extend their run of success.
In 2023 Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) became the first person to take back-to-back BTRDA Gold Star® Championship titles for nearly 30 years (before he was born!) and has now set his sights on a third. Should he succeed, Elliot would be the first-ever triple Gold Star winner since its inception 71 years ago!  Matthew Robinson won the Silver Star Championship three consecutive times (2012-14) but such a feat is yet to be emulated in either the Gold or Bronze Star Championships.
The featured image sees Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) clinching the 2023 Gold Star title on the Trackrod Forest Rally

Whatever happens, Elliot – who is reunited with Patrick Walsh, his 2022 Championship winning co-driver – will not have things all his own way as, among others, proven BTRDA Rally Series event winners (and rivals) Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) and Cambrian Rally victors at the end of last season, Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer EVO9), will be there with the express intention of giving him a hard time!  After a year out, Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5), who claimed 2nd overall on their local Woodpecker Stages in 2022, are also back for more. Likewise BTRDA Rally stalwarts Patrick Naylor and Ian Lawrence return in their Mistubishi Evo 9.

.Perry Gardener & Jack Bowen on the Woodpecker Stages  >>>

Due to family commitments, current BTRDA Silver Star® Champion Ben Friend is planning a limited campaign this year, but 2022 winners Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2) have entered their ‘home’ event and will be pitting their skills against the likes of Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (the 2019 Silver Star Champion Co-driver) in their Sunbeam VXR and 2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Champion Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2).

 

<<<<      Rob Wright/Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2) – 2022 BTRDA Silver Star Champions

In winning the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star® Championship last year, Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) set themselves a very high bar with a ‘full-house’ of six maximum scores. Impossible to beat but, nevertheless, the husband-and-wife team are back to defend their title. Among those who’ll have other ideas on the subject is Steve Black who claimed the 2021 Championship at the wheel of his Suzuki Swift, while Dylan Fowler-Bishop (Micra) showed everyone else in the category a clean pair of heels on last year’s Woodpecker Stages Rally.

 

Photos courtsey of Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond

PROTYRE ADDS BTRDA RALLY SERIES TO ITS PORTFOLIO…

Having been title sponsor of the BTRDA-permitted MSUK Asphalt Rally Championship since 2018, Protyre is confirmed as taking on a similar role with the forestry-based BTRDA Rally Series. The arrangement is currently for two years with scope for an extension at the conclusion of the initial period.
PROTYRE is the UK’s fastest growing chain of fast-fit and mechanical centres. Supplying a complete range of tyres for all makes and models of cars, vans, 4x4s and motorcycles, Protyre also offer MOTs, mechanical repairs and servicing. Protyre’s Motorsport Division provides tyres and tyre-fitting services for a number of races and rallies.

‘The BTRDA Rallies Committee is delighted to welcome Protyre as its title sponsor for the 2024 BTRDA Rally Series’, said Committee Chair Neil Cross, ‘and looks forward to working with them to bring you some of the best gravel rallying in the UK. Their support ensures that we can continue our hugely popular live streaming of all rounds of the Championship’.

The featured image is Callum Black (Fiesta Rally2) – the 2023 Protyre MSUK Asphalt Rally Champion & regular BTRDA Rally Series Competitor.  Here winning the Woodpecker in 2022.

The 2024 PROTYRE BTRDA Rally Series calendar includes eight of the finest UK gravel events, (best 6 scores to count) details of which are outlined below : –

  • MALCOLM WILSON RALLY      8th/9th MARCH      Cockermouth / Lake District
  • RALLYNUTS SEVERN VALLEY STAGES      13th APRIL      Llandindrod Wells / Mid Wales
  • BORDER COUNTIES RALLY      11th MAY      Jedburgh / Tweed Valley
  • KIELDER FOREST RALLY      15th JUNE      Hexham / Northumberland
  • NICKY GRIST STAGES      13th JULY      Builth Wells / Mid Wales
  • WOODPECKER STAGES      7th SEPTEMBER      Newtown / Powys
  • TRACKROD FOREST STAGES      28th SEPTEMBER      Filey / Yorkshire Forests
  • Visit Conwy CAMBRIAN RALLY      26th OCTOBER      Llandudno / North Wales

The regulaions for both the PROTYRE BTRDA Rally Series and the Reis Motorsport Insurance MSUK English Rally Championship have now been published in the Competitor sections of the respective websites and on-line Championship registrations are now open for 2024. (see below)

The 2024 PROTYRE BTRDA Rally Series will continue to include competion classes to suit all types of stage rally car.   The classses are: –

  • Class RF1.4 BTRDA Rally First cars up to 1400cc or with forced induction up to 1,000cc.
  • Class RF2.0 BTRDA Rally First cars over 1400cc up to 2000cc or forced induction up to 1300cc.
  • Class 1400S All cars up to 1400cc not eligible for Class 1400C or Class RF1.4.
  • Class 1400C Cars up to 1400cc with: –   [a] 8 valve engines, [b] Engines with more than 8 valves that retain the standard fuel and inlet manifold systems, [c] Engines up to 1000cc not eligible for Class RF1.4.    Remote reservoir suspension and sequential gearboxes are not permitted unless fitted as standard or homologated.
  • Class R2 Current and former FIA R2(B) cars (but not FIA spec Rally4 cars)
  • Class B10 Cars over 1400cc up to 1600cc plus current & former FIA Group N3 cars and ST Trophy cars.
  • Class B11 Over 1600cc up to 2000cc or with forced induction engines up to 1300cc plus any FIA Rally4 cars
  • Class B12 Over 2000cc two-wheel drive, including all FIA R3T cars.
  • Class B13 Over 2000cc four-wheel drive cars not eligible for Class B14 including FIA Rally3 cars.
  • Class B14 Current and former FIA Rally2, R5 and S2000 specification cars and any derivatives therefrom, plus World Rally cars with a sequential gearbox.
    All forced induction engines are subject to an additional capacity coefficient of 1.7 to 1, except as set out in Classes RF1.0, RF2.0 and Class B11 or where FIA Appendix J, Art 260 applies.
  • Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA HISTORIC CUP
    The BTRDA Historic Cup is open to all Historic Category 1, 2, 3 & 4 rally cars that comply with the eligibility requirements set out in R49 of the Motorsport UK Yearbook. The overall Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Champion will be presented with the prestigious AC de Monaco Trophy at the end-of-year BTRDA awards ceremony.
    The Historic Cup will be split into 2 classes: –
    Class H1/2 Historic Category 1 and 2 cars, Category 3 cars with single cam engines and Category 4a up to 1600cc.
    Class H3/4 Historic Category 3 cars with multi cam engines plus Category 4a cars over 1600cc and all Category 4b cars which comply with R49.1.5

On-line Registration:  BTRDA annual membership is £30 which gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events. The PROTYRE BTRDA Rally Series registration fee also includes registration for the Reis Motorsport Insurance MSUK 2024 English Rally Championship and is £50 for Drivers and £20 for Co-drivers,

BTRDA membership and Rally Championship registration is again FREE to new BTRDA members under the age of 25 on 1st Jan 2024 for their first year of registration.

Log in to the membership website www.btrdamembership.com  If you have forgotten any of your login details, just follow the on-screen instructions. If you have not been a member before you will need to register a new account.  In all cases the first part of the process is to join BTRDA (British Trial & Rally Driver Association) and then register for the ‘forest rally championship’.

The Malcolm Wilson Rally (8th / 9th March) is the opening round of both championship, and at the time of writing over 60 entries have been recieved by the organisers, which is a very encouraging start.

Photos courtesy of Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond.

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