Author Archives: Howard Wilcock


Having now received official approval from the Motorsport UK Rally Championship Control Panel, the BTRDA is very pleased to announce the calendar for the 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series. After an extremely difficult couple of seasons, it’s hoped that a sense of normality will return to our sport and that this eight-event calendar will find favour with competitors, old and new.

The dates for your diary are as follows : –

March 12th             Malcolm Wilson Rally         Cockermouth
April 9th                  Rallynuts Stages                  Royal Welsh Showground
May 14th                 Border Counties Rally         Jedburgh
June 18th                Kielder Forest Rally              Hexham
July 9th                    Nicky Grist Stages                Builth Wells
September 3rd      Woodpecker Stages             TBC
September 24th    Trackrod Forest Stages        Filey
October 29th         Cambrian Rally                      Llandudno

‘Building on the success of the 2021 Rally Series I have great pleasure, on behalf of the Rallies Committee, in presenting the 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series’, says BTRDA Rallies Committee Chair, Neil Cross. ‘Recognising the national spread of competitors, we have slightly adjusted our qualifying rounds and I’m pleased to welcome the inclusion of the Border Counties Rally, bringing a new challenge to the Championship in 2022. Despite the late start to our 2021 season we’ve had a year of serious fun and we hope you will join us in 2022 to continue our joint enjoyment of the sport.’

Catering for all vehicles complying with current Motorsport UK Technical Regulations and with a class structure to match, the BTRDA Rally Series has something for everyone.
More details along with the Championship Regulations will be available in January on

In addition to our title sponsor, MRF Tyres, the BTRDA would also like to place on record its thanks to all the associated sponsors including JORDAN Road Surfacing, FUCHS Titan, MINTEX Racing, CARLESS fuels, KIELDER products, REIS Insurance and Revolution Wheels who have contributed to the success of the 2021 Rally Series and look forward to working with them again in 2022.


Photos © Kevin Money and Malc Almond


Preview of Round 6 (FINAL): Rallynuts Stages – 13th November.
Having already been confirmed as both Scottish and BRC National Rally Champions this season, Garry Pearson and co-driver Niall Burns start the final round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, the Rallynuts Stages, as leaders of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship. However, although a glance at the points table confirms their status, it also reveals that they’re not home and dry yet !…

The featured image is Garry Pearson and Niall Burns (Skoda Fabia) – MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star Championship leaders on the recent Cambrian Rally.

In the Drivers’ category, Callum Black (with Jack Morton alongside in his Fiesta R5) could, conceivably, overhaul Pearson’s Skoda Fabia for Gold Star honours while, for his part, Burns needs to keep a wary eye on George Lepley’s co-driver, Tom Woodburn, throughout the Builth Wells-based event.  So, with battle lines drawn, we also have early-season Gold Star leader Elliot Payne, with Patrick Walsh, in another Fiesta R5, plus Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins (Fabia R5) who could either help or hinder (depending on which side of the fence you happen to be sitting!) those intent on ultimate success.

<<<<<<<  Callum Black / Jack Morton (Fiesta R5) in action on the Cambrian Rally.

For their part, Lepley / Woodburn (Lancer EVOX) have made Class B13 all their own this season with five maximum scores from five starts but, in the driver’s case, although he was also leading the Gold Star points following the Trackrod Rally and a Top Three finish is still a distinct possibility, he now finds himself unable to regain top spot – just!  Elsewhere in B13, there’s a real power struggle taking place – Richard Hill’s Lancer starts the Rallynuts in 2nd place but the chasing pack includes Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth), Ian Baumgart / Dave Robson (Impreza) and a brace of Lancers for Maxx Bradshaw / Liam Whiteley and Mathew Hirst / Declan Dear. You’d be well advised to keep your distance while that one is sorted out!…

Similarly, in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship, although Owen McMackin (Escort Mk2) has already staked his claim to the drivers title, there’ll be a good deal of jockeying for position going on behind him. Ashley Davies (Escort), accompanied by 2021 Silver Star Co-driver Champion Sam Fordham, currently occupies runner-up spot but, among those in a position to unseat him, we find Ioan Lloyd who has had some excellent results this season in his Peugeot 208 R2. Silver Star winner on the opening round of the season, Jason Pritchard (Escort Mk2) returns and, while not in a position to fight for overall Championship honours, the newly-crowned Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Champion could well finish in among those who are!
      Ashley Davies and Sam Fordham (Silver Star Co-driver Champion) – Ford Escort Mk2 on the Cambrian Rally >>>>>

Paul Street / Ian Jones (Escort) and Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins (Avenger) have been shadowing each other throughout the whole season of JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup events but, on the recent Cambrian Rally, a maximum score for the former was just enough to claim the AC de Monaco Trophy in 2021 ahead of the latter crew. With several Historic Crews now preparing for the Roger Albert Clark Rally it will be Martin Freestone who has the opportunity to firm up his third place in the Historic Cup.

In spite of retiring from the Cambrian Rally with only ‘three wheels on their wagon’, Ioan Lloyd / Sion Williams have maintained their advantage in both the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup & BTRDA R2 Junior Cup in their Peugeot 208. So, as we approach the final event of the season, Williams is already assured of the Co-drivers’ title but, in order to join him on the list of 2021 Winners, Lloyd must see off both Jonathan Jones and Sam Bilham (Fiestas) for the R2 Cup and Bilham alone for the Junior Cup. That word ‘pressure’ springs to mind again, but doubly so in this instance…

Without wishing to cause any offence to those involved, it’s been a strange year in the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship in that, with just the final round to go, a 1400C car leads the table instead of the more powerful 1400S variety. There’s one very good reason for this state of affairs – consistency! Edward Wain / Noel Murphy’s MG ZR has finished all four events it’s started, a luxury not afforded to any of the ‘usual suspects’ in the series… So, each with scores in hand, Steve Black / Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift), Richard Jordan / James Gratton-Smith (MG ZR) & Aaron Rix / Abi Haycock (Escort) are all in a position to emerge from the forests of mid Wales as BTRDA Bronze Star Champions. Based on their experiences from earlier in their campaigns, however, the expression ‘to finish first, you must first finish’ seems particularly pertinent here…

<<<<<<<  Edward Wain/Noel Murphy (MG ZR) – Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship leaders.

With Jessica Mitchell confirmed as 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Champion Co-driver, it’s come down to a straight fight between Simon Double (MG ZR) and Tom Naylor (Fiesta ST) for the opportunity to join her from the Drivers’ side. Simon, with four scores to his credit, holds the upper hand from Tom who has only visited three finish ramps to date. Consequently, from Tom’s perspective, completing the route is imperative if he is to stand any chance of overhauling his rival at the last gasp…

                                                                                                18 year old Tom Naylor (Fiesta ST) on the Trackrod Rally >>>>>>>

SPECTATORS: Two locations are available from which to enjoy the action, with both Sweet Lamb Hafren and Myherin offering excellent viewing opportunities. Full details on pricing and locations can be found at
All photos © Kevin Money / Malc Almond


Preview of Round 5: Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally – 30th October.

As the 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series® moves towards its conclusion, George Lepley finds himself with a slender lead in the race for the BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship. The 24-year old, from Newark, has already clinched the BTRDA Junior Driver title and, with a ‘full-house’ of four maximum scores, he and co-driver Tom Woodburn are confirmed as winners of Class B13 in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX. However, they still have a battle on their hands if they are to taste Gold Star glory!
    Title photo shows George Lepley / Tom Woodburn (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX) in a hurry!

Returning to its once-traditional autumn spot, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally (30th October) is the penultimate round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Series and will see contenders for all the various categories heading for its base in Llandudno. In Gold Star terms, a pair of Skoda Fabias in the capable hands of Garry Pearson / Niall Burns [the 2021 Scottish Rally Champions! ] and Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins are Lepley / Woodburn’s nearest rivals, while Elliot Payne and Callum Black, both of whom have scored maximums on earlier events this season in their Fiestas, could also attain top spot when it matters most!  Meanwhile, fresh from 3rd overall on the recent Trackrod Forest Stages in his Mitsubishi Mirage, and still with an outside chance of success,

Tom Llewellin’s first full season in both a four-wheel drive vehicle and the BTRDA Series continues. Anyone doubting the youngster’s commitment does so at their peril !… See photo on left.

<<<<<   Tom Llewellin (Mitsubishi Mirage) on the recent Trackrod Forest Rally.

Although, as stated, Class B13 has been claimed, the intensity of the battle for the other podium places shows no sign of abating! Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear, Maxx Bradshaw / Liam Whiteley & Russ Thompson (Lancers) will square up to Ian Baumgart / Dave Robson (Impreza) and the MRF Tyres-sponsored Escort Cosworth of Ian Joel / Graeme Wood.




The MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship has seen different ‘winners’ on each of the four events so far. Such distribution of top honours currently leaves the way open for upwards of a dozen crews to walk away with the title, come mid-November. That number will, doubtless, be depleted somewhat following the Cambrian Rally but, prior to a rapid trip round parts of North Wales, it’s Paul Street / Ian Jones who hold sway in their Escort by the slenderest of margins from the Avenger of Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins.

                                     Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins’ rapid Hillman Avenger  on the Trackrod Forest Rally >>>>>>>

Owen McMackin’s 30 points on the Trackrod moved his Escort up to 3rd in the table, with Ashley Davies / Sam Fordham (Escort) and Ioan Lloyd / Sion Williams’ Peugeot 208 R2 in close attendance. Maintaining the family tradition, Robert Gough (Escort) took maximum Silver Star points on the Woodpecker Stages – an event which his dad, Richard, has won five times outright – and could now do with a repeat performance on the Cambrian Rally to further enhance his chances of the title.

The Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup points table is, in part, a mirror-image of that for the Silver Star in that it’s Baz Jordan, himself, who leads the charge but, once again, by just a solitary point from Paul Street! Touch wood, Tom Coughtrie has ironed out the problems that dogged the initial forays in his Mitsubishi Galant VR4 and, with four finishes from four starts so far, he and Ian Fraser occupy 3rd place in the Historic Cup standings.

With three maximum scores in each, Ioan Lloyd / Sion Williams lead both the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup & BTRDA R2 Junior Cup in their Peugeot 208. Put one way, this means that the pair have two further opportunities to take the one maximum required to put the matter beyond doubt or, put another, it still gives Jonathan Jones (R2 Cup), Connor Tolson and Sam Bilham (both R2 & R2 Junior Cups) hope that they can halt the charge in their respective Fiestas!…

As far as the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400® Championship is concerned, having missed the Trackrod Rally, Adrian & Matt Walk return in their giant-killing 1400C Ford Ka which came out on top on the Woodpecker Stages. For their part, Richard Jordan / James Gratton-Smith (MG ZR), Steve Black / Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift), Dave & Toby Brick (Nova) and Aaron Rix (Escort) will all be intent on ensuring that they don’t afford the Ka the opportunity to repeat the procedure, leaving the ball firmly in their court!…

                                     Steve Black / Paul Morris, Bronze Star winners on the Trackrod Forest Rally >>>>

<<<<<<   Tom Naylor / Tom Bishop (Fiesta ST) are engaged in mortal combat with Simon Double/ Jessica Mitchell (MG ZR) for the bragging rights in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Championship, with the former driver currently holding the upper hand – just!  For the first time this season, they’re joined by Andrew & Oliver Wheatley (1.4 Ford Puma) who, while obviously not in contention for overall honours, have previously exhibited sufficient speed suitable to keep the front-runners on their toes!

Prospective spectators should consult for event information.

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcom Almond                          AH 22/10/2021


Preview of Round 4 : Trackrod Forest Stages – 25th September.
The Trackrod Forest Stages, the fourth round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series® and third in the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK, takes competitors on to the North York Moors and features some of the fastest special stages they’ll experience all season. Contenders for both series will be heading for the Yorkshire seaside town of Filey which acts as host to the event on 25th September.

Prior to the start, the MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship is in a particularly tense situation as just two points separate the top three drivers and, with a possible 30 available on each of the three remaining rounds, no-one can afford to put a foot wrong. A win on the recent Woodpecker Stages sees Garry Pearson (Fabia) atop the Gold Star drivers’ table, one point ahead of Elliot Payne (Fiesta), with the roles reversed for their respective co-drivers – Cameron Fair (Payne) leads Niall Burns (Pearson) by a single point. Then George Lepley / Tom Woodburn (Lancer EVOX) are both 3rd, also by a similar margin, while Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins (Fabia) currently occupy 4th, two points further back but still only four behind the leaders!…
All the above are reaping the benefits of classification as finishers in each of the three events so far but, with another three still to run and every competitor’s four best scores to count, those with one – or even two – DNFs to date can still haul themselves back into contention. Tom Llewellin (Mitsubishi Mirage) was absent from the Woodpecker while the Fiesta of Charlie Payne wasn’t seen until the Scottish Rally, but both have taken good results from the two events they have contested.

2019 BTRDA Bronze Star (1400) Championship winner Callum Black, with Jack Morton directing operations in his Fiesta, started as he hoped to continue – with 2nd place points on the Nicky Grist Stages but, since then, fate has not been kind to him with, firstly, a double puncture and then broken steering putting paid to finishes on either of the last two events. However, albeit with no further room for error (no matter who or what is deemed to be at fault!), the pair can still rescue the situation and gain the required number of scores for a serious tilt at the title.

Lepley/Woodburn have, thus far, exerted a vice-like grip on Class B13 in their Lancer but, as above, there are still those in a position to rain on their parade. Richard Hill (Lancer EVO9), Ian Baumgart / Dave Robson (Impreza) and Manxmen Maxx Bradshaw / Liam Whiteley (Lancer EVO3) have also crossed the finish line on three occasions, while Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth) and another couple of Lancers in the hands of Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear and Russ Thompson each have ‘previous’ when it comes to class wins at BTRDA Rally Series level.

George Lepley / Tom Woodburn (Mitsubishi Lancer EVOX) – Class B13 Leaders  >>>>>>

So far in 2021, the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship and JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup have been inextricably linked in that the top points scorer in one has done likewise in the other! The latest recipient of both accolades is Robert Gough whose Historic spec. Escort Mk2 came up trumps on the Woodpecker Stages.
In Silver Star terms, Ioan Lloyd / Sion Williams (Peugeot 208 R2) were one place and six seconds behind Gough, laying memories of their roll and subsequent DNF on the Scottish Rally to rest, while Owen McMackin’s Escort was right behind them to take 3rd on the day. Paul Street/Ian Jones (Escort Mk2) and Baz Jordan/Arwel Jenkins (Avenger) both recorded their third consecutive finish of the season to maintain 1st & 2nd places respectively in both Silver Star and Historic Cup tables.
Setting out to defend their 2019 Silver Star runner-up driver and champion co-driver status, Andy Davison and Tom Murphy have had a nightmare of a season to date. Their hitherto reliable Talbot Sunbeam VXR registered two consecutive DNFs at the start of its campaign and an absence from the Woodpecker now means that the four scores necessary to challenge for a decent end-of-season result are unobtainable. However, the crew take the start of the Trackrod Forest Stages in an attempt to salvage something for their not inconsiderable efforts!
Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan (Fiesta) will be the first BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup contenders to leave the start followed, a couple of minutes later, by the Peugeot 208 of Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams who will not only be chasing down R2 Cup points but also defending their lead in the BTRDA R2 Junior Cup. However, Rob Wilson, Sam Bilham and Connor Tolson (all Fiestas) will each have other (slightly differing!) ideas on that score…

<<<  Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams (Peugeot 208 R2) – BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup Leaders


Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship front-runners Steve Black/Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift), Richard Jordan/James Gratton-Smith (MG ZR) and Dave & Toby Brick (Nova) will be looking to North Yorkshire as a chance to restore what, in their collective view, is some form of normality to the results after none of them reached the end of SS1 on the Woodpecker Stages! Jordan/Gratton-Smith retain their Championship lead but by a much-reduced margin from the MG ZR of Class 1400C leaders Edward Wain/Noel Murphy and 1400S winners on the Woodpecker, Aaron Rix/Abi Haycock (Escort). They are joined on the Trackrod by Chris Bush’s Corsa for what will be the Glossop driver’s first BTRDA outing of the season.

Tom Naylor/Tom Bishop (Fiesta ST) once again take on Simon Double/Jessica Mitchell (MG ZR) in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Championship as Naylor seeks to extend his current two-point lead in the overall table. Jacob Neal also rejoins the fray after his Corsa failed to finish last time out on the Nicky Grist Stages.

Following a two-month break after the Nicky Grist Stages, contenders for the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK are called to arms for the second time in three weeks. With two maximum scores to their credit, George Lepley (Lancer EVOX) and Ioan Lloyd (Peugeot 208) are the joint leaders, with Garry Pearson (Fabia) and Owen McMackin (Escort) equal 3rd, two points behind, and then Elliot Payne (Fiesta), Paul Street (Escort Mk2) and Jonathan Jones (Fiesta R2) a similar margin back.
With such a closely fought battle, it’s quite (very!) likely that good performances in Yorkshire will bring other names to the fore but, with the cancellation of the Wyedean Stages Rally, originally scheduled for next month, we’ll have to wait until the Grizedale Stages in early December, to see just who comes away with the title!…
Prospective spectators should consult for event information.

The featured image is Garry Pearson / Niall Burns (Skoda Fabia) going about their business on the Woodpecker Stages

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond