Preview of Round 8: the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally (28th October) .With the winners of both the 2023 MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® and Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Rally Championships already known – albeit with some possible adjustments to the other podium places – all eyes now turn to the two-wheel drive BTRDA Silver Star® Championship on the final round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally on 28th October.
Arriving in North Wales as Silver Star leaders, Boyd Kershaw and Keegan Rees (Escort Mk2) ….the featured image above… already have six scores to their credit and thus, no matter how well they perform, can only improve on their lowest result to date. Meanwhile, following a problematic midseason with their own Historic spec. Mk 2 Escort, Ben Friend / Cliff Simmons tackle the finale with a score in hand over their rivals and, having already accrued three maximums, really only need to finish the Cambrian to claim the title. Simple? Yeah – right!…
<<<< Ben Friend & Cliff Simmons
Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup leaders Ernie & Karen Graham (Escort RS1600) could move into the Silver Star Top Three with another good run, as might Robert Proudlock / Steven Brown who are not only upholding front-wheel drive honours at the sharp end of the points table in their Opel Adam, but also currently hold sway in both the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup & the R2 Junior Cup – however, Liam Clark’s R2 Fiesta is uncomfortably close in the battle for both, such that victory could go either way…
In addition to fighting for overall Silver Star honours, Ben Friend & Cliff Simmons (above) are also in a position to unseat Ernie & Karen Graham from their lead of the BTRDA Historic Cup – but, whatever happens, that’ll be a close-run thing!
While Elliot Payne and Tom Woodburn (Fiesta Rally2) and Arron Newby and Jamie Edwards (Fabia R5) are confirmed as 2023 BTRDA Gold Star® Champions and runners-up respectively, 3rd place is still to be resolved. Class B13 Champions Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer EVO9) are the present incumbents but Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear, who won last year’s Cambrian Rally outright in their Fiesta R5, are another crew with only five scores so far and, as such, are able to add every point they earn in North Wales to their final tally. Calculators at the ready, then!….
. Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) – the 2022 Cambrian Rally Winners >>>>>>
Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star® Champions Nigel & Kaz Jenkins will be eyeing the Cambrian as an opportunity to end the season with a ‘full-house’ – their Nova has already scored five maximums and one 2nd, such that another ‘win’ in North Wales would give them a perfect 180 points! Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards (Micra), who beat them into 2nd place on the Rallynuts Stages in April, will be present, as will Dylan Fowler-Bishop / Dan Evans (Micra) who showed everyone else in the category a clean pair of heels on their last appearance on the Woodpecker Stages.
As far as the Top Three in the Championship is concerned, Hooper and the Greenalls, Chris & James (Nova), are currently equal on points in 2nd & 3rd places. Both already have six scores and, so, will be reliant on improving on their lowest in order to maintain station – or, in the Greenalls’ case, possibly moving up a place….
<<<<<<<< Chris & James Greenall (Nova)
Lewis Hooper (Micra) also features in what is now a two-horse race for the MRF Motorsport Tyres Trophy which will earn the eventual winner some tyres (MRF, obviously!) and free entries for use on a number of events in the 2024 BTRDA Rally Series. Colin Minton (Fiesta R5) had been leading but an uncharacteristic retirement last time out on the Trackrod Forest Stages brought a run of five straight maximums to an end and allowed Hooper to move ahead by a single point.
The first car leaves the start of the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally on Llandudno Promenade at 08.01 on 28th October and is due to return at 16.30, by which time the answers to all the situations discussed above will become clear!
SPECTATORS : Details are available at : https://cambrianrally.co.uk/spectators
Photos courtesy of Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond.