News

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

GATHERING NUTS IN…..APRIL!…

Running as the final round of the 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series last November, the Rallynuts Stages returns to its traditional April date this year and prepares to welcome a bumper 150-car entry to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.  Following their victory on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson [main photo] in their Fiesta Rally2 head for mid Wales as MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship leaders. It goes without saying that they’ll be hoping to consolidate their advantage but defending Rallynuts winners, Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2), have yet to open their current account and will be aiming to steal a march on their rivals. Then there’s Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins, whose Fabia R5 was runner-up in the Lake District after setting a couple of FTDs during the day, and Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) who arrived at the Penrith finish of the opening round a mere 8s behind the Skoda after 44 miles of stages….

                                                                                                                                             Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen >>>>>

A few crews have been doing some extra homework prior to the BTRDA Series’ first trip of the year to Wales by contesting the recent non-Championship Rally North Wales – Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) won it and Tom Llewellin’s R5 Mitsubishi Mirage was 3rd.  So, when it comes to match fitness, they should each be on top of their game!… Richard Hill / Pat Cooper (Lancer EVO9) claimed the early-season advantage in Class B13 but, at the same time, won’t need reminding that Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer), Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth) and Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence (Lancer) were all in close attendance by the finish. Likewise, they’ll not be far apart as they leave Builth Wells at the start of Chapter 2….

For Ulsterman David Crossen’s assault on the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship, the journey from his home in Lisbane to the Malcolm Wilson Rally was one of the shortest of the season. However, it proved to be well worth the effort as, by the time he boarded the return ferry, he’d taken a class win by nearly a minute-and-a-half and his Escort was sitting atop the Championship points table! David’s presence in Builth Wells for the Rallynuts Stages requires a considerably longer road trip, but the object of the exercise is exactly the same!

< David Crossen – MFT Tyres BTRDA Silver Star Championship leader

Rob Wright / Mark Fisher >>>>

Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2) and Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam VXR), his nearest challengers in Cumbria, will be of a similar mind and, among others, they’ll be joined by former Silver Star runner-up and Champion Ashley Davies / Sam Fordham in their Escort Mk2.

Leading Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup driver Grant Inglis (Escort) and codriver Hannah McKillop each resume their campaigns and will be joined by the Escort Mk2s of defending Champions Paul Street / Ian Jones and newcomer James Lepley, codriven by Arwel Jenkins, who, through absence and retirement from the opening round, will be hoping to come away with a suitable haul of points to start the ball rolling!…

Yaniv Bar / Osian Owen (Fiesta) came up trumps in the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, while Billy Grew / Simon Rogers’ efforts to emulate their success in the BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup were thwarted by a broken gearbox which led to their Fiesta’s retirement.

<<<<<   Yaniv Bar/Osian Owen (Fiesta R2) – BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup Leaders

Scott & David Sloan’s Peugeot 208, which bore the scars of combat by the end of its high-speed run through the Lake District, still managed runner-up spot and now lines up with Lucy Wigley / Emma Cooper’s Citroen C2 and Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers’ Fiesta in order to challenge the current leaders’ status!

Following the retirement of several of the fancied runners in the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship last time out, Lewis Hooper’s Rally First-spec. Nissan Micra grasped the opportunity to claim victory and, now, both car and driver will need to be on top form to produce a repeat performance!  Among those with the avowed intent of preventing them from achieving their goal, Dave & Toby Brick (Nova), Aaron Rix / Abi Haycock (Escort) and runners-up last time, Gary Scott / James Hedges (Proton Satria) will obviously have their work cut out in mid Wales.

Class 1400C is, thus far, the preserve of Nissan Micras, with Alfie Hammond and Richard Garnett showing the others the way home, while a broken engine mounting saw to it that the Ford Ka of Adrian & Matt Walk wouldn’t be joining them on the finish ramp on that occasion. So, seconds out, Round 2….
Lewis Hooper obviously holds sway in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Cup but, at this early stage of the season, there’s still plenty of time for that – and everything else! – to change between now and the end of October…

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the Showground at 8.00am on the Saturday morning and full details on locations/pricing can be found at www.rallynutsrally.co.uk/spectators/

On-line Registration: BTRDA annual club membership is £30 which gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events. The BTRDA Rally Series registration fee also includes registration for the Motorsport UK 2022 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 2022 for their first year of registration.

Log in to the membership website www.btrdamembership.com  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.

All photos © Kevin Money

AH/010422

FULL TO THE BRIM.!…

The Lake District is bracing itself for the influx of competitors making a beeline for MSport’s premises at Dovenby for the start of the Malcolm Wilson Rally (12th March), the  opening round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Motorsport UK English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK. The organisers have attracted a bumper entry which, following the trials and tribulations of the past couple of years, sets a very encouraging precedent for the forthcoming season. From the MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Championship point of view, by their very presence in Cumbria, there are a considerable number of crews whose sights are set on succeeding Garry Pearson/Niall Burns to the title.

Charlie Payne and Carl Williamson (Fiesta) won the Malcolm Wilson Rally back in 2016 on their way to claiming the Gold Star crown that same year, while fellow former champions Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson (Fiesta) took maximum BTRDA points the last time the event ran in 2020. Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins (Skoda Fabia R5) have previously led a BTRDA round but are yet to translate their speed into outright victory, while Damian Cole (Fiesta R5+) is a proven winner on asphalt but has still to reach the top step of a Gravel Series podium.
Moving on to a section entitled ‘Sons of their Fathers’, we’ve already mentioned Stephen Petch but we also find Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2), Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) and Tom Llewellin / Ross Whittock (Mitsubishi Mirage) each with designs on perpetuating their families’ past success, both within BTRDA and beyond…

Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear are another crew pinning their hopes of success on a Fiesta this season, as are 2016 BTRDA 1400 Champions Jordan & Paul Hone, from Northern Ireland, who return for a crack at Gold Star!  A brace of Hyundai i20 R5s for John Wink and former Group N front-runner Roland Llewellin further add to the variety. George Lepley, who made sure nobody else got a look-in when it came to Class B13 last year, has moved on to pastures new – although his younger brother James will be contesting the Silver Star Championship in an Escort… Nevertheless, all the signs are that B13 will be as competitive as ever, with a fine array of Mitsubishi Lancers in the hands of former BTRDA Production Cup winners Russ Thompson (who finished 3rd overall on the 2020 Malcolm Wilson Rally!) and Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence, plus those of Richard Hill and, back after a couple of seasons away, Petr Krizan / Lukas Sintal. The
Escort Cosworth of 2018 Motorsport UK English Rally Champions Ian Joel / Graeme Wood can never be discounted and there will be a handful of Subaru Imprezas intent on keeping them all on their toes!

For those inclined to take a punt, when it comes to predicting the front-runners in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship, there’s quite possibly some money to be made! Owen McMackin’s Escort came good in 2021 but the Irishman’s defence of his title won’t start just yet. So, after such a successful 2019, Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam VXR) suffered a complete reversal of fortune last year but, undaunted, they’re back to challenge the ever-present Escorts represented by, for example, Rob Wright / Mark Fisher, Terry Pankhurst / Jamie Sparks and Nick Dobson / Phil Sandham.
                                                                                                           Andy Davison/Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam VXR)   >>>

It’s been a while since a front-wheel drive car won the Silver Star title but that doesn’t preclude such a vehicle from doing so again!  The Fiesta STs of Max Utting and reigning BTRDA Rally First® Champion Tom Naylor could prove to be prime candidates when it comes to upsetting the apple cart!..
Based on previous experience, any predictions in respect of the successful runners and riders in the BTRDA Silver Star Championship must include contenders for the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup and BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup & BTRDA R2 Junior Cup as well. Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins’ Hillman Avenger is joined by the aforementioned James Lepley, co-driven by Liam Whiteley, in an Escort Mk2, 1997 BTRDA Silver Star Champion Warren Philliskirk’s MkI RS1600 and an interesting addition this year in the shape of a Datsun 1600SSS for Alex Waterman / Glyn Thomas.

Fiestas are the mainstay of the BTRDA R2 Cup with Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan, Billy Grew / Simon Rogers and Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers relying on the Blue Oval, while Scott & David Sloan have opted for a Peugeot 208 and it’s a Citroen C2R2 Max for Lucy Wigley / Emma Cooper.

<<<   Dave & Toby Brick (1400cc Nova)

Dave & Toby Brick return to the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Rally Championship in their flying 1400cc Nova in an attempt to wrest the title that has, thus far, eluded them. Opposition this year comes in various different forms, viz. a Proton Satria for Gary Scott / James Hedges, Dale Glover / Sean Ward’s Alfasud Ti, Edward James / Charlie Mason (Nissan Micra Kit Car) and another Nova for Pete Gorst.

Adrian & Matt Walk, who stole the headlines on last year’s Woodpecker Stages by taking their Class 1400C Ford Ka to maximum Bronze Star points, are back and have Richard Garnett / Stefan Arndt (Nissan Micra) and the Talbot Samba of Mat & Dan Evans for company this time. The MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First® Cup is also testament to variety being the spice of life! Lewis Hooper (Nissan Micra), Jacob Neal’s Vauxhall Corsa and a Peugeot 107 for James Lightfoot will all take the start in Dovenby.

The Malcolm Wilson Rally is also the opening encounter in the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK and, following the unfortunate curtailment of both the 2020 & 2021 Series, an evenly spread six-round calendar concludes on the Grizedale Stages in early December. All BTRDA Rally Series registered competitors are automatically eligible for the class-based series as the race to succeed 2019 winner Steve Black (1400cc Suzuki Swift) begins.

On-line Registration:  BTRDA annual membership is £30 which gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events. The BTRDA Rally Series registration fee also includes registration for the Motorsport UK 2022 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 2022 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.

For details of the Malcolm Wilson Rally : www.malcolmwilson.co.uk      All photos © Kevin Money

STARS IN THEIR EYES..!

With the Awards Presentation for the 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series having taken place just over a week ago, all eyes now turn to the start of the new season which begins with the Malcolm Wilson Rally on Saturday 12th March, and, not unnaturally, who the recipients of the 2022 BTRDA Gold®, Silver® & Bronze® Stars might possibly be.

2021 Gold Star Champions Garry Pearson and Niall Burns have expressed their desire to move on to a full British Rally Championship assault and we wish them well in their endeavours. A glance at the unseeded list of entries for the Malcolm Wilson Rally tells us that the number of possible successors is considerable…. Let’s start with a couple of crews who’ve already been thereStephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson (2017) and Charlie Payne / Carl Williamson (2016) who are maintaining their allegiance to Ford Fiestas and are set to be joined by the likes of Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh, Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen, Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear and multiple former Asphalt Champion Damian Cole in similar cars.

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

Hoping that a R5 Skoda Fabia can maintain its winning streak at this level are Ian Bainbridge / Will Atkins (see main photo) while John Wink / Neil Shanks (Hyundai i20) and a returning Tom Llewellin / Ross Whittock (Mitsubishi Mirage) will each be harbouring thoughts diametrically opposed to those!… A further brace of Fiesta R5’s in the hands of Trevor Gamble and Eddie Lewis are joined by a second Hyundai for one-time Mitsubishi Group N front-runner Roland Llewellin.  It seems as if the B13 class will be more competitive than ever with Richard Hill, Russ Thompson, Ian Joel, Peter Bayliss and Pat Naylor being joined by many more competitive Subaru’s and Evo’s.

When it comes to the two-wheel drive brigade, contenders for last year’s MRF Tyres Silver Star Championship were often also chasing Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup points and, on occasions, the BTRDA R2 & R2 Junior Cup as well!  Owen McMackin’s big-engined Escort eventually prevailed and, while the Irishman is unable to contest the opening round of the 2022 Series, the defence of his title is expected to begin shortly.  Having had a season to forget last year, Andy Davison and Tom Murphy – who were Silver Star runner-up and Champion respectively in 2019 – are back with their rapid Talbot Sunbeam VXR.  2.5 litre Escorts are the order of the day for Rob Wright / Mark Fisher and Terry Pankhurst / Jamie Sparks, while Nick Dobson, Neil Andrew and James Lepley – younger brother of George – are pinning their hopes on smaller capacity versions.

                                                                                                                                   Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Ford Escort Mk2)  >>>>>>

While on the subject of families, 2021 BTRDA Rally First Champion Tom Naylor – son of former BTRDA Production Cup winner Pat Naylor, who is now running his Mitsubishi Lancer in Class B13 – is moving on to a 2-litre Fiesta ST in an attempt to wrest the Silver Star trophy from the rear-wheel drive contingent but the favourite for that task may be Max Utting in his Fiesta ST MAX.  As far as the R2’s are concerned, both ‘Senior’ & Junior, it’s encouraging to see the variety of different manufacturers producing cars that fit the bill. In addition to Fiestas for Billy Grew / Simon Rogers, Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan, Yaniv Bar / Osian Owen and Jonathan Jones / Jez Rogers, we have Lucy Wigley / Emma Cooper’s Citroen C2 and a Peugeot 208 for Scott & David Sloan.

 

Long-time BTRDA Rally Series supporters Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins are back in their Historic spec. Hillman Avenger to do battle with, among others, David Gathercole / Martyn Donn’s MkI
Escort. An interesting addition to the ranks of this year’s BTRDA Historic Cup contenders is the Datsun 1600SSS of Glyn Thomas / Alex Waterman.

<<<<<< Baz Jordan / Arwel Jenkins (Hillman Avenger)

 

The Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship, the winners of which are awarded BTRDA Bronze Stars, has become renowned for the out-and-out speed and level of competitiveness exhibited by contenders for the title!  One should never be fooled into thinking that, as the cars are only 1400cc, there’s ‘nothing to see here’!  Some years ago Elfyn Evans joined in at the wheel of a Nissan Micra and triple British Rally Champion Matt Edwards won the series outright in 2010 in an MG ZR!
The 1400 Championship is another element of the BTRDA Series that attracts a wide range of cars to its ranks.  At the time of writing – and in no particular order – entries have been received from Edward James (Nissan Micra Kit Car), Paddy Homan (Ford Puma), Aaron Rix (Ford Escort), Kris Farrell (Proton Satria) and Pete Gorst & Dave Brick (both Vauxhall Novas).

The aforementioned speed of these cars, not unsurprisingly, caused dramas on occasions leaving crews to reflect on the old adage that ‘to finish first, you must first finish’! ‘Keeping their heads while those around etc etc.’ paid dividends for Adrian & Matt Walk during 2021 as their 1400C Ford Ka came out on top of the category on the Woodpecker Stages and 2nd on the Cambrian Rally. They’re back for more of the same and will have a number of Nissan Micras and the Talbot Samba of Mat & Dan Evans for company.

<<<<<   Adrian & Matt Walk (1400cc Ford Ka)

So, fingers crossed for a full eight-round Series in 2022! We can’t wait and, judging by the number of entries received by the Malcolm Wilson Rally organisers, we’re not the only ones!….

All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond

On-line Registration:  BTRDA annual membership is £30 which gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events. The BTRDA Rally Series registration fee also includes registration for the Motorsport UK 2022 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 2022 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.

Registrations for the 2022 BTRDA Rally Series

The 69th year of SERIOUS FUN…!
The BTRDA [British Trial & Rally Drivers Association] are pleased to announce the 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and confirm that the 2022 Championship registrations are now open.
The 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series incorporates the prestigious BTRDA Gold Star® Championship, the BTRDA Silver Star® Championship exclusively for 2-wheel drive cars, plus the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship for cars up to 1400cc.  There is also the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First Cup which provides an opportunity for competitors to participate in UK forest rallying at the lowest possible cost. The JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup will include cash incentives on each of the championship rounds. The popular Rallye R2 Cup will continue as will the exciting BTRDA Junior R2 1600 Cup. The ST Trophy will also be an integral part of the BTRDA Rally Series in 2022.

 

The BTRDA Rally Series is the most popular stage rally championship in the UK and will continue to provide competitors and followers with some Serious Fun! The calendar includes eight one-day forest stage rallies, starting with the Malcolm Wilson Rally in March and finishing with the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally in North Wales at the end of October. We are grateful for the wholehearted commitment of all the event organising teams, because without their efforts, especially during the last couple of years, we would not be able to promote such a successful rally championship

 

The 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series (Best 6 scores to count)

  • 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             Ludlow
    September 24th    Trackrod Forest Stages       Filey
    October 29th         Cambrian Rally                      Llandudno

The MRF Tyres 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 2022 BTRDA Rally Series Regulations are available in the Competitors section of this website, along with a link to the on-line BTRDA membership and BTRDA Rally Series & Motorsport UK English Rally Championship registration. There is also a copy of the Registration Form that can be downloaded for those who prefer to register by post.

The BTRDA annual membership fee is £30 which gives automatic eligibility to all BTRDA Rally Series and English Rally Championship events. The BTRDA Rally Series registration fee also includes registration for the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship supported by Seacon UK. The BTRDA Rally Series registration fee is then £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 2022 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 (the motor club) and then register for the championships.  

(Championship decals will be posted out in early March to drivers who have registered for the 2022 Championships).

Fuchs Lubricants (UK) are the sponsors of the BTRDA Bronze Star [1400] Championship which for 2022 also includes the BTRDA Rally First Cup. Following the relaxation of the regulations governing the running order on events, the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star 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.

 

The opening round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship is the Malcolm Wilson Rally on Saturday 12th March, set in the beautiful Lake District.  Regulations and entries for the Malcom Wilson Rally are now available at www.malcolmwilson.co.uk 

EVERYONE WELCOME FOR SOME MORE ‘SERIOUS FUN’ IN 2022 …

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 www.btrdarally.com

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.

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Photos © Kevin Money and Malc Almond

PEARSON & BURNS AIM FOR TREBLE !…

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 www.rallynutsrally.co.uk
All photos © Kevin Money / Malc Almond
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GEORGE ISN’T DRAGGIN’ HIS FEET !…

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 www.cambrianrally.co.uk for event information.

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

TRACK & RACE!..

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 www.rallyyorkshire.co.uk 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

WOODPECKER TAPS INTO NEW TERRITORY..!

Round 3 : Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages – 4th September (NON-SPECTATOR)

With Covid restrictions still rife across the country, the organisers of the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages, the third round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and second of the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK, have been forced to make some major changes to its tried-and-tested format in order that the event can take place at all. Not least of these is that Sixty & Worcs. M.C. has had to move away from its traditional Ludlow Racecourse base for the first time since 1997!….

Notwithstanding, the enduring popularity of the ‘Woody’ has been responsible for a high-quality entry and those with designs on MRF Tyres BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Championship points will need to be on their mettle if they are to take the opportunity to progress. Having retired their Fiesta last time out, Callum Black/Jack Morton have some catching up to do while maximum scorers in Scotland, Garry Pearson/Niall Burns (Fabia), are the nearest challengers to current leaders Elliot Payne/Cameron Fair (Fiesta).                                                                 

                                           

                                                                   Pearson/Burns (Skoda Fabia) kicking up the dust on the Scottish Rally      >>>>>>>

 

Behind Payne/Fair, Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins (Fabia) & Tom Llewellin (Mitsubishi Mirage) also have 100% finishing records, thereby maintaining pressure on the leaders such that another good showing, combined with the ever-present possibility of something untoward upsetting the rhythm of those in front, could considerably alter the order at the sharp end of the points table by the end of the day!…
George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (Lancer EVOX) have seized the early initiative in Class B13 with two ‘wins’ to their credit, but every day’s a school day and, with a string of well-driven EVO9s in the hands of Richard Hill, Russ Thompson and Matthew Hirst, not to mention Ian Baumgart’s Impreza and the always-immaculate Escort Cosworth of Ian Joel hunting them down, it’s far too early in the season to regard anything as secure….

Paul Street and Ian Jones (Escort Mk2) are the current Two-Wheel Drive Kings as they lead both the MRF Tyres BTRDA Silver Star® Championship & Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Historic Cup tables. (See main image)  Although not BTRDA-registered, this time they’ll be pitting their skills against two former Woodpecker winners – Richard Gough, who was victorious on five occasions (the most recent a quarter of a century ago in 1996!), is wheeling out his ex Rothmans Escort, now suitably restored to its original 1981 livery, while 2012 victor Roger Chilman has also forsaken his Impreza for an Escort for this latest appearance.  Baz Jordan/Arwel Jenkins (Avenger) are Street/Jones’ nearest challengers in both Silver Star and Historic Cup terms but there are any number of other crews ideally placed to step up to the plate, given half a chance!

 

The BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup sees Jonathan Jones (Fiesta) in the ascendancy after early leaders Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams inflicted enough damage to their Peugeot 208 on the Scottish Rally to preclude a finish. Having missed the opening encounter, Tony Simpson/ Ian Bevan (Fiesta) announced their arrival in fine style north of the border and will now be hoping for similar on the Woodpecker.

<<<<<  Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan

In BTRDA Rallye R2 Junior Cup terms, Lloyd/Williams retain their lead but, having both declined the opportunity of a trip to Lockerbie, Connor Tolson/Dylan Thomas and Robert Wilson/ Martin Haggett (Fiestas) are now set to rejoin the fray once more.

 

Meanwhile, Steve Black/Paul Morris’ desire to consolidate their lead in the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400® Championship in Scotland came to nought when their Suzuki Swift left the road in Twiglees. Richard Jordan/James Gratton-Smith (MG ZR) moved to the top of the table with their second consecutive finish but we can now expect fireworks as the two crews are not only joined by Dave & Toby Brick’s rapid Nova (at least it is when those two are in it!) on what is their ‘home’ event, but also Aaron Rix/Abi Haycock’s Escort. Brace yourselves!…

 

Richard Jordan/James Gratton Smith (MG ZR) – BTRDA 1400 ‘Bronze Star’ Championship Leaders

 

The MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally First® Championship is set for a ‘Clash of the Titans’ as the winner of the first round Tom Naylor (Fiesta), who was absent from the second, meets the victors on Round 2, Simon Double/Jessica Mitchell (MG ZR), who didn’t contest the season-opener….

Having had a couple of months off since their opening round, contenders for the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK now face the prospect of two events in three weeks. So, very shortly, the six joint leaders – as is always the case after the opening round of a class-based series – will start to reduce! Indeed, two of them haven’t entered the Woodpecker, leaving defending champion.

Steve Black (Suzuki Swift), George Lepley (Lancer EVOX), Elliot Payne (Fiesta) and Ioan Lloyd (Peugeot 208) to fend off their respective aggressors as they attempt to maintain their advantage. However, they won’t need reminding that there are another six drivers, all of whom will be present, a mere two points behind them – for now!…
Due to the event being designated ‘Non-Spectator’, the action will be broadcast LIVE throughout the day across the Woodpecker Stages social media feeds. Event news and results will also be updated across its social platforms to enable you to keep up to date with all the happenings from home.

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond