The history of the BTRDA Rally Championships
The BTRDA began life in 1938 as the British Trial Drivers Association but as cars developed there were many competitors who wished to participate in longer and more arduous motorsport events. To meet this demand the BTRDA Rallies Committee was formed in 1953 and it began the Gold Star and Silver Star Rally Championships. The original events included the RAC Rally, Circuit of Ireland, Morecambe Rally, Scarborough Rally, Scottish Rally and Rally of the Dams as these were the most challenging rallies in the UK at the time and were mostly long distance, endurance road events. However as the championship developed so the events changed to include many of the most competitive night-time road rallies in the UK including the Express & Star, Mini Miglia and the London Rally.
In the mid 1960’s some events began to incorporate timed ‘Special Stages’ in addition to a competitive night road rally. A typical example was the Dukeries Rally of 1968, which started with 6 special stages using private roads on the Saturday evening. A brief supper halt was followed by a full 200 mile Derbyshire / Staffordshire road rally with selectives timed to the second. At dawn the event changed yet again to a stage event and ran 6 stages in Sherwood Forest before a lunchtime finish.
By 1970 competitors and cars were beginning to specialise and 1972 was the last Gold Star Championship to use both stage and road events. From 1973 the Gold Star Championship was contested exclusively on stage rallies whilst the Silver Star Championship continued for road rally competitors.
Both these championships were very popular throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s with good events and huge entries including some of the best competitors from around the UK.
Because of a rising demand from club competitors the BTRDA Rally Committee introduced a BTRDA Clubmans Stage Championship in 1987 that placed more emphasis on lower cost forest rallies. That year also saw Ron Beecroft / Brian Kidd crowned as the final champions of the very competitive Silver Star and Motoring News National Road Rally championship; the demise of which is still much lamented.
1993 was a year of consolidation with the Gold Star and Clubmans Rally Championships running on the same calendar of events. The BTRDA Stage Rally Championships maintained their popularity throughout the 1990’s with various innovations including eight successful years (1993 – 2000) when the Gold Star championship, supported by Peugeot Sport, was exclusively for Formula 2 cars and the Silver Star was awarded for non F2 cars.
In 2001, to reflect rally car trends and competitor demand, the format was changed, with the Gold Star Championship again being open to all rally cars and the creation of the BTRDA 1400 Championship. In 2008 the BTRDA Rally First category for standard cars was introduced
The BTRDA Rally Championships are administered by the BTRDA Rallies Committee, which has always been dominated by competitors. Mike Broad, Phil Short, Chris Lord, Ron Crellin, Stephen Bye and Mike Sones all had a big influence on previous Rallies Committees. Ian Butcher [GS Champion 94/95] was chairman when the BTRDA was the first rally championship to switch to Formula 2 and Richie Holfeld [GS Champion 1991] was chairman when we adopted the current successful format.
The present committee under the Chairmanship of Neil Cross continues to include a wide range of current and former competitors, event organisers and officials so that it has first hand experience of present day stage rallying and the best chance of understanding what competitors want.
The current BTRDA Rally Series, sponsored by JORDAN Road Surfacing, is split into four distinct parts. The Gold Star Championship is open to all cars over 1400cc. the Silver Star Championship which is exclusively for two wheel drive cars over 1400cc, the BTRDA 1400 Championship and the BTRDA Rally First category for standard cars up to 2000cc. The BTRDA Rally Series is consistently the most popular Rally Championship in the UK with hundreds of registered competitors participating each year.
A roll of honour of the all the BTRDA Rally Champions is on the adjacent section.
The success of the BTRDA Rally Championship very much depends on the quality of the individual rallies organised by the participating motor clubs. Since 1973 the BTRDA have awarded the Bill Turner Trophy to ‘Best Event in the BTRDA Rally Series’. (listed below)
|2018||Trackrod Motor Club|
|2017||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|2016||Quinton Motor Club|
|2015||Burnham-on-Sea MC & Minehead MC|
|2014||North Wales Car Club|
|2013||Burnham-on-Sea MC & Minehead MC|
|2012||Quinton Motor Club|
|2011||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|2010||Quinton Motor Club|
|2009||Forest of Dean Motor Club|
|2008||North Wales Car Club|
|2007||Knutsford & District Motor Club|
|2006||Dukeries Motor Club|
|2005||Quinton Motor Club|
|2004||North Humberside Motor Club|
|2003||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|2002||Forest of Dean Motor Club|
|2001||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|2000||Port Talbot Motor Club|
|1999||Morecambe C C, Kirby Londsdale M C & West Cumbria C C.|
|1998||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|1997||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|1996||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|1995||Quinton Motor Club|
|1994||Dukeries Motor Club|
|1993||60 & Worcester Motor Club|
|1992||Knutsford & District Motor Club|
|1991||Hadrian Motor Club|
|1990||Hawick & Border Motor Club|
|1989||Hawick & Border Motor Club|
|1988||North Wales Car Club|
|1987||Knutsford & District Motor Club|
|1986||Forest of Dean Motor Club|
|1985||Hadrian Motor Club|
|1984||Knutsford & District Motor Club|
|1983||Hadrian Motor Club|
|1982||Hawick & Border Motor Club|
|1981||Trackrod Motor Club|
|1980||Welsh Counties Car Club|
|1979||Hadrian Motor Club|
|1978||Teify Vally MC & Vale of Cothi MC|
|1977||Knutsford & District Motor Club|
|1976||Forest of Dean Motor Club|
|1975||Teify Valley Motor Club|
|1974||Morecambe Car Club|
|1973||Lincolnshire A C & Louth M C|