Contenders in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship face the final round of the 2017 series this weekend (11th November) with the Winners Garage Skoda Wyedean Stages Rally. In the absence of Surrey’s Wug Utting, it’s a straight two horse race for the overall driver’s title.
Callum Black has only contested a limited programme of championship rounds this season but he has claimed maximum championship points on every round that he has appeared on. A finish on Saturday should be enough for the Brackley driver to clinch top championship honours but, should the 586 Engineering R5 Ford Fiesta strike problems, early season leader Andy Davies could still snatch the title.
The Lampeter man has already clinched the Group N title for less modified cars as has his regular co-driver Max Freeman. Should Callum Black fail to finish, third place among the championship contenders would be enough for the Subaru Impreza driver to add overall championship honours.
Third place in the Championship will go to Simon Rogers if the Evo 6 driver can finish ahead of the Evo 9 of Scott Faulkner.
The Junior drivers’ title has already gone to Rhydian Price but the Wyedean will witness a four-way fight for the Junior co-drivers’ crown.
The two wheel drive crown has also still to be decided with the drivers’ category featuring a battle of the BMWs of Colin Griffiths and Andy Fox. Escort pilots Rob Dennis and Tony Williams could still influence the destination of the title as could Sunbeam mounted Chris Powell. The two wheel drive co-drivers’ honours look set to go the way of Toby Brick although Ian Jones could still have something to say about that.
Hereford driver Chris Powell needs a strong finish in his Sunbeam to take Class 3 honours ahead of Dave Brick while Martin Walters is favourite to sew up Class 4 in his Honda Civic.
The battle for Class 6 looks set to go all the way to the final stage with Escort drivers Tony Williams and Rob Dennis and Manta man John Collins all still in contention. In Class 8, the Championship’s dropped score system means that Simon Rogers driving an Evo 6 could yet edge out Geoff Cottrill in his Evo 9 while the battle for third in class could see Ross Leach edge out Dylan Davies.
In the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge, which runs in association with the Championship, points are awarded based on a driver’s performance within their class. The fight for end of season honours looks to be between Andy Davies and Colin Griffiths although Martin Walters, Simon Rogers and Callum Black could all yet have a say in matters.
The Winners Garage Skoda Wyedean Stages Rally is based at the Vantage Point Business Park in Mitcheldean. The first car will leave there at 09:31 on Saturday to tackle four stages, three of which have not featured on the event for a number of years. Cars will return to Mitcheldean for a lunchtime service halt before a second run through each of the stages. The first car is expected back for the finish of the rally in Mitcheldean around 3pm.
Full spectator information is available on the rally’s web site, www.wyedeanstages.co.uk, while you can find out more about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.
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Issued 6th November 2017
Credit for the photograph given to Rallysport Media
Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.
A third maximum points score in as many rounds contested for Ford Fiesta crew Callum Black and Elliott Edmondson means that the destination of the 2017 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship will not be decided until the final round in November.
Black and Edmondson took the lead among the championship contenders on the opening stage of the Ludlow based Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally but surrendered it on stage four when the engine on their R5 specification car cut out for 30 seconds.
That enabled Ruthin driver Hugh Hunter and co-driver Rob Fagg to move ahead in their Fiesta World Rally Car. Their advantage was short-lived, however, as Black and Edmonsdon recorded a time five seconds quicker than anyone else on the following stage to regain the lead. They went on to consolidate their position on the sixth and final stage.
Taunton duo Martyn and Dawn England had taken second place on the two previous rounds but clutch problems on their R5+ Fiesta sidelined them before stage three on this occasion leaving Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg to take the runners up sport with third place going to Peter R Stephenson and Ian Windress in their Ford Focus World Rally Car.
Early season Championship leader Andy Davies crashed out of the previous round, the Nicky Grist Stages, and admitted he was having a few problems this weekend getting back into his stride in the Subaru Impreza. Nevertheless, fourth place was enough to move him and co-driver Max Freeman back to the top of the overall standings and to clinch the Group N title for less modified cars.
With Black and Edmondson moving into second place in the overall title race, pre-event leaders Wug Utting and Bob Stokoe slip to third after taking sixth place points in their Impreza behind the Mitsubishi Evo of Simon Rogers and Wyn Davies. While the Surrey based duo of Utting and Stokoe can no longer claim the Group N title they will go into the final round of the Championship heading the standings in their class.
An impressive drive by Dave and Toby Brick saw them finish top two wheel drive crew in their 1400cc Vauxhall Nova just six seconds ahead of the Talbot Sunbeam of Chris Powell and Jim Lewis with Rob Dennis and Andrew Boswell third in their Mark II Escort. Fifth place was enough, however, for Colin Griffiths to retain the lead in the two wheel drive category in his BMW Compact.
The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge recognises the achievements of drivers within their respective classes and it is Andy Davies who also leads that going into the final round but by just a single point from Colin Griffiths with Wug Utting in third place. Martin Walters holds fourth place in his Honda Civic. He also picked up a RAVENOL voucher for the Welsh championship contender making the biggest improvement on their seeding.
Despite being forced out of the rally on stage four with a broken driveshaft on his Ford Fiesta, Rhydian Price tops the junior standings for drivers aged under 23 and so wins a free entry on Wales Rally GB, provided by the organisers of the British round of the World Championship, IMS, as part of their Road to Wales initiative.
The final round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Winner Garage Skoda Wyedean Stages Rally on November 11th. With the destination of many of the class awards still to be decided, not to mention the overall title, and the event organisers promising competitors a number of stages new to the event, the rally promises to be a fitting climax to what has already been a thrilling championship battle.
You can find out more about the Wyedean Rally at their website, www.wyedeanstages.co.uk, and about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on their Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.
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Issued 4th September 2017
Images Credit Rallysport Media
Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.
The 2017 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship reaches its penultimate round this weekend (September 2nd) with competitors tackling the Ludlow based Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally. There is plenty at stake, too, with the overall title fight, as well as many of the class battles, still wide open.
The cancellation of the Red Dragon Rally means that competitors will now count their best four results from six events meaning there is a good opportunity for competitors to improve their championship standing with good results on this event and the final round, the Wyedean Rally in November.
Surrey driver Wug Utting took the lead at the previous round, the Nicky Grist Stages, and now has a 10 point advantage over early season leader Andy Davies. With Dylan Davies in third place, fourth placed Callum Black has taken his R5 Fiesta to maximum points in each of the two rounds that he has contested so far.
The championship front-runners, however, can expect stiff opposition from, among others, Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg in their Ford Fiesta WRC while Martyn and Dawn England have taken second place in each of the last two rounds and would love nothing more than to go one better in their R5+ Fiesta this weekend. Meanwhile, veteran Peter Stephenson will be looking to give some of his younger rivals a run for their money in his Focus World Rally Car.
Wug Utting’s co-driver Bob Stokoe leads their overall championship standings, 11 points clear of reigning Junior co-driving champion Max Freeman while Llion Williams is in third place.
Utting and Stokoe also head the Group N standings for less modified cars ahead of Andy Davies and Max Freeman while Scott Faulkner and Dom Adams are in third place.
Colin Griffiths leads a close fought two wheel drive category in his BMW Compact but Andy Fox will be looking to make up ground in his BMW 328.
In the Junior driver category, Rhydian Price, driving a Ford Fiesta, looks on course to take the title and with it a free entry to the National Rally on Wales Rally GB, provided by the organisers of the British round of the World Championship, IMS as part of their Road to Wales initiative.
Things are much closer in the Junior co-driver category and one competitor who could move up the standings this weekend is Elliott Edmondson, sat alongside Callum Black.
The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge runs alongside the Championship. With a prize fund valued at £3000, drivers gain points based on their performance within their class. Colin Griffiths tops the standings by just a single point from Andy Davies with Wug Utting three points further back.
Championship competitors can look forward to a break following this weekend before the final round, the Wyedean Rally on November 11th, so we can expect them to be pushing to the limit on the Woodpecker’s challenging stages as the stake their claims for a top honour at the end of the season.
With competitors leaving Ludlow Racecourse from 8:30 on Saturday morning, spectator information is available on the event website, www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk. There is more information about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship on their website, www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk , their Facebook page and on Twitter, @WnRC.
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Issued 29th August 2017
Credit for the attached photograph Rallysport Media
Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship
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