Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship 

 

PLAINS RALLY

  • The organisers of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship have unveiled a new initiative for 2018 specifically with the club competitor in mind. Supported by advanced lubricant technology company RAVENOL the RAVENOL Challenge category carries with it a prize fund valued at more than £3000.

    The competition is open to drivers and co-drivers who have not finished within the top 10 overall on any round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship or any equivalent status championship on more than one occasion between 1st January 2007 and 31st December 2017.

    Points for the RAVENOL Challenge driver and co-driver will be awarded on the same basis as for the overall championship.

    This is the fourth year that RAVENOL have supported the Welsh Championship and confirming their backing of the RAVENOL Challenge series, RAVENOL UK Managing Director, Brian Chase, commented “Our support of the Welsh Rally Championship over the last three years has been both rewarding and successful and we have made many friends along the way. We have no hesitation in renewing our agreement for another three years and recommend anyone planning a season in stage rallying to enter what has to be one of the UK’s best organised, and certainly most friendly, rally championships. “

    Championship coordinator, Dave Evison, welcomed RAVENOL’s continued support adding, “club competitors are the life blood of our championship and our sport and I know that supporting them is important to RAVENOL. The RAVENOL Challenge title is a way of giving something back to these crews. With the qualifying events offering some of the best forest stages available anywhere, we believe this initiative will make the championship even more attractive to competitors regardless of what class they are competing in.”

    In addition to their support of the RAVENOL Challenge initiative, RAVENOL UK have also confirmed that they will pay the championship registration fee for any crew entering the championship in a Land Rover Freelander

    You can find out more about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, including the RAVENOL Challenge category at wnrc.wamc.org.uk and about RAVENOL’s range of advanced lubricants at www.ravenol-direct.uk.

     


     

  • Matt Edwards put in another dominant performance to claim back to back championship wins. The result lifts Edwards to second in the championship standings behind Dylan Davies, who decided to miss this round.

    Some overnight rain eased dust concerns and led to almost perfect conditions as 117 competitors left the Welshpool start to visit four stages in Dyfnant and Garth before a lunch break in Dolgellau followed by a repeat of the mornings tests. 

    Matt Edwards, Llysfaen, with Co-driver Darron Garrod, Pwllheli, set fastest times on seven of the eight tests. It did not all go to plan, however, on the opening test a puncture resulted in a destroyed wheel which left Edwards in thirteenth place, 28 seconds off the lead.

    The lead was held by Rhuddlan’s Luke Francis, who with Co-Driver John H Roberts, Colwyn Bay, had stormed through the first test in their Fiesta WRC. Francis held onto that lead until just after the rest halt. Edwards, though, was on a charge and claimed the lead on the second test of the afternoon run and then went on to win by a margin of twenty seconds. 

    Meanwhile the remaining podium place was keenly contested between Bury's Tom Naughton Mitsubishi Evo 10 and the Volvo powered Escort of Ffestiniog’s Ieu Rowlands. Tom Naughton and Co Driver Will Rogers held the upper hand into the lunch halt but on the opening afternoon test the pair rolled heavily near the stage finish stopping the stage. Ieu Rowlands and Co Driver, Emyr Hall, Bala, who had been in the top four all day were now third whilst Llangefni's Keith Parry and Co Driver Eryl Evans, Lampeter, pushed their Subaru through the final test to finish fourth, just one second ahead of the Mk 2 Escort of Nick Elliott and Dave Price. The result lifts Parry into third place in the championship standing on equal points with Doncaster’s Matthew Hirst. 

    Hirst, who had rolled his Mitsubishi Evo 9 out of contention on the previous round, was more than happy with his days’ work and together with Co-Driver Declan Dear, the pair have now built a seven point lead in the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge which is aimed at drivers who have not previously claimed a top 10 finish. Colin Griffiths, Worcester, lies in second place whilst Surrey’s Max Utting is third.

    In the Group N category for less modified cars, Kalvin Green, Treorchy, has seen a consistent run of results in his Fiesta ST lift him to the top of the standings, ahead of the more powerful Subaru of Surrey’s Wug Utting who has one less score.

    On the day Scott Faulkner, Solihull, together with new Co Driver Gareth Parry, Aberystwyth, took maximum points and at the finish declared himself very happy with the car’s set up. Championship regulars Tom Naughton, Bury, and Co driver Will Rogers, Ross, were heading the standings until a very heavy roll on the fifth test resulted in Tom Naughton needing medical assistance.

    Kalvin Green’s consistency means he leads the Junior category as well though Matthew Hirst claimed his third maximum score on the Plains. In the Co-drivers, Osian Owen, Rhyl, heads Ludlow’s Keaton Williams.  

    The very well supported Two Wheel Drive category has seen four different drivers take maximum points on the opening four rounds. This time it was the turn of Ffestiniog’s Ieu Rowlands and Emyr Hall to take top score. Meanwhile it was Surrey’s Max Utting and Co-Driver Mike Ainsworth who now head the category standing. Their front wheel drive Fiesta ST heads an impressive line-up of rear wheel drive machinery. Colin Griffiths is on equal points in his BMW whilst an impressive list of Escorts includes Rob Dennis, Owen McMackin, John Rowlands, Nick Elliot and Ieu Rowlands will see this category "go to the wire". Rudi Lancaster, Woolacombe, with Guy Weaver, Wolverhampton, also put down a marker taking fourth in the category on the day.

    Meanwhile in the RAVENOL Freelander Category, Alex Howard, Colchester, with George Fleming, Chelmsford, have enjoyed some excellent results and tops the category from Ian Linford Stevenage, who together with Demelza Scholes, achieved their first finish on the Plains. 

    The next round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship is the Red Kite Stages. The Neath based event, organised by Amman and District Motor Club takes place on Sunday 24th June.

    More information about the Red Kite can be found on the event website  www.redkitestages.co.uk  and about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship at www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and Twitter @WnRC.

    -     ENDS     -

    Issued 15th May 2018 

    Note to Editors: Credit for the image :- RallysportMedia 

    Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.


     

  • Competitors in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship head to Welshpool this weekend (Saturday 12th May) for the fourth round in the 2018 series, the Plains Rally.

    Leading the competitors away on the event, organised by Knutsford and District Motor Club, will be round three winner Matt Edwards. The Llysfaen driver and co-driver Darren Garrod from Pwllheli followed up their victory on that event, the Rallynuts Stages, by taking their Ford Fiesta to victory on the opening round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli Rally.

    Hard on their heels will be former champion Luke Francis, from Rhuddlan and Colwyn Bay co-driver John H Roberts who took second place on the Rallynuts Stages in their Fiesta World Rally Car. With Championship leaders Dylan Davies and Llion Williams scheduled to sit this event out, other crews looking to capitalise on their absence include Nick Elliott and Dave Price who took maximum points on round two, Rally North Wales, in their Mark II Ford Escort.

    Also hoping to be among the points this weekend, despite a heavy crash on the Rally Nuts Stages in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, are Doncaster driver Matthew Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear while Steve Simpson and Mark Glennerster will be making their first Championship appearance of the year in their S2000 specification Ford Fiesta.

    Llangefni driver Keith Parry and co-driver Eryl Evans, from Llanon, will be in action in their Subaru Impreza while Tom Naughton and Will Rogers will be chasing points in the Group N category, for less modified cars, in their Evo IX after taking maximum points in the category on the previous round. Other crews looking for Group N points include Surrey’s Wug Utting and co-driver Bob Stokoe in their Subaru Impreza and Solihull’s Scott Faulkner, co-driven by Gareth Parry from Aberystwyth in their Evo IX.

    Max Utting took maximum two-wheel drive points on the Rallynuts Stages but the Ford Fiesta driver and co-driver Mike Ainsworth can expect strong opposition not least from Nick Elliott and Dave Price and top two-wheel drive points scorers on the opening round, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, John Rowlands from Ffestiniog and Machynlleth’s Glenn Latham in their Mark II Escort.

    Another Escort crew, David and James Young will be making the lengthy trek from East Anglia while current two-wheel drive leader Colin Griffiths of Worcester will be out in his BMW Compact with Mike Wilding alongside him. Meanwhile, reigning two-wheel drive champions Andrew and Jamie-Lee Fox will be out in their BMW 328.

    Matthew Hirst will be keen to build on his current second place among the junior drivers while those chasing points in the junior co-driver category will incude Keaton Williams, teamed up with Bob Vardy in the R2 Ford Fiesta. The Ludlow co-driver currently leads the category by two points from Rhyl’s Osian Owen. Osian will be sat alongside current leading junior driver Kalvin Green from Treorchy in the Fiesta ST.

    The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge is aimed at competitors who have not previously claimed a Top 10 finish in the Championship. Colin Griffiths currently leads the drivers’ category by a single point from Matthew Hirst with Kalvin Green a further five points back. In the co-drivers’ category Declan Dear holds an 11 point advantage over Mike Ainsworth while Andy Boswell, absent from this event, is in third place.

    Spectators can see the cars in action on the Dyfnant South stage from 08:45 and again from 12:57 and on Gartheiniog West from 10:15 and 14:27.

    More information about the rally is available on the official event web site, www.plainsrally.co.uk and about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC

    -    ENDS   -

    Issued 9th May 2018

    Image Credit Rallysport Media

    Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship

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    Competitors in Wales’s premier rally championship will be in Welshpool this weekend (Saturday 13th May)for round 3 of the series, the Plains Rally. With the opening round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and competitors able to discount their worst result of the season, everything is up for grabs. Indeed, the eventual champions may have yet to score any points.

    That’s good news for defending champions Luke Francis and John H Roberts. The Rhuddlan driver and his Colwyn Bay co-driver John H Roberts find themselves in exactly that position having missed the previous event, Rally North Wales due to car problems. They will be keen to pick up a big points tally this weekend.

    Current championship leaders Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss are not entered for this event so a strong performance for either Llanon driver Dylan Davies or for David Howells could see one of the Subaru Impreza drivers move to the top of the standings. As well as the threat from Francis and Roberts, however, they can expect stiff opposition from Bala based Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall as well as from Lampeter’s Andy Davies partnered by reigning junior co-driving champion Max Freeman.

    Other crews in contention for top honours should include Callum Black and Elliott Edmondson in their R5 specification Ford Fiesta and Keith Parry and Eryl Evans in their Impreza while Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg come fresh from victory on last weekend’s Manx National Rally in their Ford Focus World Rally Car.

    While Andy Davies currently tops the standings in Group N, for less modified cars, a strong performance from Daniel Moss, Wug Utting or James Watkins could see them move to the top of the table.

    We can expect a close fight for two wheel drive championship points as well. Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall currently lead the way but Rudi Lancaster will be looking to keep up his challenge for the title as will another Escort driver, John Rowlands. David Young and Hywel Davies currently make it an all Escort top five but expect Colin Griffiths to try hard to spoil the Ford party in his BMW Compact.

    The battle for junior driver points is set to be between current leader Rhydian Price, in his Ford Focus and Toyota Yaris mounted Ed Fossey while Hannah McKillop, in the Subaru Impreza of Ross Leach, will want to extend her advantage in the junior co-driver category.

    There’s currently a four way tie in the Ravenol Welsh Challenge where points are awarded based on a driver’s performance within their class. Dylan Davies, Ieuan Rowlands, Andy Davies and Rudy Lancaster all currently have 15 points with Hywel Davies just one point back.

    Competitors will leave Welshpool from 8:00am to tackle eight special stages all in the Dyfi Forest complex. Spectator information is available on the event web site, www.plainsrally.co.uk. Information about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship is available on the series web site, www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk, the championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.

    -         Ends     -

    Issued 9th May 2017

    Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship


     

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