Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Rally Championship 

Ford Fiesta R5






    This weekend (Sunday 24th June) sees the 2018 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship move into the second half of the season with the Red Kite Stages. The series has generated a record number of entries and a tight battle not only for the overall title but also many of the class honours. 

    The first four rounds of the Championship produced three different winners. Aberangell’s Osian Pryce took the honours on the season opener, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally but it was a very different car from Pryce and Llanfyllin co-driver Dale Furniss’s R5 Mitsubishi Mirage that took top spot on Round 2.Ford Escort stalwart Nick Elliott, partnered by Dave Price took maximum points on Rally North Wales ahead of the Subaru Impreza of Llanon’s Dylan Davies and Caernarfon co-driver Llion Williams while Pryce and Furniss, out this time in a Mark II Escort themselves, retained their Championship lead with a third-place finish.Having crashed out of the lead on the season opener, Matt Edwards from Llysfaen and Darren Garrod of Pwllheli took victory on round 3, the Rallynuts Stages.The duo followed it up with a second victory on round 4, the Plains Rally with fellow former Champions Rhuddlan’s Luke Francis and John H Roberts of Caernarfon taking their Fiesta to second place for the second event running.Consistent finishing, however meant that Davies and Williams had moved to the top of the table, ahead of Edwards and Garrod with Llangefni’s Keith Parry and Eryl Evans of Llanon in third place.


    In Group N, Kalvin Green has been the man on the move, finishing ahead of a number of more powerful cars in his Ford Fiesta ST. That has also made the young Treorchy driver the front runner in the junior category,


    Like the overall standings, the two-wheel drive category has produced a close battle so far this year, with different winners in each of the first four rounds.John Rowlands from Ffestiniog and Glenn Latham of Machynlleth took the honours on round 1 before Nick Elliott and Dave Price made it two out of two for Mark Two Escorts on the second round. It was the front wheel drive Fiesta of Surrey’s Max Utting who took top category points in round three before the Volvo powered Escort of Ieu Rowlands finished top of the tree on round four.


    The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge is aimed at competitors who have never finished in the top 10 of a National B status event and among the drivers setting the pace in the competition are Mitsubishi Evo driver Matthew Hirst, BMW Compact pilot Colin Griffiths and Group N front runner Max Utting. In the co-driver category, top points scorers include Declan Dear, Mike Ainsworth and Geraint Thomas.


    The return to the classic stages of the South Wales Valleys is a welcome prospect for the Championship contenders. Expect some epic battles with Championship points at a premium.


    The two-wheel drive contenders in Sunday’s event, organised by Amman and District Club, leave the start at Resolven Mart Ground from 8:30am with the four-wheel drive event getting underway at 1:00pm. Further spectator information is available at the event web site, www.redkitestages.co.uk while you can find our more about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.


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    Issued 18th June 2018


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

    Credit for the image:- RallySport Media






    Reigning Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Champion Dylan Davies returned to the sport after an eight month lay-off on Sunday (23rd June)and showed he has lost none of the pace that took him to last year’s title.

    Dylan tackled the Red Kite Stages, organised by Amman and District Motor Club, in a hired R5 specification Ford Fiesta. With co-driver Mark Glennerster alongside him he led from the first to the final special stage, overcoming a late scare to take outright victory. The scare came on the final stage when the engine briefly cut out, costing the duo around 10 seconds before they got it fired back up.

    Second place went to Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy following a rally long battle with 2018 Junior Champion Matt Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear. Thompson and Murphy had the upper hand for the opening two stages in their Mitsubishi Evo IX but following the first service halt of the rally Hirst and Dear moved ahead of their rivals and maintained their advantage until the final stage when a puncture on their Mitsubishi dropped them outside the top 10.

    In addition to taking second place, Thompson and Murphy also claimed maximum Group N points ahead of Wug Utting and Bob Stokoe in their Subaru Impreza.


    Third place overall and top honours in the two-wheel drive category, sponsored by Lightning House, went to Steve Bennett and Osian Owen in their Mark II Ford Escort RS1800. Second among the two-wheel drive runners were Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver with Tom Llewellin and Patrick Walsh making it an Escort 1-2-3 while Llewellin was top Junior driver.

    With pre-event championship leader Scott Faulkner absent while his car undergoes some redevelopment work, it is Llewellin who also climbs back to the top of the overall driver standings, seven points ahead of second placed Matt Hirst. Russ Thompson is a further 10 points back in third place while Faulkner slips down to fourth.

    Declan Dear tops the co-drivers’ table, 15 points clear of Jim Lewis with Andy Murphy a further two points back.

    Wug Utting heads the Group N category while Russ Thompson moves past the absent Scott Faulkner and Zak Hughes and into second place. Bob Stokoe is top placed Group N co-driver ahead of Andy Murphy and Gareth Parry.

    Tom Llewellin retains his lead among the two-wheel drive runners, now 21 points clear of fellow Escort driver Chris Powell while Hywel Davies climbs up to third in his Escort. Jim Lewis leads the way among the two-wheel drive co-drivers from Tom Murphy and Simon Jones.

    Llewellin also extends his lead in the Junior driver category, sponsored by OnthePaceNote.com, with Gethin Price and Zak Hughes second and third respectively.

    Tom Murphy leads the Junior co-drivers from Rhys Stoneman who suffered his second successive retirement from a Championship round. Third place is held by Keaton Williams despite his absence at the weekend.

    Tom Llewellin holds a commanding lead in the drivers’ category of the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge with a 51 points advantage over Josh Taylor although only four points separate Taylor from third placed Andy Fox.

    Things are closer in the co-drivers’ section of the Challenge, leader Tom Murphy just nine points clear of Simon Jones and Jessica Hockly a further five points back in third place.

    The next round of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages. The Builth Wells based event takes place on 13th July. You can find put more about the event on the official website, www.nickygriststages.co.uk and about the championship at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.

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    Issued 25th June 2019


    Note to Editors: Image Credit: Paul Lawrence

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





    A dominant performance by Matt Edwards saw the North Wales driver take outright victory on Saturday’s Rallynuts Stages Rally and, with it, maximum points in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. It was Llanon driver Dylan Davies, however, who left the third round of the nine-round series leading the Championship.


    Machynlleth driver Osian Pryce, who led the series after two rounds, sat out Saturday’s Builth Wells based event while top points scorer on round two, Nick Elliott was sidelined on the opening stage with engine problems on his Ford Escort. Edwards took the early lead as he had done on the season opener, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally. While he had crashed out of the lead on the second stage of the earlier event, this time Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod would head the field in their Ford Fiesta all the way to the finish ramp at the Royal Welsh Showground.


    It was another former Welsh Champion, Luke Francis of Rhuddlan and co-driver John H Roberts from Colwyn Bay who followed Edwards home in their WRC specification Fiesta to take second place. Make it a Fiesta 1-2-3, all running on Pirelli tyres, as far as the Championship was concerned was Ruthin driver Hugh Hunter partnered by Rob Fagg.





    Another consistent performance, however, by Dylan Davies and Llion Williams of Caernarfon in their Subaru Impreza was enough to ensure that they moved to the top of the Series standings.

    The Group N category, for less modified machinery, produced a close battle between the Mitsubishi Evo IX of Tom Naughton and Will Rogers, and Paul Davy and Roger Allan in their Subaru Impreza. When a tyre failure put the Worcester duo’s Impreza off the road it was Naughton, from Bury, and Cinderford’s Rogers who claimed top points.


    While Roger Allan retains the lead in the Group N co-drivers category, Fiesta ST driver Kalvin Green tops the drivers’ points table, demoting Paul Davy. The Treorchy driver also heads the junior drivers’ category after closest rivals Matthew Hirst and Zak Hughes both crashed out of the event. While Gareth Parry of Aberystwyth took maximum junior co-drivers’ points, Ludlow’s Keaton Williams, who partnered Bob Vardy in their R2 specification Fiesta, heads the category.


    In the two-wheel drive category, top driver honours went to Max Utting, the Oxfordshire driver bringing his front wheel drive Fiesta home ahead of the ranks of rear wheel drive cars for the first time. Second place went to Swindon duo Rob Dennis and Andrew Boswell in their Mark II Escort with the similar car of Co Tyrone driver Owen McMackin, partnered by Lee Taylor from Llanddarog, finishing third.


    Worcestershire’s Colin Griffiths tops the driver standings in the two-wheel drive category and the BMW pilot also heads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers how have not finished in the top 10 of a National B status event. With Keaton Williams leading the two-wheel drive co-drivers, top of the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge co-drivers is Declan Dear, the Woking based competitor retaining the lead despite crashing out of the event alongside driver Matthew Hirst.


    The next round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Plains Rally. The Welshpool based event, organised by Knutsford and District Motor Club takes place on Saturday 12th May. More information about the Plains Rally can be found on the 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.


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    Issued 08th April 2018

    Credit for the photographs Rallysport Media

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


  • Matt's Deflation Turns to Elation


    Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod overcame late dramas on Saturday’s (1st Sept)Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally to take their fourth victory of the year in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. That win also secured for them a free entry on Wales Rally GB, part of the Road to Wales initiative of IMS, promoters of the British round of the World Rally Championship.

    The Llysfaen driver and his co-driver, from Pwllheli, opened up a 14 second lead on the first of the rally’s seven stages and maintained their advantage all the way to the finish of the event at Ludlow Racecourse. It could have been a different story however, with their Ford Fiesta picking up a puncture on the penultimate stage of the event. They were forced to drive five miles on the deflated tyre with the flailing rubber inflicting significant damage on the car’s bodywork. Despite that they managed to get the Fiesta across the finishing line to take the victory.

    Second place went to former champions Luke Francis, from Rhuddlan and his Colwyn Bay co-driver John H Roberts. They were denied the chance to make a late challenge for victory when they too picked up a puncture on their Fiesta World Rally Car.

    Third place went to West Country husband and wife team Martyn and Dawn England in their R5+ specification Fiesta while Dylan Davies, from Llanon and Caernarvon’s Llion Williams took fourth place in their Subaru Impreza, ensuring that they take a narrow lead into the final round of the Championship.

    Fifth place for Matthew Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear was enough to ensure that the young Mitsubishi Evo IX driver, from Doncaster, takes the 2018 Junior Welsh title for drivers under 23. Group N honours meanwhile went to the similar, but less modified Mitsubishi of Scott Faulkner and Gareth Parry meaning that their Group N title fight with Wug Utting and Bob Stokoe also goes down to the final round.


    Another crew to suffer late drama on the event were Max Utting and Mike Ainsworth. A track control arm on their Ford Fiesta ST snapped on the very last corner of the final stage. The duo managed to effect a makeshift repair and got back to the Ludlow Racecourse finish with just a few seconds to spare. That means that the Surrey driver has clinched this year’s two-wheel drive title although co-driver Mike Ainsworth will have to wait until the season finale to see if he can secure a title of his own.

    Other title fghts to have been settled include the RAVENOL Freelander class which goes to Alex Howard and George Fleming. Perry Gardner, from Ludlow takes the driver’s title in class W2 with Class W3 driver honours go to Stanton Lacy’s Dave Brick. In Class W4 Steve Deeley from Stourbridge and Alan Proudman of Newport in Shropshire take the driver and co-driver titles respectively and the W5 co-driver’s award goes to Hereford’s Alan Jones. Finally, Treorchy’s Kalvin Green takes the Class N3 driver’s title.

    Along with the overall title, Group N title and many of the class awards, the destination of the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for both drivers and co-drivers will not be settled until the final round of the season, the Winner Garage Wyedean Stages Rally which takes place on November 10th.

    The battle for driver honours features Max Utting, Matthew Hirst and Worcester driver Colin Griffiths while Declan Dear, Mike Ainsworth and Geraint Thomas will fight it out among the co-drivers.

    Victory on the Woodpecker secured the BTRDA Gold Star title for Matt Edwards, He currently leads the British Rally Championship and is just five points behind Dylan Davies in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.

    All eyes are now on the Llysfaen driver to see if he can complete an unprecedented Triple Crown.

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    Issued 4th September 2018

    Credit for the images  RallySport Media

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



  • Matt's Plain Finish

    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.

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    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.