Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship 

Ford Fiesta R5

  • Garry Pearson and Callum Black go head-to-head for 2021 Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship title on the Rallynuts Stages

    Press release: 5 November 2021 

     

     

     

    Garry Pearson, pictured, and Callum Black will go head-to-head in the battle for the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship title as the 2021 series reaches an exciting climax on the Rallynuts Stages Rally (Saturday 13 November).

     

    Having scored maximum points on the previous two rounds, the Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally and Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, Garry takes a six-point lead into the final round.

     

    With a score to drop towards the final points tally, if Garry and co-driver Niall Burns win again it will give the Asset Alliance Å koda Fabia R5 crew a perfect three maximum score result and their first Welsh title.

     

    If Callum wins and Garry finishes second, they would be tied on points - with Garry winning the tiebreak.

     

    Whilst Callum is currently third in the overall drivers' standings, the 2017 Pirelli Welsh champion could win the title again - but he must finish first or second.

     

    Co-driven by Jack Morton, Callum was the early leader of the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship after taking victory on the opening Nicky Grist Stages. He kept his title hopes alive with a second-place finish in his Pallas Connections-backed Ford Fiesta R5 on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, but his retirement on the Woodpecker could come back to haunt him, especially in a tiebreak situation.

     

    Neither driver has rallied in Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren forests for several years. Callum was last there on the 2017 Wales Rally GB, while Garry hasn't seen them since the 2014 WRGB.

     

    George Lepley, pictured, arrives at the Rallynuts Stages lying second in the overall drivers' standings. But with a second and two thirds the WD-40 Mitsubishi Evo X driver can only add five points to his current total (when taking the lowest score to drop into account) and is therefore unable to win the overall title. Together with Tom Woodburn, George is more than capable of winning the event, especially as the fast and flowing mid-Wales stages will suit his car, and he has already claimed the Pirelli Welsh Junior title and the magnificent prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, courtesy of OnThePaceNote.co.uk

     

    Work commitments prevented Ian Bainbridge, pictured, from contested the last round, but he and co-driver Will Atkins are looking forward to returning to the Welsh forests in their Gypsum Group Å koda Fabia R5. The 2018 Rallynuts Stages was Ian's first forest rally, where he was seeded at number 90 in a Subaru Impreza. His rapid rise through the rallying ranks, particularly since he acquired the Fabia, means that another good result could secure him the Pirelli Welsh runners-up spot.

     

    It's certainly not been the season Matthew Hirst (Delta Salvage Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Russ Thompson (Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo IX) had been hoping for, so the respective 2019 Pirelli Welsh driver champion and runner-up will be aiming to end 2021 on a high. Matthew has been co-driven by Declan Dear all season, while Russ will have Tom Murphy alongside him this time, his third co-driver of the season.

     

    The 2018 Pirelli Welsh driver champion Dylan Davies hit a rock and lost a wheel on the Cambrian Rally and, together with Mark Glennerster on the route notes, will be hoping for better luck this time in his Subaru Impreza.

     

    Perry Gardener/Jack Bowen, who had a fantastic run to fourth on the Woodpecker, return in their Ford Fiesta R5, as do Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Subaru Impreza STi N12b), Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (CDS Taxis Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Martyn and Dawn England (SW Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo X).

     

    Richard Hill/Patrick Cooper (RH Motors Mitsubishi), Saleh Hijazi/Stephen Landen (The Pallet Company Subaru Impreza STi), Keith Jones/Jonny 'Tad' Evans (Grooms Garage Subaru Impreza), Martyn Andrews/Steve Greenhill (Opie Oils Subaru Impreza) and Fraser Martin/Dylan Bargate (Slideways Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 6) will all be aiming to finish the season in style, whilst after a good debut in their new car Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams will be another crew to watch in their Winner Garage Å koda Fabia R5.

     

    David Tomlin, who retired his Axon Ford Fiesta R5 with clutch problems on the Cambrian, will be co-driven by Ian Beamond as his regular navigator Keith Ashley is otherwise engaged as Rallynuts Stages Clerk of the Course and Chief Safety Officer.

     

    There is a good battle for the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge, with several drivers still in contention for the title.

     

    Owen McMackin, pictured, (co-driven by Lee Taylor) currently leads the points standings in his McMackin Plant Hire Escort Mk2, although Ashley Davies (co-driven by Sam Fordham) in his G&B Finch/Burton Power Escort Mk2 and David Crossen (co-driven by Aileen Kelly) in his Crossen Engineering Escort Mk2 could still win the title.

     

    Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Whiteley have travelled from the Isle of Man for every round of this year's Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship and after finishing fourth in the Challenge category on the Cambrian the Manx men will be hoping to end the season with a podium finish in their Renvo8/DB Autos & Sons Mitsubishi Evo III.

     

    There is also a close fight for the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive title.

     

    Owen McMackin leads that category as well, with Ashley Davies,pictured, and David Crossen, pictured below, also able to win. In fact, the latter could win the title with a perfect score of 90 points, having won the class on the Nicky Grist and the Woodpecker.

     

    Having given his immaculate Wales Motorsport-built Restruct Escort Mk2 its debut on the Woodpecker, Two-Wheel Drive class sponsor Ron Morgan will contest the Rallynuts with Marc Clatworthy once again in the co-driver's seat.

     

    Retirement on the Cambrian Rally means that Ioan Lloyd is unable to win the Two-Wheel Drive title, although the fact that he's been challenging for that trophy in his West Wales Rally Spares Peugeot 208 R2 highlights what a talented youngster he is. Co-driven by Sion Williams, the teenager's priority was always the class W3 title, although he is in a race against time to repair his car after hitting a rocky outcrop and breaking a strut last time out.

     

     

    Paul Street/Ian Jones,pictured, lead the highly competitive Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup after a win, a second and a fourth-place finish in their Escort RS1800 Mk2. They can only be beaten to the title by Paul Barrett (Escort Mk2).

     

    Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons finished second in class on the Woodpecker and will be looking to end the season with a Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup win in their Allglass Escort Mk2, although winning the title is beyond them.

     

    Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner (Brace's Bakery Escort Mk2),pictured, Charles Hopkinson/Alan Jones (Black Antler Design Escort RS1800 Mk2), Neal James/Kevin Jones (Mosley Rolling Road/Cwm Engineering Escort Mk2) and Michael McDaid/Declan Casey (McDaid Pharmacy Escort RS1800 Mk2) will also be hoping to end their Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup season with a good result.

     

     

    Robi Wood/Osian Davies must win the Pirelli Welsh Road Rally class in their NIBS/SWG Escort Mk2 to have any chance of winning the title. Leaders Ricky Crone/Daniel James (Escort Mk2),pictured, have one hand on the trophy, after two wins and a second this season and don't even have to finish if Robi doesn't win the class to be crowned champions.

     

     

    Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuel (Pembridge Vehicle Management Peugeot 206GTi),pictured, and Mark Lennox/Rhodri Evens (Lennox Engineering Escort Mk2) have both enjoyed a good season and excelled in the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship's newest class.

     

    Adrian and Matthew Walk will be aiming to secure the W2 title in their PartBOX Ford Ka, having already won the class twice this year.

     

    Steve Black is already the class W3 champion and, co-driven by Paul Morris, the 586 Sports team driver will be out for a bit of giant-killing fun in his rapid Suzuki Swift 1400.

     

    To highlight the vast array of cars that are welcomed into the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship's inclusive class structure, other registered competitors contesting the Rallynuts Stages include Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas (Subaru Impreza), James Dunkley/Dan Sayce (JD Auto Services Vauxhall Corsa), Richard Jordan/James Smith (MG ZR), Conor Tolson/Dylan Thomas (Powerhouse Turbo Garage Ford Fiesta R2), Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones (BMW E30), Rob Wilson/Martin Haggett (Ravenol Ford Fiesta R2), Harry Hunt/Steve McPhee (Ford Escort), Robert Bradley/Kevin Booth (Browns Furniture Ford Escort Mk2), Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox (Fitzgerald Plant Services BMW 325), Paul Lomas/Mark Leader (Plant Speed Ford Escort), Bob Morris/Dil John (Subaru Impreza), Simon Dalton/Jamie Vaughan (Subaru Impreza STi N12b), Steve Hollis/Tim Currie (Volkswagen Golf R), Tom Naylor/Tom Bishop (Ford Fiesta ST), Alan Desbois/Peter Littlefield (RWD Peugeot 306) and Simon and Alex Stanbury in their MG ZR.

     

    Experienced motorsport broadcaster Sideways Media will be at the Rallynuts Stages to capture all the action for a multi-film edited highlights package, dedicated to registered Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship contenders in every class and broadcast on the Championship's Facebook and YouTube channels in the week after the event. In addition, Howard Davies and Eifion Jones will position themselves at passage controls and at the finish where the two former esteemed co-drivers will broadcast live driver interviews and give expert analysis online.

     

    Postponed from its original date in April, this year's Rallynuts Stages Rally on Saturday 13 November will be the 47th running of the event. Voted the best Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship round in 2018 and '19, the Midland Manor Motor Club organised event will follow its now traditional format with six stages and 44 stage miles in Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren forests. Rally HQ, the start, midday service and finish will be at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd.

     

    Spectators are welcome at specific stage locations (but not the service area) and more information can be found on the event's website: rallynutsrally.co.uk.

     

    Further details on the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk.

    Words Paul Evans
    Images Paul Mitchell & Chris Huish. 

     


     

  • Hirst Seals Hat Trick of Wins with Victory on the Plains

    Press release: 22 May 2022
     




     
    Matthew Hirst has made it three wins from three starts in this year's Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship after scoring victory on the Plains Rally (Saturday 21 May).
     
    Co-driven by the soon to be married Declan Dear, Hirst clinched another impressive victory in his Pirelli-shod Delta Salvage Ford Fiesta R5+, this time winning by 1 minute and 25 seconds.
     
    With Hirst's nearest rivals Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster retiring their Å koda Fabia R5+ on the opening stage, he has increased his lead at the top of the drivers' standings to 22 points.
     
    "It certainly wasn't an easy day, with three punctures and a few other headaches along the way," admitted Hirst. 
     
    "The steering rack locked solid just after the podium ceremony, so we were very lucky for it to happen after we'd reached the finish.
     
    "Next up is one of my favourite events, the Nicky Grist Stages - with just the small matter of Dec and Gemma's wedding in between!"
     




    James Giddings, pictured above,  finished second in only his second event in his newly acquired Group N Fordpad Mitsubishi Evo 9. Co-driven by Aled Davies, the former Fiesta ST Trophy and Citroën C2 Challenge champion drove superbly well to eventually get the better of Bob Morgan/Ade Williams - who continue to lead the Ravenol Challenge after an excellent run to the podium in their Winner Garage Å koda Fabia R5+.



    Bob Ceen, pictured above, suffered a puncture on the morning loop of stages, but after that the 2001 and 2015 Welsh champion flew in his 'National spec' Ford Fiesta R5. Co-driven by Shaun Layland, a good afternoon's performance netted a very well earned fifth-place Welsh Championship points finish.
     
    Simon Rogers (co-driven this time by Matthew Baddeley) had a much better run this time out in his Mitsubishi Evo 6. A rear right puncture in the afternoon was nothing compared to what he's had to survive in the previous two rounds, and eighth-placed Welsh Championship points was a just reward.
     
    Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas had a great run in their Green Paw Subaru Impreza. A morning puncture didn't prevent them from finishing ahead of Richard Ceen/Alun Hayward in the 4WD section, although the latter suffered launch control issues in their Ford Focus WRC05.
     
    Benj Ceen/Caron Tomlinson lost over five minutes in SS4 in their MSL-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 and finished down the order, while Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley retired their Axon Ford Fiesta R5 during the morning loop of stages.
     



    Boyd Kershaw/Keegan Rees, above,overcame a few gearbox issues in the morning to score maximum Welsh 2WD class points for the second time this year in their black Flying Kiwi Escort Mk2.
     
    Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones picked up a puncture on the opening stage in their 3-litre BMW E30 but recovered to score second place 2WD points - with the Horsham driver now second in the standings, just five points behind Kershaw.
     
    Matthew Jackson remains third in the 2WD class, and leads class W4, after he and co-driver Sasha Heriot put in another great performance in their MJ Rallying Ford Fiesta R2T
     
    Philip Jones/Ryan Griffiths enjoyed a good run in their Ford Escort and are now fourth in the 2WD section. Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox survived a nervous final road section after their Xwatch Safety Solutions BMW 325 broke a driveshaft on the last stage. 
     
    Michael Sawyer/Gareth Price enjoyed a good day in their 2350cc Datsun 1600, Geoffrey Phelps/Colin Jenkins survived a big moment on SS6 which damaged the steering on their Hartpury Farms Escort Mk2, Matthew Honeyborne/James Curtis recorded their first finish of the season in their BMW 328 Coupe, Clive Price/John Fellowes had to nurse their BMW Compact to the finish and Alun Horn/Ian Beamond enjoyed a great day and survived sliding wide on the final stage to reach the finish in their Ford Escort Mk2.
     
    Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham had been leading the Welsh 2WD class going into the Bala-based event in their Burton Power/G&B Finch/Deranged Trucks Ford Escort RS, but stopped in SS2 - which drops them down to fifth in the standings.

     
     

    One of the stars of the Plains Rally was Matt Edwards,pictured above,  who scored his third straight victory in the Restruct Welsh Historic class W8 and picked up points for fourth overall in the Welsh Championship drivers' standings. Co-driven by Hamish Campbell, the triple British rally champion was simply outstanding once again in his Fiat Abarth 131, winning the 2WD section of the event by exactly a minute. The result also moves Edwards up to second in the overall Welsh driver standings.
     
     

    Michael McDaid/Declan Casey, pictured above, had their best run of the season to date, finishing second in class in their McDaid Pharmacy Escort RS1800 Mk2 - and with that getting themselves onto the list for a chance to win the David Stokes Historic Challenge award for drivers and the Guy Weaver award for co-drivers at the end of the season.
     
     
     
    Robert Gough/Jack Bowen,above, finished third after a textbook drive in their Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2, beating the defending Historic class W8 champions Paul Street/Ian Jones (PJS Marine Escort RS1800 Mk2) to the final Historic podium position by 29 seconds.
     
    Will Onions/Dave Williams (Capital Motorsport Ford Escort Mk2) picked up fifth place Welsh Historic points, ahead of Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Woolacombe Holiday Parks Escort RS1800), while Jonathan Brace/Jamie Vaughan were the first Escort Mk1 home after a great run in their Brace's Bakery RS1600.
     
    Others collecting a good haul of Welsh Championship points were Pete Littler/Sion Cunniff (RED Preparation & Fabrication/Select Security Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2), Philip Clarke/Richard Bonner (Escort Mk2), Ron Morgan/Marc Clatworthy (Wales Motorsport-prepared Restruct Escort Mk2) and Andrew Stokes/Jonny Tad Evans in their Ford Escort Mk1.


    Owen McMackin/Barry Ferris had a frustrating day, which began when their BJT Hire Centre Escort Mk2 dropped onto three cylinders on SS3 and their attempts to nurse it home for a finish failed. Meanwhile, Nick Elliott/Peredur Davies retired their Fiat Abarth 131 on the road section after SS2 with engine problems.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Neal James/Kevin Jones, above, made it three second place finishes in a row in the Historic W7 class and continue to lead the category in their Cwm Engineering Ford Escort. David Lloyd Roberts/Gerallt Davies have closed the gap after winning W7 - despite a misfire in their Ford Escort Mk2 on SS1, spinning the car on SS2 and going off the road on SS3. Peter Hinton/Lewis Sim came home third in class in their Escort Mk2.
     
     

    Julian Birley/Emyr Hall have retaken the lead of the Historic W6 class after taking maximum points for the second time this year in their Talbot Sunbeam Ti 1600. Mark Tugwell/Steve Pugh were hoping to close the gap on the leaders but retired their Lotus Twin Cam engines Metalways Ford Escort Mk1, as did Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh in their 16BAO Rally Team Ford Escort Mk1.
     
     
     
    Liam Griffiths, above, has extended his lead in the OnThePaceNote.co.uk supported Welsh Junior points table to 43.5 points after he and co-driver Andrew Sankey won the category in only the driver's third event in his Discover Parks Ford Fiesta ST. Rory and Paul McCann came home second in their Metalways Hillman Avenger.
     
     
    Hefin Lloyd-Davies, above, scored his second W3 victory of the season to take the class lead. This time he was co-driven by Rich Jones in his rapid Jones Bros Engineering Vauxhall Corsa. Stuart Spyer/Peter Williams finished second in their Vauxhall Corsa, while Freddy and Toby Brick retired their Opel Corsa midway through the afternoon loop of stages.
     
     
    A great run on the Plains saw Brynli Thomas, pictured above score back-to-back wins and take the lead in the Road Rally class, the Peugeot 306 Rallye driver loving forestry events after many years in the lanes.
     
    Another W10 victory, to go with their win on the Rallynuts and second on Rally North Wales, has given Martin Walters/Marie Fletcher a healthy class lead in their Honda Civic. David Forrester scored his first points of the season when he and co-driver Ian Nichols finished second in their Peugeot 205GTi.
     
    Action streamed live from the Knutsford & District Motor Club-organised Plains Rally is available to view at facebook.com/WELSHRALLYCHAMPIONSHIP, with commentary from Howard Davies.
     
    Round 4 of the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship is the Builth Wells-based Nicky Grist Stages on Saturday 9 July, with stages in and around the famous Epynt military range, including the classic Crychan and Halfway forests.
     
    Further details on the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship, together with registration information, can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk
     
    Plains Rally - top 10 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship finishers
    1. Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear (Ford Fiesta R5+).......41mins 30secs
    2. James Giddings/Aled Davies (Mitsubishi Evo 9).......42mins 55secs
    3. Bob Morgan/Ade Williams (Å koda Fabia R5+).......43mins 22secs
    4. Matt Edwards/Hamish Campbell (Fiat Abarth 131).......43mins 38secs
    5. Bob Ceen/Shaun Layland (Ford Fiesta R5).......43mins 52secs
    6. Michael McDaid/Declan Casey (Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2).......44mins 38secs
    7. Robert Gough/Jack Bowen (Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2).......44mins 47secs
    8. Simon Rogers/Matthew Baddeley (Mitsubishi Evo 6).......44mins 50secs
    9. Paul Street/Ian Jones (Ford Escort Mk2).......45mins 16secs
    10. Will Onions/Dave Williams (Ford Escort RS).......45mins 18secs
     
    2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship
    Overall drivers' points after Round 3
    1. Matthew Hirst.......90pts
    2. Matt Edwards.......68pts
    3. Bob Morgan.......66pts
    4. Dylan Davies.......59pts
    5. Bob Ceen.......53pts
    6. James Giddings.......49pts


    For more information please contact: 
    Dave Evison
    Secretary, Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship 
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Paul Evans
    Press Officer, Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship 
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Pictures courtesy of Paul Mitchell. Please credit 'Paul Mitchell Photography' if used.
    paulmitchellphotography@gmail.com
     
     

  • Matthew Hirst wins Rally North Wales and leads the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship






    Matthew Hirst,pictured,  got his challenge for a second Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship drivers' title off to the perfect start by winning the opening round of the 2022 series, the WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales.

     

    Co-driven by Declan Dear, the 2019 champion set the fastest time on six of the eight stages held in Pantperthog, Dyfi, Big Ray and Gartheiniog forests in his Delta Salvage-backed Ford Fiesta R5+.

     

    Having entered the midday service halt in Dolgellau with a one second lead, changing the Pirelli-shod car's suspension set up enabled Hirst to set fastest time on all the afternoon's repeat loop of four stages to stretch his advantage to a 24 second winning margin.

     

    "The morning loop was okay," said Hirst. "The first stage felt good but the time wasn't there, the second stage didn't feel so good but we set fastest time, and then we had a very big moment on stage three so were quite cautious through Garth.

     

    "At midday service we changed the damper clicks and it transformed the car. We were much more competitive in the afternoon and in contrast to the morning we enjoyed a nice clean run.

     

    "It was a top job from everyone in the team this weekend. Dec was on fire on the notes and the car ran faultlessly after all the hard work put in from Gaz and Jim. This result means a lot."

     

    Despite having not driven a top-flight R5 car in competition for two years, and without a pre-event test or shakedown, Dylan Davies, pictured, did brilliantly well to finish second in his Å koda Fabia R5+. Co-driven by Mark Glennerster, tyre management was the main issue of the day as Davies had to juggle tyres front to rear between stages to maximise traction. It meant he couldn't respond when Hirst picked up the pace in the afternoon, yet he was delighted to finish a strong second.

     


    Tom Llewellin/Dale Bowen, pictured, enjoyed an excellent trouble-free run to third in their Brace's Bakery Mitsubishi Mirage. The 2019 Welsh Junior drivers' champion made a cautious start but soon got into a good rhythm and put in a textbook performance for a well-deserved place on the overall podium.

     

    Bob Ceen was contesting his first rally since the 2019 WRGB National, his first Welsh Rally Championship event since 2015, his first ever event in a Ford Fiesta R5+ (having previously rallied a Subaru Impreza WRC) and his first event with co-driver Peredur Davies - yet the 2001 Welsh champion was flying in the Axes Design-backed car and finished a magnificent fourth overall.

     

    He also won the family battle, with Benj Ceen coming home seventh in the Rally North Wales Interclub results (and eighth combined). This too was a very impressive result as it was his first rally in a four-wheel drive car, having swapped his Peugeot 106 Cup car for a mighty Ford Fiesta R5+. Despite the hugely challenging conditions, he and co-driver Dylan Thomas never put a foot wrong and their place in the top 10 was very well deserved.

     

    Richard Ceen/Alun Hayward also reached the finish, although they lost a lot of time with day-long transmission problems which saw their Coedwigaeth Pencelyn Ford Focus WRC05 engine stall at hairpins and refusing to restart in a hurry.

     

    John Caine/Andrew Sankey won the battle of the Subarus with a fantastic drive to sixth in the Phil Price Rally School Impreza. Caine also picks up maximum points in the Ravenol Welsh Challenge.

     

    They secured the position on a tiebreak after Bob Morgan/Ade Williams finished on exactly the same time in their Winner Garage Fabia R5+. A small mistake on SS7 cost them a position after they had to reverse the Å koda out of a ditch, although the car ran faultlessly and has given them a strong start in the Welsh Championship.

     

    A gearbox issue cost Lewers Firth/Shaun Lapper time on the morning loop and they set out in the afternoon aiming for a top 10 finish. This they achieved with flying colours, bringing their Firth Construction Subaru Impreza home eighth in the Interclub section (10th combined).

     

    Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas had a good run in their Green Paw Subaru Impreza, while Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe also had a clean run and finished just outside the Interclub top 10 in their Geoff Jones Motorsport Subaru Impreza N12b.

     

    A sensor on the gearshift kept cutting the engine on Simon Rogers' Mitsubishi Evo 6 and it was such a distraction that it cost him an enormous amount of time in the morning. Once the problem was isolated at midday service, he and co-driver James How were back up to full speed and scored a good result and a pleasing haul of Welsh points.

     

    Josh Taylor/Will Atkins had a good maiden run in the colourful Pro-Bolt Subaru Impreza Nr4, especially after winding the diff up in the afternoon found them more grip, while Paul Davy/Roger Allan retired their Subaru Impreza N12b with a misfire at midday service.

     

    Boyd Kershaw, pictured, had a sensational run to 10th overall on the National event in what was his first rally for six years. The Flying Kiwi admitted to scaring himself on the opening loop of stages and he was convinced that he had a puncture on SS2, which he didn't. He and co-driver Keegan Rees were even faster in the afternoon and won the Welsh 2WD section despite a late fuel pump issue.

     

     

    Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham finished 20 seconds behind after a good run in their Burton Power /G&B Finch/Deranged Trucks Ford Escort RS. A puncture on SS5 cost them time, and after that their priority was to reach the finish and score Welsh Championship points.

     

    Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones finished third in the Welsh 2WD section after a good run in their 3-litre BMW E30. Their morning run was faultless, although a rear puncture two miles from the end of SS6 and a stall at a hairpin on both the penultimate and last stages cost them time.

     

    Geoff Phelps, co-driven by Colin Jenkins in the Hartpury Farms Escort, beat his brother Tim Phelps in his Britpart Ford Escort Mk2 after the latter picked up a rear puncture on SS6. He and co-driver Elwyn Manuel initially drove on the flat, but were forced to stop and change it mid-stage costing them four minutes.

     

    The Restruct Welsh Historic classes, which includes the David Stokes Historic Challenge for drivers and the Guy Weaver Award for co-drivers, has received one of the biggest ever entries - with fantastic class battles played out for early points on Rally North Wales.

     

    Julian Birley/Emyr Hall, pictured,got the defence of their Historic class W6 off to a great start with victory in their Talbot Sunbeam Ti 1600. The last time they were in the Dyfi forest complex it was icy, but the contrasting conditions made little difference to their speed as they flew over the now dry and dusty terrain.




     

    Welsh Junior driver Rory McCann, co-driven by his father Paul, finished second in their Metalways Hillman Avenger.

     

    Less than half a mile into SS1 the Lotus Twin Cam engine in the smart Metalways Ford Escort Mk1 of Mark Tugwell/Steve Pugh started to misfire. They managed to get out of the stage on three cylinders, but with oil in the boot around the dry sump tank their rally was over.

     

    Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh didn't get much further, retiring their 16BAO Rally Team Ford Escort Mk1 with damaged steering on SS2.

     

    Ben Smith,pictured, has taken the early lead in both the Historic class W7 and the OnThePaceNote.co.uk supported Welsh Junior Championship after a "really good day" in the Amigos Ford Escort RS2000 Mk1. Co-driven by his father Steven, he picked up a puncture on SS5 and bent the steering on SS7 but completed an eventful afternoon with a seventh-place finish in the National section of the event.

     

    Neal James/Kevin Jones finished runners-up in class W7 last year and, after an early misfire in their Cwm Engineering Escort Mk2, started the 2022 series with second in class this year.

     

    Gareth Lewis/Ryland James retired their Escort RS2000 Mk1 with clutch problems on the morning loop, Peter Hinton/Lewis Sim retired their Escort on the opening stage, as did David Lloyd Roberts/Gerallt Wyn Davies on the following test.

     

    Matt Edwards, pictured,  won the Rally North Wales National event, finished fifth overall in the National/Interclub combined results and scored maximum points in the hotly contested Historic class W8 after a tough workout in the RSD-prepared Fiat Abarth 131. Co-driven by Hamish Campbell, the three time British Rally Champion said that he'd never done a more physically challenging 45 gravel stage miles. A weld on the front suspension broke early in SS2, which caused the Pirelli tyre to rub on the spring and they had to swap tyres front to rear several times to manage the issue. In the afternoon they hit a massive boulder on SS5 which bent the sump guard, subframe, rack and chassis leg which made the steering so heavy that Hamish had to hold the gearstick in fifth gear as Matt needed both hands to keep the car in a straight line!

     

    Nick Elliott/Dave Robson finished 16 seconds behind in their Truck & Bus Wales & West Escort Mk2, after a puncture on SS5 cost them time.

     

    Roger Chilman/Patrick Walsh finished third having driven consistently the "safe side of quick" all day in their Wales Motorsport-prepared Securcom Escort Mk2. They did however bend a TCA on SS15 and had to complete the event with heavy steering.

     

    Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver damaged the suspension on their Woolacombe Holiday Parks Escort RS1800 after hitting a rock at a hairpin and then a big hole on the next stage during the afternoon loop of stages. They had to nurse the car a little to ensure a finish, picking up valuable fourth placed W8 class points.

     

    Alan Walker/John Connor were happier on harder tyres in the afternoon, although they lost time when the coil lead jumped off twice on the final stage and they had to stop their Escort RS1800 Mk2 and reconnect it. Points for fifth in class W8 were their reward, finishing ahead of Rob Dennis/Andy Boswell in their Team Dennis Escort Mk2.

     

    A rough section of road on SS1 threw Jonathan Brace's brand-new Brace's Bakery Escort RS1600 Mk1 high into the air, which was the last thing he wanted on his Dave Jenkins Motorsport built car's debut. A gamble with different tyres didn't pay off in the afternoon and he and co-driver Paul Spooner, who had been suffering with food poisoning all day, were pleased to reach the finish and score good Welsh points.

     

    Defending Historic class W8 champions Paul Street/Ian Jones lost time with a series of problems in the afternoon, which included smashing a wheel on their PJS Marine Escort RS1800 Mk2, starter motor issues and intercom failure, which saw them overshoot a junction. Despite all this they reached the finish in a points-scoring position.

     

    Gary Smith/Clive Jones finished well in their Escort Mk1, with Andrew Stokes/Jonny Tad Evans just behind in the W8 points in their similar car. The latter felt lucky to reach the finish at all, after all the wheel nuts came off the front left wheel on SS5 and they took one nut off the other three wheels to keep it attached - and it stayed on like that for the final three stages!

     

    Last year's Welsh 2WD drivers' champion Owen McMackin has switched to a Historic-spec BJT Hire Centre Ford Escort Mk2 for this year and his second event in the car turned out to be an eventful one. Co-driven by Dai Roberts, he suffered a misfire on the opening stage (cured by flicking to the second fuel pump) and survived a spin on SS2 and 4. The afternoon wasn't smooth either, as they lost three minutes stopping to change a puncture on SS7.

     

    Philip Clarke/Steven Brown stalled at a hairpin in the morning and recovered to bag some early points. Ron Morgan/Marc Clatworthy had a good run in their stunning Wales Motorsport-built Restruct Escort Mk2, finishing ahead of Steve Ward/Miles Cartwright in an Escort RS1800.

     

    Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons suffered a double puncture in their Allglass Escort Mk2 on the opening stage, ruining what they'd hoped would be a class winning day.

     

    Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank had transmission problems and retired their RED Preparation & Fabrication/Select Security Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2 after midday service.

     

    Will Onions/Dave Williams were forced to stop and change the coil pack on SS5, which put them out of contention. The same stage also saw the retirement of Meirion Evans/David Jones in their Wales Motorsport Escort Mk2. David Kirby/Rhodri Evans suffered a puncture in their Avenue Taxis Escort RS1600 Mk1, which resulted in them running up a bank when they couldn't slow down for a corner. They survived that, only to retire on SS5. Robert Gough/Jack Bowen's run in their Escort RS1600 Mk2 ended with a broken half shaft a third of the way through SS6.

     

    Brothers Liam and Callum Griffiths both finished on the Welsh Junior podium in only their second ever rally. Liam, co-driven by William Lewis in his Discover Parks Ford Fiesta ST, finished second (behind Ben Smith), while Callum and navigator Daniel James were third, having broken a driveshaft on their Presteigne Tyre Services Ford Fiesta ST half a mile from the end of the final stage.

     

    Rory McCann added fourth in the Welsh Junior Championship to his second-place finish in the Historic class W6.

     

    Gethin Price had spent the last two years rebuilding his Keith Price Haulage Nissan Micra, which was now fitted with a competition engine. He and Matthew Baddeley struggled for grip over the morning loop of stages but had a good run to the finish in the afternoon and were rewarded with a nice haul of Welsh Junior points.

     

    Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuel were gutted not to pick up maximum points in the Road Rally class after a fuel leak forced their Pembridge Vehicle Management Peugeot 206GTi into retirement at mid-distance.

     

    Hefin Lloyd-Davies/Rich Jones scored maximum class W3 points in their Jones Bros Engineering Vauxhall Corsa. In their first rally since a big off on last year's Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, they made an understandably cautious start and were delighted with their class victory. Welsh Junior Gethin Price was second in class.

     

    The Brick brothers, Freddy and Toby, hadn't driven their Vauxhall Corsa for several years and were in and out of ditches as they got back in the swing of things. They were going well too, until they stopped in SS5. Stuart Spyer/Peter Williams retired their Vauxhall Corsa on SS3.

     

    Matthew Jackson/Sasha Heriot, pictured, were delighted with their class W4 victory after a great drive in their Ford Fiesta R2T netted them a very impressive 16th overall in the Interclub section of the event.

     

    Jonathan Jones/Osian Owen were second in their Ingospec Ford Fiesta, having successfully driven around intermittent brake problems in the morning, while Tony Simpson/Ian Bevan parked their Seacon UK/Kielder Tools Ford Fiesta by the side of SS2 with the bonnet up.

     

    Dan Jones/Cyril Jones, pictured, have started the defence of their class W10 title well with a win in their Jones Brothers/Bradley Motorsport Vauxhall Nova. Martin Walters had spent the last two years rebuilding his yellow Honda Civic and was contesting his first rally since the 2019 WRGB National. It was a successful return to competition, with he and co-driver Marie Fletcher finishing second in class.

     



    Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox survived a rear puncture on the opening stage, and overtaking a car on the final stage, in their Xwatch Safety Solutions BMW 325 to score good points in both the Ravenol Welsh Challenge and 2WD class.

     

    So too did Michael Sawyer/Gareth Price in their 2350cc Datsun 1600, despite a rear puncture almost forcing them off the road on SS5, Colin Griffiths/Tom Bishop, who finished the event on a punctured rear tyre in their BMW Compact, and David Jones/Glyn Price in their G J Price Transport BMW E30.

     

    Matthew Honeyborne said "don't tell the wife" about the new suspension on his Allweld Engineering BMW 328 Coupe. He might not want Mrs Honeyborne to know about the damage to the exhaust, a puncture on the final stage and the fact that he and co-driver Martin Allwood reached the finish but had gone OTL a few stages earlier!

     

    The live streaming coverage of Rally North Wales, which featured action from two stages and covered all the Welsh Rally Championship crews, is available to view at https://www.facebook.com/WELSHRALLYCHAMPIONSHIP

     

    Pictures courtesy of Paul Mitchell. Please credit 'Paul Mitchell Photography' .
    paulmitchellphotography@gmail.com


    Round 2 of the Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship is the Rallynuts Stages Rally on Saturday 9 April, which is based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd.

     

    Further details on the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship, together with registration information, can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk

     

    WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales - Interclub/National top 10 finishers (combined)

    1. Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear (Ford Fiesta R5+).......43mins 57secs
    2. Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster (SÌŒkoda Fabia R5+).......44mins 21secs
    3. Tom Llewellin/Dale Bowen (Mitsubishi Mirage)....... 45mins 22secs
    4. Robert Ceen/Peredur Davies (Ford Fiesta R5+).......47mins 37secs
    5. Matt Edwards/Hamish Campbell (Fiat Abarth 131)........48mins 19secs
    6. John Caine/Andrew Sankey (Subaru Impreza)....... 48mins 20secs
    7. Bob Morgan/Ade Williams (SÌŒkoda Fabia R5+).......48mins 20secs
    8. Benjamin Ceen/Dylan Thomas (Ford Fiesta R5+).......48mins 28secs
    9. Nick Elliott/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2)....... 48mins 35secs
    10. Lewers Firth/Shaun Lapper (Subaru Impreza).......48mins 45secs

     

    2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship

    Overall drivers' points after Round 1

    1. Matthew Hirst.......30pts
    2. Dylan Davies.......27pts
    3. Tom Llewellin.......25pts
    4. Robert Ceen.......24pts
    5. Matt Edwards.......23pts
    6. John Caine.......22pts

     


     

  • Pearson takes Championship lead after victory on Woodpecker Stages

     

    Garry Pearson has taken the lead in the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship after scoring a stunning victory on the Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally in his Asset Alliance Å koda Fabia R5.

     

    Despite having never contested the event before, he and co-driver Niall Burns led from start to finish, taking a six second lead after the open stage and building it into a 58 second winning margin after all five stages and 44 stage miles through the ultra-fast Radnor forest complex had been completed. It was a near perfect performance in their Dylan Davies Rally car - a spin on SS2 and an overshoot at a junction on SS4 their only minor dramas.

     "It's my first time at the Woodpecker Rally and I couldn't ask for much better to be fair. It didn't feel like we were going very well in the morning, but the times were there," said Garry."We upped our pace in the afternoon and made a couple of small mistakes, but we managed to reach the end and get the result we wanted."

     

    George Lepley moves up to third in the Pirelli Welsh overall drivers' standings and extends his lead in the Pirelli Welsh Junior category after an incredible drive to second on the Woodpecker in his WD-40 Mitsubishi Evo X. The AMS-tuned car had new brakes fitted for the event, which took some bedding in on the opening loop of two stages, and from then on his confidence and speed grew as he and co-driver Tom Woodburn flew to a truly wonderful result.

     

    Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins had expected more grip in Radnor and had gambled with harder suspension on their Gypsum Group Å koda Fabia R5. The result was that the car was impossible to stop on the slippery opening two stages, with overshoots galore putting them down in fourth, over a minute behind Pearson, after two stages. The car was "chalk and cheese" after softer springs had been fitted, and from SS3 on they were able to push hard and finished third - after surviving a very big moment on a jump on SS5. Ian is now second in the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship overall drivers' standings, just one point behind Garry and tied on points with George.

     

    Perry Gardener's first ever event in an R5 car was nothing short of sensational, as he finished fifth overall (4th Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship) in his Ford Fiesta R5. He had a slight scare on SS4 when the oil pressure light came on and he had to stop the car to reset the system, but he pressed on hard and, co-driven by Jack Bowen, never eased off and even gained a position on the final stage.

     

    Richard Hill/Pat Cooper lost almost a minute on SS4 when their RH Motors Mitsubishi Evo IX picked up a puncture. In only their fourth event in the car, they finished a magnificent ninth overall (5th Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship), despite a late engine misfire. The result moves Richard up to fourth in the overall drivers' standings.

     

    Callum Black arrived at the Woodpecker leading the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship, following his victory on the opening Nicky Grist Stages. His Pallas Connections-backed Ford Fiesta R5+ was only geared for 106mph, and the 586 Sports team driver was losing time as the car bounced off the rev limiter in the many flat-out sections. He and co-driver Jack Morton were still second, until they clipped a log and broke the steering arm on SS4. The retirement drops Callum down to seventh in the overall drivers' standings.

     

    All hopes Russ Thompson/Stephen Link had of victory vanished when their Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo IX picked up a puncture on SS2, costing them three minutes. They fought back well to finish 15th.

     

    The 2019 Pirelli Welsh Rally champions Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear were early retirements - a broken gearbox in their Delta Mitsubishi Evo IX ending their run after SS1.

     

    Paul Barrett/Gordon Noble finished an incredible 10th overall (6th Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship) to make it two maximum points scores out of two rounds in the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup.

     

    They finished 43 seconds ahead of Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons who had chased them very hard all day in their similar Allglass-backed Escort Mk2.

     

    Robert Gough/Aled Edwards finished third in the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup in their Escort Mk2. They overtook the car ahead of them on SS2, despite taking too harder compound tyres for the first loop, and then spun and picked up a puncture while running in the dust of another car on SS4 - yet a fine run gives them their first significant points score of the season.

     

    Paul Street remains second in the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup drivers' points table after a strong run in his Escort RS1800 Mk2. Co-driven by Ian Jones, it was only Paul's third event in the car, and he was understandably a lot quicker through the afternoon stages.

     

    Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner had a good run, the rapid Escort Mk2 duo getting their first finish of the season with fifth in the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup section in their Brace's Bakery-backed car.

     

    Rob Dennis/Andrew Boswell had a good return to the forests in their Denwell Coach Hire Escort RS1800 and picked up points for sixth Historic car home. They finished ahead of Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser who overshoot a hairpin on SS2 and picked up a puncture on SS4 in their Mitsubishi Galant VR-4.

     

    Andrew Stokes/James Hedges had a good run in their Escort RS1600 Mk1 - Andrew moving up to fifth on the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup points table. They finished ahead of Michael McDaid/Declan Casey in their Escort RS1800 Mk2.

     

    Ron Morgan enjoyed a magnificent run in his new Wales Motorsport-built Escort. Co-driven by Marc Clatworthy, the immaculate Restruct-sponsored car was a sight to behold, and the Bridgend driver described it as the best Mk2 he'd even driven.

     

    Charles Hopkinson/Alan Jones enjoyed a great run in their Escort RS1800 Mk2 to score another good finish.

     

    There was disappointment for former Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank, who were forced out with a broken driveshaft in their Escort Mk2, while Gary Smith/Clive Jones were leading the H1/2 class on the event by 36 seconds when they retired their Escort Mk1 with a puncture.

     

    It is also two maximum scores from two start for David Crossen in the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category. Partnered by Darren Curren, the Comber driver picked up a number of punctures during the day - the most costly of which saw him do almost all of SS2 with a flat. Yet he finished 18th overall in his Escort Mk2 on what was a sensational first attempt at the Woodpecker. The result also gives David the lead in the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge.

     

    Owen McMackin/Lee Taylor move up to second in the Two-Wheel Drive standings, despite having to wait until the final stage to enjoy their first clean run of the day after brake, confidence and dust issues on the previous four stages in their Escort Mk2.

     

    Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham were having a fantastic run until they misjudged a hairpin on SS4 and put their Escort Mk2 into a ditch for 35 seconds.

     

    Ricky Crone has taken the lead of the Pirelli Welsh Road Rally class after an incredibly close battle. Partnered by Daniel James, the Escort Mk2 driver finished just 14 seconds ahead of Mark Lennox/Rhodri Evans - despite getting held up in dust on SS4, when the car ahead was slowed with a puncture. Mark recovered magnificently well after a costly first loop, when he lost over a minute with brake and handbrake failure on his Lennox Escort Mk2.

     

    Robi Wood had arrived at the Woodpecker leading the Road Rally class, but he and co-driver Osian Davies lost three minutes on SS4 when they stopped their NiBS Escort Mk2 to change a puncture. They still finished third in class, after Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuel had a very difficult run in their Peugeot 205 GTi. The day began by breaking a rear shock absorber on SS2, which they had to run with for the rest of the event. The resulting rough ride contributed to the fuel filler neck coming loose on the second loop, filling the car with fumes, and they finally got blasted with dust after catching a car on the final stage!

     

    Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Whiteley were mightily impressive in their Renvo8/DB Autos & Sons Mitsubishi Evo III. The Isle of Man crew reached the finish despite a difficult last two stages, when firstly the turbo boost pipe came off just a mile into SS4 (which cost them 28 seconds) and then they lost all the brakes on SS5. They have moved up to second in the Pirelli Welsh Junior class and are 11 points behind George Lepley (who has scored two maximums).

     

    Dan Jones/Cyril Jones have taken the lead of class W10 in their Vauxhall Nova. They lost a lot of time when the gear linkage broke on the second corner of the first stage, leaving them in third gear for SS1 and 2. They punctured a tyre halfway through SS4, but still made it to the finish.

     

    Alan Desbois was driving his RWD Peugeot 306 for the first time in two years. Partnered by Peter Littlefield, he overshot a hairpin on the morning loop but otherwise enjoyed a great day.

     

    Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams had a fantastic run in their West Wales Rally Spares Peugeot 208 R2 - winning the R2 class on the day, finishing 22nd overall and scoring two wins out of two in the Pirelli Welsh W4 class.

     

    Jonathan Jones won the award for getting the most amount of dust into a car and maintains his second place in class W4 after a good run (co-driven by Alan Walker) in his Ford Fiesta R2.

     

    Adrian and Matthew Walk won class W2 after a trouble-free run in their PartBOX Ford Ka. James Dunkley (co-driven by  Dan Sayce) finished second after a fine drive in his JD Auto Services Vauxhall Corsa and leads the W2 drivers' standings by two points.

     

    As far as first rallies together go, it didn't start well for Ross Clements/Nick Wilkins when they rolled their MG ZR on SS2. They got going again and finished the event, with Ross scoring his first Pirelli Welsh points of the season.

     

    Martyn Andrews/Steve Greenhill spent a minute in a ditch on SS2 but were impressive after that in their Subaru Impreza, setting a time 1min 36secs quicker through the same stage when it was repeated as SS4.

     

    John Caine/Andrew Sankey enjoyed a good run. Their Subaru Impreza was fitted with a new clutch and they were quickly able to find a good rhythm - with the fast stages suiting both car and driver extremely well.

     

    Ian Baumgart/Dave Robson went straight on at a hairpin on both the opening two stages and arrived at first service with bent suspension. They got that fixed and went well after that in their Subaru Impreza.

     

    Simon Rogers/James How overshot a hairpin on SS2 in their MacWhirter Motorsport-tuned Mitsubishi Evo VI, but otherwise had a good run.

     

    On only his fourth ever rally, Olly Hunt experienced his first mid-stage wheel change when he and co-driver Andy Falconer picked up a puncture on SS4. Olly is certainly learning very quickly, as his performance in his Subaru Impreza highlighted.

     

    Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe were also going well in their Subaru Impreza STi N12, but lost time with a puncture on the final stage.

     

    Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams had a frustrating outing in their Winner Garage Å koda Fabia, as the car kept stalling at every opportunity to begin with and once that was fixed and they were going well they were badly held up and delayed in a slower car's dust. They failed to reach the finish, reportedly stopping with gearbox problems.

     

    There were no such dramas however for Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley, who had a good run in only their second rally in their Axon Fiesta R5 to finish 32nd overall.

     

    Martin Frazer/Dylan Bargate lost the brakes on their Slideways Mitsubishi Evo VI on SS1 and took a stage maximum on SS2. Their woes weren't over, as they had to stop and change a puncture on SS4, meaning that they finished the event running last car on the road.

     

    The returning Nik Elsmore felt less confident on the super-fast Radnor stages and unfortunately he and co-driver Craig Drew were forced out when the fuel pump failed on their CDS Mitsubishi Evo IX on SS4.

     

    Robert Morris/John Dilwyn were going well until the power steering pump caught fire and they were forced to retire their Subaru Impreza STi N14 on the final stage, while Steven Ormond-Smith/Lewis Griffiths reported rolled their Mitsubishi Evo IX near the end of SS4.

     

    Steve Black/Paul Morris retired on SS1 with a broken oil cooler pipe on their 586 Sports Suzuki Swift 1400, while Dave and Toby Brick retired their Vauxhall Nova on the opening stage as well. Geoff Phelps/Daniel Petrie retired their Escort with gearbox problems.

     

    Many drivers were full of praise for the magnificent efforts made by the event organisers, Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club, who had been forced to relocate the service area to Badlands Farm. With very little road mileage, plenty of service time to repair cars and five very challenging stages in the nearby Radnor forest, it really was a fantastic day's rallying.

     

    Sideways Media was there to capture all the action from all five stages, which will be put into a new multi-film edited highlights package featuring competitors from all the classes within the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship. The programmes will be broadcast on the Championship's Facebook and YouTube channels this week.

     

    Round 3 of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship is the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally on Saturday 30 October.

     

    Further details on the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk.

     

    2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship

    Provisional overall driver points after Round 2:

    1. Garry Pearson.......53pts
    2. Ian Bainbridge.......52pts
    3. George Lepley.......52pts
    4. Richard Hill.......45pts
    5. Paul Barrett.......40pts
    6. David Crossen.......38pt
    7. Callum Black.......35pts
    8. Owen McMackin.......29pts
    9. Ashley Davies.......27pts
    10. Ben Friend.......26pts