Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Rally Championship 

Rallying, Motorsport

  • Gardener Digs In For Wet Weather Win

    Despite heavy overnight rain that produced treacherous conditions for competitors, Shaun Gardener made it back to back maximum points scores in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, leading home the series contenders on the Winner Garage Skoda Wyedean Stages Rally.
    The Ludlow driver and co-driver Ben Innes headed the Championship cars throughout the event in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5.9.2. Second place went to Worcester pairing Paul Davy and Roger Allan in their Subaru Impreza while Andrew Jones and Keaton Williams took their Mark 2 Ford Escort to third.
    Absentees Luke Francis and John H Roberts had already secured the overall driver and co-driver titles but the lower positions were still up for grabs. Sixth place points were just enough for Surrey’s Wug Utting and co-driver Bob Stokoe to claim the overall runner-up spot. Third in the driver standings was secured by Andrew Jones while Mark Glennerster finishes third among the co-drivers.
    While outgoing Group N champions Paul Davy and Roger Allan took maximum points on this event, Utting and Stokoe secured the title for less modified cars. The absent Andy Davies and Max Freeman take second place while completing the drivers’ Group N Championship podium is Simon Dalton. Roger Allan finishes the season as third placed Group N co-driver.
    Andrew Jones takes the two wheel drive honours along with the Vital Equipment junior title for drivers under 25. Rear wheel drive honours go to Flying Kiwi Boyd Kershaw and Tim Cains takes the front wheel drive title. Top two wheel drive co-driver is Caron Tomlinson. He takes the place by just a single point from Richard Crozier while Martin Griffiths and Richard May take rear and front wheel drive honours.
    Rhydian Price and Jake McKenna complete the Junior driver top 3 while Max Freeman heads the Vital Equipment Junior co-driver standings despite missing the rally. Just one point back, in second place, comes Simon Jones who misses out on the title after finishing behind Keaton Williams on the event. Ahead of Williams and third in the end of season standings is Chris Davies.
    McKenna and Price take the drivers’ titles in Class 2 and 3 respectively with Cal McElhinney and Claire Williams heading the class co-driver standings. Bob Vardy and Rhodri Evan are top C lass 4 driver and co-driver while the honours in Class 5 go to Hywel Davies and Richard Crozier.
    In Class 6, it’s Gavin Edwards and Bryan Hull who take the laurels with Colin Griffiths and Emyr Hall picking them up in Class 7. 
    The hotly contested class 8 goes to Dylan Davies who finishes a single point ahead of Simon Thomas, while Mark Williams is top co-driver.
    Despite retiring from this event, Martyn England wins Class WRC1 with Mark Glennerster top co-driver.
    Arwel Jenkins will take the crown as leading Class N3 co-driver while top driver and co-driver in Class N4 are Andy Davies and Max Freeman.
    Speaking after the rally Championship Co-ordinator Dave Evison commented, “I would like to thank all the competitors, event organiser and marshals who have supported us throughout the season. In particular, I would like to thank everyone involved in making the final event of the year a success in very difficult conditions.”
                                                                        -     Ends     -
    Issued 13th November 2016
     Credit for the attached photographs given to rallysportmedia.com
    Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship
  • 2021 Regulations and Registration Live

       The Championship Supplementary Regs can be downloaded from here 

       On-line Registration form can be found here

  • Junior drivers and co-drivers set to benefit from impressive Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship incentives


    Tom Llewellin says that winning a test drive in an R5 car was an “incredible experience” – and that magnificent prize is once again up for grabs to the winning Junior driver in this year’s Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship. 

    The talented Pembrokeshire youngster, who is the son of double British Rally Champion David Llewellin, became Welsh Junior National Champion (as well as the Restruct Two-Wheel Drive and RAVENOL Welsh Challenge champion) in 2019 (which, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, was the last time the series was run).

     Co-driven by Peredur Davies, Llewellin – who drove his Historic-spec Ford Escort Mk2 to Junior title success – won the prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, organised by OnThePaceNote.co.uk.

     All eligible drivers and co-drivers (who must not have previously won the Junior Championship title, be under 25 years of age on 1 January 2021 and use OnThePaceNote route notes supplied directly by them) will also be invited to training days (subject to Welsh government Covid-19 guidelines). Previously, experienced drivers such as Elfyn Evans, Gus Greensmith, Osian Pryce and Jason Pritchard have been guests at these Junior training sessions, passing on their invaluable knowledge via discussions and custom-made practical tests.

    The Junior co-driver prize will be a voucher to spend on any product at Nicky Grist Motorsports. Previously this prize has been an invitation to attend a top FIA World Rally Championship team’s private test session. Owing to Covid-19 restrictions it is not possible to offer this reward in 2021, but it’s hoped the situation will allow the WRC team prize to be available to the winning co-driver in 2022.


    Tom Llewellin, the 2019 Welsh National Junior Rally Champion said: “I cannot recommend the Welsh National Rally Championship enough. I just can’t fault it.


    “The Junior Championship has a very good incentive and to win a test drive in an R5 car was an incredible experience. Philip Case [owner of PCRS Rallysport] sat beside me and walked me through how the car works – and by the end of the day I felt very comfortable driving it at speed. Competing in an R5 car is the next step and where most junior rally driver want to be, so it was an amazing opportunity to get the chance to experience one first hand.

     “The training days were also great – and very beneficial for junior drivers like me who are trying to progress through the sport.

     “We are lucky in Wales to have some of the very best forestry stages in the world. For me just starting out, it was a bonus to be able to compete on such iconic stages without the extra expense of having to travel around the UK. In addition to the great stages, the competition was very good too. There was always a strong field of cars, and without a doubt doing well in the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship puts you on the right road for future success.”


    Craig Parry, OnThePaceNote UK, said: “I’m very proud that 2021 will be the third year that OnThePaceNote has been supporting and working with the Junior drivers and co-drivers in the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship. It’s great to see how the scheme has grown and continues to grow, and we are all working hard to keep that momentum going.

     “I’d like to thank PCRS Rallysport for giving us the chance to offer such a great prize, with a test in their latest spec Hyundai i20 R5 for the overall winning Junior driver – which you have to admit is a fantastic opportunity for a young driver.

     “We had three training sessions planned for 2021, and we’ll run as many as Covid-19 restrictions allow. These training days have proven to be extremely popular, as they concentrate on learning through practical experience, rather than sitting in a classroom and listening. The co-drivers benefit from experienced navigators giving them a better understanding of things like writing pace notes and map reading, while the drivers go out with some of the UK’s most experienced drivers. The feedback we’ve received from Junior crews who have attended these training days has been fantastic.”


    Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary, said: “I’d like to place on the record my thanks to Craig [Parry] and Killian [Duffy] of OnThePaceNote for supporting the Pirelli Welsh National Junior Rally Championship. The Junior prize of a test drive in a Hyundai i20 R5 is a fantastic opportunity for a young driver to experience a modern Rally2 spec car. It’s surely what every up-and-coming rally enthusiast dreams of driving, and I’d also like to extend my thanks to Philip Case at PCRS Rallysport for making it possible.

     “In addition to the Junior prize, the Junior training days have proven to be extremely popular and beneficial to both drivers and co-drivers. A great debt of gratitude goes to the many experienced rally drivers that have willingly given up their valuable time in support of the Junior Programme and have freely passed on their knowledge during the Junior training days.

     “It is also very encouraging to hear Tom Llewellin, the 2019 Welsh National Junior Rally Champion, speak so highly of not only the Junior prize but his positive views on how the Welsh National Rally Championship is an ideal springboard for anyone contemplating a future in the sport.”


    The opening round of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages on Saturday 10 July.

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

    Picture caption
    Tom Llewellin, 2019 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Junior Rally Champion.


  • Record-breaking pre-season entry for the Championship

    Record-breaking pre-season entry for the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship
    This year’s Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship has received a record-breaking number of pre-season registrations – with 155 competitors already lined up to contest the six gravel round series in 2021.
    There is a strong entry in all 14 classes, including the Juniors (with a top prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, courtesy of OnThePaceNote) and the Restruct sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category. The battle for the overall title is poised to be more intense than ever, with 31 powerful W13 class (formerly B13) four-wheel drive cars and six W14 class (WRC/R5/S2000/RCC) cars registered.
    The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge, which recognises the performance of competitors who have yet to finish in the top 10 overall of a Championship round, remains popular with over 50 crews registered.
    The opening round of the 2021 Welsh National Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages on Saturday 10 July, where over 80 registered drivers have had their entries accepted.
    Dave Evison, Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary since 2010, says that the currently level of interest is the result of many years of work to develop the series.
    “We’ve seen the Welsh National Rally Championship grow year on year from around thirty two registrations a decade ago to well over a hundred now,” says Dave.
    “In 2020 Will Rogers joined the team as we looked forward to raising the Championship profile further and it’s all thanks to the hard work of the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs, the individual events and the support we’ve received the from our long term sponsors Pirelli and RAVENOL UK.
    “Over sixty per cent of this year’s pre-season registrations are from returning competitors, which is very pleasing because it shows that we are doing a lot of things right because the competitors have enjoyed the Championship so much that they’ve come back for more. We’re also delighted to see so many new competitors come to the series this year, all of whom have been attracted by the fantastic calendar of events, incentives and the class structure – not least our very buoyant two-wheel drive and junior categories, plus the new road rally class.
    “To see so many competitors registered before the first round, and eighty-four Welsh National Rally Championship registered crews with their entries accepted for the Nicky Grist Stages, is unprecedented. We used to get excited and were very pleased when we had fifty crews contesting a rally, so we are confident that this year’s competition will be the best ever. And given the rich history of the Welsh National Rally Championship, that is really saying something.”
    Some of the drivers registered for this year’s Welsh National Rally Championship include four former champions – Matthew Hirst (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Callum Black (Ford Fiesta R5), Dylan Davies (Škoda Fabia R5) and Paul Walker (Subaru Impreza).

    Also registered is the winner of last December’s Rali Adfer Coedwigoedd Cymru test event and maximum Welsh National Rally Championship points scorer on the 2020 Cambrian Rally, Ian Bainbridge (Škoda Fabia R5), 2019 runner-up Russ Thompson (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Wug Utting (Subaru Impreza STi N12B), Nik Elsmore (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Bob Morgan (Škoda Fabia), David Tomlin (Ford Fiesta R5), Martyn England (who has swapped his Ford Fiesta R5+ for a Mitsubishi Evo 10) and the 2019 Junior champion, Tom Llewellin (who returns in a Mitsubishi Mirage R5).
    There is a strong contingent of two-wheel drive competitors, with Nick Elliott, Ben Friend, Rob Dennis, Pete Littler, Gavin Edwards, Owen McMackin, Philip Clarke, and Jonathan Brace, to name a few, driving Escort Mk2s, while Andrew Davison (Talbot Sunbeam), David Jones (BMW E30), Alan Desbois (Peugeot 306 RWD), Kevin Metcalfe (BMW E30) and Gary Smith (Ford Escort Mk1) are also on the list, while Road Rally experts Ricky Crone and Robi Wood join for the first time.
    The Welsh National Rally Championship has received 13 entries from Ireland, including the exciting Frank Kelly, Paul Barrett, Andrew Bustard and David Crossen who will all drive Escort Mk2s. There are also two registrations from the Isle of Man – Max Bradshaw (Mitsubishi Evo) and Steven Ormond-Smith (Mitsubishi Evo IX).
    There are plenty of quality drivers in other classes too – including Juniors George Lepley (Mitsubishi Evo 10), Ioan Lloyd (Peugeot 208 R2) and Zak Hughes (Renualt Twingo) – who will be looking to improve on his second place finish in the Juniors in 2019. Dave Brick is also back and aiming for more giant-killing performances on his Vauxhall Nova.
    The co-driver registrations are also brimming with experience and talent. Declan Dear, the 2019 champion, is returning, as it Andy Murphy who narrowly missed out on winning the title last time out. Multiple champion Andy Marchbank returns, as does Paul Spooner, Mark Glennerster, Dawn England, Craig Drew, Cliff Simmons, Steve McPhee, Andrew Sankey, Dave Price and many more.
    Further details on the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, together with registration information, can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk.
    2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship calendar
    10 July….Nicky Grist Stages
    14 August….Plains Rally
    4 September…. Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages
    16 October…. Winner Garage ŠKODA Wyedean Rally
    30 October….Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally
    13 November….Rallynuts Stages Rally

    For more information, please contact:
    Paul Evans
    07710 743167 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Picture captions
    Top: Matt Hirst/Declan Dear, 2019 Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions (Mitsubishi Evo 9). Picture by Chris Huish.

    Middle left: Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy, 2019 Pirelli Welsh National Rally runners-up (Mitsubishi Evo 9). Picture by Paul Mitchell.
    Middle right: Nicky Grist Stages podium: 1st Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy;
    2nd Matt Hirst/Declan Dear; 3rd Andrew Davison/Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam) – all three crews are returning to the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship in 2021. Picture by Paul Mitchell.

    Bottom left: Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster testing their Škoda Fabia R5.
    Bottom right: Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas testing their Subaru Impreza.


    Press release: 19 April 2021


    Registrations flood in for the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship – which features a vibrant new class structure designed to attract a wide variety of cars and drivers


    Registrations are flooding in thick and fast for this year’s Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, which will feature 14 different classes catering for a wide and diverse range of cars and drivers – including, by popular demand, a new category for Road Rally cars.


    With points awarded to the top 22 finishers on each round, the battle for the overall Welsh National Rally Championship title is always a very close one – like in 2019, when Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear pipped Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy and Tom Llewellin/Peredur Davies in the race for the coveted crown on the final round.


    The overall champion can come from any class, meaning that a well-driven Escort Mk2 can battle for overall honours against four-wheel drive machinery.


    Every class and all registered competitors are important to the inclusive and friendly Welsh National Rally Championship, and this philosophy has enabled the series to develop a class structure rich in quality and quantity.


    A classic example is the Ravenol Welsh Challenge, which has established itself as one of the top clubman categories within the Welsh National Rally Championship. It is open to competitors in both two- and four-wheel drive cars, who have not finished in the top 10 of a National B (or equivalent) championship gravel event. This very well supported category fits exactly the criteria sponsor Ravenol UK MD Brian Chase was looking for when promoting Ravenol UK to the motorsport fraternity.


    The Restruct sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category has also increased in popularity since its introduction a decade ago. Open to and rewarding crews competing in either front- or rear-wheel drive cars, this category has successfully attracted historic vehicles across into the open class structure. It has proved so successful that a bit of fine-tuning will now see historic vehicles separated within a new class structure to increase the already strong competition, as well as retaining the category’s integrity.


    Registrations have started to flow in from drivers such as Andrew Davison (Talbot Sunbeam) and Gary Smith (Ford Escort Mk1) – as well as a significant number of serious enquiries from Irish rally drivers, including from Frank Kelly in his famous Baby Blue Escort, which bodes well for an exciting Irish presence in the championship.


    Meanwhile Welsh National Rally Championship regular Wug Utting (Subaru Impreza STi N12B) is amongst several registrations in the four-wheel drive classes – and one of the UK’s most experienced co drivers Paul Spooner has registered again in a bid for top honours. 


    A very important element to the Welsh National Rally Championship is the development of talent in the Under 25 section – and in recent years, six championship winning drivers have started in the Junior category. As in 2019, the prize for the winning Welsh National Rally Championship Junior driver is a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, courtesy of OnThePaceNote.


    There is also a new class for Road Rally cars, in an acknowledgement of the increasing number of competitors who would like to try stage rallying without having to go to market and buy another vehicle. Cars will be allowed to run under Motorsport UK stage rally rules for tyres and graphics, and they must conform to both road rally and stage rally regulations. Registrations have also already been received for this class.


    The full list of 14 classes in the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship are:


    W1: 2WD - up to and including 1000cc naturally aspirated

    W2: 2WD - 1001cc to 1400cc 8v naturally aspirated

    W3: 2WD - 1001cc to 1400cc 16v naturally aspirated

    W4: 2WD - all R2 homologated cars / FIA 1000cc turbo and 1600cc

    W5: 2WD - Road Rally cars

    W6: 2WD - Historic Cat 1 (including up to 1600cc category 2, 3 and 4a)

    W7: 2WD - Historic 1601cc and over 8v single cam (category 2, 3 and 4a)

    W8: 2WD - Historic 1601cc and over 16v multi valve (category 2, 3, 4a and 4b up to 1600cc)

    W9: 4WD - Historic category 4b over 1600cc. Complaint to R49.1.5 MSUK Year Book

    W10: 2WD - 1401cc to 1600cc naturally aspirated

    W11: 2WD - 1601cc to 2000cc naturally aspirated

    W12: 2WD - 2001cc and over

    W13: 4WD - all four-wheel drive cars, excluding class W14 and W9

    W14: 4WD - WRC/R5/S2000/RCC cars


    Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary, said: “In response to requests from competitors, we have made some positive changes to the class structure of the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship. With the inclusion of the Road Rally class, and the healthy competition in the popular two-wheel drive category, I believe the balance we have struck will maintain the competition between crews – which is so important to deliver a successful series.”

    The opening round of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship is the Nicky Grist Stages on Saturday 10 July.

    Paul Evans
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Picture caption

    Andrew Davison/Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam). Picture courtesy of Chris Huish, RallySport Media 
    Gary Smith/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort RS 1600 Mk1). Picture courtesy of Chris Huish, RallySport Media
    Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Subaru Impreza STi N12B). Picture courtesy of Chris Huish, RallySport Media
    Damian Cole/Jamie Edwards (Road Rally spec Ford Escort Mk2).