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


  • Black heads Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship field as battle continues on the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages



    Callum Black will be aiming to extend his early lead at the top of the 2021 Motorsport UK
    Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship when Round 2 of the series, the
    Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages, takes plac on Saturday 4 September.
    Black and co-driver Jack Morton won the opening round, the Nicky Grist Stages, in
    their 586 Sports team-prepared Ford Fiesta R5. They go into the next round three
    points ahead of Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins, who will be out to turn the tables in their
    Škoda Fabia R5.

    George Lepley/Tom Woodburn finished third on the opening round in their AMS-
    tuned Mitsubishi Evo X and arrive at the Woodpecker also leading the Welsh Junior
    Championship. With the top Junior driver end-of-season prize of a test in a PCRS
    Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, courtesy of OnThePaceNote, up for grabs,
    Lepley will be keen to extend that advantage – although he will be chased hard by
    the likes of Jason Black/Karl Egan (Toyota Starlet), Gethin Price/Matthew Baddeley
    (Nissan Micra), Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Andrew Whiteley (Mitsubishi Evo III) and Aoife
    Raftery/Dylan Doonan (Ford Fiesta).
    Former Welsh Junior champion Tom Llewellin had a great run on the Nicky Grist
    Stages to come home fourth on his rally debut in a four-wheel drive car. Co-driven by
    Ross Whittock, he’ll be keen to once again get maximum mileage in his Mitsubishi
    Mirage.

    There will also be a number of crews aiming to kick-start their title assaults after a
    difficult start. These include the 2019 Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions
    Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear, who finished 11th on the Nicky Grist after an engine
    misfire and a broken driveshaft in their Mitsubishi Evo IX.
    The 2019 championship runner-up Russ Thompson has already dropped a score
    courtesy of snapping a pair of driveshafts on his Mitsubishi Evo IX. Partnered this
    time by Stephen Link, good results from here on in are essential if he’s to challenge
    for the title this year.

    Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams will be hoping that their Škoda Fabia’s brake issue
    which forced them to non-score last time out are fixed, while the 1990 Woodpecker
    Rally winner Graham Middleton, co-driven by Steven McPhee, is set to make his first
    appearance of the season in his Mitsubishi Mirage.
    David Crossen will be aiming to extend his lead in the Restruct-sponsored Two-
    Wheel Drive category, as well as closing in for the lead of the RAVENOL UK Welsh
    Challenge category. This time the Comber driver will be partnered in his rapid Escort
    Mk2 by Darren Curren.
    Ron Morgan will also contest the event in his newly built Escort Mk2. He’ll be co-
    driven by Marc Clatworthy.

    As always, there is a high calibre of Escorts on the entry list. Paul Barrett/Gordon
    Noble lead the Historic class in their Escort Mk2, while Owen McMackin/Lee Taylor
    and Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham will also be aiming to continue their good starts to
    the season in their Escort Mk2s.

    Having retired from the opening round when their Escort Mk2’s engine cut out,
    Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner will be hoping for better luck on the Woodpecker.
    Likewise, Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons will be aiming to bounce back in their Escort
    Mk2, after a broken differential put them out of the Grist.
    Also expected to go well are the likes of Paul Street/Ian Jones (Escort RS1800 Mk2)
    former Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank (Escort
    Mk2), Ricky Crone/Daniel James (Escort Mk2) and Phil Clarke/Steve Pugh (Escort
    Mk2).
    Having blown the cobwebs off on the Nicky Grist by contesting his first event since
    the 2015 Wyedean Stages Rally, expect Nik Elsmore to be back on the pace in his
    Mitsubishi Evo IX. He had only done three rallies in the last 12 years but, together
    with co-driver Craig Drew, was quickly into his stride – and will be one to keep an
    eye on this time for sure.

    Wug Utting is likely to be more up to speed too. He’d only had a replacement hip
    operation a month before the Nicky Grist, so expect him to be back to his old self
    when he and co-driver Bob Stokoe hit the Woodpecker stages in their Subaru
    Impreza STi N12.

    The Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship launched a new online video service
    on the Nicky Grist Stages, with the first round of the series attracting 272,000 views.
    In response to this fantastic audience figure, experienced motorsport broadcaster
    Sideways Media will increase its ability to capture the very best of the action with five
    cameras on the Woodpecker. It will edit this footage with onboard action and driver
    interviews and expert analysis from Howard Davies and Eifion Jones for an exciting
    new multi-film edited highlights package, dedicated to registered Championship
    contenders in every class, to be broadcast on the Championship’s Facebook and
    YouTube channels in the week after the event.

    Organised by Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club, this year’s non-spectator
    Woodpecker Stages will take place entirely within the Radnor forest complex in
    Powys, and contain 44 stage miles on roads which are in superb condition.
    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.

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

    Images  
    Chris Huish, RallySport Media’


     

  • Callum Black flies to Championship honours on the Nicky Grist Stages

     

     

    Callum Black and co-driver Jack Morton took victory on the opening round of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, the Nicky Grist Stages, winning the Interclub Rally section of the event and finishing an incredible seventh overall in their Ford Fiesta R5.

     

    In his first rally outing for almost two years, and his first in an R5 car for three and a half years, Callum, the 2017 Pirelli Welsh National Rally champion, drove brilliantly to score maximum points on the 44 stage mile event, held on the classic mid-Wales forest stages of Llyn Login, Monument, Halfway and Crychan.

     

    Despite a handling problem in the morning, caused by a broken anti-roll bar, and a spin on SS2, the 586 Sports team driver finished 21 seconds ahead of Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins, who were delighted with the set-up changes they’d made to their Škoda Fabia R5 during lockdown. Ian was a lot faster in the afternoon, when all four stages were repeated – a full 20 seconds faster through Crychan the second time in fact.

     

    Third place went to George Lepley/Tom Woodburn in their AMS-tuned Mitsubishi Evo X. After a very good start, they found the afternoon loop was much more challenging, but did well to stay in touch with the R5 cars. They were also top Welsh Junior crew home – Lepley staking first claim to the top end-of-season prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, courtesy of OnThePaceNote.

     

    It’s the same Junior prize that Tom Llewellin won in 2019, and the former Welsh Junior champion appeared this time in a Mitsubishi Mirage. Together with co-driver Ross Whittock, he made a fantastic four-wheel drive competition debut, and never put a foot wrong as he got valuable miles under his belt on his way to fourth.

     

    Scotland’s Garry Pearson/Niall Burns picked up points for fifth in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. Richard Hill and Elgan Davies were paired together for the first time in their Mitsubishi Evo IX, and the new driver/co-driver partnership worked so well that they caught the car ahead of them on SS4. Their speed continued in the afternoon, coming home sixth, while Gareth Mimnagh/Barry McCarney had a good run to an untroubled seventh place in their Mitsubishi Evo VI – and topped the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge category.

     

    2019 Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear had a nightmare of an opening loop, with an engine misfire on SS1 and 2 and a broken driveshaft on SS3 and 4 in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. Despite this, they showed their class with a brilliant recovery in the afternoon, which rewarded them with 11th at the finish.

     

    Also struggling was the 2019 championship runner-up Russ Thompson, who snapped a pair of driveshafts on his Mitsubishi Evo IX upon landing after a jump on SS2. Having missed two stages, he completed the afternoon’s loop of stages – both for testing and to get seat time with new co-driver Peredur Davies.

     

    Andy Davies/Ian Beamond were having a good run before a TCA broke on their Subaru Impreza.

     

    Bob Morgan’s first rally for three years was hampered a little with his super-smart and self-prepared Škoda Fabia struggling to launch off the start lines. Co-driven by Adrian Williams, the Winner Garage boss was to retire in the afternoon with brake problems.

     

    Wug Utting was sporting a new hip, having had a replacement operation only a month ago. He and co-driver Bob Stokoe were on fine form in their Subaru Impreza STi N12, completing the event without drama. It was also a good debut for Martyn and Dawn England, who, after many years in their Ford Fiesta R5+, had purchased a Mitsubishi Evo X just four days before the event. And they got to the finish without an issue.

     

    It was also great to see Nik Elsmore return to the sport, having only contested three rallies in the last 12 years! On his first event since the 2015 Wyedean Stages Rally, he and co-driver Craig Drew were quickly back up to speed in a Mitsubishi Evo IX, getting used to a sequential gearbox and route notes after a long time away. Elsmore joked that, “it’s a good opportunity to blow plenty of cobwebs away, although the event doesn’t have much faith in us, seeding us at ninety-one.” And he was correct, for he was a second per mile quicker through the stages in the afternoon and came home ninth registered Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship contender.


    David Crossen won the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category, the Irishman finishing eighth with Aileen Kelly on the notes in an Escort Mk2.

     

    Paul Barrett/Gordon Noble were almost a minute behind in their Escort Mk2 – but were nonetheless overjoyed to win the hotly contested Historic class.

     

    Frank Kelly, co-driven by his daughter Lauren, had a tyre come off the rim on SS2 – but their afternoon was a lot better as they came home third 2WD in their famous Baby Blue Escort Mk2. Owen McMackin/Lee Taylor and Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham finished fourth and fifth in the 2WD section in their Escort Mk2s.

     

    Having very kindly donated 500 packets of fabulously moreish Brace’s Welsh Cakes for all the volunteer marshals, Jonathan Brace had a good start to the event – despite picking up a puncture in SS2. Sadly for him and co-driver Paul Spooner, his immaculate Escort Mk2’s engine cut out a mile into the final stage and refused to restart.

     

    Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons also had high hopes of a good result, but their run ended after their Escort Mk2 broke its differential on landing after a crossroads junction.

     

    Paul Street/Ian Jones finished second in the Historic section in their RS1800 Mk2. 2000 Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank and Michael Mcdaid/Daniel Petrie came home third and fourth in a pair of Escort Mk2s, while Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser were fifth Historic home in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4.

     



    Gary Smith/Clive Jones won the private RS1600 Mk1 battle, beating Andrew Stokes/Jonny ‘Tad’ Evans and David Kirby/Martin Corbett. They might have been seeded in the 200s, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more competitive group of drivers – and that battle is set to rage all season.

     

    Also enjoying themselves were Julian Birley/Steve White. They won the RallySport championship 40 years ago in a Talbot Sunbeam Ti, and have returned this year in a 1600cc Sunbeam – having rebuilt the engine, gearbox and rear axle during lockdown. Their preparation efforts paid off, as they recorded a trouble-free W6 class win.

     

    Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams enjoyed a fantastic run in their Peugeot 208 R2, a spin on SS2 not getting in the way of a well-earned W4 class victory. Jonathan Jones/Alan Walker were second in their Fiesta R2, while Charlie Todd/Glyn Thomas completed the top three Welsh Juniors in their Fiesta R2T. Jonathan Lee Jones/Lewis Griffiths gently rolled their Fiesta R2T in Halfway, but sadly a holed radiator meant that they could go no further.

     

    James Dunkley/Dan Sayce won the W2 class in their Vauxhall Corsa. Steve Black/Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift S1400) beat David and Toby Brick (Vauxhall Nova) to the W3 class trophy.

     

    Robi Wood/Osian Davies (Escort Mk2) won the new Road Rally (W5) class, with Ricky Crone/Daniel James (Escort) finishing second and Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuels (Peugeot 206) completing the top three.

     

    David Edwards/Paul Dolby (Escort Mk2) beat Neal James/Kevin Jones (Escort) to the W7 award, while Dan and Cyril Jones (Vauxhall Nova) won W10. On their first forestry rally and their first event outside Ireland, Jason Black/Karl Egan won the W11 class in their rear-wheel drive Toyota Starlet.

     

    “It’s been three and a half years since I last drove an R5 car and almost two years since I’ve done a rally, so it’s been a very enjoyable event and I’m delighted with the result,” said Callum Black.

     

    “It was good to just be back in a rally car – and I was surprised to be right up there and leading the very strong Welsh National Rally Championship section after stage one. Between stage one and two, I noticed that the anti-roll bar had snapped, so I had to disconnect it on the road section. The stability was compromised and the car was trying to get away from me on the faster sections after that, so stages two, three and four were a bit of a challenge.

     

    “The team fixed the car at midday service and after giving it a good go on the first two stages in the afternoon, we decided to bring the car home safely and get through the last two stages without any heroics and take home maximum championship points. I’m very happy with the result and I’m already looking forward to the next event.”

     

    While the Nicky Grist Stages was a non-spectator event, fans could watch live streaming with Howard Davies and Eifion Jones interviewing crews from strategic points along the route. Sideways Media was there to film the action, and it is producing a 30 minute programme dedicated to the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, which will be uploaded onto social media channels as early as possible.

     

    After a 518-day enforced break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it truly was a fantastic opening round to the 2021 Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship.

     

    The series continues on Saturday 4 September with the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages.

     

    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




    Picture captions
    Top: Callum Black/Jack Morton (Ford Fiesta R5) – 1st overall, Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, 2021 Nicky Grist Stages.
    Bottom: Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins (Škoda Fabia R5) – 2nd overall, Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, 2021 Nicky Grist Stages.
    Top Middle: George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (Mitsubishi Evo X) – 3rd overall and 1st Junior, Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, 2021 Nicky Grist Stages.
    Middle : David Crossen/Aileen Kelly (Ford Escort Mk2) – 1st Two-Wheel Drive, Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, 2021 Nicky Grist Stages

    Please credit ‘Chris Huish, RallySport Media’ if reproduced.

     


     

  • 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.





     

  • 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 Škoda 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 Škoda 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 Škoda 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


     


     

  • Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship roars back into action.

     

    After a 518-day enforced break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship roars back into action next weekend. The Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 10 July) will feature one of the largest fields of championship contenders ever gathered, all gunning for points in pursuit of title success.

     

    Covid-19 restrictions have seen motorsport in Wales halted, barring a few exceptions, since the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally on 8 February 2020.

     

    But now, finally, rallying in the Welsh forests is returning – with an unprecedented demand for places on the start list. This level of interest has produced a quality field of drivers and co-drivers and a vast array of cars unlike anything seen for many years.

     

    The inclusive Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship class structure features an incredibly wide range of cars driven by former champions, old rivals, newcomers and juniors. The list features the strongest ever contingent from England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, aiming to beat the proudly patriotic and famously fast Welsh home grown rally talent.

     

    Former Pirelli Welsh National Rally champions preparing for battle are 2019 (and defending) overall title winners Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. They are joined by the 2018 driver champion Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster (Škoda Fabia R5), the 2017 driver champion Callum Black/Michael Gilbey (Ford Fiesta R5) and the 2000 champions Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank (Ford Escort Mk2).

     

    These champions will be under pressure from the likes of Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins, who scored maximum Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship points on the 2020 Cambrian Rally and won last December’s Rali Adfer Coedwigoedd Cymru test event in a Škoda Fabia R5. 2019 championship runners-up Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy (Mitsubishi Evo IX), Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Subaru Impreza STi N12) and Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (Mitsubishi Evo IX) will join the fray. Meanwhile, Martyn and Dawn England have swapped their Ford Fiesta R5+ for a Mitsubishi Evo X.

     

    Also in a new car for this year is the 2019 Welsh Junior champion, Tom Llewellin. Tom, co-driven on this occasion by Ross Whittock, makes his competition debut in a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Mirage. Elsewhere in the field, Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas have exchanged their Mitsubishi for a Subaru Impreza.

     

    With great rallies to learn their skill and the lure of a magnificent prize of a test drive in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5 (courtesy of OnThePaceNote), the Junior category is buoyant again this year. George Lepley/Tom Woodburn will compete in their Mitsubishi Evo X, Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams will move up from the Formula 1000 Junior Championship (and a few great road rally results) to a Peugeot 208 R2, and Zak Hughes/Ian Beamond bring their Renault Twingo R2 Evo.

     

    Other Under-25-year-old hard chargers to look out for include Aoife Raftery/Dylan Doonan (Ford Fiesta), Charlie Todd/Glyn Thomas (Ford Fiesta) and Gethin Price/Matthew Baddeley (Nissan Micra). Lining up alongside will be Jason Black/Karl Egan (Toyota Starlet) and Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Andrew Whiteley, who travel from the Isle of Man in their Mitsubishi Evo III.

     

    The ever-popular Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category has received one of its strongest entries. Nick Elliott/Dave Price, Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner, Steven Ormond-Smith/Matty Daniels and Frank/Lauren Kelly (to name but a few) are all in Ford Escort Mk2s. Andrew Davison/Tom Murphy bring their Talbot Sunbeam, Alan Desbois/Peter Littlefield wheel out their Peugeot 306 RWD, while David Jones/Glyn Price and Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones both appear in BMW E30s.

     

    More than 50 crews are eligible for the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge, which rewards drivers and co-drivers who have yet to finish in the top 10 overall of a Championship round and is open to any competitor in any class.

     

    The Historic classes are very well represented this year, with many of the front-running Two-Wheel Drive category crews in contention for this title as well. In addition to those Escort Mk2 crews already mentioned, others will be piloted by Paul Barrett/Gordon Noble, David Edwards/Paul Dolby, Paul Street/Ian Jones, Phil Clarke/Steve Pugh, Ryan Barrett/Paul McCann, Robert Gough/Keaton Williams, Rob Dennis/Andy Boswell, Richard Lane/Jez Rogers, Michael Mcdaid/Daniel Petrie, Neal James/Kevin Jones and Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons. Gary Smith/Clive Jones, Andrew Stokes/Jonny Tad Evans, and David Kirby/Martin Corbett appear on the opening round in Escort Mk1s, while Julian Birley/Steve White wheel out a Talbot Sunbeam Ti.

     

    The new class for Road Rally spec cars has sparked a lot of interest, with the likes of Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuels (Peugeot 206) and the Escort Mk2 duo of Ricky Crone/Daniel James and Rob Wood/Osian Davies battling for early class honours.

     

    Such is the inclusive class structure of this year’s Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship that a driver and co-driver are likely to be eligible for multiple awards. David and Toby Brick are a great example of this, as the giant-killing Vauxhall Nova crew will be battling for honours in the Overall, RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge, Two-Wheel Drive and Over 50s categories!

     

    “What a fantastic Nicky Grist Stages we have in prospect,” says Dave Evison, Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary.

     

    “With just a few days to go, perhaps it’s time to reflect on the massive undertaking by all stakeholders involved in making this happen. Events of this stature under normal circumstances take up to eighteen months to organise. Add in a pandemic, and the timeframe is the same, but the commitment required over the same period is immeasurable.

     

    “The rally fraternity, though, has responded as only they can with a fantastic entry received in an unbelievable fifteen minutes.

     

    “Event organisers want entries in quality and quantity – they have it! Competitors want competition – they have it! They want fantastic roads – they have them! I can’t wait to see the outcome.”

     

    The Nicky Grist Stages contains 44 stage miles spread over eight stages – with a loop of four gravel tests through Llyn Login, Monument, Halfway and Crychan forests in the morning and repeated in the afternoon following a midday service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd.

     

    Spectators are not permitted to watch in any of the stages nor the service area. Instead, the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship will broadcast live from the event on its Facebook page. Experienced motorsport broadcaster Sideways Media will be filming the action, with driver interviews and expert analysis from Howard Davies and Eifion Jones.

     

    After each round, a 30 minute edited highlights package will be produced, dedicated to the Welsh National Rally Championship runners, and broadcast on the Championship’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

     

    The Plains Rally, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday 14 August, has been cancelled – meaning that the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Championship will now consist of five rounds, with the best four scores to count. Round 2 will now be the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages on Saturday, 4 September.

     

    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

    4 September….Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages

    16 October….Winner Garage ŠKODA Wyedean Rally

    30 October….Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally

    13 November….Rallynuts Stages Rally




     

  • 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.


  • VIBRANT NEW CLASS STRUCTURE FOR 2021

    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).