Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship 

Wales,

  • 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


  • ACTION FROM ROUND 3 - VISIT CONWAY CAMBRIAN RALLY

     


     

  • Championship unveils the David Stokes Historic Challenge award

     

    This year's Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship will include a new end-of-year award for competitors in the Historic classes and honour one of British rallying's most loved and greatly missed drivers, David Stokes.

     

    The recipient of the David Stokes Historic Challenge award will be a driver who has most impressed the judging panel - which will consist of representatives from the championship, a Welsh Association of Motor Clubs committee member and members of the Stokes family - and be based on a number of criteria including (but not limited to) sportsmanship, unflappable determination, performance improvement and the way in which they promote motorsport in a positive and safe manner.

     

    It's some of the many attributes shown by the competitor to whom this special award is named after. The way the late David Stokes always went rallying. With style, good grace and incredible driving talent.

     

    All drivers registered for the Historic classes of the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship (namely classes W6, W7, W8 and W9) will automatically be eligible for the David Stokes Historic Challenge award - and contenders who finish the 2022 season in the top three positions in each eligible will be considered for the accolade.

     

    There will also be a separate Guy Weaver Award for co-drivers - Guy being David's navigator between 2006-2015.

     

    To the eligible for both the David Stokes Historic Challenge and Guy Weaver awards competitors must:

     

    • Be registered for the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship.

     

    • Display the mandatory championship decals as provided, and display the additional David Stokes Historic Challenge decal, at each championship round.

     

    • Show a measurable improvement in performance and results during the championship year.

     

    • Demonstrate an ability and requisite pace to be competitive at a higher level, and to show a keenness to build on that in the future.

     

    • Show the correct demeanour towards championship personnel, event officials and the award sponsors and to be a good ambassador for the sport should you be selected as the outright winner.

     

    • Present yourself and your vehicle to a standard that reflects well on the driver, co- 
driver, team, championship, and sponsors.

     

    • Show an understanding of the teamwork element of rallying and in conjunction with your driver/co-driver investigate methods of improving your teamwork and thereby performance together.

     

    "I'm absolutely thrilled with the creation of the David Stokes Historic Challenge award and that David's legacy will continue in the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship as Welsh rallying was very close to his heart," said Sue Stokes.

     

    "I will play a very active role in the process of finding a worthy winner of this award and aim to attend as many of the events as possible - to meet old and new friends in our extended motorsport family. I'm delighted to be involved and look forward to working with the Welsh National Rally Championship on this wonderful new initiative."

     

    "We are pleased and excited to announce this very special David Stokes Historic Challenge," added Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship Secretary.

     

    "The challenge will reward competitors who strive to improve and can demonstrate the desire and performance to succeed and enjoy the sport in a positive and safe manner. These characteristics were ably demonstrated by David throughout his many successful decades in the sport."

     

    Further details on the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship can be found online at: wnrc.wamc.org.uk.

     

    For more information, please contact:

     

    Dave Evison

    Secretary, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship

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

     

    Paul Evans

    Press Officer, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship

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

     

    14th January 2022


     

  • 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. 

     


     

  • Garry Pearson extends Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship lead as title battle goes down to the final round

     

     

     

     

    Garry Pearson has increased his lead in the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship after scoring maximum points on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, which is his second series win in a row.

     

    Co-driven by Niall Burns, Garry made a great start in his Asset Alliance Å koda Fabia R5 to establish an early lead which he was able to maintain until the finish, despite a small issue with the car on the afternoon loop of stages.

     

    "We started in the morning with a bit of a push to try and get an early lead, which was just as well because on the fifth stage in the afternoon we hit something and bent the steering," said Garry.

     

    "It got progressively worse, and for the last couple of stages we were forced to back off. But by then we had established a good lead and were able to maintain it until the finish."

     

    The Cambrian Rally proved an extremely challenging event, with recent heavy rain leaving the gravel roads in Gwydir, Penmachno and Alwen forests with a lot of deep standing water and the additional hazard of low sun on both the early morning and late afternoon stages.

     

    But it was a challenge many rose to, including Callum Black, pictured, who got his title challenge back on track with a second-place finish in his Pallas Connections-backed Ford Fiesta R5+. A puncture on SS4, a fast fifth gear brush with a hedge on SS5 and a slight ride up a grassy bank on the final asphalt stage couldn't prevent the 586 Sports team driver and co-driver Jack Morton from scoring a magnificent second podium finish, having netted maximum WNRC points on the opening Nicky Grist Stages. The result moves Callum up to third in the overall drivers' standings and in with a shout of the title.

     

     

    George Lepley also had a great run on the Cambrian. Not only did a superb performance in his WD-40 Mitsubishi Evo X net him a third place WNRC points finish, but he also clinched the Pirelli Welsh Junior title. His reward is a prize of a test in a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Hyundai i20 R5, organised by OnThePaceNote.co.uk. Co-driven by Tom Woodburn, George's fantastic result in North Wales puts him second in the overall drivers' standings, six points behind Garry and 15 points ahead of Cullum.

     

    Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear finished fourth in the WNRC section in their Delta Mitsubishi Evo IX, despite the spare wheel coming loose in the boot on the opening stage and dislodging the diff pump. They also survived a couple of punctures during the afternoon loop of stages.

     

    Jason Black scored his best overall result of the season finishing an incredible fifth in his Toyota Starlet. Co-driven by Karl Egan, he also leads class W11.

     

    Owen McMackin was also in inspired form, finishing sixth overall in his Escort Mk2. Co-driven by Lee Taylor, the result gives Owen the lead of both the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category and the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge.

     

     

     

    Ashley Davies remains second in Two-Wheel Drive category and moves up to second in the Welsh Challenge after he and co-driver Sam Fordham mastered the conditions in their Escort Mk2.

     

    Unfortunately, it wasn't such a good day for David Crossen. Coming into the event leading both categories the Comber driver picked up a puncture on the opening stage and, together with co-driver Aileen Kelly, retired his Escort Mk2 on the afternoon loop.

     

    Paul Street has taken the lead in the hotly contested Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup after scoring maximum points with a controlled drive in his Escort RS1800 Mk2. Partnered by Ian Jones, Paul picked up a puncture and bent a wheel on the opening stage, but a more cautious approach paid dividends after that.

     

    Robert Gough moves up to fourth in the Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup after finishing second (co-driven by Jack Bowen) in his Escort Mk2, which was a magnificent result considering that they have entered the car on the Roger Albert Clark Rally and were keen not to damage it.

     

    Unfortunately, Michael McDaid/Declan Casey retired their Escort RS1800 Mk2 on SS5, which puts an end to their Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup title hopes.

     

     

    Steve Black has clinched the class W3 title after a great drive in his Suzuki Swift 1400. Co-driven by Paul Morris, the 586 Sports team driver was able to ease off in the afternoon when rivals Dave and Toby Brick suffered clutch failure in their Vauxhall Nova

     

    Dan Jones/Cyril Jones have clinched the W10 title after securing their third straight class win in their Vauxhall Nova.

     


    Adrian and Matthew Walk continue to lead W2 in their PartBOX Ford Ka and scored maximum class points on the Cambrian having survived a couple of spins in SS2 when the windscreen misted up and a puncture on SS4.

     

    While Matthew has secured the W2 co-drivers' title, Adrian is in a close battle for the drivers' trophy with Ross Clements who (co-driven by Christopher Lear) enjoyed a good run in his MG ZR.

     

    Ricky Crone has extended his lead in the Pirelli Welsh Road Rally class to five points after he and Daniel James won the category for a second time in a row in their Escort Mk2. Early leaders Robi Wood/Osian Davies remain second in the standings after finishing second on the Cambrian in their Escort Mk2 while third place Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuel could still win the title after another strong performance in their Peugeot 206GTi. Mark Lennox lost time when his Escort Mk2's windscreen misted up on SS1 and he caught a car on SS2. He and co-driver Rhodri Evens recovered well, but their third-place finish leaves them a little short on points to win the title this year.

     

    Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams had a great maiden outing in their new Winner Garage Å koda Fabia R5 to score their first finish of the season, while Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Whiteley reached the finish unscathed in their Renvo8/DB Autos & Sons Mitsubishi Evo III.

     

    The tough terrain contributed to several retirements including Tom Llewellin/Ross Whittock (Brace's Mitsubishi Mirage), Dylan Davies/Dafydd Evans (Subaru Impreza) and Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams (West Wales Rally Spares Peugeot 208 R2) all of whom hit the same outcrop of rock on SS2 which damaged the suspension of each car and forced them into instant retirement. Tom was particularly unlucky as the impact threw the car into a roll.

     

    Russ Thompson/Stephen Link stopped after SS1 when their Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo IX picked up an electrical problem, Harry Gardner/Elliott Graham also retired their Mitsubishi Evo 9 on the opening stage, a severe misfire with their BMW 325's engine forced Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox out on SS2 while that was also as far as Alex Moore/Merfyn Williams got in their Subaru Impreza.

     

    Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley retired their Axon Ford Fiesta R5 with clutch problems on SS4 while Robert Morris/Dil John put their Subaru Impreza off the road on SS5.

     

    With cameras on every stage, Sideways Media will produce a multi-film edited highlights package featuring competitors from all the classes within the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship to be broadcast on the Championship's Facebook and YouTube channels this week.

     

    The final round of the 2021 Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship is the Rallynuts Stages Rally on Saturday 13 November.

     

    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 3:

    1. Garry Pearson.......83pts
    2. George Lepley.......77pts
    3. Callum Black.......62pts
    4. Ian Bainbridge.......52pts
    5. Owen McMackin.......51pts
    6. Ashley Davies.......47pts
    7. Matthew Hirst.......46pts
    8. Richard Hill.......45pts
    9. David Crossen.......43pts
    10. Paul Barrett.......40pts

    Images - Paul Mitchell 
    Press Release - Paul Evans 


     

  • Garry Pearson wins the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship drivers’ title on a tiebreak

    Press release: 14 November 2021

     

     

    Garry Pearson is the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally champion after a stunning fightback on the final two stages of the Rallynuts Stages Rally (Saturday 13 November) saw him clinch the title by the smallest of margins and winning on a tiebreak.

     

    Co-driven by Niall Burns, Garry lost 17 seconds on the opening stage through Myherin when the power steering failed on his Pirelli-shod Asset Alliance Å koda Fabia R5. A nut on the top of the reserve reservoir had come loose which had also caused the windscreen to mist up.

     

    Down in fifth overall and fourth Pirelli Welsh contender, Garry set the fastest time in Sweet Lamb and Hafren to take the Pirelli Welsh lead by the time crews reached mid-day service at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, two seconds ahead of Callum Black and 18 seconds ahead of Ian Bainbridge.

     

    The title looked his, until a right rear puncture halfway through the repeat of Myherin cost Garry almost a minute.

     

    Now 45 seconds behind Callum and 27 seconds behind Ian, Garry needed to finish second to win the Welsh title and with just 13.47 stage miles remaining he launched an incredible fightback.

     

    Garry set the fastest time on SS5 (Sweet Lamb 2) taking 17 seconds out of Ian to set up a thrilling final run through Hafren 2.

     

    In a title or nothing final stage charge, Garry was then 12 seconds faster than Ian to overtake him on the event leaderboard and take second place Pirelli Welsh Championship points by just two seconds - which with Callum taking a maximum score was what Garry needed to be crowned 2021 champion.

     

    It was also cause for celebration for the 2018 Pirelli Welsh driver champion Dylan Davies, who owns, prepares and runs Garry's 2021 title winning Fabia R5.

     

    "It's been one of my most challenging days of my rallying career, from the power steering problem in the morning, driving half of stage four on a puncture and then a fightback on the last two stages in the afternoon," said Garry.

     

    "I took it one event at a time and it's the best year I've ever had in rallying. I'm speechless.

     

    "Credit to Dylan Davies Rallying because they've prepared a good car for us all season. And thanks to Asset Alliance, Pirelli, George Anderson Builders and all the people in the team for pulling together and getting us here."

     

     

     

    Callum, pictured,  needed to score maximum points on the Rallynuts to have a chance of winning the Pirelli Welsh drivers' title for a second time, and 2017 champion did that in spectacular style and also finished second overall on the event.

     

    Co-driven by Tom Woodford, a wrong tyre choice in the morning cost Callum time, particularly on SS2 when the Pallas Connections Ford Fiesta R5 understeered badly through Sweet Lamb. It may have cost Callum the overall rally win, but with Garry picking up the Pirelli Welsh points he needed the rally result didn't cost Callum the Welsh title.

     

    Ian, pictured, drove very well, although the work commitments that restricted his pre-rally preparations ultimately prevented him from setting the stage times that he knew he could. Co-driven by Will Atkins, Ian still finished on the Pirelli Welsh podium in his right-hand drive Gypsum Group Å koda Fabia R5, which was just reward for his gritty performance, particularly through Myherin and Sweet Lamb which he thoroughly enjoyed. The result also sees him finish third in the overall drivers' standings.

     

    Perry Gardener/Jack Bowen finished fourth Pirelli Welsh crew on the Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally, which is where they also finished this time on only their second event in a Ford Fiesta R5.

     

    Russ Thompson (co-driven by Tom Murphy) left his best until the last round and finally enjoyed a trouble-free event (save for an issue with a fuel pump on a road section) in his Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo IX to come home fifth.

     

    He was followed home by Matthew Hirst, pictured below, who also finished a difficult season on a high when he and co-driver Declan Dear enjoyed a clean run, albeit surviving a near roll on the penultimate stage, to the finish in their Delta Salvage Mitsubishi Evo IX.

     

    Matthew finishes fifth in the overall drivers' standings, just behind Welsh Junior George Lepley who didn't start the Rallynuts.

     

    Dylan Davies just missed out on a top 10 Rallynuts finish in a Subaru Impreza he'd only bought the day before the event. In an extraordinary performance, he and Mark Glennerster finished 11th overall in a car that he'd not even had the time to put the characteristic Dylan Davies Rallying team yellow and black coloured decals on!

     

    Bob Morgan is still getting used to his new Winner Garage Å koda Fabia R5 - so much so that when the windscreen wipers came on in Sweet Lamb he couldn't find the switch to turn them off. Despite the distraction, he and co-driver Adrian Williams had a great run and finished 18th overall.

     

    Nik Elsmore finished one place behind in his CDS Taxis Mitsubishi Evo IX. It's been many years since he'd rallied on such slippery stages and the part worn tyres that he was using didn't help him find the required grip. Nevertheless, he and co-driver Rob Flagg enjoyed a good run and a top 20 finish.

     

    Maxx Bradshaw/Liam Whiteley were pleased with their pace and admitted they couldn't have gone any faster over the afternoon stages to record a good finish in their Renvo8/DB Autos & Sons Mitsubishi Evo III.

     

    Martyn and Dawn England lost time with a puncture in the morning but recovered well to score a good result in only their second rally in their SW Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo X,

     

    Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe lost a considerable amount of time on the morning loop with a puncture in Sweet Lamb and another in Hafren, but brought their Subaru Impreza STi N12b home for a strong finish

     

    Despite retiring after multiple punctures on SS2, Owen McMackin, pictured, clinched the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge title, thanks to Ashley Davies (co-driven by Sam Fordham) retiring his G&B Finch/Burton Power Escort Mk2 after the penultimate stage.

     

    David Crossen's chances of winning the title took a dive when he hit a rock, punctured a tyre and bent the steering on his Crossen Engineering Escort Mk2 on SS1. Co-driven by Aileen Kelly, his title hopes finally came to an end when a throttle cable problem saw him take a stage maximum on SS4 and he skipped the last two stages.

     

    Owen also wins the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive title, which gives his navigator Lee Taylor the co-drivers' class trophy.

     

    Paul Street/Ian Jones are confirmed as Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup champions after a great season in their Escort RS1800 Mk2.

     

    Nick Elliott/Dave Price won the category on the day in their Escort Mk2, beating Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons, pictured, who had put gravel suspension on their asphalt Allglass Escort for the event - hence appearing in a white Mk2, rather than their more familiar red Ford.

     

    Michael McDaid enjoyed a good run on his first appearance in the classic mid-Wales forests, with he and co-driver Declan Casey taking a Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup podium in their McDaid Pharmacy Escort RS1800 Mk2 to finish third in the class at the end of the season.

     

    Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner also ended the season on a high in their Brace's Bakery Escort Mk2, while Charles Hopkinson/Alan Jones (Black Antler Design Escort RS1800 Mk2), Neal James/Kevin Jones (Mosley Rolling Road/Cwm Engineering Escort Mk2) and Ron Morgan/Marc Clatworthy (Restruct Escort Mk2) all survived the tricky and often changeable road conditions to score good results.

     

    Ricky Crone/Daniel James (Escort Mk2) are the Pirelli Welsh Road Rally class champions after taking maximum points on the Rallynuts Stages. They had understeer problems on the first loop in their Escort Mk2 but survived to finish the season with a perfect score of 90 points.

     

    Robi Wood/Osian Davies retired their NIBS/SWG Escort Mk2 mid-way through the afternoon, thus ending their title aspirations.

     

    Mark Lennox/Rhodri Evens had a gear linkage problem on the opening stage in their Tec-Nic Motorsport/Lennox Engineering Escort Mk2, but fortunately the problem cured itself. They weren't quite out of the woods, as a problem with the limited slip differential in the afternoon was cause for concern, although they battled on to finish second in class and secure third in the final Pirelli Welsh Road Rally standings.

     

    Graham Thatcher/Tim Samuel hit a compression on SS1 which caused gear selection problems thereafter and despite starting the afternoon loop they retired their Pembridge Vehicle Management Peugeot 206GTi.

     

     Ioan Lloyd/Sion Williams, pictured,  focused on getting a finish and in doing so clinched the W4 title in their West Wales Rally Spares Peugeot 208 R2. In a truly wonderful season the talented teenager also finished fifth in the Welsh Challenge drivers' standings and fourth in the Two-Wheel Drive points table.

     

    Conor Tolson/Dylan Thomas finished runners-up in class W4 after a strong season and a good first visit to Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren forests in their Powerhouse Turbo Garage Ford Fiesta R2.

     

    A perfect score of 90 points also secured Adrian and Matthew Walk the class W2 title in their PartBOX Ford Ka.

     

    It also wasn't the easiest condition for a Corsa, but James Dunkley/Dan Sayce did extremely well to finish second in class in their JD Auto Services Vauxhall, despite having to ease off on the final stage when the sumpguard came loose.

     

     Steve Black put his sensible head on and was also driving for a finish. Co-driven by Paul Morris, the 586 Sports team driver's tactics were rewarded with the class W3 title in his Suzuki Swift 1400.

     

    Elsewhere Simon Dalton/Ryan Griffiths had a good run in their Blendline Subaru Impreza STi N12b, having hit a rock on the inside of a corner on SS3 and narrowly avoided being flung off the road.

     

    Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox had a worrying noise coming from underneath their Fitzgerald Plant Services BMW 325 as they suspected a dislodged propshaft guard, but they survived to reach the finish.

     

    In only his second event after coming out of a six year rally retirement Chris Gittins reached the finish in his 2.8-litre BMW Compact, ably guided by Daniel Jones.

     

    Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas were happy to finish after they hit a hole a mile from the end of the final stage which bent a wheel in their Green Power Subaru Impreza.

     

    Meanwhile Keith Jones/Jonny 'Tad' Evans (Grooms Garage Subaru Impreza), Harry Hunt/Steve McPhee (Ford Escort) and Rob Wilson/Martin Haggett (Ravenol Ford Fiesta R2) were equally delighted to cross the finish line of what had been a very demanding event.

     

    David Tomlin/Ian Beamond broke a wheel on the opening stage and then a tyre came off the rim on SS2. Their afternoon wasn't much better either and they were forced to retire when the power steering on their Axon Ford Fiesta R5 failed on SS4.

     

    Paul Lomas/Mark Leader (Plant Speed Ford Escort) and Alan Desbois/Peter Littlefield (Peugeot 306 RWD) both retired on the morning loop, while despite hitting a rock on SS2 and stopping to change a puncture David Jones/Gwyn Price retired their Tanners Arms BMW E30 in the afternoon.

     

    Further details on the  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 points after Round 4:

     

    Overall driver

    1. Garry Pearson.......87pts
    2. Callum Black.......87pts
    3. Ian Bainbridge.......77pts
    4. George Lepley.......77pts
    5. Matthew Hirst.......63pts
    6. Owen McMackin.......52pts
    7. Perry Garender.......48pts
    8. Ashley Davies.......48pts
    9. Russ Thompson.......47.5pts
    10. Richard Hill.......45pts

     

    Overall co-driver

    1. Niall Burns.......90pts
    2. Will Atkins.......84pts
    3. Declan Dear.......74pts
    4. Jack Bowen.......71pts
    5. Lee Taylor.......66pts
    6. Ian Jones.......54pts
    7. Liam Whiteley.......53pts
    8. Adrian Williams.......48pts
    9. Cliff Simmons.......48pts
    10. Sion Williams.......44pts

     

    Class winners:

     

    Pirelli Welsh Junior

    Driver: George Lepley

    Co-driver: Will Atkins

     

    RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge

    Driver: Owen McMackin

    Co-driver: Jack Bowen

     

    Restruct Two-Wheel Drive

    Driver: Owen McMackin

    Co-driver: Lee Taylor

     

    Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup

    Driver: Paul Street

    Co-driver: Ian Jones

     

    W2 (2WD, 1001cc to 1400cc 8v naturally aspirated)

    Driver: Adrian Walk

    Co-driver: Matt Walk

     

    W3 (2WD, 1001cc to 1400cc 16v naturally aspirated)

    Driver: Steve Black

    Co-driver: Caron Tomlinson

     

    W4 (2WD, all R2 homologated cars / FIA 1000cc turbo and 1600cc)

    Driver: Ioan Lloyd

    Co-driver: Sion Williams

     

    W5 (2WD, Road Rally cars)

    Driver: Ricky Crone

    Co-driver: Daniel James

     

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

    Driver: Julian Birley and Chris Hellings (tied)

     

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

    Driver: Neal James

    Co-driver: Kevin Jones

     

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

    Driver: Paul Street

    Co-driver: Ian Jones

     

    W9 (4WD, Historic category 4b over 1600cc)

    Driver: Tom Coughtrie

     

    W10 (2WD, 1401cc to 1600cc naturally aspirated)

    Driver: Dan Jones

    Co-driver: Cyril Jones

     

    W11 (2WD, 1601cc to 2000cc naturally aspirated)

    Driver: Robert Wilson

    Co-driver: Martin Haggett

     

    W12 (2WD, 2001cc and over)

    Driver: Owen McMackin

    Co-driver: Lee Taylor

     

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

    Driver: George Lepley

    Co-driver: Declan Dear

     

    W14 (4WD, WRC/R5/S2000/RCC cars)

    Driver: Callum Black

    Co-driver: Niall Burns

     

    Pirelli Welsh Over 50

    Driver: Paul Street

    Co-driver: Ian Jones

     


     

  • Hirst hopes for a Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship hat-trick on the Plains

    Press release: 15 May 2022

     

    Matthew Hirst, pictured above, will be targeting an unblemished hat-trick of wins in the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship when he contests the Plains Rally on Saturday 21 May.

     

    Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear have made the perfect Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Championship start by winning both the WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales and Rallynuts Stages in their Pirelli-shod Delta Salvage Ford Fiesta R5+.

     

    Having conquered the famous Pantperthog, Dyfi, Big Ray, Gartheiniog, Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Cwmysgawen forest stages, Hirst hopes his winning streak will continue as he prepares for 44 more stages miles in Aberhirnant, Llangower, Alwen and Clocaenog.

     

    Dylan Davies, pictured below, has been Hirst's nearest rival on both rounds this year and is second in the drivers' standings, six points behind. His Å koda Fabia R5+ hasn't been so sympathetic on tyre wear and a lack of traction has hampered the Llanon driver's progress, but he hopes for improvements as he and co-driver Mark Glennerster aim for their first win of 2022.


     

    Tom Llewellin arrives at the Plains Rally third in the overall drivers' standings. The 2019 Welsh Junior champion's first full season in the Brace's Bakery Mitsubishi Mirage has started well and he's quickly gaining confidence in the car. Dale Bowen, who partnered Tom on the opening round, returns to the co-driver's seat.

     

    James Giddings also had a fantastic result on the Rallynuts in his first appearance 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 should go well on the Plains too.

     

    Bob Morgan, pictured below, has made a great start to the 2022 Welsh Championship and currently leads the Ravenol Challenge and is fifth in the overall drivers' standings in his Winner Garage Å koda Fabia R5+.


     

     

    Benj Ceen has been one of the revelations of the season so far. In only his first year in a four-wheel drive car, the former Renault/Alpine Formula 1 test engineer has scored two fantastic results in his Ford Fiesta R5 and arrives at the Plains Rally sixth in the overall drivers' standings and third in the Ravenol Welsh Challenge. The car is run by MSL (which is owned by Mat Long, who is married to Benj's sister and four-time Welsh Under 25 championship winning co-driver Sarah Ceen) and the results have been achieved despite the car running with an Evo1 spec 32mm restrictor and over 30bhp down on the other Fiesta R5s.

     

    Benj's father Richard Ceen, pictured below, has been troubled by sensor failures and his Ford Focus WRC05 engine stalling at every opportunity this year. With over six minutes lost on the first two events, he hopes that as a former instrumentation engineer he can get the problems fixed to enable him and co-driver Alun Hayward to enjoy a clean run on the Plains.

     

    Richard's slightly younger brother Bob Ceen is having a good season. The 2001 and 2015 Welsh champion has successfully switched from a Subaru Impreza S9 WRC to a right-hand drive 'National spec' Ford Fiesta R5, which has been transformed by MSL and has run faultlessly so far this year.

     

    Simon Rogers/James How will be aiming for a more trouble-free run having driven around several problems so far this year in their Mitsubishi Evo 6, while Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley will be hoping to bounce back from beaching their Axon Ford Fiesta R5 - a simple case of running a bit wide ruining a good run last time out on the Rallynuts Stages.

     

    One of the most experienced drivers in the Welsh field will be Wug Utting,pictured below, who contests the Plains Rally for the 17th time! He'll be co-driven by Bob Stokoe in their Subaru Impreza N12b. Also back in his Green Paw Subaru Impreza will be Paul Walker, this time partnered by Geraint Thomas.

     

    Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham, pictured below, arrive in Bala leading the Welsh 2WD class having finished second on Rally North Wales and first on the Rallynuts in their Burton Power/G&B Finch/Deranged Trucks Ford Escort RS. Boyd Kershaw/Keegan Rees have also won their class this year, but fifth on the Rallynuts sees them five points behind in The Flying Kiwi Escort Mk2.

    Matthew Jackson, pictured below, is third in the 2WD class after two magnificent results in his MJ Rallying Ford Fiesta R2T. He and co-driver Sasha Heriot also lead class W4 in the flying front-wheel drive car.

     

    Kevin Metcalfe, pictured below. (co-driven by Ian Jones) is the top placed BMW driver and is just one point behind Jackson in his 3-litre BMW E30.

     

    Philip Jones/Ryan Griffiths (Ford Escort), Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox (Xwatch Safety Solutions BMW 325), Michael Sawyer/Gareth Price (2350cc Datsun 1600) and Geoff Phelps/Colin Jenkins (Hartpury Farms Escort) will also be aiming for strong 2WD results.

     

    The incredibly close Restruct Welsh Historic class battles will resume on the Plains, with the top three registered finishers in each class giving themselves a chance of winning the end of season David Stokes Historic Challenge for drivers and the Guy Weaver Award for co-drivers' awards.

     

    Matt Edwards/Hamish Campbell, pictured below, head the Historic class W8 after two victories in their Pirelli-shod Fiat Abarth 131. The development work done to improve the RSD-prepared car came good in the afternoon of the Rallynuts Stages, and if that pace and reliability continues on the Plains then the three-time British drivers' champion will be hard to beat.

     

     

    Nick Elliott quickly reacclimatised to his own Fiat Abarth 131 on the Rallynuts, having not driven it in competition for over three and a half years. Now that he's stopped driving it like his Escort RS1800, Nick and co-driver Peredur Davies should be on the pace from the word go this time.

     

    Roger Chilman (Securcom Escort Mk2) lies third in class, just ahead of Rudi Lancaster (co-driven by Guy Weaver in his Woolacombe Holiday Parks Escort RS1800), with Alan Walker (together with John Connor in his JWC Financial Solutions Ford Escort RS1800) fifth. Meirion Evans kick-started his class W8 title challenge when he and co-driver Gwynfor Jones collected third-place points in their Wales Motorsport Escort Mk2 on the Rallynuts.


     

     

    Other crews aiming for their first class W8 podium finish of the year include Robert Gough/Jack Bowen (Escort RS1600 Mk2), Michael McDaid/Declan Casey (McDaid Pharmacy Escort RS1800 Mk2), Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (who were flying in the early part of the Rallynuts in their Allglass Escort Mk2) Will Onions/Dave Williams (who survived a Rallynuts roll in their Capital Motorsport Escort Mk2), Pete Littler/Sion Cunniff (RED Preparation & Fabrication/Select Security Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2), Ron Morgan/Marc Clatworthy (Wales Motorsport-prepared Restruct Escort Mk2), Philip Clarke/Richard Bonner (Escort Mk2), and defending Historic class W8 champions Paul Street/Ian Jones (PJS Marine Escort RS1800 Mk2).

     

    Jonathan Brace (co-driven this time by Jamie Vaughan) heads the RS1600 Mk1 contingent in his Dave Jenkins Motorsport-built Brace's Bakery Escort, with Andrew Stokes/Jonny Tad Evans and David Kirby/Martin Corbett in hot pursuit.

     

    Having finished second in class twice, Neal James/Kevin Jones (Escort Mk2) take a 19 points W7 lead into the Plains Rally. David Roberts/Gerallt Davies won the class on the Rallynuts in their Cwm Engineering Ford Escort Mk2 and Ben and Stephen Smith did likewise on Rally North Wales, while Peter Hinton/Lewis Sim are also capable of winning the class - although head gasket and suspension issues have prevented them scoring a top result this year in their Escort Mk2.

     

    Julian Birley/Emyr Hall (Talbot Sunbeam Ti 1600) have a great opportunity to recapture the lead of the Historic W6 class after missing the Rallynuts.

     

    Rory McCann, co-driven by his father Paul, will also resume their Welsh title battle in their Metalways Hillman Avenger, as will Mark Tugwell/Steve Pugh in their Lotus Twin Cam engines Metalways Ford Escort Mk1 and Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh in their 16BAO Rally Team Ford Escort Mk1.

     

    Liam Griffiths, pictured below, (co-drive this time by Andrew Sankey) will be aiming to extend his 24-point lead at the top of the OnThePaceNote.co.uk supported Welsh Junior points table in his Discover Parks Ford Fiesta ST.

     

    This brother Callum Griffiths finished on the Welsh Junior podium last time out in only his second ever rally and he'll be aiming for another good run with co-driver William Lewis in his Discover Parks Ford Fiesta ST.

     

    Gethin Price/Matthew Baddeley lead class W3, although the gap has been closed thanks to a non-finish last time out in their Keith Price Haulage Nissan Micra. Hefin Lloyd-Davies (co-driven by Rich Jones) returns, having won the class on Rally North Wales in his Jones Bros Engineering Vauxhall Corsa. Meanwhile Dave Brick (Vauxhall Nova) and Freddy Brick (Opel Corsa) will be aiming for their first championship finish of the season.

     

    Having scored maximum Road Rally class points last time out, Brynli Thomas/Steve Griffiths will be looking to take the lead of the category in their Peugeot 306 Rallye.

     

    Martin Walters/Marie Fletcher have made a successful return to rallying after spending the past two years rebuilding their Honda Civic and head to the Plains aiming to extend their class W10 lead.

     

    Organised by Knutsford & District Motor Club, the 2022 Plains Rally will see the first car leave the start ramp at 07.01 on Saturday 21 May from the Penllyn Leisure Centre in Bala. The event will contain two high-speed passes of Aberhirnant, Llangower, Alwen South, Alwen North and Clocaenog forests and after all 10 stages/44 stage miles have been completed the finish will be back in Bala from 15.00.

     

    Spectator information is available at plainsrally.co.uk and on the Sportity app (password: PlainsRallySpectators22).

     

    For those unable to make it to the North Wales forests in person but would still like to watch the event, the action will be live streamed on facebook.com/WELSHRALLYCHAMPIONSHIP with commentary from Howard Davies.

     

    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

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

     

    2022 Plains Rally: top 10 2WD starters
    1. Matt Edwards/Hamish Campbell.......Fiat Abarth 131
    2. Nick Elliott/Peredur Davies.......Fiat Abarth 131
    3. Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis.......Ford Escort RS
    4. Henri Greham/Daniel Petrie.......Ford Escort Mk2
    5. Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons.......Ford Escort Mk2
    6. Will Onions/Dave Williams.......Ford Escort Mk2
    7. Robert Gough/Jack Bowen.......Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2
    8. Sacha Kakad/TBC....... Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2
    9. Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg.......Ford Escort Mk2
    10. Simon Webster/Jez Rogers.......Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2

    2022 Plains Rally: top 10 4WD starters
    401. Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear.......Ford Fiesta R5+
    402. Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster.......Å koda Fabia R5+
    403. Tom Llewellin/Dale Bowen.......Mitsubishi Mirage
    404. David Henderson/Chris Lee.......Ford Fiesta R5
    405. James Giddings/Aled Davies.......Mitsubishi Evo 9
    406. Bob Ceen/Shaun Layland.......Ford Fiesta R5
    407. Bob Morgan/Ade Williams.......Å koda Fabia R5+
    408. Benj Ceen/Caron Tomlinson.......Ford Fiesta R5
    409. Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas.......Subaru Impreza
    411. Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley.......Ford Fiesta R5




  • 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


     


     

  • 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 (Å koda 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 Å koda 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 Å KODA Wyedean Rally

    30 October.......Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally

    13 November.......Rallynuts Stages Rally




     

  • Ravenol UK becomes joint title sponsor of the Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship and increases incentives for clubmen in the Ravenol Welsh Challenge

    Ravenol UK will enhance its involvement within Welsh motorsport this year by becoming joint title sponsor of the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship and increasing its support of the popular Ravenol Welsh Challenge.

     

    Ravenol has been a valuable technical and lubricants partner to Wales' premier forestry rally championship since 2015 and its increased support in 2022 will see wide reaching additional benefits to all registered championship contenders.

     

    In what has become an integral part of the Championship, the Ravenol Welsh Challenge is a category which aims to reward those competitors who deserve it the most, namely the clubmen who have not finished in the top 10 of a National B (or equivalent) championship gravel event.

     

    The Ravenol Welsh Challenge crew which improves most on their seeding at each event will receive £200 worth of Ravenol products of their choice, whilst this year there will also be an overall Ravenol Welsh Challenge winner who will receive a trophy and a cheque for £500 at the end of the season.

     

    Ravenol will also fund the live streaming and online highlights package, ensuring that registered competitors in every class receive unrivalled broadcast coverage for themselves and their sponsors at every qualifying event.

     

    Furthermore, all 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship registered competitors will be offered a generous 15% discount when ordering products via www.Ravenol-direct.uk. This special online offer applies to the entire range of high-performance automotive lubricants including road oils (excluding Bargain Bin items) and can be used by both driver and co-driver.

     

    "Heading into our seventh year of supporting Wales' premier forestry rally championship we are delighted to announce that we are increasing our commitment to the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship," said Brian Chase, Managing Director of Ravenol UK.

     

    "We have always supported the clubman in a variety of motorsport disciplines, and we are proud to develop the Ravenol Welsh Challenge even further by offering an event-by-event incentive and a new overall end-of-season cash reward and trophy.

     

    "As for the Ravenol products themselves, our boffins in Germany have developed some of the most technically advanced lubricants available and which provide a strong, stable viscosity even at higher temperatures whilst substantially reducing the risks of fuel dilution. There is a range of grades specifically intended for all forms of motorsport even at the highest international level and what better way to demonstrate their quality than the Welsh forests."

     

    "We are delighted that Ravenol UK is supporting the Welsh Rally Championship for a seventh year and its increased commitment to the series really is fantastic news for all registered championship contenders," added Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship Secretary.

     

    "Given our long-standing partnership with Ravenol UK, which has grown every year since it commenced in 2015, it is entirely appropriate that the partnership is now recognised within the championship title. As a championship we are proud to have such great relationships with partners like Ravenol UK as it highlights our commitment to continually improve the championship year-on-year."

     

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

     

    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.

     

     

     


     

  • 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 (Å koda 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 (Å koda Fabia R5), 2019 runner-up Russ Thompson (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Wug Utting (Subaru Impreza STi N12B), Nik Elsmore (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Bob Morgan (Å koda 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 Å KODA 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 Å koda Fabia R5.
     
    Bottom right: Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas testing their Subaru Impreza.


  • Star-studded Rally North Wales entry starts the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship in style

     

     

     


    Press release: 21 March 2022

     

    The famous rallying forests of Dyfi and Pantperthog will host the opening round of the 2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship on Saturday 26 March when a star-studded line up of crews battle for victory on the WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales.

     

    The Dolgellau-based event has attracted a fantastic entry featuring former Welsh champions, exciting new driver/car combinations and up and coming young talent aiming for the coveted Welsh Junior title.

     

    One former champion is Matthew Hirst who won Rally North Wales, and the Welsh drivers' title, in 2019. Together with co-driver Declan Dear, Hirst has swapped his Mitsubishi Evo IX for a new Delta Salvage-backed Ford Fiesta R5+. They finished sixth on the recent Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria, so arrive in North Wales match fit and confident.

     

    Dylan Davies also knows how to win Rally North Wales and the Welsh drivers' title too, having done both in 2018. He has since moved from a Subaru Impreza STi N14 to a Å koda Fabia R5+ and together with co-driver Mark Glennerster will be one of the pre-event favourites this time as well.

     

    With the pandemic disrupting two years of his early rally career, Tom Llewellin is aiming to make up for lost time with a big rally campaign on both gravel and asphalt this year. The 2019 Welsh Junior champion is out for overall honours this year and will be partnered by Dale Bowen on Rally North Wales in his Brace's Bakery Mitsubishi Mirage.

     

    Roland Llewellin/Jamie Edwards have swapped their trusty Mitsubishi Evo 10 for a state-of-the-art Hyundai i20 R5 and are set to make their competition debut in the Hyundai Power Products-backed car.

     

    Bob Morgan upgraded to a Å koda Fabia R5+ last year and enjoyed a great maiden outing on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally. Partnered by Ade Williams, the Winner Garage boss will be aiming for a good start to his 2022 Welsh Championship campaign.

     

    So too will Simon Rogers/James How (Mitsubishi Evo 6), Ben Ceen/Caron Tomlinson (Coedwigaeth Pencelyn Ford Fiesta), Richard Ceen/TBA (Coedwigaeth Pencelyn Ford Focus WRC05) and Bob Ceen/Shaun Layland (Axes Design Ford Fiesta R5+).

     

    It's great to see so many Subaru Imprezas out on Rally North Wales, with the likes of Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Geoff Jones Motorsport Subaru Impreza N12b), Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas (Subaru Impreza), Lewers Firth/Shaun Lapper (Firth Construction Subaru Impreza), Paul Davy/Roger Allan (Subaru Impreza N12b), Josh Taylor/Will Atkins (Leaton Consult Subaru Impreza Nr4), Martyn Andrews/Steve Greenhill (Opie Oils Subaru Impreza) and Phil Price Rally School instructor John Caine, pictured who will be co-driven by Andrew Sankey in his hard-charging Subaru Impreza, all aiming for early points.

     

    Brothers Callum and Liam Griffiths go head-to-head in the battle for the OnThePaceNote.co.uk supported Welsh Junior title, each driving a Presteigne Tyre Services backed Ford Fiesta ST. Aiming to follow in their father Nigel's footsteps, Callum will be co-driven by William Lewis, while Liam will be partnered by Motorsport UK elite co-driver Daniel James.

     

    The Junior category is open to any driver and co-driver who hasn't previously won the Junior title and was under 25 years of age on 1 January 2022, regardless of vehicle - which always sees a great variety of cars contesting the class. This year is no exception, with Gethin Price/Matthew Baddeley in their Richard Keith Price Haulage Nissan Micra, Rory McCann, co-driven by his father Paul, coming over from the Isle of Man in their Metalways Hillman Avenger.  

    The Welsh Historic Cup, supported this year by Restruct, has always been extremely popular and this year the category has attracted one of its biggest ever entries.Julian Birley/Emyr Hall are returning to defend their class W6 (2WD, Historic Cat 1, including up to 1600cc category 2, 3 and 4a, cars) title in their Talbot Sunbeam Ti 1600 and will be up against the likes of Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh (16BAO Rally Team Ford Escort Mk1) and Junior driver Rory McCann.

     

    Neal James/Kevin Jones finished runners-up in class W7 (2WD, Historic 1601cc and over 8v single cam cars) last year and are aiming to go one better this season in their Mosely Rolling Road Cwm Engineering Ford Escort. They'll have stiff competition from the likes of David Lloyd Roberts/Gerallt Wyn Davies (Ford Escort Mk2).

     

    Paul Street/Ian Jones are back to defend their class W8 (2WD, Historic 1601cc and over 16v multi valve cars) title in their PJS Marine Escort RS1800 Mk2 and will be pushed hard by the likes of the rapid Michael McDaid/Declan Casey in their McDaid Pharmacy Escort RS1800 Mk2, Roger Chillman/Patrick Walsh in theirSecurcom Escort Mk2 and Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons in the Allglass Anglia Escort Mk2.

     

    Indeed, if you like to see Escort Mk2s driven on the limit this is certainly the place! Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank won the overall Welsh Championship title together in 2000 and team up again in a RED Preparation & Fabrication/Select Security Ford Escort RS1800. Other leading class contenders include Owen McMackin/Dai Robert, Robert Gough/Jack Bowen, Rob Dennis/Andy Boswell, Ron Morgan/Marc Clatworthy, pictured above, in their gorgeous Wales Motorsport-built Restruct Escort and Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver in their Woolacombe Holiday Parks Escort RS1800.

     

    Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner, pictured, have swapped their Mk2 for an immaculate Brace's Bakery Escort Mk1 RS1600 and will make their competition debut in the Dave Jenkins Motorsport built car on Rally North Wales. Also out in Mk1s are Andrew Stokes/Jonny Tad Evans, Gary Smith/Clive Jones and Gareth Lewis/Ryland James.

     

    This will also be the first opportunity for drivers to impress the judges in the David Stokes Historic Challenge and for co-drivers to do likewise in the Guy Weaver Award. These are two new awards for 2022 and open to all Historic class competitors.

     

    Owen McMackin returns to defend his Welsh 2WD drivers' title in his rapid BJT Hire Centre Ford Escort. Some of the many others battling for his hotly contested class award include Philip Jones/Ryan Griffiths (Ford Escort), Colin Griffiths/Tom Bishop (BMW Compact), Alun Horn/Ian Beamond (Ford Escort), Tim Phelps/Elwyn Manuel (Britpart Ford Escort Mk2), Boyd Kershaw/Keegan Rees (Flying Kiwi Rally Team Ford Escort), Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones (BMW E30), Peter Hinton/Lewis Sim (Ford Escort) and Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham (Burton Power /G&B Finch/Deranged Trucks Ford Escort RS).

     

    Graham Thatcher, pictured, has done a lot of development work over the winter months, particularly to the suspension and handling, on his Pembridge Vehicle Management Peugeot 206GTi, as he and co-driver Tim Samuel begin their assault on the Road Rally class title.

     

    Stuart Spyer/Peter Williams (SG Motorsport Vauxhall Corsa), Hefin Lloyd-Davies/Rich Jones (Jones Bros Ruthin-Civil Engineering UK Vauxhall Corsa), Freddy Brick/Toby Brick (TNT Tyres Vauxhall Corsa) and Junior Gethin Price will be the early runners in class W3 (for 2WD, 1001cc to 1400cc 16v naturally aspirated cars), while Tony Simpson/Ian Bevan (Seacon UK/Kielder Tools Ford Fiesta), Jonathan Jones/Jez Rogers (Ingospec Aluminum Ford Fiesta R2) and Matthew Jackson/Sasha Heriot (Ford Fiesta R2T) will be fighting for the advantage in class W4 (2WD, R2 homologated cars / FIA 1000cc turbo and 1600cc cars).

     

    Dan Jones/Cyril Jones are back to defend their class W10 title (2WD, 1401cc to 1600cc naturally aspirated cars) in their rapid Jones Brothers/Bradley Motorsport Vauxhall Nova and will face strong competition from the likes of Martin Walters/Marie Fletcher (Honda Civic).

     

    The Ravenol Welsh Challenge, which recognises the performance of competitors who have yet to finish in the top 10 overall of a Welsh Championship round, continues to be one of the most popular clubman categories in the series and it has once again attracted a fantastic entry. Many of the aforementioned crews are eligible for the award, plus the likes of Matthew Honeyborne/Martin Allwood (Allweld Engineering BMW 328 Coupe), Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox (Xwatch Safety Solutions BMW 325) and David Jones/Glyn Price (G J Price Transport BMW E30).

     

    Dave Evison, Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship Secretary, said: "It is fantastic to see a full entry for this year's opening round of the series, Rally North Wales. It rewards the event's move to Dolgellau, which enables the organisers to run a very compact event including fantastic stages with very little road mileage - a format that has proven to be very popular with competitors. More entries to events equals more contenders to the Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship and with registration numbers increasing daily the Championship is on course to maintain the growth its achieved since 2010. This is great news for competitors, the Championship and its sponsors."

     

    Sideways Media will attend every round of the Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship and livestream all the action from the very best viewing points on the stages and ensure that every registered competitor is featured. With Howard Davies on the microphone, the broadcasts will be streamed live on the Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship's Facebook and YouTube channels, where fans can watch the action live or after the event.

     

    Organised by Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Car Club, this year's WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales contains two loops of four stages totalling 45 competitive miles through the iconic Dyfi and Pantperthog forest complex stages. The event will start at 08.31 from Gwyndaf Evans Motors in Dolgellau, with the first car reaching the finish at the Dolgellau Farmers Mart (home to the centralised service area) at 15.00.

     

    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

     

    2022 Motorsport UK Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship calendar

    26 March....... WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales

    9 April.......Rallynuts Stages Rally

    21 May.......Plains Rally

    9 July.......Nicky Grist Stages

    3 September....... Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally

    15 October....... Winner Garage Å koda Wyedean Rally

    29 October.......Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally

    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

     

     


     

  • Top three drivers separated by two points as battle for the 2021 Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship heads to North Wales

     

     

    Just two points separate the top three drivers at the top of the 2021 Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship standings with series leader Garry Pearson, Ian Bainbridge and George Lepley heading to Llandudno for the penultimate round of the series, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally (Saturday 30 October).

     

    Pearson (pictured) arrives in North Wales with a one point lead after he and co-driver Niall Burns won the Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally in their Asset Alliance Å koda Fabia R5. Despite fierce and experienced opposition, their first attempt at the event saw them lead from start to finish and they will be looking for nothing less than maximum points again.

     

    "I've only done the Cambrian Rally once and that was in 2014 in a Peugeot 208 R2," says Pearson.

     

    "It's only going to be my second event in Wales in an R5 car, so I'm looking forward to it. I've not got a lot of experience of the North Wales forests, but it will nevertheless be a case of opening the throttle and going for it. We're going to give it our all."



    Bainbridge is enjoying a great season too, having finished second on the opening Nicky Grist Stages and third on the Woodpecker. His last appearance in North Wales saw him win the Rali Adfer Coedwigoedd Cymru (December 2020) in Gorsedd Bran forest, and he has improved the performance and handling of his Gypsum Group Å koda Fabia R5 considerably since then - leaving him and co-driver Will Atkins, who leads the overall co-drivers' standings, as potential Cambrian Rally winners.

     
    George Lepley (pictured) finished third on the opening Nicky Grist Stages and second on the Woodpecker and also leads the Pirelli Welsh Junior category. Co-driven by Tom Woodburn, the WD-40 Mitsubishi Evo X driver is on incredible form this year and will be looking for another podium finish on the Cambrian to strengthen is double title hopes.

     

    Callum Black (pictured) led the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship after victory on the Nicky Grist Stages but a DNF on the Woodpecker has dropped him down to seventh. But with three scores from four events to count the 586 Sports team driver is still very much in contention but will need another good result this time out. Callum will be co-driven by Jack Morton in their Pallas Connections-backed Ford Fiesta R5+.

    Also challenging for the top step of the podium will be the 2019 Pirelli Welsh Rally champions Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear in their Delta Mitsubishi Evo IX, Russ Thompson/Stephen Link in their Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo IX and the 2019 Welsh Junior champion Tom Llewellin who, with co-driver Ross Whittock, will contest only his second rally in a Mitsubishi Mirage, having finished fourth first time out on the Nicky Grist Stages.

     

     

    David Crossen is enjoying a magnificent season in his Escort Mk2 as he heads to North Wales looking for this third straight win in the Restruct-sponsored Two-Wheel Drive category. The Comber driver also leads the RAVENOL UK Welsh Challenge and will be co-driven on the Cambrian by Aileen Kelly.

    Ashley Davies is currently second in the Welsh Challenge and, partnered by Sam Fordham, will be aiming to close the five point gap in his Escort Mk2.

    Having finished third on both the previous rounds, Owen McMackin is second in the Two-Wheel Drive standings, just 10 points behind in his Escort Mk2. He will be co-driven by Lee Taylor.

     

    Ioan Lloyd(Pictured) is third in both the Two-Wheel Drive and Welsh Challenge classes after a magnificent season in his West Wales Rally Spares Peugeot 208 R2. Co-driven by Sion Williams, the youngster also leads W4 after winning the class twice, while Jonathan Jones (co-driven by Alan Walker) is close behind having finished second twice in his Ford Fiesta R2.

     

    Paul Street(pictured) has a great opportunity to take the lead in the hotly contested Pirelli Welsh Historic Cup. He's currently second in the drivers' points table and enjoying a great season in his Escort RS1800 Mk2, while his navigator Ian Jones leads the co-drivers' category.

     

    They'll be pushed hard by the likes of Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser (pictured) in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4 and Michael McDaid/Declan Casey and Robert Gough/Aled Edwards in a pair of Escort RS1800 Mk2s.

     

    Steve Black(above) leads class W3 in his 586 Sports Suzuki Swift 1400 and he and co-driver Paul Morris will be hoping to bounce back from an early retirement on the Woodpecker with a good result. That DNF has allowed Dave Brick to close up in his Vauxhall Nova and together with Toby Brick on the route notes the battle for the class title will be intense.

     

    Maxx Bradshaw will be aiming to close the 11 point gap on Lepley in the Pirelli Welsh Junior category, and together with co-driver Liam Whiteley brings his Renvo8/DB Autos & Sons Mitsubishi Evo III over from the Isle of Man.

     

    Ricky Crone is just two points ahead of Robi Wood in the Pirelli Welsh Road Rally class in a pair of Escort Mk2s, while Graham Thatcher is a close third in his Peugeot 206GTi. Co-driven by Daniel James, Osian Davies and Tim Samuel respectively, their battle for the newest class title will continue.

     

    Adrian and Matthew Walk (pictuerd) will be looking to take the lead of class W2 in their PartBOX Ford Ka, while Dan Jones/Cyril Jones could wrap up the class W10 trophy if their winning streak continues in their Vauxhall Nova.


     

    The Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship has once again attracted a very high quality entry containing a huge variety of cars - as also competing for honour and points on the Cambrian Rally are Dave Tomlin/Keith Ashley (Axon Fird Fiesta R5), Andrew Stokes/Jonny 'Tad' Evans (Escort RS1600 Mk1), Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams (Winner Garage Å koda Fabia), rally rookie Olly Hunt/Andy Falconer (Subaru Impreza) (Pictured aboe), Ross Clements/Christopher Lee (MG ZR), Martin Frazer/Dylan Bargate (Slideways Mitsubishi Evo VI), Chris and Tim Hellings (Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1), Kevin Metcalfe/Ian Jones (BMW E30), Steve Hollis/Tim Currie (Volkswagen Golf R) and Jason Black/Karl Egan (Toyota Starlet) (pictured below) - plus many more.

    Sideways Media will once again film all registered Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship competitors and broadcast a multi-film edited highlights package on the Championship's Facebook and YouTube channels in the week after the event, featuring all classes.

     

    There will also be live coverage and interviews during the event, broadcast on the Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship social media channels.

    This year's Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally contains seven stages totalling just over 44 stage miles through the classic forests of Gwydir, Penmachno and Alwen, together with the final challenge of a new asphalt stage which has only been used before on road rallies. The service area will be located at Coleg Llandrillo.

    Spectators are welcome and tickets must be purchased in advance via the event's website: cambrianrally.co.uk. The cost of the ticket includes vehicle car parking, an event programme and access to one stage.

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

    Images: Chris Huish Rallysportmedia 
    Article: Paul Evans 


     

  • 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).