Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Rally Championship 

Woodpecker Rally

  • The organisers of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship have unveiled a new initiative for 2018 specifically with the club competitor in mind. Supported by advanced lubricant technology company RAVENOL the RAVENOL Challenge category carries with it a prize fund valued at more than £3000.

    The competition is open to drivers and co-drivers who have not finished within the top 10 overall on any round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship or any equivalent status championship on more than one occasion between 1st January 2007 and 31st December 2017.

    Points for the RAVENOL Challenge driver and co-driver will be awarded on the same basis as for the overall championship.

    This is the fourth year that RAVENOL have supported the Welsh Championship and confirming their backing of the RAVENOL Challenge series, RAVENOL UK Managing Director, Brian Chase, commented “Our support of the Welsh Rally Championship over the last three years has been both rewarding and successful and we have made many friends along the way. We have no hesitation in renewing our agreement for another three years and recommend anyone planning a season in stage rallying to enter what has to be one of the UK’s best organised, and certainly most friendly, rally championships. “

    Championship coordinator, Dave Evison, welcomed RAVENOL’s continued support adding, “club competitors are the life blood of our championship and our sport and I know that supporting them is important to RAVENOL. The RAVENOL Challenge title is a way of giving something back to these crews. With the qualifying events offering some of the best forest stages available anywhere, we believe this initiative will make the championship even more attractive to competitors regardless of what class they are competing in.”

    In addition to their support of the RAVENOL Challenge initiative, RAVENOL UK have also confirmed that they will pay the championship registration fee for any crew entering the championship in a Land Rover Freelander

    You can find out more about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, including the RAVENOL Challenge category at wnrc.wamc.org.uk and about RAVENOL’s range of advanced lubricants at www.ravenol-direct.uk.

     


     





  • This weekend’s Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages (1st Sept) is the penultimate round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship with the fight for the title set to go down to the final round of the Championship, the Wyedean Stages on November 10th

    The destination of at least one major award will be settled on this event, however. The driver leading the series at the end of the rally will receive a free entry to Wales Rally GB, which takes place from October 4th to 7th.

    The award is provided by IMS, the promoters of the 11th round of the World Rally Championship, as part of their Road to Wales initiative and going into today’s event, no fewer than nine drivers retain at least a mathematical chance of taking the lucrative prize. The same nine drivers could also yet be crowned Welsh champion.

    Two drivers are currently tied at the top of the Championship standings with Llanon’s Dylan Davies and Surrey driver Wug Utting both on 107 points. Their respective co-drivers, Llion Williams and Bob Stokoe also share the lead in their Championship category.

    Utting and Stokoe also top the Group N standings for less modified cars ahead of Ron Hall and Phil Spilsted.

    Third among the drivers is Llysfaen’s Matt Edwards. The British Rally Championship front-runner is 11 points back but has taken maximum points on three out of the four championship rounds that he has so far contested. With competitors dropping their two worst scores, Matt and co-driver Darren Garrod remain well in contention.

    Fourth place is held by Matthew Hirst and the Doncaster driver also leads the under 23 category, eight points clear of Treorchy’s Kalvin Green. Welshpool’s Zak Hughes holds third place in the junior category.

    Lying fifth overall, Max Utting also tops the two-wheel drive category. In his front wheel drive Ford Fiesta, Max currently heads the ranks of rear wheel drive machinery, among them the BMW Compact of Hereford’s Colin Griffiths and Barry Jordan’s Avenger.

    Llangefni’s Keith Parry holds sixth place overall ahead of former Champion Luke Francis while Scott Faulkner and Osian Pryce also remain in contention for top honours.

    The innovative RAVENOL Welsh Challenge recognises the performance of competitors who have yet to finish in the top 10 overall of a Championship round. With prizes worth more than £3000 available, it too is being fiercely contested. Max Utting leads the driver standings from Matthew Hirst with Colin Griffiths in third place.





    Declan Dear leads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers from Mike Ainsworth and Geraint Thomas.

    Competitors on the event, organised by Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club, will cross the start ramp at Ludlow Racecourse from 08:31 on Saturday morning, returning there from 16:45. Spectators are welcome at two locations, Haye Park near Ludlow and Radnor Forest in mid Wales. Access to the spectator car parks costs £10 per car and includes a Programme and Entry List.

    The Haye Park car park entrance is on the minor road between Ludlow and Wigmore (OS Map 137 / 474732, post code SY8 2HE). Catering, toilet facilities and a commentary will be available. The cars visit twice, with first car due for SS1 at 08:45 and first car due for SS4 at 12:45. Please arrive and leave the car park from the Ludlow direction NOT via the Wigmore road. 

    The Radnor Forest car park entrance is on the A488 between Knighton and Penybont (OS Map 148 / 189683, nearest post code LD7 1PA). Parking is on forest tracks. The cars visit Radnor Forest twice, with first car due for SS3 at 10:20 and first car due for SS6 at 15:05

    The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally was chosen as the best event in the 2017 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship and, with so much still to be settled in 2018 including the destination of many of the class awards, a strong contingent of Championship contenders are once again relishing an epic battle.

    You can find our more about the rally on the official website, www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk and about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.

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    Issued 25th August 2018 

    Credit for the images below should be give to RallySport Media.

    Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. For more information call 07768 095156.


     

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    The 2017 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship reaches its penultimate round this weekend (September 2nd)with competitors tackling the Ludlow based Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally. There is plenty at stake, too, with the overall title fight, as well as many of the class battles, still wide open.

    The cancellation of the Red Dragon Rally means that competitors will now count their best four results from six events meaning there is a good opportunity for competitors to improve their championship standing with good results on this event and the final round, the Wyedean Rally in November.

    Surrey driver Wug Utting took the lead at the previous round, the Nicky Grist Stages, and now has a 10 point advantage over early season leader Andy Davies. With Dylan Davies in third place, fourth placed Callum Black has taken his R5 Fiesta to maximum points in each of the two rounds that he has contested so far.

    The championship front-runners, however, can expect stiff opposition from, among others, Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg in their Ford Fiesta WRC while Martyn and Dawn England have taken second place in each of the last two rounds and would love nothing more than to go one better in their R5+ Fiesta this weekend. Meanwhile, veteran Peter Stephenson will be looking to give some of his younger rivals a run for their money in his Focus World Rally Car.

    Wug Utting’s co-driver Bob Stokoe leads their overall championship standings, 11 points clear of reigning Junior co-driving champion Max Freeman while Llion Williams is in third place.

    Utting and Stokoe also head the Group N standings for less modified cars ahead of Andy Davies and Max Freeman while Scott Faulkner and Dom Adams are in third place.

    Colin Griffiths leads a close fought two wheel drive category in his BMW Compact but Andy Fox will be looking to make up ground in his BMW 328.

    In the Junior driver category, Rhydian Price, driving a Ford Fiesta, looks on course to take the title and with it a free entry to the National Rally on Wales Rally GB, provided by the organisers of the British round of the World Championship, IMS as part of their Road to Wales initiative.

    Things are much closer in the Junior co-driver category and one competitor who could move up the standings this weekend is Elliott Edmondson, sat alongside Callum Black.

    The RAVENOL Welsh Challenge runs alongside the Championship. With a prize fund valued at £3000, drivers gain points based on their performance within their class. Colin Griffiths tops the standings by just a single point from Andy Davies with Wug Utting three points further back.

    Championship competitors can look forward to a break following this weekend before the final round, the Wyedean Rally on November 11th, so we can expect them to be pushing to the limit on the Woodpecker’s challenging stages as the stake their claims for a top honour at the end of the season.

    With competitors leaving Ludlow Racecourse from 8:30 on Saturday morning, spectator information is available on the event website, www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk. There is more information about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship on their website, www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk , their Facebook page and on Twitter, @WnRC.

     

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    Issued 29th August 2017

    Credit for the attached photograph Rallysport Media

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

    Tel: 07768 095156


     

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    The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages saw the battle for maximum Championship points in the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship go right down to the final stage. The outcome also means that the overall drivers’ title, along with many of the other Championship awards, will not be decided until November and the final round of the series, the Wyedean Stages Rally.

    With competitors heading out from Ludlow Racecourse to tackle five special stages, it was a short-lived event for Championship contenders Matt Hirst and Declan Dear, their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX succumbing to engine problems on the opening stage.

    As the cars emerged from that opening stage it was Scott Faulkner and Gareth Parry who led the way ahead of Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy, with Richard Hill and Steffan Evans third among the Championship runners.

    When the cars returned to service after two stages, Thompson and Murphy had moved ahead of fellow Evo IX runners Faulkner and Parry with Hill and Evans still third in their Subaru Impreza. Faulkner and Parry were quickest on stage three by a single second, but Thompson and Murphy retained their lead.

    Another quick run through stage four saw Faulkner and Parry head into the final test in Radnor Forest with a three second advantage. A spin for them on that stage, however, meant that when the cars returned to the finish at the Racecourse it was Thompson and Murphy who took the win by 13 seconds, Hill and Evans finishing in third place behind Faulkner and Parry.

    The overall Championship points table for drivers still shows Tom Llewellin with the highest points tally in his Mark II Ford Escort but, with competitors only allowed to count their top six scores from the eight Championship rounds, the amended totals show Thompson with a fifteen point lead over Llewellin while Hirst and Faulkner third and fourth respectively. As a result of this, Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy win the free entry on Wales Rally GB National Rally, provided by Motorsport UK as part of their Road to Wales initiative.

    While Tom Llewellin cannot now catch Thompson, both Hirst and Faulkner can still do so depending on the outcome of the Wyedean Rally.

     

    Tom Llewellin may have lost the opportunity to take the outright title but there was no small consolation for the youngster as he secured the overall two wheel drive title, sponsored by lightninghouse.co.uk to add to the junior title, backed by onthepacenote.co.uk and the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers, which he had already claimed. With his two-wheel drive victory comes a made-to-measure HRX Tutor race suit provided by lightninghouse.co.uk.

    The overall co-drivers’ title is now a three-way fight between Andy Murphy, Declan Dear and Gareth Parry while in Group N, the drivers’ title is a straight two-way fight between the current points leader Wug Utting in his Subaru Impreza and second placed Russ Thomson with their respective co-drivers, Bob Stokoe and Andy Murphy

    While Tom Llewellin has secured the overall two-wheel drive award, the separate awards for front and rear wheel drive have still to be resolved. Among the co-drivers in two-wheel drive cars, just six points separate Tom Murphy and Jim Lewis with the destination of the HRX race suit that comes with that title still to be settled.

    The fight for runners up spot among the junior drivers is a close one with just a single point separating Zak Hughes and Gethin Price. Tom Murphy holds a fourteen point lead in the junior co-drivers’ standings but three others still hold at least a mathematical chance of taking the title.

    Andy Fox or Josh Taylor could still claim the runner up spot in the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge and while the Woodpecker saw Tom Murphy clinch the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers there are six other co-drivers who could yet finish as runner-up to him.

    The final round of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Wyedean Stages Rally on November 9th. There is more information about that event of the official web site, wyedeanstages.co.uk and about the Championship on wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter, @WnRC.

     

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