Author Archives: Howard Wilcock

SIX of the BEST in 2020…!

The Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship in association with SEACON UK is open to all types of rally car that comply with the 2020 Motorsport UK Safety and Technical Regulations for Special Stage Rallies. It is based on a selection of six of the best one-day forest stage rallies.

2020 CALENDAR (Best 5 scores to count)

Malcolm Wilson Rally    14th March    Lake District
Kielder Forest Rally    25th April    Kielder Forest
Nicky Grist Stages    11th July    Mid Wales
Woodpecker Stages    5th September    Shropshire
Trackrod Forest Rally    26th September    North Yorkshire
Wyedean Stages Rally    17th October    Forest of Dean

The Championship is split into 7 competition classes with the scoring system reflecting achievement against other registered competitors in the same class and the level of Championship competition in that class. This has proven by the eclectic mix of past English Rally champions who have all been outstanding in their respective class during the year.


Class E7 : All WRC with a sequential gearbox, RRC, R5 and S2000 cars & all derivatives
Class E6 : Over 2000cc 4 WD cars not eligible for class E7
Class E5 : Over 2000cc 2 WD cars including all FIA R3T cars
Class E4 : Cars over 1600cc up to 2000cc plus Historic category 3 cars with multi cam engines over 1600cc, category 4a cars over 1600cc and 4b cars up to 1600cc
Class E3 : Cars over 1400cc up to 1600cc plus current & former FIA Group N3 cars and all current and former FIA R2 cars.
Class E2 : Cars up to 1400cc not eligible for Class E1, plus Historic category 1 & 2, category 3 with single cam engines and category 4a up to 1600cc
Class E1 : All BTRDA Rally First cars.

Please note that the Motorsport UK 2020 English Rally Championship registration is all part of the 2020 BTRDA Rally Series registration and BTRDA membership package. So, this could also be a second bite at the cherry so to speak, especially for those who have had a ‘difficult’ start in the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series.

The Championship Regulations are published in the Competitor section of this website. Championship Regulations

The main photo is of the 2019 English Rally Champions Steve Black and Paul Morris (1400 Suzuki Swift) on the Wyedean.  Images courtesy of Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond


The MAXXIS Tyres Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship reaches its climax in the picturesque Forest of Dean on 9th November with the running of the Wyedean Stages Rally. From the start in Mitcheldean, a total of 42 miles of special stages – 3 stages each run twice – await the 80 crews on the entry list.

<<<<<<  Andy Davison/Tom Murphy, currently occupying 2nd place in the English Rally Championship points table and leading Class E4, will be journeying down from Middlesbrough with their rapid Talbot Sunbeam VXR which has already scored two maximums this year – and now a third would do their title aspirations no harm at all!
Pitted against other cars in its class, Steve Black/Paul Morris’ Suzuki Swift (Class E2 leaders) has been improving all season, culminating in a maximum last time out on the Trackrod Forest Stages. (see main photo).   As with their rivals, maintaining a 100% finishing record on the Wyedean Forest Rally is imperative.

Fellow E2 contenders Chris Powell/Jim Lewis have forsaken their Talbot Sunbeam for the four-wheel drive turbo-charged power of a Subaru Impreza for their last outing of the season.
Tim Phelps/Elwyn Manuel have made Class E5 (nearly!) all their own so far – their 2.4 litre-engined Escort has three maximums and one second place, such that all they have to worry about is their overall end-of-season position. No pressure, then!…

Other English Championship contenders present on the day include Ian Bainbridge in his Skoda Fabia R5 >>>>>

and the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9s of Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear and former BTRDA Production Cup Champions Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy in class E7.  In addition to Phelps/Manuel, Ford Escorts appear in the hands of Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons, Jonathan Brace/Paul Spooner and Robert Smith/Frankie Hillman. Stuart Spyer/Pete Williams will be hoping to show Steve Black a clean pair of heels in their 1400cc Vauxhall Corsa and Richard Wells/Tom Wood are relying on a Fiesta R2 to bring home the silverware in their class!

As far as the final Championship positions are concerned, all will become clear during the afternoon of 9th November as the survivors begin arriving back in Mitcheldean at the conclusion of the event.

After four years, it’s time to say ‘goodbye and thank you’ to MAXXIS Tyres as their tenure as headline sponsor draws to a close. As a class-based series, the winners during this period have been in a variety of different cars as, unlike most other Championships, it’s not necessarily the most powerful that will actually prevail. For example, Sam Bilham’s Group N Fiesta ST was victorious in 2016, while Stephen Petch’s Fiesta WRC claimed both the BTRDA Gold Star & English crowns the following year. Outgoing English Rally Champions Ian Joel/Graeme Wood put their trusty Ford Escort Cosworth to good use, rounding off the season with 5th place overall on the Trackrod Forest Stages in September 2018.

In 2020, long-term BTRDA supporter Tony Simpson will be sponsoring the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship through his Specialist Logistics Solutions company Seacon UK, and the calendar for the Seacon UK Motorsport UK 2020 English Rally Championship will consist of six prime forest stage rallies with the best 5 scores to count.

Malcolm Wilson Rally    14th March
Kielder Forest Rally    25th April
Nicky Grist Stages    11th July
Woodpecker Stages    5th September
Trackrod Forest Stages    26th September
Wyedean Stages Rally    7th November (TBC)
Reserve event :
Grizedale Stages    5th December

Further details of the Seacon UK 2020 Motorsport UK English Rally Championship will be announced shortly.

All photos © Kevin Money and Malc Almond