This Newsletter was published after the 75th Scottish Rally and has been e-mailed to all registered Competitors, Event Organisers and Championship Sponsors.
Newsletter No 1 / 2021
NB: Entries for Round 1, the Nicky Grist Stages, open from 6pm on Monday 24th May. For the first few days entries have been reserved for 2021 Championship registered crews, so don’t delay registering for the BTRDA Rally Series / English Rally Championship and submitting your event entry.
BTRDA Ltd will organise and promote the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK.
Following hot on the heels of the issue of the regulations for the 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, (available at www.btrdarally.co.uk/competitors) those for the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, are now available in the competitor section of this website.
It’s all part of the 2021 BTRDA Rally Series registration and BTRDA membership package and, thus, all BTRDA Rally Series contenders are automatically eligible for the English Rally Championship (and vice versa) with no extra fees required.
Maintaining the format of previous years, the English Rally Championship is class-based, such that the eventual winner may emerge from any one of the seven competition classes (see below) and as outlined in the regulations. In this way, it isn’t necessarily the most powerful car that will triumph – a fact amply illustrated by Steve Black who claimed the 2019 title in his 1400cc Suzuki Swift!… English Rally Champions in previous years include: – 2018 Ian Joel (Escort Cosworth), 2017 Stephen Petch (Fiesta WRC) 2016 Sam Bilham (Fiesta R2), 2015 Rhys Yates (Fiesta R2), 2014 Matthew Robinson (Escort Mk2), 2013 Julian Wilkes (1400cc Vauxhall Nova).
Covid restrictions permitting, a five-round calendar of selected forest stage rallies is planned from which competitors will count their four best scores.
Kielder Forest Rally 19th June Hexham / Kielder Forest
- Nicky Grist Stages 10th July Builth Wells / Mid Wales
- Woodpecker Stages 4th September Ludlow / Shropshire
- Trackrod Forest Rally 25th September Filey / North Yorkshire
- Wyedean Stages Rally 16th October Mitcheldean / Forest of Dean
- Grizedale Stages Rally 3rd/4th December Ambleside / Lake District
The Competition Classes:
- Class E7 All WRC with a sequential gearbox, RRC, R5, S2000 and FIA Rally2 specification cars & all derivatives
- Class E6 Over 2000cc 4WD cars not eligible for class E7
- Class E5 Over 2000cc 2WD cars including all FIA R3T cars
- Class E4 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 and FIA Rally4 specification cars.
- Class E3 Cars over 1400cc up to 1600cc plus current & former FIA Group N3 cars and all 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.
As previously announced, all competitors who were registered for the BTRDA Rally Series (which includes the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship and the MRF Mixed Surface Challenge) in 2020 can register for the same championship in 2021 at zero cost, leaving you with just the cost of BTRDA club membership which has been held at £30.00 per person for a further year. (Note: For the on-line system to be able to detect you were registered for the BTRDA Forest Rally Series in 2020 you must use the same Username that you did in 2020 and you must rejoin BTRDA rather than joining as a new member).
BTRDA Rally Series registration and BTRDA membership are free to new members under 25 years of age on the 1st January 2021, for their first year of registration.
Covid restrictions dictate that the traditional pre-event Signing-On sessions will not take place and, hence, the opportunity to actually register for the BTRDA Series on events will be severely compromised. Nevertheless, we want you to join in some ‘Serious Fun’ and, hence, we would ask all prospective contenders to use the online registration system prior to their first appearance of the season. Alternatively there is a Membership / Registration form which can be downloaded.
The featured image is Steve Black (1400 Suzuki Swift) the 2019 English Rally Champion.
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
2019 MAXXIS Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship – Award Winners
A list of all the MAXXIS Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship award winners. These awards will be presented along with the BTRDA Rally Series Awards at the 2019 Dinner and Awards Ceremony which will take place on Saturday 11th January 2020 at the Drayton Manor Hotel, near Tamworth, West Midlands. B78 3SA.
More info and the booking form can be found HERE
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!…
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