Author Archives: Howard Wilcock

SAM’s ON A CHARGE !

The Trackrod Forest Stages was the penultimate round of the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship and the ferocious pace of the event in the Yorkshire forests resulted in a significant change in the fortunes of some of the leading championship contenders. Sam Bilham’s consistency, and a class win on the Trackrod in his Fiesta ST, saw him move into the lead just when it matters!

In the hotly contested E5 class the expected battle between two of the leading championship crews Gavin Edwards / Carron Tomlinson and Boyd Kershaw / Bryan Hull, both in Mk 2 Ford Escorts, did not materialise when Kershaw rolled on the first stage and Edwards retired later in Dalby. This allowed Jody Bowcott / David Millard, also in a Mk 2 Ford Escort, to score a well-deserved class win. Cameron Davies (Fiesta ST), the championship leader prior to the start of the Trackrod, was sidelined when a driveshaft snapped in Cropton which gave the opportunity to Sam Bilham in an identical Fiesta ST to win class E4 and take over the championship lead.

Class E3 for cars up to 1600cc was won by the experienced Barry Jordan / James Gratton-Smith in their Avenger ahead of Bob Vardy / Simon Rogers (Fiesta R2).  Meanwhile the son and father partnership of Jordan and Paul Hone (Proton Satria) were dominant in class E2 to give them their third maximum score and put them in a strong position as the championship reaches its finale.
In the E1 class for standard cars up to 1400cc it was Dominic Hodge / Stefan Arndt (Micra) who led from the start and extended their class lead when Emily and Eliot Retallick retired their Peugeot 205 in the Dalby stage.

In the Junior driver category of the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship, Cameron Davies and Sam Bilham both have 84 points ahead of Bob Vardy whilst in the Junior co-drivers it is Tom Murphy who leads the way.

With just one round remaining the championship contest is still wide open with 9 drivers still in with a chance of taking the title. The final round of the 2016 MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship is the MEM Malton Forest Rally on Sunday 6th November.

All the latest MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship points can be found in the Competitors section > MAXXIS MSA English championship points

Photo is Sam Bilham and James Whitaker on the Trackrod Forest Stages.     Courtesy of RalliPhotosWales

Trackrod Forest Stages – Preview

The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship reaches its penultimate round with a visit to the Trackrod Forest Stages in North Yorkshire on Saturday 1st October.
With five scores from the seven events to count, there are still any number of competitors who could yet add ‘2016 MAXXIS MSA English Rally Champion’ to their motorsport CVs, and there’s no saying from which of the classes they will come.

Cameron Davies continues to lead the drivers’ championship but fellow Fiesta ST Trophy contender George Lepley, who is currently in equal 9th place, is only 25 points behind – and there are 25 points on offer from each of the last two events. Hence, it’s not rocket science to see that there is plenty of scope for a huge turnaround in fortunes before the flag drops for the final time this season.  All of the leading championship crews are entered in the event including the current leaders Cameron Davies / Lee Taylor (Fiesta ST) who have a 4 point advantage over Kit and Tim Leigh (Fiesta R200).

The current class E1 leaders are Emily & Eliot Retallick (Peugeot 205) but their main rivals Dominic Hodge / Stephan Arndt (Micra) have the theoretical advantage of being able to score well on both the remaining rounds. In class E2 Jordan and Paul Hone (Satria) currently lead and benefit from two maximum scores which may tell at the end of the season, but they have no opportunity for any retirements. In classes E3 and E4 it is the aforementioned Kit Leigh and Cameron Davies who have the lead whilst in the up to 2000cc Class E5 it has become a straight fight between Gavin Edwards and Boyd Kershaw, both in Mk2 Ford Escorts.
A full list of all the points scores can be found in the Competitors Section.  Latest Championship Points

The Trackrod Forest Stages is based at Scampston Hall near Malton but all the action takes place in the North Yorkshire Forests with the Central Service Area at Adderstone Field located between Staindale and Dalby stages. The first car starts from Adderstone Field at 9.30am on Saturday and returns for Service twice during the day before the crews begin returning to Scampston Hall for the finish from 3.18pm.

Photo is Kit and Tim Leigh (Fiesta R200) on the recent Woodpecker Stages.   Courtesy of ralliphotoswales

BACK TO WORK on the WOODPECKER!…

Following its traditional summer break, the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship moves into the second half of its season with the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages on Saturday 3rd September. All of the leading championship crews are entered in the event including the current leaders Cameron Davies / Lee Taylor (Fiesta ST) who have a 5 point advantage over Kit and Tim Leigh (Fiesta R200).  However, when you consider that it is the best 5 scores to count and the potential points that are available from the last 3 rounds, then there are at least 15 crews (possibly 20) still in with a chance of taking the title.   A full list of all the points scores can be found in the Competitors Section.    Championship Points

The current class leaders Emily & Eliot Retallick (Peugeot 205) in Class E1 and Freddy and Toby Brick (Nova) in Class E2 each have the advantage of having 3 scores but their main rivals Dominic Hodge / Stephan Arndt (Micra) and Jordan and Paul Hone (Satria) benefit from maximum scores which may tell at the end of the season. In classes E3 and E4 it is the aforementioned Kit Leigh and Cameron Davies who have the lead whilst in the up to 2000cc Class E5 it is a straight fight between Gavin Edwards and Boyd Kershaw, both in Mk2 Ford Escorts, who currently have equal points.

The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages, which is based at Ludlow Racecourse, has attracted 50 MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship crews. The first car starts at 8.31am on Saturday and returns for Service during the day before the crews begin returning to Ludlow Racecourse for the finish from 3.15pm.
PS: Both Dave Brick and his son Freddy Brick, both driving Novas, will want to make their local knowledge on the Woodpecker Rally pay; you can see their farm from Rally HQ !

Photo is Richard Wells /Calvin Houldsworth (Class RF1.6) Photo courtesy of Ralliphotoswales

Robinson Cruises to Victory!….

The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship returned to Cumbria for the Carlisle Rally which took place over stages in the western side of the giant Kielder forest.

The 2014 English Rally Champion Matthew Robinson, accompanied by Graham Wilcock in a historic spec Fiat 131S, were the highest placed finisher in the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship on the Carlisle Stages. They were the winners of class E5 ahead of a close battle between Alan McDowall / Gavin Heseltine and Tony Williams / Karen Phelps both in Ford Escort Mk2’s.

In the hotly contested E2 class Jordan and Paul Hone (Proton Satria) held a slender lead ahead of Keith and Mairi Riddick (MG ZR) and Chris Powell / Jim Lewis (Talbot Sunbeam) but in the second half of the event it was Joe Evett / Phil Hall (MG ZR) who took up the chase with fastest times on the last 2 stages.

Joint Championship leaders James Hutchins / James Hood (Vauxhall Nova) took an early lead in class E3 closely followed by Tim and Kit Leigh (Fiesta R200) but they retired in the 13 mile Kershope stage leaving the Fiesta crew to take maximum points. The Escort Mexico of Robin Shuttleworth Ron Roughead was next, maintaining their 2nd in class in the Championship.
In the E1 class for standard cars up to 1400cc the principal contest was between Dominic Hodge / Stefan Arndt (Micra) and Emily and Eliot Retallick (Peugeot 205) with the Micra crew coming out ahead. However, the positions are reversed in the championship points where Emily’s three finishes / three scores keeps her ahead.

Cameron Davies / Lee Taylor‘s  (Fiesta ST) third consecutive win in class E4 sees them assuming the lead of the Championship overall, while Sam Bilham’s similar Fiesta was 2nd in class on the day. Cameron also retains his lead in the Junior Drivers section of the Championship with his co-driver Lee Taylor leading the Junior co-drivers.

The MAXXIS MSA English Championship class winners on the Carlisle Stages were: –
• Class E5  Matthew Robinson / Graham Wilcock Fiat 131S 45m 01s
• Class E4  Cameron Davies / Lee Taylor Ford Fiesta ST 45m 59s
• Class E3  Kit Leigh / Tim Leigh Fiesta R200 47m 43s
• Class E2  Jordan Hone / Paul Hone Proton Satria 47m 16s
• Class E1  Dominic Hodge Stefan Arndt Nissan Micra 49m 19s

A full list of all the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship points are published in the Competitors section of this website.

The fourth round of the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship will be the Tyneside Stages held on the infamous tarmac roads in Otterburn, Northumberland on Sunday 7th August.

Photo is of Matthew Robinson / Graham Wilcock (Fiat 131S) in action on the Carlisle Stages.    Courtesy of RalliPhotosWales

Call to CARLISLE….!

Round 3 of the 2016 MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship will be the Carlisle Stages on Saturday 11th June.

This promises to be a cracking event which is fortunately not affected by the current NRW dispute. It includes two stages of more than 13 miles in Newcastleton and in Kershope Forest and will have minimal double usage.  Clerk of the Course Nicola Heppenstall has confirmed that none of the stages have been used since the 2015 Carlisle Stages and were all re-graded shortly after that event. The stages have had 12 months to settle and are in prime condition. In response to competitor feedback from the 2015 rally, the Chamot Hill stage will not be used.

The event is based at the premises of H&H Auctions, Montgomery Way, Carlisle, CA1 2RS, which is very close to junction 43 of the M6, with scrutineering documentation, start, service and finish at this same location. The first car will start at 8am on Saturday and return to the finish at around 2.30pm.
An unusual feature of this event is a that shakedown stage is available before documentation starts on Friday.

More details and the on-line entry can be found at Carlisle Stages 2016

The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship is class based so the ultimate winners can come from any of the 5 classes.  After two rounds of the Championship the 10 leading drivers are covered by just 10 points with James Hutchings (Vauxhall Nova) and Cameron Davies (Fiesta ST) as joint leaders. Meanwhile Cameron Davies and Freddy Brick are tied at the head of the Junior Drivers table.
A full list of all the Championship points after round 2 are published in the Competitors Section.

Photo is Cameron Davies / Lee Taylor (Fiesta ST) on the Somerset Stages (courtesy of ralliphotoswales)