Author Archives: Paul Rees

Rhys Yates is the 2015 MSA English Rally Champion

The final round of the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship, the JLT Tempest 2 Rally, took place on a very wet day in the forests around Aldershot on Saturday.

The event was set to be the Championship decided with both Rhys Yates (Fiesta R2) and Dave Bennett (Vauxhall Corsa) vying for the Drivers title.  However the contest was sadly decided at the start of the very first stage when David Bennett / Alistair McNeill had to retire with clutch failure. This left championship leader Rhys Yates, accompanied by Tom Woodburn, to finish the job in style by coming home 7th overall on the event.

Amongst other MSA English Championship crews to do well on the event were Dominic Hodge / Stefan Arndt (Nissan Micra) who won their class and took maximum points in Class E1 for standard production cars up to 1400cc.

So at the end of another competitive season it is Rhys Yates who is the MSA English Rally Champion Driver with Alistair McNeil taking the co-drivers title.
Rhys has also won the MSA English Junior Drivers title. (and 250 pounds presented by Mintex)

Congratulations to all the championship, class and category winners and thank you to ALL the competitors, event organisers and marshals for providing another exciting season of rallying. The full list of all the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship award winners can be viewed HERE

The 2015 MSA English Rally Championship and the REIS-RAVENOL BTRDA Rally Series awards will be presented at the Awards Evening and Dinner on Saturday 9th January at the Raddison Penns Hall Hotel Sutton Coldfield. B76 1LH.

Photo of Rhys Yates / Tom Woodburn on the Woodpecker Stages courtesy of MCR Motorsport Media

Rhys Yates now leads the 2015 English Rally Championship

The penultimate round of the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship was the Trackrod Forest Stages which took place over forest stages in North Yorkshire on Saturday 26th September. There were 40 MSA English Rally Championship crews amongst the large entry.
The hotly contested 1400 category saw another close contest between Ashley Slights / Alex Lee (Toyota Yaris) and Dave Bennett / Alistair McNeil (Corsa) on their local event.  This time it was Slights who opened up an early lead in Langdale and extended it over the next two stages and although Bennett took time back on stages 4 and 6 it was not enough, and the Toyota driver came out ahead by some 26 seconds.
Boyd Kershaw / Bryan Hull (Ford Escort Mk2) won class E5 ahead of Jody Bowcott / David Millard (Ford Escort Mk2), whilst Tony Simpson / Ian Bevan (Fiesta ST) took the points in class E4.
Rhys Yates (Ford Fiesta R2) accompanied by Tom Woodburn was again the winner of the large E3 class and Rhys now moves into the overall lead in the driver championship.
Nick Carr / Joe Sturdy (VW Lupo) also took the maximum points in the E1 class for standard cars, finishing ahead of Sion Ellis / Caron Tomlinson (Micra). This result brings Nick and Joe back into championship contention but they will have to score well on the final round.
After Round 6 (of 7) the leading drivers in the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship are:-
1   Rhys Yates             Chesterfield                      121
2 David Bennett         York                              119
3   Ryan Weston           Aberdeen                          105
4   James Hutchings       Telford                            104
5   Nick Carr             York                                101
23 year old Rhys Yates is also the leading junior driver in the championship.  The prize for the winning driver of the MSA English Rally Championship is a free entry to the Wales Rally GB National Rally.
There are 135 drivers and 110 co-drivers who have scored points on the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship and a full list of all the points scorers can be found under CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS  (Best 5 scores to count) The final round of the 2015 MSA English Rally Championship is the Tempest 2 Rally on Saturday 7th November.
Photo is of Rhys Yates / Tom Woodburn (Fiesta R2) on the Trackrod Forest Stages. Courtesy of RalliPhotosWales

Huge entry for the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages


Following its traditional summer break, the MSA English Rally Championship moves into the second half of its season. With current leaders Ryan Weston / Mark McCullock missing this event, Keith and Mairi Riddick (MG ZR) are the leading championship crew present on the Woodpecker, followed by Dave Bennett / Alistair McNeil (Corsa) and Kieran Darrington/Pam Mitchell (Corsa). It is definitely a case of 1400s ruling the roost at the moment but, with a class-based Championship, the eventual winner could come from any one of the five capacity classes.

One of those class leaders is Rhys Yates (Fiesta R2) who currently at the top of Class E3 and who already has two maximum scores.  Meanwhile Dave and Freddy Brick (Nova) also scored maximum points on the Carlisle Stages and will want to make their local knowledge pay (you can see their farm from the Rally HQ)

The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages, which is based at Ludlow Racecourse, has attracted 66 MSA English Rally Championship crews. The first car starts at 8.30am on Saturday and returns for Service during the day before the crews begin returning to Ludlow Racecourse for the finish from 3.40pm.

Photo is Dave & Freddy Brick (Carlisle Stages).  Photo courtesy of Ralliphotoswales