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‘POINTING’ IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!…

Preview of the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.
Defending BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Champion Elliot Payne and co-driver Patrick Walsh start the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally as leaders of both the Fuchs Lubricants Gold Star Championship and the Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship – by the narrowest of margins!   In the 2024 Gold Star contest Their Fiesta Rally2 is currently a single point ahead of the Lancer EVO9 of Russ Thompson / Steve Link, with the winners of the recent Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear (Fiesta R5), in 3rd place.

The featured image is Elliot Payne/Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship Leaders, seen here on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. 

Although Elliot was victorious on the 2023 Border Counties, he’ll be mindful of the fact that not only were Hirst / Dear a mere 12s behind him as they arrived back in Jedburgh at the conclusion of the event, but also that Thompson / Link were just over a minute adrift.

Securing 5th overall on each of the first two BTRDA Series events this season, Scott Beattie (Fiesta R5) is right behind Hirst in the table while Vivian Hamill (Polo R5), who secured runner-up spot on the Malcolm Wilson Rally but then retired on the opening stage of the Rallynuts, could do with a result to maintain the pressure on the opposition. Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page (Fiesta Rally2) have returned two solid performances so far and another in the Borders will do their Championship standing no harm whatsoever!

Steve Ward (Escort Mk2) will be aiming to consolidate his lead in the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship but, at the same time, Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) and Ben Jemison (Chevette HSR) renew their rivalry which saw the former take maximum points on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. However, Jemison did come up trumps in the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup in which, although also currently headed by Ward courtesy of his two scores, he will be handily placed to progress – provided, obviously, that his early-season form is maintained!

<< Ben Jemison (Vauxhall Chevette HSR), the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup Winner on the Malcolm Wilson Rally

The 2023 BTRDA Historic Cup-winning car, Ernie Graham’s MkI Escort RS1600, is now in the hands of his son, Will, who was 2nd in class on the Rallynuts, while a DNF on the Malcolm Wilson leaves Ernie & Patricia Lee (BMW325i) just looking for a finish!
Former Class B11 winner – and 2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Champion! – Nick Dobson (Escort) is back but, having missed the season-opener, continued where he’d left off by taking maximum BTRDA class points on the Rallynuts. The Ilkley driver will now be looking for a similar haul on the Border Counties!…

Having had a false start in their bid for BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup glory, with retirement on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards (Fiesta) have begun the fight-back with a ‘win’ in Wales and now have to deal with the similar cars of Garry Whitney / Karl Keating and Alfie Hammond if this trend is to continue…

By dint of class wins in his 1400C Nova on both Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star® Championship events to-date, Will Banks’ name is in lights at the top of the table! Another performance of a similar calibre could well consolidate his and Matt Baddeley’s positions as, on the one hand, neither of the category winners so far (Callum & Steve Black – Suzuki Swift) will be present this time and, following a troubled run on the Severn Valley Stages, defending Bronze Star Champions Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) are left with some catching-up to do…

                                   Will Banks/Matt Baddeley (Nova) – Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship Leaders   >>>>

Chris Greenall (Nova) and Chris Bush / Robert Bryn (Corsa) will be approaching the event from very different perspectives – Greenall has maintained a 100% finishing record over the first quarter of the season and will be looking to move that forward, while Bush / Bryn have yet to see a finish line…. The BTRDA Rally First Cup still features a Peugeot 205 monopoly but, this time, Giles Armitage will be endeavouring to turn the tables on Rallynuts winner Martin Beech…

The Reis Motorsport Insurance Motorsport UK English Rally Championship takes to the stages once more on the Border Counties Rally. Following the opening encounter there were joint leaders with Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) and Callum Black (Suzuki Swift) both coming away from the Malcolm Wilson Rally with maximum scores. However, while the aforementioned absence of
Black from Round 2 leaves Payne out in front on his own, we’re at an early enough stage of the season for any number of other drivers to step up to the plate and join – or even overhaul! – him at the top of the table.

<<<   Elliot Payne and Patrick Walsh (Fiesta Rally2) – Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship Leaders

Prior to the start the Top Ten drivers are separated by a mere three points, as are 10th-20th places! Including the Border Counties, there are six more events in the calendar and it goes without saying that there is bound to be a fair amount of jockeying for position between now and the Grizedale Stages at the beginning of December…

The Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally takes in six special stages and the first car leaves the start at Jedburgh Abbey at 8.00am on Saturday 11th May. Prospective spectators should consult : www.bordercountiesrally.co.uk/spectators/

All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond.   Further information on the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series @ www.btrdarally.com & Reis Motorsport Insurance English Rally Championship @ www.englishrally.co.uk          – ENDS –

OUT WITH THE OLD!….

As we bid a warm welcome to Protyre, headline sponsor of the 2024 BTRDA Rally Series, and Reis Motorsport Insurance for the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship – both of which start on the Malcolm Wilson Rally – Elliot Payne, the first driver to take back-to-back BTRDA Gold Star® Championship titles for nearly thirty years, returns in an attempt to extend his run of success still further.       The featured image shows Elliot Payne’s Fiesta Rally2 in the Grizedale forest snow! 

The entry list for the Malcolm Wilson Rally runs to around 100 cars and, even at this early stage, it’s quite obvious that the ‘pretenders’ to all the major categories in both the Protyre BTRDA Rally Series and Reis Motorsport Insurance Motorsport UK English Rally Championship will have their work cut out if, by the end of the year, their campaigns are to be deemed successful!  While Elliot Payne – who is reunited with Patrick Walsh, his co-driver for his 2022 Gold Star title, this year – will, undoubtedly, be a force-to-be-reckoned-with in the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star® Championship, it would be reasonable to assume that he won’t have things all his own way. Enduring a disastrous end to last season which saw their Fiesta R5 fail to complete an event after the Nicky Grist Stages in July, proven winners at BTRDA level, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear still finished in the Top Six Gold Star contenders!  Russ Thompson / Steve Link beat all-comers on last year’s season-ending Cambrian Rally in their Class B13 Lancer EVO9 and they are now joined by the similar car of former BTRDA Production Cup winners Pat Naylor / Ian Lawrence.

<<<   Russ Thompson/Steve Link (Lancer EVO9) – Outright Winners 2023 Cambrian Rally

Meanwhile, having also sat out 2023, Perry Gardener / Jack Bowen (Fiesta R5) return to the fold once more. Perry’s dad, Shaun, was BTRDA Gold Star Champion in 2006 and 2012, while Perry, himself, finished runner-up on his ‘home’ Woodpecker Stages last time he contested it – so, not only do the Gardener family attributes include the knowledge of what is required to be a winner, but also the wherewithal to produce the goods!…
While any discussions in respect of this year’s Gold Star could be loosely categorised as ‘possibilities’, we can definitely say that the Protyre BTRDA Silver Star® Championship trophy will have a new name on it. Current holders Ben Friend / Cliff Simmons are only undertaking a limited programme of events in 2024, leaving the way open for others to take up the cudgel. For example, 2022 Silver Star winners Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort Mk2), from Whitehaven, are tackling their ‘home’ event, while Andy Davison and 2019 Silver Star Champion Co-driver Tom Murphy return in their Sunbeam VXR.

                                                                                               Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) >>>>>

Over the past couple of seasons, several front-wheel drive cars have graced the Silver Star podium on events, as have vehicles contesting what is henceforth to be known as the Reis Motorsport Insurance BTRDA Historic Cup. Endeavouring to maintain that tradition, Lewis Hooper / Rhys Edwards have forsaken their award-winning Micra in favour of a Fiesta to concentrate on the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and they will be joined by Liam Clark / Emily Easton-Page in an as yet un-named car.
Steve Ward / Phil Sandham are targeting the Historic Cup in their Escort Mk2, as are Ernie & Patricia Lee whose BMW 325i finished 2nd in class on last year’s Malcolm Wilson Rally.  Having made their intentions perfectly clear during the latter half of the 2022 Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Rally Championship, Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) returned last season to claim the title with an unbeatable (even by them!) ‘full-house’ – six maximum scores! The husband-and-wife team from the Forest of Dean are back for more but, as is ever the case, they’ll be up against those out to de-rail their ambition – in the nicest possible way! – including, on this occasion, 2021 Bronze Star Champion Steve Black (Suzuki Swift) who has enlisted the help of Jack Morton,
Chris & James Greenall (Nova), Ashley Francis-Adams / Mark Ammonds (Micra), Chris Bush / Robert Bryn (Corsa) and Dale Glover / David Smalley (AlfaSud Ti). Brace yourselves!…

<<<<  Nigel & Kaz Jenkins (Nova) – Little (1400cc) Giant-Killers in 2023.  Shown here on their ‘local’ event, the Wyedean Rally 

For the first five events in its seven-round calendar, the Reis Motorsport Insurance MSUK English Rally Championship follows the BTRDA Rally Series and, as such, also begins on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. Anyone registered for the BTRDA Series is automatically eligible to score ERC points and, as it is class-based, it’s not necessarily the most powerful cars that come out on top. Not for the first time, this was graphically illustrated by Ernie Graham who was the 2023 English Rally Champion in his immaculate MkI Escort RS1600. For the new season, Ernie is pinning his hopes on a Lancer EVOX which, in addition to defending his ERC title, also puts him slap-bang in the middle of a very hotly-contested Class B13 in the BTRDA Series!…

For details of the Malcolm Wilson Rally: www.malcolmwilson.co.uk

All photos © Kevin Money and Malcolm Almond

COMPREHENSIVE COVER !

As permit holders of the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, the BTRDA is delighted to welcome Reis Motorsport Insurance back into the fold, not only as headline sponsors of the 2024 English Rally Championship but also the BTRDA Rally Series Historic Cup.
Neil Cross, Chair of BTRDA Rallies Committee, commented, ‘We’re proud to be associated with such an iconic brand in motorsport as Reis and look forward to working with them this season, both with the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship and BTRDA Rally Series Historic Cup.’

The Championship’s class-based format sees competitors pitted against those in similar vehicles such that out-and-out power isn’t necessarily the key to success. Ernie Graham’s Escort RS1600 came out on top last season and former champions have included Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2), Steve Black (1400cc Suzuki Swift), Ian Joel (Escort Cosworth) and Sam Bilham (Fiesta R2).    (The featured image is Ernie & Karen Graham (Escort RS1600) – the 2023 Motorsport UK English Rally Champions)    

                                                  Previous Champions Steve Black  and Nick Dobson  >>>>>>

The 2024 Reis MSUK English Rally Championship calendar includes seven forest events, beginning with the Malcolm Wilson Rally in March and working its way round the country to finish on the Grizedale Stages over the first weekend in December.  The full 2024 Reis MSUK English Rally Championship calendar is outlined below : – 

    • MALCOLM WILSON RALLY    8th/9th MARCH    Cockermouth / Lake District
    • BORDER COUNTIES RALLY    11th MAY    Jedburgh / Tweed Valley
    • KIELDER FOREST RALLY    15th JUNE    Hexham / Northumberland
    • WOODPECKER STAGES    7th SEPTEMBER    Newtown / Powys
    • TRACKROD FOREST STAGES    28th SEPTEMBER    Filey / Yorkshire Forests
    • WYEDEAN FOREST RALLY    16th NOVEMBER    Coleford / Forest of Dean
    • GRIZEDALE STAGES RALLY    6th/7th DECEMBER    Ambleside / Lake District

* 5 Best Scores to Count

Following the opening round, there are likley to be several joint leaders – i.e. all those who have scored maximum points in their respective classes – and it’s only as the season progresses that further success will pay dividends in terms of overall positions.  Further information on the Reis MSUK English Rally Championship including the Championship Regulations will be published shortly.  Championship Registrations will be included as part of the 2024 BTRDA Rally Series registration.

Photos courtesy of Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond

GRAND GRIZEDALE FINALE!…

Once again the Coppermines Grizedale Stages Rally (1st / 2nd December) signals the conclusion of the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK and, although this year’s title has already been claimed, there’s still plenty of unfinished business to be taken care of in the Lake District.
                      The featured image above is Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) on his way to maximum English Championship points on the Trackrod Forest Rally
Elliot Payne, who has Patrick Walsh to guide him through the stages in his Fiesta Rally2 on this occasion, currently occupies runner-up spot, while recent Cambrian Rally winners, Russ Thompson / Steve Link (Lancer EVO9), are 3rd.

However, should Robert Proudlock and Steven Brown (Peugeot 208R4), who have a score in hand over their rivals, take a maximum – a feat they’ve already managed this season – they could move into the Top Three!                      >>>> 

Proudlock and Brown’s efforts thus far have made sure of an English Championship class win – ahead of Liam Clark who, himself, is stepping up to a Fiesta Rally2 on this event – but another good run could still pay dividends.

Then there are Nigel & Kaz Jenkins whose Nova has had a barn-storming season, winning the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Bronze Star Championship with a ‘full-house’ – six maximum scores. Unfortunately, they’ve come up against 2023 English Championship winners, Ernie & Karen Graham (Escort RS1600), in their class but, depending to an extent on the fate of others, a good run could see them improve on their current 6th place in the table…

<<<<<   Nigel & Kaz Jenkins – Vauxhall Nova

Rob Wright / Mark Fisher (Escort MkII) leave the start of the Grizedale Stages one minute ahead of Andy Davison / Tom Murphy whose Sunbeam VXR is in front of the Ford in its class. However, should something untoward happen to the latter crew during the day, that situation could well alter!
Andy Davison / Tom Murphy (Sunbeam VXR) – English Championship Class Leaders

The Grizedale Stages is based in Ambleside and boasts a compact route containing five special stages, totalling 42 miles, with 53 road miles between them.

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the start at 5.30pm on Friday 2nd December and full details are available via the website:  https://www.grizedalestages.co.uk/index.php/spectators

Photos courtesy of Kevin money and Malcolm Almond

ERNIE’S PREMIUM SCORES PAY DIVIDENDS!…

Following the Wyedean Forest Rally, the penultimate round of the Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, Ernie Graham is confirmed as the 2023 Champion. Co-driven by his wife Karen, they missed the opening event in the calendar, the Malcolm Wilson Rally, but then proceeded to take maximum scores on each of the next five rounds in the immaculate MkI Ford Escort RS1600 (featured image on the Wyedean Stages) to claim the title with an event to spare.

11th overall in the Forest of Dean, just four seconds off a Top Ten finish, was enough for the Walton-on-Thames crew to take another English Championship class win which, in turn, deposed erstwhile leader Elliot Payne (Fiesta Rally2) from top spot.

 

 

 

Recent winners of the English Rally title are listed below which illustrates that it is possible to take this title with a car from any of the classes in this ‘class based’ stage rally championship.

  • 2023 Ernie Graham     Escort Mk1
  • 2022 Nick Dobson       Escort Mk2
  • 2019 Steve Black        Suzuki Swift 1400cc
  • 2018 Ian Joel              Escort Cosworth
  • 2017 Steve Petch       Fiesta WRC
  • 2016 Sam Bilham       Fiesta R2

All eyes now turn to the Coppermines Grizedale Stages (1st/2nd December) for the final event in the 2023 calendar and, while the Champion has been crowned, 2nd and 3rd places are still far from certain. The aforementioned Elliot Payne currently occupies 2nd place, while Russ Thompson’s Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 is 3rd, but the presence in the Lake District of both Robert Proudlock (Opel Adam) and Nigel Jenkins (Nova) could quite possibly change all that!

<<<<<<   Robert Proudlock’s Opel Adam

It’ll be calculators at the ready in Ambleside as, should Elliot fail to improve on his current total and Robert come away with a maximum score, he could just finish the season in runner-up spot!…

All photos © Kevin Money & Malcolm Almond

DEEP IN THE FOREST SOMETHING STIRRED!…

Wyedean Stages Rally Preview:  (18th November)

The Forest of Dean plays host to the penultimate round of the 2023 Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, the Wyedean Stages Rally on 18th November. From its base in Coleford the event takes in seven special stages within the Forest of Dean and pressure is mounting as the race to succeed 2022 MSUK English Rally Champion Nick Dobson heads towards its conclusion.

Following a recent run of bad luck which saw them retire from the Trackrod Forest Stages and not actually make it to the start line of the Woodpecker Stages, winners of the last two Wyedean Stages Rallies, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear (featured image on their way to winning the 2022 Wyedean Forest Rally) will be hoping their troubles are now behind them and that their Fiesta R5 will carry them to a hat-trick of victories. They’ve not actually finished an English Championship round since the Kielder Forest Rally back in June, but they did come away with a maximum on that occasion!…

On the subject of maximums, having missed the opening round of this year’s English Championship, Ernie & Karen Graham (Escort RS1600) have taken maximum scores on the next four – with each competitor’s five best scores to count towards their final tally in this class based championship they are in a strong position and one more from either of the remaining two rounds will see them finish with a ‘full-house’!

<<<<   Ernie & Karen Graham (Escort RS1600)

If local knowledge counts for anything, Nigel & Kaz Jenkins live in Lydney and, from years of experience, know the Forest of Dean very well. The husband-and-wife team’s 1400cc Nova (pictured right) took a class win on the 2022 event and, in a class-based series such as the English Championship, it’s performances such as that which can really pay dividends – Steve Black claimed the ERC title in 2019 in his 1400cc Suzuki Swift!….

Luke Watts, Kaz Jenkins’ son, hails from Coleford and his MG ZR is less than a maximum score behind the class leader, while Steve Ward / Phil Sandham (Escort Mk2) are also in the mix at this stage of the proceedings.

 

Rob Wilson’s Mitsubishi Lancer EVO7 (seeded car 2) finished runner-up, behind Hirst / Dear, on last year’s Wyedean Stages and, having already experienced both extremes of the sport – a retirement and a maximum points score – so far this season, will obviously be hoping to go one better this time…

<<<<     Rob Wilson pressing on in his Lancer EVO7!

Although using vastly different cars for their individual campaigns, Ashley Francis-Adams (Nissan Micra)          >>>>>>>              and Colin Minton (Fiesta R5) are tied on points as they set off on the Wyedean Forest Rally, but will that still be the case at the end of the day?…

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the start in Coleford at 8.00am on Saturday 18th November and full details will be available via the website : https://www.wyedeanstages.co.uk/spectators

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond

THE FULL ENGLISH….!


Details of the 2023 Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, have now been finalised and the BTRDA is pleased to put forward a seven round all-gravel calendar, starting with the Malcolm Wilson Rally in March and running through to the beginning of December for the Grizedale Stages.

Featured image is MSUK English Rally Championship Sponsor Tony Simpson (Seacon UK Fiesta R2)

A seven-round calendar of selected popular forest stage rallies is planned for 2023 from which competitors will count their five best scores.: –
March 11th   Malcolm Wilson Rally   Cockermouth / Lake District
May 6th    Border Counties Rally   Jedburgh / Borders
June 17th   Kielder Forest Rally    Hexham / Kielder Forest
September 9th   Woodpecker Stages    Ludlow / Shropshire
September 23rd   Trackrod Forest Stages    Filey / North Yorkshire
November 18th (TBC)   Wyedean Forest Rally     Mitcheldean / Forest of Dean
December 1st/2nd   Grizedale Stages    Ambleside / Lake District

 

<<<<   2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Champion Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2)

Seven capacity classes (see below) cater for all vehicles complying with the current MSUK Technical Regulations and, as we’re always keen to point out, in a class-based series such as this, it’s not necessarily a powerful 4-WD car that comes out on top. 2022 Champion Nick Dobson’s 2-litre Escort Mk2 is (obviously!) only two-wheel drive and he succeeded previous winner Steve Black whose title came at the wheel of a 1400cc Suzuki Swift!

English Rally Champions in previous years include: – 2022 Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2), 2019 Steve Black (Suzuki Swift), 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).

Registration for the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series automatically renders competitors eligible for the MSUK English Rally Championship (and vice versa) with no extra fees required.

Following on from the issue of regulations for the 2023 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, (available at www.btrdarally.co.uk/competitors) the Championship Regulations for the Motorsport UK 2023 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK, are now available in the competitor section of this website. HERE       Championship Permit No CH2023 / RALLY002 has been issued by Motorsport UK.

The Competition Classes: –
Class E7 Current and former World Rally cars with a sequential gearbox, current and former R5, S2000 and FIA Rally2 specification cars and any derivatives therefrom.
Class E6 Over 2000cc 4-WD cars not eligible for class E7
Class E5 Over 2000cc 2-WD cars including all FIA R3T cars and Category 4b cars which comply with R49.1.5.
Class E4 Cars over 1600cc up to 2000cc or with forced induction engines up to 1300cc, plus any FIA Rally4 cars. Historic Category 3 cars with multi cam engines and Category 4a cars over 1600cc.
Class E3 Cars over 1400cc up to 1600cc plus current & former FIA Group N3 cars, ST Trophy cars and 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.

The English Rally Championship / BTRDA Rally Series registration and BTRDA club membership are free to new members under 25 years of age on the 1st January 2023, for their first year of registration.

All prospective championship competitors are strongly encouraged to register online as soon as possible (but certainly prior to your first championship event) at www.btrdamembership.com  There is a Membership / Registration form which can be downloaded from the website but that needs to be posted to the Membership Sec well before your first championship event.

EXPLOSIVE FINISH IN PROSPECT..!

The Coppermines Lakes Cottages Grizedale Stages Rally brings the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, to a close over the first weekend in December and, from a very strong entry list, there are still several drivers who could yet walk away with the title!  Current leader Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) [headline image] takes the start with the obvious intention of maintaining station but such is the nature of the points table that he’ll have his work cut out if he is to succeed Steve Black as the Motorsport UK English Rally Champion…

Dobson’s nearest rivals prior to the start of the event are Stephen Petch / Michael Wilkinson whose Fiesta Rally2, although in a different class, is just five points adrift. For their part, they also have the similar car of 2022 BTRDA Gold Star® Rally Champions Elliot Payne / Patrick Walsh to contend with. The latter crew’s English season began badly with a retirement on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, back in March, but top marks in Grizedale could, potentially, pay dividends. Certainly, as far as their class (E7) is concerned, Payne has a score in hand over Petch who, rather than adding his full points on the final round, can only improve on previous results. So, plenty of interest until the final whistle here!…

 

Classmates : Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (L) & Elliot Payne/Patrick Walsh (R)

 

 

 

Russ Thompson / Steve Link are in a similar situation in Class E6 – their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 was involved in a big accident on the Kielder Forest Rally in June (nil points on that occasion!) but is now fully restored and finds itself in with a chance of class glory. The car could also possibly challenge for outright victory but this would be, in part, dependent on the fortunes of others!

                                   Russ Thompson/Steve Link (Lancer EVO9) spinning their way to a class win on the Trackrod Forest Stages >>>>>

Nathan Wearden / Ethan  Thompson (Fiesta ST) are strong favourites to win Class E3 and Nathan also has an outside chance of the overall drivers title, but again that is partly dependant on the misfortunes of others.  

<<<  Nathan Wearden / Ethan Thompson

Andy Davison/Tom Murphy have had what might politely be described as a ‘mixed season’ in their Talbot Sunbeam VXR, but perseverance brings them to Grizedale in prime position to claim Class E5 for themselves. Davison is one point off the lead of the E5 Drivers’ table while Murphy is joint leader of this particular Co-drivers’ section. A finish is what is required to complete the job but, as they’ve found out to their cost, that is sometimes easier said than done!…

                                                                                                                              Andy Davison/Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam VXR) >>>>>

2022 BTRDA Bronze Star® Champion Pete Gorst won’t need reminding that the outgoing English Rally Champion earned his title at the wheel of a 1400cc Suzuki Swift. His own Vauxhall Nova has had a topsy-turvy season (literally on the Woodpecker Stages!…) but, in ERC terms, is just two points behind Nigel Jenkins’ similar car in Class E2. To stand any chance of altering the current standings, Gorst must beat Jenkins and, should they finish 1st & 2nd, a tie will occur which, without delving too deeply into the mathematics, would be broken in the former’s favour…

           The battling Novas of  & Nigel Jenkins (L) and Pete Gorst (R)

 

The Grizedale Stages is based in Ambleside and boasts a very compact route containing four special stages in and around Grizedale Forest totalling 42 miles, with just 37 road miles between them.

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the start at 5.30pm on Friday 2nd December and full details are available via the website  https://www.grizedalestages.co.uk/index.php/spectators

All photos © Kevin Money / Malcom Almond

MAKING A POINT – OR TWO!…

Preview of the Wyedean Stages Rally (15th October)

As the 2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, takes contenders into the Forest of Dean on Saturday 15th October for its penultimate round, the Wyedean Stages Rally, Nick Dobson (Escort Mk2) is just one point behind Richard Hill’s Lancer EVO9 in the race for the title. Having scored maximum points on the first two events in the calendar, Dobson (featured photo from the recent Trackrod Forest Rally) held pride of place at the top of the table throughout the summer, but a lacklustre run – by his standards – on the Woodpecker Stages in early September allowed Hill to overhaul him, albeit by the narrowest of margins. However, the Ilkley driver now has an opportunity to redress the balance….

Richard Hill / Patrick Cooper on the Trackrod Forest Rally >>>>

The class-based series sees competitors pitting their skills against those with vehicles of a similar engine capacity to their own in the battle for points, not only in their particular class but also for overall supremacy. In this way, it’s not necessarily the most powerful cars that come out on top – exemplified by the fact that, although the past couple of years have been blighted by Covid, the last English Rally Champion (2019) was Steve Black at the wheel of his 1400cc Suzuki Swift…

Having retired from the Woodpecker Stages, the hard charging Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear (Fiesta R5) will be looking to regain some lost ground, while local knowledge should be of assistance to Forest of Dean residents Bob Morgan / Ade Williams (Fabia R5).

<<<<  Matthew Hirst / Declan Dear (Fiesta R5)

Four-wheel drive machinery also appears in the hands of Ledbury’s Rob Wilson (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO7), co-driven by Martin Haggett, while James Giddings / Aled Davies opt for an EVO9. Meanwhile, Colin Minton is pinning his hopes of success on a Subaru Impreza.

Aiming to give Nick Dobson a run for his money in their own Escorts, Irishmen Michael McDaid / Declan Casey and ‘The Flying Kiwi’ Boyd Kershaw, co-driven by Keegan Rees, have already scored one maximum apiece and are eminently capable of repeating the feat this time out, while Tim Jones / Liam Whiteley will be doing their best to join them….

Hoping that the English Rally Championship title remains in the hands of a 1400cc car in 2022, Lydney’s Nigel & Kaz Jenkins’ rapid Nova came out on top of its class last time out on the Trackrod Forest Stages which utilised the super-fast stages on the North York Moors. Although they were absent from the first couple of events, the husband-and-wife crew have since made their presence felt and, once again, ‘home’ advantage and a proven turn of speed – not to mention a slice of good luck! – could pay dividends.

                                                                                                              Nigel & Kaz Jenkins – 1400cc Vauxhall Nova  >>>>

Also relying on a 1400cc car, although a less highly-tuned version than the Jenkins’ Nova, Adrian & Matt Walk’s Ford Ka has proved on a number of occasions in the past that reliability is the key to success. However, while retirement on the Trackrod Forest Stages wasn’t part of the plan, good performances on the final two rounds of the series would put them in the running for a class win.

SPECTATORS : The first car leaves the start in Coleford at 8.30am on Saturday 15th October and full details will be available via the website: https://www.wyedeanstages.co.uk/spectators
All photos © Kevin Money / Malcom Almond.

The 2022 Motorsport UK English Rally Championship

After the two year hiatus associated with the Covid-19 pandemic BTRDA Ltd are very pleased to confirm that they will organise and promote the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK.

Following on from the issue of regulations for the 2022 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, (available at www.btrdarally.co.uk/competitors)  those for the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, are now available in the competitor section of this website. Championship Permit No 2022/008 has been issued by Motorsport UK.

It’s all part of the 2022 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 six-round calendar of selected popular forest stage rallies is planned from which competitors will count their five best scores.

The Events:

  • Malcolm Wilson Rally  12th March   Cockermouth / Lake District
  • Kielder Forest Rally    18th June    Hexham / Kielder Forest
  • Woodpecker Stages    3rd September    Ludlow / Shropshire
  • Trackrod Forest Rally    24th September    Filey / North Yorkshire
  • Wyedean Stages Rally    15th October    Mitcheldean / Forest of Dean
  • Grizedale Stages Rally    2nd / 3rd December    Ambleside / Lake District

The Championship is open to all vehicles that comply with the 2022 Motorsport UK Safety and Technical Regulations for Special Stage Rallies.

The Competition Classes: 

  • Class E7     Current and former World Rally cars with a sequential gearbox, current and former R5 specification cars, FIA Rally2 and S2000 cars and any derivatives therefrom
  • Class E6     Over 2000cc 4WD cars not eligible for class E7
  • Class E5     Over 2000cc 2WD 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 and FIA Rally4 specification cars.
  • Class E3     Cars over 1400cc up to 1600cc plus current & former FIA Group N3 cars and 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.

 

BTRDA Rally Series registration and BTRDA membership are free to new members under 25 years of age on the 1st January 2022, for their first year of registration.

Covid restrictions dictate that on some events the traditional pre-event Signing-On sessions will not take place and, hence, the opportunity to actually register for the BTRDA Series on events may 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.