News

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.

Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship – Cancellation

It is with great regret that the BTRDA Rally Committee have taken the decision to cancel the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship following the unfortunate postponement of the Grizedale Stages at the beginning of December.  The 2021 English Rally Championship was intended to be a 6 round championship but the Kielder Forest Rally cancelled early on due to COVID and the Wyedean Stages Rally cancelled due to land access issues. Three rounds ran successfully; the Nicky Grist Stages, Woodpecker Stages and the Trackrod Forest Rally, leaving the Grizedale Stages as the final round. Having considered the Championship Regulations and the requirements of the Motorsport UK Yearbook we felt we had no option but to cancel the championship

We will still recognise the outstanding efforts of our competitors with a number of overall and class awards and will present awards to the leading Drivers and Co-drivers in the Motorsport UK 2021 English Rally Championship, in association with Seacon UK, at the point when the Championship was cancelled.
Leading Overall Driver: George Lepley
Leading Overall Co-driver: Tom Woodburn
Overall winners are not eligible for class awards

Leading Driver in Class 7: Ian Bainbridge Leading Co-driver in Class 7: Will Atkins
Leading Driver in Class 6: Richard Hill Leading Co-driver in Class 6: Graeme Wood
Leading Driver in Class 5: Owen McMackin Leading Co-driver in Class 5: Sam Fordham
Leading Driver in Class 4: Barry Jordan Leading Co-driver in Class 4: Ian Jones
Leading Driver in Class 3: Ioan Lloyd Leading Co-driver in Class 3: Sion Williams
Leading Driver in Class 2: Richard Freestone Leading Co-driver in Class 2: Abi Haycock
Leading Driver in Class 1: Tom Naylor
To qualify for an award a competitor must have started 3 qualifying events

Further to this the MRF Tyres Mixed Surface Challenge will now conclude following the Rallynuts Stages and points will go final at 19:00 on Sunday 26 December 2021.

All of these awards will be presented at the 2021 BTRDA Rally Series Awards Presentation & Dinner on Saturday 12th February 2022 a the Casa Hotel, Lockoford Lane, Chesterfield. S41 7JB.

 

We are now able to confirm the calendar for the Motorsport UK 2022 English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK.

  • Malcolm Wilson Rally  12th March
  • Kielder Forest Rally  18th June 
  • Woodpecker Stages  3rd September
  • Trackrod Forest Stages  24th September
  • Wyedean Forest Rally  15th October
  • Grizedale Stages   2nd/3rd December 

More details of the classes etc will be confirmed in an announcement soon as possible.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a safe peaceful New Year and I look forward to seeing you at our Awards Evening, COVID permitting, or out on the stages in 2022 for more serious fun.

Regards   Neil Cross

Chair of the BTRDA Rallies Committee.

A CLASS OF ITS OWN..!

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.

The Events:

  • 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.

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.

CLASSES 

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

DOWN in the FOREST SOMETHING STIRRED…!

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

A Class Based Society….!

The opening round of the MAXXIS Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship is once again the Malcolm Wilson Rally set in the beautiful Lake District.  Last year this event was a victim of ‘the Beast from the East’  but normal service has resumed that year with sunshine and just a few showers forecast.

The Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship includes a selection of the best one-day forest stage rallies, plus two special English asphalt events. Following the Malcolm Wilson Rally, the action moves to the Tendring Clacton Rally in April before a return to the forests on the Plains Rally which is this year based at Oswestry.  After a summer break the action restarts with the Tyneside Stages on Otterburn. Then it is the annual visit to the Woodpecker Stages for some of the famous Marches special stages. The North Yorkshire forests play host to the penultimate round, the Trackrod Forest Rally, at the end of September before the finale, a welcome return to the Wyedean Stages, in the picturesque Forest of Dean.

The final points table will be based on competitors best 5 scores which gives competitors some flexibility to fit the events around family or business commitments, or to recover from an expensive car problem.

CALENDAR (Best 5 scores to count)

Malcolm Wilson Rally     9th March           Lake District

Tendring Clacton Rally    28th April            Clacton, Essex

Plains Rally                     11th May             Oswestry

Tyneside Stages              4th August          Otterburn

Woodpecker Stages        31st August        Shropshire

Trackrod Forest Rally      28th Sept            North Yorkshire

Wyedean Stages Rally    9th November    Forest of Dean

Note that the Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship registration is all part of the BTRDA Rally Series and BTRDA membership package.  So, this could also be a second bite at the cherry so to speak, especially for those that had a ‘difficult’ start to the JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series.

The Motorsport UK 2019 English Rally Championship open to all types of rally car that comply with the 2019 Motorsport UK Safety and Technical Regulations for Special Stage Rallies.  It 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.

CLASSES

Class E7                All WRC with a sequential gearbox, RRC, R5 and S2000 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

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.

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

The main photo is of Ian Joel / Graeme Wood (Ford Escort WRC)  the 2018 English Rally Champions.   (Images courtesy of Kevin Money / Malcolm Almond)

Preview of Round 5: Trackrod Forest Rally

The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship doesn’t reach the end of the road in Yorkshire. Contenders still have the Wyedean Stages, in early November to look forward to before 2017 victors Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson’s successors are known. In the meantime, competition is extremely tight with the top 6 drivers in the Championship covered by just 5 points. A graphic illustration of the Championship’s strength and depth would focus on Ian Joel who arrived at the start of the Woodpecker as series leader but, following his retirement on the event, actually dropped ten places in the points table! There’s still time to make amends but from now on there is no margin for error!…

With both Matt Edwards and George Lepley not contesting the Trackrod Forest Rally because of Wales Rally GB the following weekend, it would appear that Tommi Meadows (Class 2), Ernie Graham (Class 4), Dave Brick (Class 2) and Matthew Hirst (Class 7) are in the best position to take a big step towards the title with a good result in Yorkshire.

A full list of all the MAXXIS MSA English Championship points can be viewed at dev.englishrally.co.uk/english-championship-points and this just shows the many permutations that can still occur depending on success on the Trackrod and the Wyedean.

For further information on the Trackrod Forest Stages visit: www.rallyyorkshire.co.uk

Photo is Tommi Meadows / Emma Morrison (Ford KA) on the ATL Stages

Preview of Round 4: Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages

Following a delayed start caused by the cancellation of the Malcolm Wilson Rally due to the effects of the ‘Beast from the East’ in early March, the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship is now in full swing and, as a class-based series, winners can come from any one of the eight different performance classes. The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages on Saturday 1st September is now the third event of the Championship.  

After the opening encounters there are always multiple leaders (from each class) and it’s only as the championship progresses that further success brings individuals to the fore. Having said that, after just two events, Ian Joel/Graeme Wood (Escort Cosworth) have wasted no time in stamping their authority on proceedings and lead George Lepley (Fiesta R2), Matt Edwards (Fiesta) & Ernie Graham (Escort Mk2) by two points, with Tommi Meadows (Ka) a further one adrift in the overall standings.

In the classes it is Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod who, give their recent results, have a clear lead in Class 8 WRC derivative cars whilst Ian Joel / Graeme Wood are ahead on Matthew Hirst / Decaln Dear in Class 7. Class 6 is a continuation of the Russ Thompson v Pat Naylor battle whilst Class 5 is currently been led by Damian Pratts in a 2.4 litre engine Escort.

Class 4 for cars up to 2000cc is numerically the largest class which provides greater competition but does guarantee some bonus points if you do well. Currently it is Ernie Graham / Robin Kellard who are leading the class ahead of three of the Fiesta ST crews but with Max Utting, Rob Dennis, Andy Davison and Barry Jordan also in this class it is only likely to be settled on the Wyedean.

<  Ernie Graham & Robin Kellard on the recent NG Stages

Class 3 for cars up to 1600cc is unsurprisingly being dominated by George Lepley and Tom Woodburn (Fiesta R2) who have already won the BTRDA R2 Cup and with it a free entry into Wales Rally GB National Rally. 

In class 2 for cars up to 1400cc it already looks as if it will be a contest between Tommi Meadows, Chris Powell, Dave Brick and Kieran Darrington, whilst Sam & Liam Johnson currently lead Class 1 for the smaller engine Rally First cars.

                                                                                                                                                         Tommi Meadows on the Carlisle Stages  >

It is good to see that all the leading MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship competitors are among the 140 crews entered in the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages. The full entry list can be viewed at www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk/download/EntryListB.pdf    Following the MSA’s relaxation of the rules in respect of the running order on rallies, the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages, will see all the two-wheel drive cars in the entry traversing the stages first, in reverse order, before the four-wheel drive element leave the start ‘in the order of anticipated performance’. The Woodpecker is based at Ludlow Racecourse which will be the location of the Scrutineering, Start, two Service halts and the Finish.

(Photographs courtesy of Kevin Money & Malc Almond)

Preview of Round 3: Nicky Grist Stages

Preview of Round 3: Nicky Grist Stages – 14th July                                                           Photo is of George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (Fiesta) – Joint championship leaders after Round 1.

Contenders for the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship are really only just getting into their stride. The unfortunate cancellation of the Malcolm Wilson Rally put the start of this year’s ERC back to the Carlisle Stages at the beginning of June, with the Quinton Motor Club-organised Nicky Grist Stages as the second round, and then there are still another three to complete after this weekend.

The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship is a class-based series and not surprisingly a look at the points tables reveals multiple leaders after just one event.  It’s only now, as contenders have a second chance to exert their supremacy that the number of names with maximum points begins to decrease. Those drivers dining out on their success prior to the Nicky Grist include Ernie Graham (Escort Mk2), George Lepley (Fiesta R2), Paul Bird (Focus WRC), Tommi Meadows (Ka) and Ian Joel (Escort Cosworth). It goes without saying that all these good folk are preparing for a trip to Builth Wells on 14th July!

Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson won last year’s Nicky Grist Stages, on their way to claiming the BTRDA Gold Star® Championship crown and the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship – and have made no secret of their wish to repeat the exercise in 2018. However, their efforts have so far been somewhat upstaged by Matt Edwards/ Darren Garrod (Fiesta WRC) and current BTRDA Rally Series leaders Paul Bird/Jack Morton (Focus WRC).  Luke Francis/John H Roberts have changed their allegiance to a Fiesta WRC this season whilst Charlie Payne/Carl Williamson start behind them in their hastily-repaired Fiesta following its inversion last time out in Kielder. Sacha Kakad/James Aldridge continue to acquaint themselves with their new R5 Fiesta and Martyn & Dawn England (Fiesta R5+), who were 4th overall on last year’s Nicky Grist Stages return in an attempt to improve on that excellent result.  Meanwhile Ian Joel / Graeme Wood in their venerable Escort Cosworth will be hoping for a repeat of the their excellent 6th place finish on the Carlisle Stages which gave them maximum Class 7 points and the joint lead in the championship.

Away from the four wheel drive crews, George Lepley’s stranglehold on the BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup has carried over into the English Rally Championship where on the Carlisle Stages he and Tom Woodburn came a remarkable 14th overall which earned them maximum points in Class 3 and a share in the championship leadership after the first event.  Class 4 includes  Rob Dennis/Andy Boswell, Owen McMackin/Lee Taylor and the the Sunbeam VXR of Andy Davison/Tom Murphy.  However they are joined by a gaggle of Fiesta ST’s including 17-year old Ewan Tindall who, on the grounds of his age, has only been able to contest two senior events. 

Contenders in English Championship Classes 1 and 2 will, along with crews in Historic Category 1 & 2 cars (+ Category 3 with single cam engines), start at the front of the field, following the MSA’s relaxation of the rules regarding the running order on events, but in reverse order.  Perhaps the people who need to be most aware of the situation are Emma Morrison, who has switched roles to take over the driving seat for this event, and Jon Quintrell who will be first away from the start of the Nicky Grist Stages in a Rally First Volkswagen Lupo GTI. The two Rally First 2.0 litre Toyota Corollas of Championship leader Matthew Baddeley and Guy Butler resume their friendly rivalry – on the Carlisle Stages, one didn’t start and the other didn’t finish!… Having also been absent last time, leaders after the opening round, Sam & Liam Johnson, will be hoping that their Seat Arosa will be in a position to give them a second maximum in mid Wales.

The ‘Historic’ Hillman Avenger of BTRDA Rally Series sponsor Barry Jordan and co-driver Paul Wakely, who also missed out on the finish celebrations in Carlisle, starts a minute in front of Tommi Meadows’ Ford Ka, who was class 2 winner in Carlisle. Then Steve Black’s Suzuki Swift is followed by Stuart Spyer (Corsa), Perry Gardener (Nova), Richard Cole (Escort Mk2), Kieran Darrington (Corsa), Chris Powell (Sunbeam) and Dave Brick (Nova). Fireworks in July?  You’d better believe it!…

The first car (Emma Morrison/Jon Quintrell) leaves the start of the Nicky Grist Stages at 8.31am on Saturday morning and on the menu are 45 miles of special stages in some of the classic mid-Wales forests. Cars then begin arriving at the finish from 3.30pm that afternoon. For further information on the Nicky Grist Stages, visit: www.nickygriststages.co.uk

AH (Photographs courtesy of Kevin Money & Malc Almond)

2018 ENGLISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – RECALCULATED !….

The 2018 MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship makes a rather belated start this year due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Malcolm Wilson Rally due to the extreme weather back in March. Seriously, the ‘Beast from the East’ has necessitated a re-jig of the calendar and we’re now looking at a five-round championship, with everyone’s four best scores to count.

Starting in Carlisle for the ATL Carlisle Stages, the action in an all-gravel format then moves to the Quinton Motor Club promoted Nicky Grist Stages six weeks later. After a similar gap, the Woodpecker Stages will welcome contenders to Ludlow Racecourse for some of the famous Marches special stages. The North York Moors play host to the penultimate round, the Trackrod Forest Rally, at the end of September before the finale, a welcome return to the Wyedean Stages, in the picturesque Forest of Dean on 10th November.

Revised 2018 Calendar
• ATL Carlisle Stages Rally    9th June    Kielder Forest West
• Nicky Grist Stages    14th July    Mid Wales Forests
• Woodpecker Stages    1st September    Shropshire and the Welsh Borders
• Trackrod Forest Rally    29th September    North Yorkshire
• Wyedean Stages Rally    10th November    Forest of Dean

So, this could be a second bite at the cherry so to speak, especially for those that have had a ‘difficult start to the JORDAN Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series.

The English Rally Championship is split into 8 classes with the scoring system reflecting achievement against other competitors in the same class.
• Class 1 BTRDA Rally First cars up to and including 1400cc and FIA R1A and N1
• Class 2 All cars up to 1400cc not eligible for class 1 and RF1.6 cars
• Class 3 Over 1400cc and up to and including 1600cc, including all FIA R2B cars
• Class 4 Over 1600cc and up and including to 2000cc
• Class 5 Over 2000cc 2 Wheel Drive
• Class 6 Current and former FIA Group N / NR4 cars over 2000cc
• Class 7 Over 2000cc 4 Wheel Drive
• Class 8 All WRC, RRC, R5 and S2000 cars and all derivatives
NB: The MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship registration is all part of the 2018 BTRDA Rally Series and BTRDA membership package.

The photo is Chris Powell / Jim Lewis (1400 Talbot Sunbeam) on the recent Plains Rally.  Courtesy of Malcolm Almond.  They are regular class leaders and so may be suited to the class based MAXXIS MSA Engish Rally Championship.