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