Monday 30 November 2009

Images from the Hall Trophy Rally


Images from the Beaver Road Rally


Wright aiming to finish season on a high

Bentham rally driver David Wright will end his 2009 rally season next Saturday (6th December) when he contests the Grizedale Stages rally in Cumbria.

Wright has had a very successful year in which he won the national BTRDA rally championship and he hopes to finish the year with a good result in Grizedale.

“It’s been a brilliant year so far, winning the title was great – we hadn’t expected to be so competitive with it being the first year we had done the full BTRDA championship,” said Wright.

“We’ve gone well in Grizedale before so we’re hoping for another good result although we’re up against some tough competition.”

Wright will be driving his usual Mitsubishi Evo 9 which is prepared by Giles Philips Motorsport and backed by Kumho Tyres, Grove Hill Garage and Proflex. The car has had some work done on it since it’s last outing.

“We’ve fitted a new Drenth sequential gearbox and new Proflex suspension to the car which will help us try and keep up with the more powerful World Rally cars.”

"After the recent heavy rain in Cumbria the conditions will likely be very muddy and slippery, it should be a very enjoyable event."

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Smith gets late call-up for Roger Albert Clark Rally

Steven Smith, twice British Historic Rally champion, has had a late call-up to contest this weekend's Roger Albert Clark Rally in the Escort Mk1 originally entered for Peter Egerton.

The deal only came together yesterday (Tuesday) after Peter sustained a back injury while competing on the Tempest Rally on Saturday. A heavy compression in his WRC Hyundai caused a back injury and left him unable to tackle four days of rallying on the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

Instead, he generously offered his car to Smith and so car 32 will have a different driver when the rally starts in Pickering on Friday evening. "I've not been on gravel since the Trackrod in September 2008 and I've not been in an Escort since 2006, so I've got my excuses lined up," said Smith.

"I have to say a very big thank you to Peter for making this possible and I'm sorry he can’t do the Roger Albert, as it is one of his favourite events," said Smith. "Hopefully I can get my eye in on the Friday night stages and get used to the car. Class C3 will be very strong and it is people like Russell Morgan and Ken Forster who will be on the pace," said Smith.

Smith has contested the rally once before, when he drove the VK-backed Escort owned by Steve Perez in 2006. That year he slid off the road in the snow of Ae, albeit without any damage.

XS Racing will tend the Pinto-powered Escort, the team that has took Smith to his 2008 BHRC crown. Patrick Walsh will remain as co-driver, as originally planned.

For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit

Roger's 1975 Escort to contest Roger Albert Clark Rally

The 'Cossack' liveried Ford Escort Mk2 that Roger Clark drove to second place on the 1975 RAC Rally, 'LAR 800P' will return to competition on this weekend's Roger Albert Clark Rally in the hands of Andrew Siddall.

XS Racing has restored the car for Yorkshireman Siddall, a regular contender on the event. It has been prepared to FIA specification and will compete on the Roger Albert alongside 'LAR 601P', the ex-Timo Makinen car now in the hands of Dave Watkins. In 1975, the two cars finished one-two on the RAC Rally.

The famous car finished second on its debut event, the 1975 RAC Rally. Now, 34 years later, it will return to competition on the event run in memory of Clark, with backing from Siddall and Hilton Products.

"It's the best rally of the year," said Siddall. "But I'm on a big learning curve for this event with the BDA-powered Mk2." Siddall will be partnered as usual by Captain Thompson and last year they finished eighth overall and first in class in Siddall's Pinto-powered Escort Mk1.

XS Racing will enter a four-car team on the Roger Albert Clark Rally, and joining Siddall/Thompson will be Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne (Porsche 911), Peter Egerton/Patrick Walsh (Escort Mk1) and Guy Smith/Howard Pridmore (Escort Mk1).

While Peter Smith and Peter Egerton campaign the cars they have rallied regularly this season, Guy Smith is on a massive learning curve in what will be only his third ever rally. The 2003 Le Mans winner is competing alongside his father Peter and has his sights set on finishing as he accumulates more rallying experience.

Team boss John Cropper says that the Roger Albert Clark Rally is the toughest on the calendar for both the crews and the support team. "It's the biggest event of the year for us and we'll have a team of 15 to look after the cars. There will be seven guys in the service vans and then two people in each of the four management cars," said Cropper. "It is a tough rally, but I hope that all four cars will have good runs. We've got a strong team."

For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit

Sunday 8 November 2009

Best ever gravel rally result for Moore

Janice Moore had her best ever overall gravel rally result on Saturday (7th November) when she co-drove Mark Gamble to second place on the Tempest 2 rally in a Citröen C2R2 Max.

With Gamble using the car for the first time on gravel the crew made a cautious start to the Aldershot-based event, lying 11th overall after the opening two Yateley Wood and Warren Heath stages.

"The opening stages were slippery and we didn’t want to risk going off," said Moore.

"Mark had to get used to the new car on the gravel and, as our first event together didn’t last too long, he had to get used to me too!"

The Citröen crew stepped up the pace over the next three stages and, despite catching a slower car in one of the runs, they emerged from stage five in an excellent second overall behind Julian Wilkes.

Stage 6 saw the leaderboard change, Gamble and Moore again catching a slower car and losing eight seconds to new rally leader Jason Pritchard, who was also out in a Citröen C2R2 Max.

The leading two crews recorded exactly the same times on stage seven and eight and with two stages to go Gamble and Moore were just five seconds behind. Unfortunately it was dark for stage nine and the crew had no time to fit spotlights before the stage. Hampered by poor visibility they lost a further six seconds to Pritchard who had fitted lights earlier in the day.

Lights were fitted for the final stage but any hopes of a victory charge were stopped when the crew backed off slightly after they saw lights appearing to head towards them. Fortunately the other car was in another part of the stage but more time was lost to the leader. With third place man Wilkes breaking a driveshaft they were able to maintain their second place on the leaderboard despite the time loss.

"It was disappointing that we weren’t able to challenge for the lead on the last two stages but overall we’re delighted with the result."

"The car performed well and we had no major problems, it was an enjoyable event and great to get a finish."

Janice will next be in action at the Hall Trophy Stage Rally at Blyton where she will partner Nick Cristofaro in a Nissan Micra as part of the Formula 1000 Junior championship.

For more information on Janice’s rallying please visit

Saturday 7 November 2009

Best ever entry for Roger Albert Clark Rally

The strongest entry in the event's history is how experts are billing the 2009 Roger Albert Clark Rally, which starts in Pickering (Yorkshire) on Friday 13 November.

Among the field are previous winners Stig Blomqvist (2004) and Steve Bannister (2007), former British Rally Champion Gwyndaf Evans, former British Historic Rally Champions Steve Perez and David Stokes, British rallying legends Steve Bannister, Phil Collins, Bob Bean and Jeremy Easson, pace-setting Irishmen Martin McCormack and Seamus O'Connell and top Belgian driver Stefaan Stouf.

"To be honest, I'm absolutely ecstatic about the level and quality of the entry," said rally manager Colin Heppenstall. The leading drivers echo that view, and they all consider the entry to be the best yet in the six-year history of the rally.

"It's going to be the most competitive for a few years," said Steve Perez, who will return to his 1974 Lancia Stratos after contesting Rally GB last month in his state-of-the-art Ford Focus World Rally Car.

"Without question it is the best entry we could have wished for; it is going to be magic," said David Stokes, who has supported the event from the beginning and finished second overall last year.

Making his debut on the rally and tipped by many as a strong contender for overall victory is Welsh ace Gwyndaf Evans, who will drive the Ford Escort entered by the team of former World Rally Champion co-driver Phil Mills.

"Our first priority is to enjoy the event," said Gwyndaf, who first competed on the original Lombard RAC Rally in 1987. "We're using some fantastic stages, although it's while since I was in places like Ae in Scotland. But we'll be doing our best."

In total, over 60 cars will gather at Pickering on Friday ahead of the opening special stages on Friday evening. After a full day of rallying in Yorkshire on Saturday, the action moves to South Scotland and Cumbria on Sunday before concluding in the notorious Kielder forest on Monday. The champagne spraying will be in Carlisle City Centre early on Monday afternoon. Spectators are welcome at many locations and full details are at the event website,

Gravel and asphalt mini-series for 2010 BHRC

The 2010 Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship will feature two dedicated mini-series for gravel and asphalt rallies, with five gravel rallies in the Water End Properties Gravel Cup and four asphalt events qualifying for the Water End Properties Asphalt Cup.

The best performance on each surface has been recognised for the last two years, and the 2009 winners were Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (gravel) and Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (asphalt).

However, in 2010 the concept will be taken further by additional awards and the inclusion of a fourth asphalt event. Although not a part of the overall BHRC for 2010, the Harry Flatters Historic Rally on Epynt will be included in the Water End Properties Asphalt Cup to give competitors four sealed-surface rallies.

"Some competitors want more gravel rallies and some competitors want more asphalt events," said championship manager Simon Marks. "Whilst the overall BHRC will continue to be decided over both types of surface, this development will particularly suit those competitors who prefer either gravel or asphalt. We already had five strong gravel rallies and have included the Harry Flatters for those who would like to focus on asphalt rallies."

The awards for each mini-series will include first, second and third overall as well as class awards. In the gravel series, competitors will score their best four results from five rallies. Meanwhile in the asphalt series, where the three 'over-the-water' events in the Isle of Man, Ulster and Flanders accrue additional points, competitors will be able to miss one of these three rallies and still challenge for awards.

"These awards recognise that certain historic cars are much more suited to one surface than the other, not to mention some of the drivers," said Steven Smith of Water End Properties. "We specifically wanted to give those crews something worthwhile to get out and compete for."

To be eligible for either series, competitors must be members of the Historic Rally Car Register.

The provisional calendars are:

Water End Properties Gravel Cup
27 March; Bulldog Rally (Wales)
24 April; Pirelli Historic Rally (Kielder)
6 June; Severn Valley Stages (Wales)
20 June; Mid Wales Stages (Wales)
25 Sept; Trackrod Historic Cup (Yorkshire)

Water End Properties Asphalt Cup
9/10 July; Isle of Man Historic Rally
1 August; Harry Flatters Historic Rally (Epynt)*
20/21 August; Ulster Historic Rally
11/12 Sept; Tour of Flanders (Belgium)

* Not a round of the 2010 BHRC

2010 BHRC unveiled

The inclusion of the Ulster Rally is the key change for the 2010 MSA British Historic Rally Championship, with the closed-road event replacing the Harry Flatters Rally on Epynt.

The MSA has recently awarded a new five-year contract to the Historic Rally Car Register to manage the championship, which comes as the HRCR completes a 10-year stint at the helm of the BHRC. The new agreement will take the championship through until at least 2014 under the same management.

Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive said: “The MSA has conducted a full review of the promotional contracts for all of the major rally championships. We are pleased that the HRCR is keen to continue its excellent work of recent years and this long-term contract will provide stability for all parties.”

Championship manager Simon Marks said: "We are delighted to have secured the contract from the MSA to continue taking the British Historic Rally Championship forward over the coming years. 2009 has been a particularly enjoyable season and we are looking forward to a couple of exciting developments and more competitors joining us to make 2010 our best season yet."

There will also be a new title for the BHRC, as takes over from the Gambia as joint title sponsor with Dunlop. is the new holiday company of regular BHRC competitor Martin Freestone, who continues his support for the championship. The new title will be the Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship. is a travel and holiday web site, with six search engines to book holidays, cruises, flights, insurance, car hire and motor home hire, all at great discounted prices. Additionally, exclusive membership gives access to over 6,000 worldwide Premier resort villas and apartments at unbeatable prices.

Meanwhile, Dunlop will continue to provide major backing to the championship during the second year of a multi-year partnership with the BHRC. As well as being the championship's tyre supplier, Dunlop's support has allowed extensive TV coverage of the 2009 season.

The schedule for 2010 closely follows the 2009 calendar, other than the inclusion of the Ulster Rally in August. The move away from Epynt is the result of an extensive competitor survey, which clearly demonstrated demand for another high-profile closed-roads rally rather than an event on Epynt.

The Antrim-based Ulster Rally will offer a fresh new challenge and current BHRC champion Dessie Nutt says that the crews contesting the event will not be disappointed.

"It really is a superb event," said Nutt. "Everybody who goes will be very, very impressed. The stages are fantastic; some of them are old Circuit of Ireland stages. There is a very senior team that organises the event and every one of them has extensive competition experience."

The full provisional calendar is:
27 March; Bulldog Rally (gravel)
24 April; Pirelli Historic Rally (gravel)
6 June; Severn Valley Stages (gravel)
20 June; Mid Wales Stages (gravel)
9/10 July; Isle of Man Historic Rally (asphalt)
20/21 August; Ulster Historic Rally (asphalt)
11/12 Sept; Tour of Flanders (asphalt)
25 Sept; Trackrod Historic Cup (gravel)

Sunday 1 November 2009

Images from Britpart BCCC round 6


Lofthouse sails to Driffield success

Bamber Bridge's Dan Lofthouse ended his Britpart British Cross Country Championship season in style with a dominant win at a very wet Driffield in East Yorkshire, his second victory of the year. 2009 Champion Richard Kershaw was second in a Milner with Martin Cox claiming his best result of the year in third.

A challenging six mile course was set out at the venue, which is usually used by the military to test their vehicles. With standing water covering large parts of the course most crews made a cautious start but Lofthouse and Martin Gould were quick out of the box, both drivers over a minute faster than anyone else on the first run.

Lofthouse and Gould continued to occupy the first two places until the third run when Gould rolled his Mattserati. With Gould out of contention Lofthouse gradually extended his lead and at the end of the six runs of day one he was nearly six minutes ahead of Kershaw who was using a Milner R5 instead of his usual Peugeot 206. Martin Cox ended day one in third, a minute behind Kershaw with the top five rounded off by Alan Wilkinson and Bob Seaman.

Crews having problems on day one included Ryan Cooke, contesting his first BCCC event since last year's Driffield round, who sadly retired on the first run, Bumpy Mike Moran who had throttle troubles and Colin Gould who had broken rear suspension on his Bowler Wildcat.

Day two brought torrential rain and howling wind, creating very testing conditions for the crews. Lofthouse maintained a good lead over Kershaw but it was not all plain sailing, the wipers on his Proto LD4 breaking forcing a DIY mechanism to be hastily constructed which enabled navigator Jonny Koonja to operate the wipers manually. Although some time was lost Lofthouse still ended the event with a lead of over four minutes from Kershaw.

"It’s been a tough weekend but I’ve enjoyed it and I'm delighted to take my second win of the year," said Lofthouse. "We had some good times on the first day and pulled out a decent lead over Richard. Fortunately the wiper problem near the end didn’t cost us victory. I’ve really enjoyed the championship and I hope to be back next year with a new car."

Martin Cox continued his consistent pace on day two to take a well-deserved third while Alan Wilkinson had a good run to fourth. Bob Seaman once again took the Trophy class and also finished fifth overall.

"I'm delighted just to finish, the course was complex and very challenging, the standing water made it difficult to judge the terrain," said Seaman. "I had a few troubles with my glasses steaming up but fortunately my navigator kept me going in the right direction! The championship has been excellent, I've thoroughly enjoyed all the events. There has been a good variety of courses this year and the organisation and timekeeping has been excellent - I'm aiming to be back next year for another go."

The Clubman class was won by Martin Conboy with Ollie Lloyd taking second place in a Tomcat on his debut event.


1. Dan Lofthouse Lofthouse Proto LD4 1:54:24
2. Richard Kershaw Milner R5 1:58:49
3. Martin Cox Tornado Evo 1 2:03:23
4. Alan Wilkinson Milner R5 2:05:50
5. Bob Seaman Milner R4 2:08:44
6. Tony Coid Tomcat 100 2:10:33
7. Steven Smith JRG Indy 2 2:10:56
8. Martin Conboy Tornado 2:13:51
9. Ian Bartlett Bartletts 3M206 2:15:21
10. Carl Duffield Peugeot 206 Special 2:19:46

Trophy Winner: Bob Seaman Milner R4

Clubman Winner: Martin Conboy Tornado