Monday 29 March 2010

Bulldog Historic Rally Report

Just as they had done a year earlier, Nick Elliott and Dave Price stamped their authority on the opening round of the 2010 Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Bulldog Historic Rally (Saturday 27 March).

While Elliott/Price (Ford Escort Mk2) dominated an incredibly strong category three, other key winners were Jonathan Gale/James Whitaker (Sunbeam Tiger) and Jeremy Easson/Alun Cook (Ford Escort Mk1). For the 80-car field, which was packed with quality, the Bulldog delivered a fabulous rally over some of the finest gravel stages in Britain.

Category 1: Gale and the Tiger started favourites to repeat their 2009 Bulldog win in category one, but it was still a challenge as a late change of co-driver left Gale and Whitaker to get used to each other over the opening stages. Meanwhile, Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride set off at a cracking pace in their Porsche 911 and edged ahead before the Mimecast-backed Tiger got into its stride.
"We put softer tyres on for the second loop and it was much better," said Gale of the big push through the long Gartheiniog stage that took the Tiger into the lead. Even a spin on the final stage failed to hinder the Tiger's progress as it finished 37s up on Nutt's Porsche. "The stages were very, very good," said Nutt of a trouble free rally.

A strong class B4 was won by the flying Volvo Amazon of Graham Waite/Gill Cotton after another spectacular performance. "We were matching times with Dessie later," said Waite of his day's work. Leading the chase of the Volvo was the Lotus Cortina of Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell, with a gap of just over half a minute at the finish. The sportsmanship of Mankin and Bell allowed a timing query over the class result to be quickly resolved.

In class B1, Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill stormed through in their Sunbeam Imp Sport despite a misfire and a puncture late in the last stage. Some way back, but happy to finish his debut BHRC event, was Simon Whitehead, teamed with Gary Wood in his Hillman Imp.

Category 2: Everyone was hoping for a fine battle in category two between old rivals Jeremy Easson and David Stokes in their Escort Mk1s. Unfortunately Stokes and Guy Weaver were out very early with a blown core plug and so Easson and Alun Cook swept to victory, 36s up on the non-BHRC registered Andrew Haddon/Mark Crisp.

"It's been absolutely fantastic," said Easson of a great day on some epic stages. It was his third category win in three events in his latest car. Chasing the Mk1 Escorts and bagging class C4 was the Porsche 911 of Tim Mason and Graham Wild after a problem free day. "The main target was a finish and that's probably the steadiest rally I've ever driven," said Mason.

Tim Jones and Don James were the top of class C3 with a great run over their local stages in their Escort Mk1, finishing the rally a minute up on the similar car of Andrew Siddall/Captain Thompson. Out very early with an engine fire went Drew Wylie/Howard Pridmore.

Class C2 delivered an interesting day, with victory finally going to the non-registered but spectacular Hillman Avenger of Stephen Whitford/Simon Morrow. However, until the final stage, the class lead was with Vince Bristow/Tim Sayer after a mighty run in their Escort. Unfortunately, an off in Dyfnant cost them a couple of minutes and dropped them to second, albeit still with maximum class championship points. Third in C2 went to the Hillman Avenger of Gary and Jane Edgington, as the driver celebrated his 48th birthday. "I paid the entry fee; he's not getting anything else," said Jane of her husband's birthday.

Category 3: Probably the best ever entry for category three promised a great day for the fans in the forests and they were not disappointed. But from the off, no-one could match the pace of Elliott/Price who swept ahead on the opening Big Ray stage and led all the way back to Welshpool with a stunning display of pace and commitment. "I didn't think we were going that quickly," said Elliott after a masterful performance.

Leading the chase was the similar Escort Mk2 of Julian Reynolds/Ian Oakey, but Reynolds accepted that the day belonged to Elliott. "We went too slow this morning and Nick gave us a good hiding," he admitted, although the gap at the finish was just 25s. Third in category three was a fine result for the non-registered Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan, while Richard Hill/Patrick Cooper took fourth in their Escort Mk2. "Cracking stages," said Hill of their rally. "The car was spot on, but the driver was just steady," he added.

Packing out the leading places in Escorts came great performances from Will Onions/Dave Williams and Conor Corkill/Rob Fagg, while Seamus O'Connell/Nigel Gardner deserved better than seventh. However, losing second and third gear through the final two stages cost them a lot of time.

In D4, Rob Smith/Shaun O'Gorman took top slot in their Vauxhall Chevette, with a result that put them among the top 10 Escorts. There was a great battle among a strong D3 entry, as Richard Lane/Frank Richer took the class by just seven seconds from Stuart Clarke/Andy Ballantine in the contest of the Mk2 Escort-Pintos. Into the final Dyfnant stage, Clark was ahead by a second but Lane mounted a big attack and emerged eight seconds faster to grab the class. "It all came together well," said Lane. "Brilliant stages," he added, summing up the feelings of just about every crew on the rally.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Images from the Bulldog Rally

To see the event gallery please click here.

Sykes suffers agonising retirement on C2 R2 debut

Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes suffered a disappointing debut event in his Citröen C2 R2 Max last Saturday when engine problems forced him into retirement.

Sykes and co-driver Simon Taylor were contesting the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales, the opening round of both the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and the Citröen Racing Trophy.

The rally got off to a tough start with two stages in the Llanurig area totalling 33 miles. Sykes successfully completed both stages in his Dulux Trade Paints, G I Sykes and Boroughbridge Marina backed car, taking third place in the Citröen Racing Trophy behind two ultra quick Irish crews.

"We didn’t push too much early on, it was our first time driving the new car competitively and it took a few miles to learn the feel of the car," said Sykes.

"I was reasonably pleased to be third in the Citröen Racing Trophy, especially as I was beating my rivals from the Suzuki Swift championship last year and one of the regular C2 competitors."

After a service halt in Welshpool the crews returned to Llanurig for a repeat of the opening two stages. Sykes and Taylor had a excellent second run gaining more confidence in the new car and maintaining third in the Citröens.

The event then moved to the forests around Corris for the remainder of the eight competitive stages. They remained third Citröen in the Big Ray stage but Sykes and Taylor’s rally came to a premature end on the next stage in Dyfi forest.

"The engine threw its oil out in the stage which meant instant retirement for us. I’m not sure exactly what caused it, the digital dash in the car had stopped working so we weren’t able to monitor oil pressure and temperature."

"It’s massively disappointing not to finish the event, I had hoped that the new car would be reliable after the problems we had last year with the Swift but sadly it was not to be."

"I am happy that we were pretty much on the pace in the Citröen Racing Trophy though, we were in third place when we retired which I think is pretty good considering it was our first event in the car and it gives us a base to work on.”

“I am just over a second a mile off the lead so we will work hard for the next event, it is clear I need to step up the game to compete with the new Irish lads. Hopefully we can have a reliable car on the next round and get a decent finish."

Sykes and Taylor will next be in action on the Pirelli rally at the end of April, round two of both the British Rally Championship and Citröen Racing Trophy.

For more information please visit

Peart claims class podium on Bulldog Challenge rally

Burton Pidsea’s Chris Peart enjoyed a successful start to his 2010 BRC Challenge rally championship campaign when he took fourth place overall and second in class on the Bulldog Challenge Rally in his Peart Auto Services Vauxhall Astra.

Peart and co-driver Jamie Forrest made a cautious start to the opening 17 mile stage at the Sweet Lamb rally complex, completing the course in sixth place and fourth in class.

“It was the first time I have driven the car on gravel since last November so it took a few miles to get back into it,” said Peart.

“The opening stage was a long one with plenty of testing slippery sections, we were pleased to get to the finish in sixth.”

After a break for servicing at Welshpool the crews headed to the forests of Dyfi, Pantperthog and Gartheiniog for the remainder of the event’s 50 competitive stage miles.

Peart and Forrest took fifth place on the Big Ray stage before stepping up the pace on the last three stages of the event, claiming fourth place on each of the tests to end up in fourth place overall and second in class as the crews headed back to Welshpool for the rally finish.

“I’m pleased with the result, our aim for the rally was to get a decent haul of points to give us a good start in the BRC Challenge championship and we’ve achieved that with the fourth placed finish.”

“The car performed well and I enjoyed the stages although they were a bit different to the ones in Yorkshire that I usually compete on. It's an excellent start to the season and I'm looking forward to the next round.”

Peart and Forrest will continue their BRC Challenge campaign on the Pirelli rally which takes place at the end of April.

Please visit to keep up to date with the team’s championship progress.

Moore makes solid start to BRC Challenge campaign

Rally driver Simon Moore overcame a few car problems on the Bulldog Challenge Rally to claim fifth place overall and third in class in his Renault Clio as well as taking first place in the Hankook Renault Clio Challenge.

After debuting the car on the previous weekend’s Border Counties rally Moore, from East Boldon, and co-driver Emma Morrison were keen to claim a good points finish on the North Wales event which was round one of both the BRC Challenge and the Clio Challenge.

The first of the rally’s five competitive stages saw the crews head to the Sweet Lamb rally complex near Llanurig. Moore and Morrison successfully completed the 17 mile course in fifth overall and third in class.

“The opening stage was very testing, we were pleased to get to the end of it in fifth,” said Moore.

“We had a problem with the brakes, the pedal was going soft which meant we couldn’t push as hard as we’d like. Unfortunately the problem lasted all rally – we’re going to try some different brake fluid on the next event.”

After a service halt in Welshpool the rally moved to the forests around Corris for the remainder of the competitive mileage. Stage two saw Moore and Morrison maintain their fifth place before a good run through the nine miles of the Dyfi stage moved them up to fourth overall and second in class.

Some time was lost in the final Gartheiniog stage when the Clio’s engine started running on three cylinders but despite the problem the crew arrived at the rally finish in a creditable fifth overall and third in class. They also won the Clio Challenge.

“I’m happy with the result, it could’ve been better had we been able to rely on the brakes more but it’s a decent start to our championship campaign.”

“The car has finished two events in two weekends so I’m very pleased with the reliability. The performance is definitely there too, we need to do some development work on the suspension though as the handling could be better. We’re planning to test the car before the next event to try some different springs which will hopefully give us some improvements.”

“With better handling and reliable brakes I am confident we will be on the pace on the next round.”

Moore and Morrison will next be in action on the Carlisle-based Pirelli rally in April.

Cronin cruises to Bulldog victory

Ireland's Keith Cronin and co-driver Barry McNulty stormed to victory on today's Bulldog International Rally of North Wales which comprised the opening round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

The reigning Champion was quickest through five of the eight special stages to claim an emphatic win by over two minutes and beamed at the finish at the new Welshpool Livestock Market: "This has been one of the hardest rallies I have ever won. Trying to pick a pace was very difficult as it is easier when you are fighting for the lead. The car was faultless all day and I am delighted."

Scotsman Dave Weston Jnr with Ieuan Thomas on the notes claimed an impressive second place overall despite a puncture at the end of SS3. The youngster finished with a 26 second advantage over his nearest rival, Adam Gould.

Gould, co-driven by Craig Drew, had a frantic week in the build up to the rally to raise the budget and ensure his Subaru Impreza was ready to start the event. The Bristol driver admitted to being unprepared in the build up to the weekend but drove a faultless rally to claim third place, 15 seconds ahead of Euan Thorburn.

Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton brought their Subaru Impreza to the finish, 17 seconds ahead of Ulsterman Jonny Greer and co-driver Dai Roberts. Greer struggled to get into a rhythm in the earlier stages of the rally, and then a puncture through SS3 which in turn resulted in a broken wire affecting the differential on the Mitsubishi Lancer dropped him down the order early on.

Notable retirements were Gwyndaf Evans whose Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 stopped after SS2 with gearbox problems and Craig Breen's Fiesta S2000 came to a halt on the road section on the way into first service. Alastair Fisher retired after SS6 with transmission failure on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

The event also made up round one of the Dunlop MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

Category 1 was claimed by Jonathan Gale and co-driver James Whittaker in their Sunbeam Tiger. They finished 37 seconds ahead of the Porsche 911 of Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride. Category 2 was won by Jeremy Easson and Alun Cook who crossed the finish ramp 36 seconds ahead of Andrew Haddon and Mark Crisp. Nick Elliott and Dave Price claimed victory in Category 3, bringing their Ford Escort home 25 seconds ahead of Julian Reynolds and Ian Oakley.

The BRC Challenge was won by Julian Wilkes and Will Rutherford who finished the event 21 seconds ahead of Callum Black and Paul Wakley. Jonathan Cunningham and co-driver Richard Millener brought their Ford Fiesta ST back to the finish in third place, finishing a further 41 seconds adrift.

The Bulldog National Rally was won by Alex Allingham and Mark Glennerster who finished a mere five seconds ahead of Paul Davy and Roger Allan. Paul Walker and Mark Lewis claimed the final podium place, finishing a further 45 behind Davy.

Mike Tomkinson and Shaun Whitehurst won the Bulldog Clubman section of the event, bringing their Subaru Impreza home 17 seconds ahead of Paul Lomas and Matthew Nicholas. Neville Jones and Ian Capwell crossed the finish ramp a further 32 seconds adrift.

For full results visit

Tuesday 23 March 2010

2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship season kick-off imminent

With Dulux Trade in place as the British Rally Championship’s new title sponsor for an initial two year term, the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship approaches the first round this weekend, Bulldog International Rally North Wales, ready for an epic battle on the stages.

It is certain that the 2010 Dulux Trade BRC will be a highly competitive, close fought and exciting spectacle. Why? Because a young Irishman called Keith Cronin made last season one for the history books, taking victory at his first attempt.

The 23 year old from West Cork pitted his skills against not only triple champion Mark Higgins and reigning champion Guy Wilks, but a wealth of talented drivers both young and not so young. The overriding feel of the championship though, is that of youth, with the average age of drivers in 2009 and 2010 only 26 years.

Three official two-car teams and a near 50/50 split of two wheel and four wheel drive cars will make a great spectacle in the Welsh forests, as not only the overall title, but four one-make championships are played out in the British Isles’ premier rally championship.

The International status of the championship is buoyed by competitors from all over the World too, aside from representatives from all corners of the British Isles there are drivers from Ireland, Finland, Australia and South Africa.

Control Sunoco fuels and Pirelli tyres remain to help keep a level playing field, Pirelli committing to the Star Driver Scheme for a fourth year, offering a prize drive in the 2011 Dulux Trade BRC to the talented winner.

Sky Sports has signed a deal to cover the British Rally Championship for a further three years too, the Greenlight TV produced programmes broadcast on the Monday night immediately after each rally. This one hour programme will cover all the top action from the front of the field, carrying the stories from each round of the series. The remainder of the action will be covered in Rallyzone and Motorsport Mundial which go out before the following event.


Pirelli TEG Spot will not only return to defend their 2009 Teams title, but as winners of the contract to run the 2009 Pirelli Star Driver car, they boast the reigning British Rally Champion as their number one driver. Irishman Keith Cronin, this year co-driven by Barry McNulty, will pilot one of the Lancashire team’s Subaru Impreza N15 cars. Another young driver joining the team for the first time will be Scottish youngster Euan Thorburn and his new co-driver Paul Beaton.

2010 sees the return of JRM which will field two Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10s. The first will be driven by the only other BRC champion in the field, Gwyndaf Evans who has not won the series since 1996, but stands a real chance again this year at the tender age of 51. Chris Patterson will co-drive, no doubt passing on some of his experience to Daniel Sigurðarson’s sister Ásta Sigurðardottir who will co-drive the former Icelandic Rally Champion.

Ramsport joins the fray for the first time as a contender in the Teams’ Championship this year fielding two Imprezas. 2009’s fourth placed driver Dave Weston Junior with co-driver Ieuan Thomas will be joined by the 2007 Pirelli Star Driver Darren Gass, who returns to the championship with Neil Shanks alongside after a year’s break.


Only drivers born after 1st January 1984 and driving two wheel drive cars are in with a chance of the prestigious MSA Gold flag, presented at the Royal Automobile Club in London. Last year’s champion Marty McCormack is off overseas this year trying his hand at the French Rally Championship, leaving the door wide open for a ruck of drivers to steal the Junior title.


The concept of the Pirelli sponsored initiative is to assist talented drivers to progress and prove their potential, with a view to moving up in the sport. In 2007 the prize of a fully funded drive in the BRC was realised by 19 year old Darren Gass, following a rigorous selection process. 2008’s competition produced 21 year old Adam Gould who drove the door handles off his Clio to take his nomination on the Jim Clark Rally. The young Bristolian was impressive in the TEG Sport-run Pirelli car, narrowly missing out on a podium spot twice, but suffering a couple of high speed offs on his way.

The scheme, which continues in 2010, still allows any registered BRC driver, irrespective of class or nationality, to be eligible for the scheme. It will again choose one person from each of the six events to go forward to the end of season Pirelli Star Driver Shootout. A team of adjudicators will evaluate and nominate each candidate who will be presented with the Pirelli “Yellow Jersey” at the finish of the event.

In addition to this, the highest placed junior drivers in the three one make series’; the Fiesta Sport and Citroën Racing Trophies, the Swift Sport Cup and the overall winner of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge will also take part in a final selection competition. The winner will secure a fully funded drive in the 2010 BRC in a car appropriate to their experience.


The Rally 1, 2, 3 and 4 class structure continues for a fourth successive year. Rally 1 will contain the Swift Sport Cup and other production cars up to 1600cc while Rally 2 encompasses R2 cars in the Citroen and Fiesta series. Rally 3 includes turbo diesels and the Fiesta ST model as well as other production category two litre cars.

The Rally 4 class is where the four wheel drive machinery resides; Subaru and Mitsubishi being the mainstay. But there is still the option for Super 2000 screamers to compete for R4 and overall honours within the BRC, M-Sport’s Fiesta S2000 likely to feature this year at the hands of Craig Breen.


Once again there will be opportunities for diesel cars to compete in the BRC, the competition in the Diesel Rally Cup likely to be between 2009 Champions Steve and Tony Graham in their Vauxhall and Irishman Fin McCaul’s BMW, although McCaul will miss the first round through business commitments.

The Privateers Cup rewards the highest placed driver not entered in a team, Keith Cronin taking the accolade in 2009. As he is a member of the Pirelli TEG Sport team in 2010, a new name will adorn the trophy at the end of season awards ceremony in October.


After a baptism of fire as the BRC’s new opening round in 2009, Bulldog International Rally North Wales came up trumps, offering an excellent single day format in some of the country’s most iconic stages. The 2010 format means a new base for the International and Challenge events at the brand new multi million pound Welshpool Livestock Market.

The 100 stage mile event is packed into one day, starting at 7am on Saturday 27th March and finishing back at the Livestock Market podium at 6.30pm. Using some of the classic Welsh forestry stages like Sweet Lamb, Hafren, Dyfi and Gartheiniog, it will be a real test of crews' abilities.

For Bulldog International Rally North Wales programme and ticket information visit

For more information on the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship visit

Monday 22 March 2010

BHRC preview, round one: Bulldog Historic Rally

The opening round of the 2010 Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship has attracted a superb 80-car field to the Bulldog Historic Rally (Saturday 27 March).

Never before have so many BDG-powered Ford Escorts packed out the entry, which will tackle over 50 miles of prime Welsh forest roads in six special stages. It promises to be a fabulous start to the 2010 season.

Category 1: Category one is for the oldest cars, from the pre '68 era, and it is the Sunbeam Tiger of Jonathan Gale – the 2009 Bulldog winner – that heads the field away. Gale and the Tiger should be the class of the category one field, although it seems that a back injury may keep his father Graham out of the co-driver's seat this time around. Leading the chase of the Tiger will be the Porsche 911 of defending champions Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride, but if all goes well with the Tiger, Nutt will be hard pressed to match the pace of the rumbling V8.

The battle for class B4 has six contenders, headed by the ever-spectacular Volvo Amazon of Graham Waite/Gill Cotton. The Lotus Cortina pack includes Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell and Gwilym Roberts/Lowri Davies, while another Amazon is in the hands of Dave Reynolds/Cliff Doe. Adding further variety is the MGB of Mike Howells/Malc Hamer, while Nick Pinkett/Jonathan Lodge lead class B3 in their V4-powered Saab 96. In B1, the battle is between the Imps of Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill and BHRC newcomers Simon Whitehead/Gary Wood.

Category 2: In category two, for the post-historic cars, the outright pace is likely to be a battle between old adversaries Jeremy Easson/Alun Cook and David Stokes/Guy Weaver in their Escort Mk1s. These two hugely experienced crews head a strong category two field while the Porsche 911 of Tim Mason/Graham Wild will be pushing hard. More quick Escort Mk1s will be chasing Easson and Stokes in class C5, including those of Chris Browne/Liz Jordan and Craig Salter/Preston Ayres, while lining up against Mason in class C4 will be the Porsche 911 of Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne.

Class C3, for the Pinto-powered Escorts is again shaping up to be a fine contest, headed by Tim Jones/Don James. They face plenty of rivals including 2009 C3 champions Drew Wylie/Howard Pridmore and Andrew Siddall/Captain Thompson, while James Slaughter/Phil Peak are getting closer and closer to the class pace.

An excellent field in C2 brings out a gaggle of Escorts to take on the Hillman Avengers of Gary and Jane Edgington and Irish crew Stephen Whitford/Simon Morrow. Top of the Escort pack will be Vince Bristow/Tim Sayer, and they will surely set the standard as more quick Escorts arrive in the hands of Neil Rudd/Brian Hodgson, Richard Williams/Richard Ekin and Nick Danks/Martin Corbett.

Category 3: Never before have so many BDG-powered Escort Mk2s packed out the entry for a BHRC round, and four crews stand out as the potential absolute pacesetters. 2009 Bulldog winners Nick Elliott/Dave Price head the field away, closely followed by Julian Reynolds/Ian Oakey, Richard Hill/Patrick Cooper and Irish crew Ryan Barrett/Kevin Bowcott. Elliott and Reynolds may well set a scorching pace from the start.

The quality of entry in class D5 is incredible, with at least another dozen very quick crews in the top class. Darren Moon/Chris Parsons, Will Onions/Dave Williams, Simon Tysoe/Cliff Simmons and Terry Brown/Kevin Jones are just some of the other leading class D5 runners. Although at the tail of the entry list, the Escort Mk2 of Seamus O'Connell/Nigel Gardner will start much nearer the front and is another major contender in a field of remarkable quality.

In class D4 are the over 2-litre non-Escorts, and that means the Opel Asconas and Vauxhall Chevettes. Quickest of the pack could be the Chevette of Rob Smith/Shaun O'Gorman, which may well be the car to take the fight to the Escorts. Opel-mounted are Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan, and their pace on a rare BHRC outing will be watched with interest.

The standard of competition continues in class D3, where the top seeds are Stuart Clarke/Andy Ballantyne and Richard Lane/Frank Richer. Leading the chase of Clarke and Lane will be Adrian Young/Gwynfor Jones and David Lloyd-Roberts/Dei Jones.

The Bulldog Historic Rally is organised by Wolverhampton and South Staffs Car Club and starts at 8.30am on Saturday 27 March from Welshpool. For more details about the event, please visit the website at:

Sunday 21 March 2010

Sykes set for C2 debut on Bulldog International Rally

Rally driver Richard Sykes will get his 2010 rally season underway next weekend when he contests the Bulldog International Rally in North Wales with co-driver Simon Taylor.

Sykes, from Stourbridge, will debut his new Dulux Trade Paints, G I Sykes and Boroughbridge Marina backed Citröen C2 R2 Max on the event which is the opening round of both the British Rally Championship (BRC) and the Citröen Racing Trophy. Sykes will contest both championships in his Jam Motorsport prepared car.

The championship will see the competing crews contest six high profile international status events on both gravel forest tracks and tarmac roads, starting off in North Wales and then taking in rounds in Cumbria, Berwickshire, the Isle of Man, Ulster and Yorkshire.

"We used two cars last year, a Suzuki Swift and Peugeot 106, on both BRC and BTRDA championship events but we’ve decided to concentrate on the Citröen Racing Trophy this year," said Sykes.

"The Trophy will be contested by crews in identical cars so I expect competition will be very close. Citröen are offering a good prize fund so there’s an extra incentive to push hard."

"We're testing the car for the first time a couple of days before the rally and I’m confident that we’ll be quickly on the pace."

"Hopefully we can get a good haul of points to get our season off to a strong start."

The Bulldog Rally will be contested over 100 miles of stages and will use some of the classic Welsh rally stages such as Dyfi and Gartheiniog, more information on the event can be found at

To keep up to date with Sykes and Taylor’s rally season please visit

Peart aims for points on Bulldog season opener

Burton Pidsea rally driver Chris Peart will kick of his British Rally Championship (BRC) Challenge campaign next weekend when he contests the Bulldog Rally in Wales.

After contesting a few selected events in 2008 and 2009 Peart has decided to contest a full championship in 2010 and has chosen the BRC Challenge, a series of events all over the country for two wheel drive cars with engines of up to two litres capacity.

Peart will be using two Peart Auto Services backed cars during the championship. For the events using gravel forest tracks he will use a Vauxhall Astra while on the two tarmac events, the Jim Clark rally in Scotland and the Rally Isle of Man, he will use a Vauxhall Corsa kit car. Peart will be co-driven by Keighley’s Jamie Forrest, the pairing having previously contested several rallies together.

"I’m looking forward to competing in the BRC Challenge, it’s going to be great contesting some of the best known rallies in the UK," said Peart.

"Some top crews have entered the Challenge so it should be pretty competitive, we’ll be aiming to score a good haul of points in Wales."

"We’ll be using the Astra on the first round as it’s set up for forest tracks, the car is going to be pretty much the same specification as it’s last outing, the Kall Kwik rally last November."

"We bought the Corsa last year from a driver on the Isle of Man so hopefully it should go well on the rally there!"

The Bulldog Rally is based in Welshpool and uses some of the classic Welsh forestry rally stages. The BRC Challenge crews will contest five competitive stages totalling 50 miles.

To keep up to date with Peart and Forrest’s championship campaign please visit

Moore enjoys successful rally return

East Boldon based rally driver Simon Moore returned to competition after a break of nearly four years last Saturday (20th March) to take a class win on the Border Counties rally.

Moore, who was the 205 Scholarship champion in 2004 and 2005, used the event as a test for the newly built Renault Clio in which he will contest the British Rally Championship (BRC) Challenge and Clio Challenge championships this year.

With a broken differential suffered while testing the weekend before the rally and new suspension not arriving until the day before the rally Moore and co-driver Emma Morrison were lucky to make it to the Jedburgh based event.

The rally opened with the Hyndlee stage and Moore made a steady start, completing the stage in 43rd place. As he got used to the Clio the pace increased and by the end of stage three he was up to 35th overall and first in class.

"After the last minute problems with the car it was a relief to get to the rally start," said Moore.

"We took it easy on the opening stage, with a new car, new co-driver and a ring-rusty driver we didn’t want to have an early retirement!"

"We had good runs in stages two and three though and we were pleased to find that we were leading the class."

Stage 4, Redesdale, saw Moore suffer his only problem of the day, a puncture costing some time. A good clear run through the final Wauchope stage moved Moore and Morrison up the leaderboard to 29th overall at the rally finish which, combined with their class win, was a brilliant debut result.

"I’m delighted with getting to the finish and winning our class. The car has taken me six months to build from a standard road going Clio and today has made all the effort worthwhile."

"We’ll be out again in the car again next weekend so there’s going to be a few late nights preparing the car this week I think!"

Moore and Morrison will contest the Bulldog Rally in Wales next weekend (27th March) which is the opening round of both the BRC Challenge and the single make Clio Challenge.

Monday 8 March 2010

Images from the Roskirk Stages

To see the event gallery please click here.

Images from the Malcolm Wilson rally

To see the event gallery please click here.

BHRC gets prime-time TV slots

The early broadcast schedules for the Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship show prime-time slots for the coverage on Motors TV. Importantly, coverage of the opening two rallies will broadcast within three weeks of the event.

All eight rounds of the BHRC will be televised in 2010, with dedicated hour-long programmes on Motors TV following each round supported by 'My Life Story'. Acceleration Television and Video, the company headed by David Winstanley, will exclusively film all eight rallies and produce television programmes as well as DVDs, which will be available through

Coverage of the opening round on Motors TV, the Bulldog Historic Rally on 27 March, will first be broadcast at 9.15pm on Saturday 17 April. The BHRC report will be the programme immediately ahead of coverage of the WRC Rally of Turkey.

The coverage of round two, the Pirelli Historic Rally on 24 April, will first be screened on Saturday 15 May at 10.20pm, which is the time slot usually reserved for WRC events. In both cases, each programme will have several repeats in the week after the initial transmission.

More details about broadcast schedules will be published in due course. Please check TV listings for the latest information.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Wright takes class victory on icy Malcolm Wilson rally

Bentham rally driver David Wright overcame treacherous conditions on last Saturday’s Malcolm Wilson rally to take a brilliant fifth overall and first in class.

Snow and ice greeted the crews on the event’s opening two stages which took place either side of Whinlatter Pass near Keswick. Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson started the event on gravel tyres and they slid to 14th fastest time on the first stage. Further time was lost on stage two when their Giles Philips Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo 9 hit a patch of ice and collided with a log which span the car around. Despite the spin the crew claimed ninth fastest time and moved up to 12th overall and second in class.

“The first two stages were frustrating, the ice was quite severe in places and it was difficult to get any rhythm going,” said Wright.

“A fair few cars didn’t make it out of the stages though so we were pleased to head for the third stage in one piece.”

Stage three saw the crews head to Wythop forest. Conditions here were much improved and Wright stormed to second fastest time. Icy conditions returned for the following Greystoke stage but Wright maintained his leaderboard position with a good time, heading for the first service halt of the event in seventh overall.

After service the rally went south to Grizedale forest. Although the car suffered two front punctures Wright was well on the pace, taking fourth and third on the two Grizedale tests and moving up to fifth overall.

Another run of Greystoke completed the rally and, despite a few moments on the patchy ice, Wright successfully completed the stage and claimed fifth overall and first in class.

“I’m delighted with the result, the conditions made it one of the hardest rallies I’ve ever done so it’s really satisfying to get a good finish and a class win.”

“The rally was the second round of the BTRDA championship so it’s great to score a decent amount of points for that too, especially after we retired on round one.”

“We’re going to do some more development work with the car before the next championship round so hopefully we’ll be on the pace there too. I’d like to thank Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage for their support.”

Wright will next be in action on the Somerset Stages in April, the third round of the BTRDA rally championship.