Saturday 29 May 2010

Moore overcomes driveshaft problem to claim Challenge finish

East Boldon rally driver Simon Moore overcame driveshaft failure with his Renault Clio Cup on Jim Clark Challenge Rally to claim 15th overall and ninth in class.

Moore and co-driver Emma Morrison made a great start to their event taking third place on the opening stage which took place around the spectator-packed streets of Duns in Scotland.

Disaster was to strike on the second stage though, the Clio suffered a broken driveshaft four miles into the 15 mile stage. With the rally taking place over two days and the cars being allowed to be fixed overnight a determined Moore and his service crew did not give up hope of being out on day two and several hours of hard work saw the car finally fixed at 2am.

"I was completely gutted when the driveshaft went," said Moore. "The first stage of the rally went brilliantly and I was delighted to be in third, especially as we still don’t have the correct suspension for the car."

"Stage two started well too and we were pushing hard to keep at the top end of the leaderboard but part way through the stage the shaft broke and our hopes of a good result were over."

"We limped 11 miles through the stage losing nearly seven minutes to the leaders and got the car back to the overnight halt location. Although we were all very disappointed we decided to try and fix the car and take a 10 minute penalty rather than pack up and go home and we eventually got it sorted at 2am – huge thanks to everyone who helped!"

With the Clio back in good health and nothing to lose Moore decided to go for it on the four stages of day two. Such was his pace that he caught the car in front on the first stage of the day. Despite this he claimed third fastest time.

The second stage of the day was cancelled due to an accident but Moore maintained his pace on the third stage, Eccles, once again claiming third fastest time even though he bent a front strut. The rally ended with the 12 miles of Swinton, a tricky stage with some very high speed jumps. Moore didn’t back off and despite having to reverse on a hairpin and also clipping a large hay bale he stopped the clocks just 1.1 seconds behind rally winner Richard Archer to take second fastest on the stage.

Despite his excellent showing on day two the 17 minutes lost on day one was too much to overcome and Moore was unable to make a challenge to the leading crews.

"Day two was brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the car was going really well. It makes the day one problems all the more frustrating though as without them I think we would’ve been able to get a top three finish which would have kept us in touch in the BRC Challenge championship."

With their BRC Challenge championship hopes now all but over Moore is going to concentrate on developing the Clio for more speed and he will upgrade some components to match his rivals. He will miss the next BRC Challenge round, the Rally Isle of Man in July, as his wife is due to give birth.

Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Sykes aims for change of fortune on Jim Clark International Rally

Rally driver Richard Sykes, from Stourbridge, is hoping for a change of fortune on next weekend’s Jim Clark International Rally after crashing out while leading the previous Citröen Racing Trophy round in Cumbria.

Sykes and co-driver Simon Taylor will contest the event in their Dulux Trade Paints, G I Sykes and Boroughbridge Marina backed Citröen C2 R2 Max. In a change from the previous two rounds, which were held on gravel forest tracks, the Jim Clark event will take place entirely on closed public roads in the Duns area of Berwickshire with competition taking place over 134 miles of stages.

"I was extremely pleased with our pace on the previous round, we were leading the Citröen Racing Trophy after three stages, seven seconds up on the second-placed crew," said Sykes.

"On the fourth stage, the opening of the second day, I wanted to take time of my nearest rival over the first two stages to increase the lead and win the physiological battle. All was on course as I gave it 100% and came out of the blocks at absolute maximum, but a tricky fast right hander saw me just go slightly wide and get onto the looser gravel which dragged me off the road at 90 mph into the scenery. Although I was disappointed with the retirement, I was very happy to have been leading the event overnight and this will give us a great boost going into the next event.”

"My aim for the Jim Clark is to build on the pace we showed on the last round and hopefully get a good finish with a decent haul of championship points. I haven’t driven the car yet as the repair has taken all the time available between the events, but massive thanks to M I S Insurance and Jam Motorsport for their efforts in getting the car back to pristine condition.”

"We will have to use the shakedown as our first tarmac test and the first loop of stages will be a massive learning curve but we’ll have to go hard as we dare as it is sure to be close at the top of the leader board."

“My competitors have all got many tarmac miles under their belt, especially the Irish lads who have been competing in the Irish Citröen championship, but as ever I shall give it my utmost to compete. With the Jim Clark being the first of three tarmac rounds in the championship I’m sure we will get quicker and quicker with every mile.”

The rally kicks off from Duns at 7pm on Friday night with the crews finishing the first leg in Kelso around midnight. The second day starts from Kelso racecourse with the successful crews enjoying the podium finish back in Duns.

Please visit to keep up to date with all the latest news and photographs.

Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey Photography

Peart to resume championship challenge on Jim Clark rally

Burton Pidsea rally driver Chris Peart will resume his BRC Challenge rally championship campaign next weekend when he contests the Jim Clark Challenge event in Scotland.

Peart has enjoyed a good start to his season, taking fourth and second in the two events so far, a performance which sees him lying in second place in the championship standings.

Round three of the championship sees a move to tarmac, the previous events having been held on gravel forestry tracks. Peart and co-driver Jamie Forrest had planned to used a Vauxhall Corsa S1600 in tarmac specification instead of their usual Vauxhall Astra but a shortage of time has meant that it has not been possible to set the car up and test it.

"The Corsa should be more suited to the tarmac stages on the Jim Clark but unfortunately we’ve been so busy at Peart Auto Services that we did not get time to check the set-up of the car and test it," said Peart.

"The roads used on the event are very challenging and it would’ve been risky using the Corsa with no set-up work, it’s vital to have a car that handles well."

"The Astra has served us well on the previous two rounds so hopefully we’ll be able to be up near the top of the leaderboard again."

"After this event we’ve got a few weeks until the next championship round on the Isle of Man so we’ll aim to get the Corsa ready for that."

The rally kicks off next Friday and the Challenge crews will compete over 67 stage miles on closed public roads in the Duns area.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Rally Isle of Man set for spectacular town centre start

Competitors and fans alike won’t have to wait long for the action to start on this years’ Rally Isle of Man - the opening stage begins 50 metres into the event!

In fact the crews don’t even take to the public highway after crossing the start ramp before the countdown begins and the revs rise!

In an effort to improve still further the spectator appeal of one of the British isles major rallies, organisers have decided that it should, quite literally, fire into life! The first of the 21 high speed, closed roads special stages will therefore take place through the streets in Douglas, starting in the TT Pit Lane at the Grandstand Rally HQ.

From the start, the crews will turn hairpin right, heading up Glencrutchey Road to Governors Bridge and then left towards the finish just before Bedstead Corner (the stage will be called ‘Governors’).

Clerk of the Course Les Postlethwaite is delighted that permission for the stage has been obtained from island authorities. ‘This will be something quite unique for the top British Championship stars. We’d like to thank both the authorities and the local residents for their co-operation’, he says. ‘We carried out a survey of the residents and have been delighted with the response. It should help give the event a real boost and add to what is already recognised by teams and competitors as one of the biggest challenges in the sport.’

‘The teams in particular are delighted. They are normally stationed in service areas miles away from the action, but here they will be able to see their crews begin the event in earnest, and spectators will have plenty of time to take in the start before heading out to the following tests.’

The stage and is actually a shortened version of the test used throughout the years the event was part of the European Rally Championship, with legendary names such as Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Tommi Mäkinen among the fastest drivers.

The move also means that for the first time ever spectators at the Grandstand will be able to witness both the start and finish of the rally, with the now traditional Saturday afternoon dash to the TT finish line also retained on the schedule…

…and even more good news, access to the Grandstand is completely free on both days, so make sure you catch all the action from Britain’s fastest rally stars.

It all gets underway on Friday 9th July from 10am.

Monday 17 May 2010

Images from Round 2 of the Britpart BCCC

To see the event gallery please click here.

Wright maintains title challenge on Plains rally

Rally driver David Wright scored another haul of points on the Plains rally last weekend to keep up his hopes of retaining his BTRDA rally championship title. Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson took the GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 to an excellent third place overall and first in class.

The Welshpool-based event, round 4 for the BTRDA championship, kicked off with the Gartheiniog and Dyfi stages and Wright was immediately on the pace, setting third and second fastest times respectively. Two further third fastest times followed on stages three and four, Pantperthog and Hafren and Wright went into the fifth stage in third place overall.

“We made a good start to the event, I think we could’ve been faster on the first stage if we had chosen a softer tyre, conditions were pretty slippery,” said Wright.

“Overall though I was pleased with the times and I enjoyed the stages, especially Hafren which was very fast.”

The rally continued with another Gartheiniog stage which Wright completed in eighth place after the car stalled at a hairpin losing some time. Despite the time loss Wright maintained third place overall, a position he would hold to the end of the event.

“We nudged a bank in stage five and when I reversed the engine stalled. I reckon we lost around 30 seconds so we were fortunate to keep hold of third place.”

“I had a really enjoyable event, the stages were brilliant and the car was troublefree. I’m happy with the result, it keeps our title hopes alive and we’ll keep on pushing for the rest of the season. Thanks to GPM, Kumho Tyres, Drenth, Proflex and Grove Hill Garage for their support.”

Wright’s championship challenge will continue in June on the Dukeries rally in Nottinghamshire.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke Photography

Kirvan continues comeback with fifth on the Plains

Burton Pidsea driver Becky Kirvan continued her comeback to rallying last weekend when she took a creditable fifth in class on the Plains rally.

The Welshpool-based event kicked off with stages in Gartheiniog and Dyfi forests. Kirvan and co-driver Sherryn Roberts emerged from the stages in fifth place in the Rally First 1.4 class despite a confidence sapping moment on the opening test.

"In the early part of the first stage there was a long straight with a crest, we carried too much speed over the crest and the car landed out of shape very close to a big drop," said Kirvan.

"Whilst we didn’t spin it knocked my confidence and I don’t think we were as quick as we could’ve been."

Four more forest stages followed and Kirvan maintained fifth in class in the Rally4Real Nissan Micra despite a few anxious moments including almost hitting a photographer at a hairpin.

The last stage of the rally was held in a woodyard near Welshpool and Kirvan maintained her position although it nearly all came to an end over the finish line.

"There was a jump marked in the notes but I didn’t think we would be going fast enough to actually take off. However, I was wrong!"

"The little Micra flew through the air and landed quite heavily. Fortunately nothing broke and we didn’t crash so we made it to the finish."

"I was pleased to get to the end but a little disappointed with some of the times, I think the stage one incident affected my confidence a lot. The afternoon stages seemed to go better and overall I enjoyed the event. Thanks to Rally4Real and Peart Auto Services for their support, the Micra ran faultlessly once again."

Kirvan now lies in fourth place in the BTRDA Rally First 1.4 championship with the next round taking place in June with the Dukeries rally in Nottinghamshire.

For more information please visit

Cristofaro takes victory at Portreath

Milford Haven rally driver Nick Cristofaro, 16, got his rally season back on track last weekend with a brilliant victory in the TSH Stages Junior 1000 event. The two day event was based at RAF Portreath in Cornwall and was fought over ten competitive stages.

Cristofaro and co-driver Emma Morrison got off to a good start on day one in their Nissan Micra, fighting for the lead on the early stages. At the end of the first day Cristofaro was in the lead by just two seconds.

“We had a good first day and it was great to be leading,” said Cristofaro.

“On our last event we suffered a retirement when the car went into safe mode and wouldn’t go over 20mph, fortunately it seemed as though the problem was cured as we were well on the pace.”

Keen to extend his advantage Cristofaro pushed hard on the opening two stages of the second day, increasing his lead to 12 seconds. The crew decided to keep on pushing on the remainder of the stages and by the end of the rally they took victory by 20 seconds.

“I’m extremely happy with the result, the last rally was a big disappointment but this makes up for it. The car performed faultlessly and I’m pleased with our pace. Hopefully we can continue to do well on the remaining championship rounds, we’re aiming to take the title and we cannot afford any more bad results.”

Cristofaro’s next outing will be at the Chatsworth rally show in June were he has been specially selected to take part in the event.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Kirvan targets class podium on Plains rally

Burton Pidsea driver Becky Kirvan will continue her rally comeback next weekend on the Plains rally. After a successful start to her season on last month’s Somerset Stages event where she took fourth in class Kirvan is aiming to go one better on the Welshpool-based event.

She will once again be using a Nissan Micra supported by Peart Auto Services and Port Talbot’s Sherryn Roberts will be on the notes.

“We had a really good event in Somerset, I was pleased to take fourth in the class especially as it was my first event in the Rally4Real Micra and also my first event with Sherryn,” said Kirvan.

“Hopefully we can have another troublefree run through the stages and push a little harder to try and get into the top three.”

“The stages look brilliant and I can’t wait to compete in some of the famous Welsh forests.”

The rally is part of the BTRDA rally championship which takes in rounds all over England and Wales. It will be fought over 45 miles of gravel forest tracks including stages in the forests of Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Hafren.

For more information please visit

Wright aims for top three finish on Plains rally

Rally driver David Wright from Bentham will continue his BTRDA championship defence next weekend when he contests round four of this year’s series, the Plains rally.

Wright presently stands in fifth place, with two fine finishes overcoming the disappointment of retirement on the opening championship round.

Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson will use their usual GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 car with support from Proflex, Drenth, Grove Hill Garage and Kumho Tyres.

“We had a good result on the Plains last year when we finished third and it’d be good to get a repeat of that result,” said Wright.

“The car is the same spec as Somerset so hopefully we’ll have no problems and we’ll be able to push hard in the stages.”

“We’re up against some tough competition but I am confident we can get a decent finish and a good haul of championship points.”

The rally is based in Welshpool and it uses some of the classic Welsh forest stages such as Gartheiniog, Dyfi and Hafren.