Monday 12 July 2010

Kirvan up to third after successful Quinton rally

Burton Pidsea rally driver Becky Kirvan enjoyed another successful event last weekend when she contested the latest round of the Rally First championship, the Llandovery-based Quinton Stages.

The event had a tough start for the crews with the 11 miles of the Dixies stage which used some of the same roads as Britain’s World Rally Championship round. Kirvan and co-driver Sherryn Roberts were quick out of the blocks to take 7th in class in their Nissan Micra.

"The first stage was amazing, it was a lot longer than most of the ones I have competed on so far this year," said Kirvan.

"There were some lovely flowing and sweeping bends and I got into a good rhythm. We managed to carry decent speed through the corners which is so important in these little cars to keep up the momentum and we set a good time that I was very happy with."

Kirvan maintained her position over the remaining stages with the Peart Auto Services supported Micra running faultlessly.

"We had a few big moments in the stages as I was pushing as hard as I could but fortunately we got away with them and got to the finish in seventh."

"The Rally4Real team made a few suspension adjustments to the Micra after the last event and they worked well, I was pleased with the car's handling and my own performance too."

"The result has moved me up to third in the Rally First 1.4 championship with two rounds to go and, with the tough competition in the class, I’m very happy with my position. I am also still in the lead of the ladies championship so I have plenty of incentive to go as hard as possible on the remaining events."

Kirvan’s next event will be the Woodpecker rally in early September. For more information please visit

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Double delight on Isle of Man for Peart

Burton Pidsea’s Chris Peart had a productive weekend on the Isle of Man when he took second place on each of the two Isle of Man Challenge rally rounds he contested in his Vauxhall Corsa S1600.

After a very disappointing last round when the car engine blew before the rally start Peart and co-driver Jamie Forrest were keen to get their championship challenge back on track on the island.

The first event consisted of nine stages on the tricky stages which were held on closed public roads. The opening stage saw the crews start from a foggy TT Grandstand in Douglas for a short blast along part of the TT course. Peart’s event got off to a great start when he set fastest time on the stage.

Three longer stages followed and Peart showed consistent pace in very changeable conditions to hold second placed behind local driver Kevin Vondy after the Corlea stage.

“I was delighted to be lying in second after the early stages,” said Peart. “The weather conditions made driving difficult but we had a troublefree run through all the stages.”

At over 17 miles stage 6, Ballanank, was the longest of the first event and with a mix of fast wide roads and tight and bumpy lanes it was a big challenge for the crews. Peart maintained his quick pace to stay in second place. A third and second quickest time followed on the next stages with Peart ending the event on a high by taking quickest time on the famous Tholt-y-Will stage although the time was not enough to overhaul the event winner.

“Second was a brilliant result, I was very happy with that. We had a good steady run and the car was faultless.”

The second Challenge event saw the crews compete over eight stages. Conditions were again changeable although as the day progressed the mist and rain became worse, making driving at speed very hazardous. Peart was again on the pace and by the end of stage four he was leading the event.

“The rain got very heavy in some of the stages and the tarmac was extremely slippery, we also had to contend with thick mist. To be in the lead in those conditions was very pleasing.”

Second place on the fifth stage saw Peart drop to second on the leaderboard. His clean run continued until the eighth stage when a wheel was damaged on the Peart Auto Services supported Corsa but despite this he kept his second place. The wheel was changed prior to the ninth and final stage which would see the crews tackle the notoriously difficult Druidale road in the mountains before dropping down into Douglas to a finish back at the TT Grandstand.

Despite being over a minute behind the leader Peart pushed very hard on the last stage and, despite a faulty intercom, he stormed to quickest fastest time taking 56 seconds off the leader but it wasn’t quite enough to take the win.

“After our disastrous Jim Clark rally our aim for the two events was to collect a good haul of points for the championship and it’s great that we have achieved that.”

“The last stage was fantastic, the Druidale section was very tough and then the run down past Injebreck was extremely slippery, it was a fantastic way to end the event.”

Peart now lies in second place in the BRC Challenge and he will contest his final event of the championship, the Trackrod Challenge rally, in late September.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Kirvan ready for Quinton rally challenge

Rally driver Becky Kirvan, from Burton Pidsea, returns to competition next weekend on the Quinton Stages event, round five of the Rally First 1.4 national championship.

After missing the first round of the championship Kirvan has had a good run of results which see her presently lying in fourth place in the championship and she is keen to continue her success.

“I’ve had a good season so far and I’m pleased to have finished all the events I’ve entered,” said Kirvan.

“It’s brilliant to be fourth in the championship, I didn’t expect to be so high up having not competed regularly since 2007. As an added bonus I am also leading the Ladies championship.”

“The stages on the Quinton will all be new to me. Some of the tracks are also used for the World Rally Championship event so it’s exciting that we’ll be driving on the roads that the best crews in the world use.”

Kirvan will contest the event in her usual Nissan Micra with support from Peart Auto Services. After missing the last round Sherryn Roberts returns to the co-drivers seat.

The rally is based in Llandovery with the crews doing 44 competitive miles in the forests around Crychan and Halfway.

For all the latest news and pictures please visit

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Peart hopes for better luck on Isle of Man Challenge Rally

Burton Pidsea rally driver Chris Peart is hoping for a change of fortune next week when he contests the Isle of Man Challenge Rally.

After a good start to the season with fourth and second place on the opening two rounds of the BRC Challenge Peart suffered a blown engine on his Vauxhall Astra before he had even started the last championship round in Scotland.

He will use a different car on the Isle of Man event, a tarmac-specification Vauxhall Corsa S1600 with support from Peart Auto Services.

“The blown engine on the last round meant we scored zero points so we’ve dropped down to fifth in the BRC Challenge,” said Peart.

“The Isle of Man Challenge event counts as two championship rounds with points to be scored on each of the two days that the rally runs. It’s vital that we get a good haul of points on both rounds.”

“The Corsa was bought from a Manx driver so hopefully it should go well on the island’s lanes. We did an event at Twyford to test the car and finished fourth overall so the car definitely has the performance.”

The event is based in Douglas and will be fought over 17 special stages totalling 134 miles. The first stage starts from the TT Grandstand on Friday morning.

Please visit for more information on Chris Peart’s rallying.

Friday 2 July 2010

Group B history returns to Rally Isle of Man

Rally Isle of Man fans will have the chance to re-live one of the golden era’s of rallying on this years’ event, as some of the most famous cars in the sports history take to the islands unique stages one more time.

The organisers are delighted to announce that the awe-inspiring Group B cars of the 1980’s will bring their own jaw-dropping sights and sounds back to the event, with each of the 12 cars part of the folklore of rallying.

And it won’t simply be a static display; the cars will be driven on each of the 21 closed roads stages of the rally immediately before the present day stars of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship head into high speed action, a package that should be a huge draw for spectators.

Among them are an original works 1986 Peugeot 205 T16 Evo, the model that provided Finnish great Juha Kankkunen with the first of his four world crowns and swept the marque to the Manufacturers title too.

Also from 1986 comes a Rothmans Austin Rover Metro 6R4 as used at British Championship level by Jimmy McRae, and a Marlboro Nissan 240 RS from the world series.

Other vehicles include works specification Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and Ford Escort MkII’s from the famous Andrews Heat for Hire team synonymous with British rallying legend Russell Brookes, a Repsol Lancia Delta Intergrale Evo and a works Ford RS200.

It’s a stunning line-up assembled by the Rallying with Group B Club, and that list is only part of the visiting team!

Group B took rallying to a whole new level between 1982 and 1986, opening up the ease for manufacturers to join the sport. It had few restrictions on technology and design, leading to some of the quickest, most powerful and sophisticated rally cars ever built. Indeed the leading cars could out-perform Formula One cars of the time!

The genre’s biggest success on Rally Isle of Man came in 1986, when Tony Pond swept to his fourth victory with Rob Arthur in the Computervision Austin Rover Metro 6R4. Shortly afterwards the cars were banned following a series of accidents.

So make sure you find the time to catch the cars in action - as the group themselves say, once seen, never forgotten!

Rally Isle of Man comes to town

Brand new for 2010, Rally Isle of Man will bring the stars of British Rallying and a whole lot more to the public as never before next Thursday evening, 8th July.

The Rally Isle of Man Launch Event will take place on North Quay in Douglas, and will bring the stars and their cars to the public, offering you the chance to get up close before they start the famous event the following morning.

A parade of cars from the famous Group B era of rallying will be on display from 8pm, a rally photographers dream in itself.

Then from 8.30pm the crews and cars of the Isle of Man International Rally will arrive, with the stars of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

They’ll be on hand for interviews and an autograph session, so bring your programmes along (also on sale at the event).

There’ll also be the opportunity to sign up to marshal on the event, or simply find out what’s involved.

So this is your chance to meet drivers such as Mark Higgins, the most successful in the events history, reigning British champion Keith Cronin and the Welsh legend Gwyndaf Evans, and a whole lot more besides…

…it’s the essential start to Rally Isle of Man, so don’t miss out!

BHRC Isle of Man preview

The 2010 Dunlop/ MSA British Historic Rally Championship switches to asphalt for round five, the Isle of Man Historic Rally on 9/10 July.
The challenging closed public roads of the island always make up one of the most spectacular events of the season and with extra championship points available on this round, there is everything to play for as the leading crews head for Douglas.

Category 1: Heading the category one field will be the Sunbeam Tiger of Jonathan Gale/James Whitaker, winners of the opening round in Wales in March. Consistent top finishes have put them well in contention for the overall title, but now comes the biggest challenge of the season. The Tiger crashed out on the island a year ago, and Gale knows well enough that a strong finish this weekend will really set-up his title bid.

The biggest challenge to the Tiger will come defending champions Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride in their Porsche 911 and no crew has more experience of the Manx roads than the Irish pairing. If Nutt is to retain his title, he needs to beat the Tiger this time. Joining the category one field is the Porsche 911 of Rikki Proffitt/Barry Green and the wonderful Austin Healey 3000 of Graham Goodall/Peter Gilbert.

In class B4, Isle of Man veterans John and Stephen Moxon field their Volvo Amazon to continue a run on the island that goes back more than 30 years. Against them will be the rapid MGB of David Mylchreest/Allan Cathers, while fellow local crew Tom Shimmin/Darren Leadley head class B3 in their Ford Cortina. Notable among the smaller cars is the flying Singer Chamois of Gary and Jane Edgington, which will humble some of the more powerful cars with its pace.

Category 2: Former champions David Stokes and Guy Weaver will head the category two field, for the post-historic cars, in their Ford Escort Mk1 and will be as spectacular as ever. After a troubled start to the season, they won on the Severn Valley and can win again the island, where they have traditionally been very strong. Prime rivals to Stokes will be Rupert Lomax and David Alcock, who will be just as entertaining to watch in their Escort Mk1. Having missed the first half of the season while sorting out a fresh engine, Lomax will be eager to get back into competition.

Chasing the Escorts will be the Porsche 911of Peter Smith/Russ Langthorne, which scored a famous victory in Kielder in April, while class C3 should be the domain of Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk1. Isle of Man debutants Jeremy Wells and Peter Phillips will chase Siddall in C3, but will be pleased to simply see the finish on Saturday afternoon after the toughest event of Wells' rallying career to date.

Category 3: The category three contest is very open with at least four crews firmly in contention for glory. In championship terms, Will Onions and Dave Williams have the most to gain as they enjoy their best season to date with Onions' Mk2 Escort. His friend and rival Darren Moon – partnered as usual by Chris Parsons – will be a major contender, as will local aces Connor Corkill and Rob Fagg, who are having a great season in their Escort Mk2. Local knowledge could just help them take a first major victory and there would be no more popular victor on Saturday afternoon than young Corkill.

But then there is the Porsche 911 of another local ace in the form of Adrian Kermode, partnered by Maurice Beckett. They could just be the crew to topple all the Escorts. But Kermode also has a strong D4 field to watch out for, including the Lotus Sunbeams of Adrian and Dan Seabridge and John Kirkpatrick/Martyn Quine, along with the Triumph TR7 V8 of Stephen Hall and Alan Jackson. Meanwhile, making a long overdue return to the island after more than a quarter of a century away is the Opel Ascona 400 of Theo Bengry/Les Forsbrook. More quick category three Escorts include those of Roger Kilty/Lynette Banks and David Pritchard/Emyr Hall.

In class D3, for the Pinto-powered Escort Mk2s, Mark Clifford and Graham Wild will start as favourites as Clifford tries to repeat his previous top 10 overall finish on the island. His rivals include son and father crew Matt and Dood Pearce in their Escort RS2000.

The Isle of Man Historic Rally is organised by Manx International Rally Ltd. For more details about the event, please visit the website at: The historic rally starts from Douglas on Friday morning (9 July) and finishes on Saturday afternoon.