Thursday 28 October 2010

Becky enjoys successful test of new car

Rally driver Becky Kirvan, from Burton Pidsea, travelled to Wales this week for the first test of her new car for next season. Using tracks at the Sweet Lamb rally complex near Llangurig 2010 BTRDA ladies champion Kirvan concentrated on getting used to the Ford Fiesta ST's power and handling at first before working on the set up of the suspension.

Fellow rally driver and 2010 BTRDA 1400 Champion Matt Edwards, who used to run a similar car, was on hand to provide advice on the various suspension settings and also to give Becky some tips for getting the best out of the new machine.

With the suspension to her liking Kirvan tackled several runs of a rally stage at the venue and was delighted with the performance of the car.

"The Fiesta is so much more powerful than my Micra and the brakes and handling are far superior too," said Kirvan.

"I really enjoyed testing the car and soon adapted my driving style to suit it and we made some excellent progress The testing session has definitely made me look forward to next season even more, if that’s possible!"

"I'd like to thank Matt for his advice on the settings and driving style, he was a great help."

A further test of the Fiesta is planned for early in 2011. In the meantime Kirvan is focussing on attracting backing to enable her to contest the popular British Rally Championship next year, anyone interested in supporting her can make contact via

Sunday 17 October 2010

Cristofaro takes podium finish on second-ever gravel rally

Milford Haven rally driver Nick Cristofaro took a brilliant podium finish on just his second event in the forests last weekend when he piloted his VW Lupo to second place in the Rally First class of the Cambrian rally.

Cristofaro, 17, and co-driver Emma Morrison had previously contested the Woodpecker rally in August where they took sixth in class on Cristofaro’s forest rally debut. Cristofaro’s aims for the Cambrian were to get some more experience under his belt and push a little harder to get further up the leaderboard.

The North Wales-based event started with a pair of stages in Clocaenog forest and Cristofaro’s decision to increase his pace immediately paid off as he stormed into the lead of his class.

“I was driving for a finish on the Woodpecker with it being my first event but I wanted to improve my position on the Cambrian,” said Cristofaro.

“The first two stages went really well but I was shocked when I saw the results when I got back to the service area, it was brilliant to be at the top of the leaderboard so soon into my forest rallying career.”

The rally moved to the forests of Penmachno for stages three and four. Stage three was very narrow and slippery with some sections feeling like driving on ice. Part way through the stage Cristofaro was flat out over a crest and overshot the next junction, getting the car stuck in the trees causing a time loss of two minutes.

“It was my first ever accident in rallying and I was really gutted as it cost me the lead. Fortunately there were plenty of spectators where we went off and they got the car back on the road which I’m very grateful for.”

The accident dropped Cristofaro to second place after the two Penmachno stages but his pace continued unabated in the final pair of stages in Clocaenog where he took fastest time in his class on both tests. It was not enough to regain the class lead though and he reached the rally finish in Llandudno in second place.

“Second is an excellent result but I’m disappointed as without the accident we would’ve won. At least I know that I have the pace to do well next year and we’ll be aiming for the top of the leaderboard in a Super 1400 Mazda 2 prepared by”

“I’m also planning to contest the Fiesta Sporting Trophy in a Ford Fiesta ST run by TEG Sport. My aim is to be winning in both championships so if there are any businesses who want to be involved with a winning team please contact me via I will be at the British Rally Championship open day at Sweet Lamb on 22nd October if any companies would like to discuss marketing opportunities.”

Becky takes Ladies Championship in Wales

Burton Pidsea rally driver Becky Kirvan ended her rally season on a high last weekend when she successfully finished the Cambrian rally and in doing so took the BTRDA Ladies Championship title.

After a car-destroying accident on her previous event and the championship win requiring a finish Kirvan and co-driver Rob Walters had no plans to set the stages alight and they made a cautious start on the opening pair of tests in Clocaenog forest in North Wales, taking 7th in class as the crews headed to the first service halt.

"The forest tracks were very slippery and it would have been easy to push too hard and go off," said Kirvan.

"It was my first time competing since the accident so I gradually built up my confidence and took no risks in the opening stages. The guys at Rally4Real had worked flat out getting the car rebuilt and I didn’t want to let them down."

The rally then moved to Penmachno for a pair of stages, which included a run around the very popular spectator point in Penmachno quarry. As her confidence grew Kirvan increased her pace whilst being mindful of the slippery conditions and the championship being at stake.

The event returned to Clocaenog for the final pair of stages. The fifth stage went well with Kirvan having a clear run and she entered the final stage just needing to get to the end to win the Ladies title.

The final stage did not go smoothly though with the car suffering a puncture part way through the course. The crew decided to stop and change the wheel so as to prevent any mechanical damage to the car from the disintegrating tyre. Although several minutes time were lost a delighted Kirvan made it to the finish.

"I was absolutely thrilled to get to the finish, I had been very nervous before the event with the Ladies title relying on me getting to the end of the rally."

"The year has been brilliant and has exceeded all my expectations having had some time out from the sport before this championship. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and it has been great to compete against all the other crews. Thanks to Rally4Real and Peart Auto Services for all their support."

Kirvan is now planning next season’s rallying and she will test her new Fiesta ST for the first time in a couple of weeks. If sufficient funding can be secured she hopes to compete in the popular BRC Challenge next year. Any business wishing to become involved in the Becky Kirvan Rallying team can contact her via

Images from the Cambrian Rally

To see the event gallery please click here.

Monday 11 October 2010

Images from the Tunnocks Mull Rally

To see the event gallery please click here.

Edwards takes best ever result on island rally

Bolton le Sands rally driver Dave Edwards enjoyed a very successful Mull Rally last weekend when he claimed 32nd place overall from a 130 car entry, his best ever result on the island.

With Edwards' regular co-driver acting as team manager this year Brampton's Caroline Lodge was drafted in to navigate his New Breed UK-backed Vauxhall Astra. The event is one of the toughest in the UK with the competition taking place over very tight and twisty tarmac roads, mostly during the night, so it was vital that the new pairing worked well together.

Leg 1 of the rally kicked off on Friday evening with the 14 mile Glen Aros stage. The intention was to start cautiously but as soon as the flag dropped Edwards was pushing hard and within a few miles he had caught the car that started a minute ahead, executing an overtaking manoeuvre in front a large crowd of spectators in Dervaig village. Starting from car 85 Edwards was already up to 61st place. With the second stage cancelled due to an accident Edwards headed to the Loch Scridain test, a short but very demanding stretch of road. Another good performance saw him move up the leaderboard to 52nd.

"My plans to take it easy at first went out of the window and we were pleased with the pace, especially catching the crew in front," said Edwards. "Loch Scridain went well too, the stage had claimed a few victims so we kept it tidy and didn't take any risks."

Three further stages completed Leg 1, Edwards and Lodge had no problems other than a slight moment on the notorious "Steps" section of the Calgary stage. They ended the leg in 47th place.

Leg 2 saw the only stages to be held in daylight and the Astra crew continued their climb up the leaderboard over the 35 competitive miles, gaining a further seven places to move up to 40th.

"The daytime stages were good and I was pleased with our performance. Our main problem was with the tyres, we were using a soft compound and they were getting too hot and losing grip. This cost us a bit of time on the Mishnish Lochs stage."

The third and final leg was the longest and, with it being held entirely in the dark, it would provide a very tough end to the event. Edwards and Lodge again sufferered tyre problems on the opening stage of the leg, a 22 mile run past Loch Tuath and around Calgary. There was drama in the following Mishnish Lochs stage as a washer fluid bottle almost ended their event.

"The washer bottle is inside the car and it came loose part way through the stage, leaking fluid which caused the windows to steam up. I tried using the heated windscreen but this failed and we were left with very poor visability which contributed to us going off the road at a tight bend near the end of the stage."

"Fortunately I kept my foot on the accelerator and we bounced out of the hole we landed in, it would've been very easy to have rolled the car there which may have spelt the end of our rally. We did suffer some damage though, a wheel and stud was broken and we had a flat tyre till the end of the stage. The service crew did a brilliant job in service to get the car fixed ready for the remaining stages."

With his confidence dented slightly with the off Edwards did not push so hard in the following stage but he was back on the pace for the final two stages, especially in the final 14 mile stage where he gained seven places on the leaderboard to finish a brilliant 32nd as the crews crossed the finishing line in Tobermory.

"I'm very happy with the result, my aim was to improve on last year's finishing position and I achieved that. The car performed really well and Caroline did a great job navigating, especially as it was the first time we had competed together. Thanks to everyone who made the event happen and all my team."

Becky returns after Radnor roll

Burton Pidsea driver Becky Kirvan will make her return to competition on next weekend’s Cambrian rally after a car-destroying accident on her last event.

Kirvan and co-driver Rob Walters are both fully recovered from the dramatic crash on the Woodpecker rally in September and the team have been flat out rebuilding the Peart Auto Services-backed Nissan Micra.

The Cambrian is the final round of the BTRDA championship and, with Kirvan in with a chance of taking the ladies title, it was vital that the car be ready for the North Wales event.

"There was not a lot that could be salvaged from the car after the Woodpecker accident," said Kirvan. "Fortunately for me, the Rally4Real guys already had a spare body shell and they’ve worked really hard to get it ready for the Cambrian which I’m very grateful for."

"I’ve not driven competitively since the crash so I will be gradually building up my pace and confidence on the event as I do not want to end up down a hillside again, it was not a pleasant experience."

"I need to get a good finish to try and take the ladies championship title so that will be my aim for the event."

As well as the Cambrian rally Kirvan is hoping to test her new Fiesta ST rally car in October in preparation for a planned assault on the BRC Challenge championship in 2011. The car is available for marketing purposes and interested companies are invited to get in touch via for a portfolio.