Monday 24 January 2011

Cristofaro makes flying start to 2011 on Red Kite rally

Milford Haven’s Nick Cristofaro, 17, got his rally driving season off to a flying start last weekend when he finished first front wheel drive car on the Red Kite Stages as well as taking tenth place overall and second in class.

The Llandovery-based event was only the second that Cristofaro has contested in his new rally car, a TEG Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta ST ran with additional support from Pirelli and Genpower as well as new sponsor Nicky Grist. Grist, who used to co-drive in the World Rally Championship with Colin McRae, now runs a successful business selling motorsport products.

The rally kicked off with a stage in Crychan forest and very difficult conditions greeted the crews with patchy ice causing several drivers to go off the road. Cristofaro started cautiously both to get back in the rhythm of driving a left hand drive car and also to get used to a new co-driver – the Isle of Man’s Rob Fagg sitting in the navigator’s seat. Despite his caution Cristofaro had one small overshoot at a corner due to the conditions.

"The opening stage was extremely slippery and I was driving with caution but we came to one corner and it was like an ice rink," said Cristofaro.

"I tried slowing down but the car slid straight on. Fortunately we didn’t hit anything and we carried on to the end of the stage."

The remaining four stages were troublefree with car and crew performing faultlessly. A delighted Cristofaro arrived at the finish in a brilliant tenth overall and second in class. He was also the first front wheel drive competitor on an event dominated by four wheel drive cars.

"It’s a great way to start the season, my aim for the event was to get plenty of miles in the car and that has been achieved, to beat all the other front wheel drive crews is a good bonus."

"I’m pleased with my progress in the new car and I’m confident that I’ll be on the pace when my British Rally Championship campaign starts next month. Thanks to my sponsors for their support, if anyone else would like back me please contact me via"

Nick’s next event will be the Rallye Sunseeker which takes place at the end of February.

Image courtesy Chris Ponsford

Monday 17 January 2011

BHRC kicks off in style at Gaydon Open Day

The prospects for the 2011 Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship seem excellent following the kick off to the season during the annual HRCR Open Day at Gaydon on Saturday (15 January 2011).

With record numbers of visitors to the event, which enjoyed a substantially increased size for 2011, the signs are that the BHRC is in fine health and set for a superb season of rallying.

Championship registrations opened and at least matched the level of the 2010 Open Day. Ultimately, last year's registrations topped the 100-mark and 2011 looks set to hit similar numbers despite the challenging economic times. Importantly, early registrations included a gaggle of championship newcomers as well as many regular contenders.

All eight rounds of the BHRC, plus the Swansea Bay Rally (Waterend Gravel Cup) and Harry Flatters Rally (Waterend Asphalt Cup) were represented and event organisers reported strong interest in their events. "We've spoken seriously to about 15 crews who didn’t come to our event last year and say they are coming this year, so that was really encouraging," said Plunkett Boyle from the Ulster Historic Rally.

Announced on the day was the best TV deal to date for the BHRC, with all eight championship rounds to be broadcast on Motors TV, followed by an extended end-of-season highlights programme.

The BHRC season opens on Sunday 6 March with a town centre start in Newtown for the Mid Wales Stages followed by the chance to compete on the classic Wales Rally GB stages of Hafren, Myherin and Pike's Peak. "We took 20 entries during the Open Day, so we are very pleased," said event clerk of the course Chris Tomley.

Monday 10 January 2011

Nick is the number one rally driver to watch in 2011!

Milford Haven rally driver Nick Cristofaro, 17, received a boost to his preparations for the new season when the national Motorsport News newspaper last week listed him as the top rally driver to look out for in 2011, beating off tough competition from all over the UK.

After making his senior rally debut in 2010 Cristofaro has made quick progress and in 2011 he is moving up to the highest level of rallying in the country, the British Rally Championship (BRC). He will contest the championship in a Ford Fiesta ST car run by leading motorsport preparation company TEG Sport.

Joining existing supporters Pirelli on Cristofaro’s BRC campaign will be new sponsor Genpower Ltd. Genpower are the UK importers for Hyundai power products and their main business activities are supplying portable generators, pressure washers and water pumps to both business and private users throughout the UK.

Cristofaro will contest his first event of 2011 later in January when he takes part in the Red Kite Stages rally, the Welsh forestry event providing a good preparation for the BRC. Before this he will be present at the Autosport show which is held at the NEC in Birmingham from 13-16 January. Potential sponsors are invited to visit the MSA stand for a chat with Cristofaro, who will be working with motorsport celebrities such as Jenson Button.

For more information please visit

Image courtesy Chris Huish