Sunday 27 February 2011

Cristofaro shines on Sunseeker rally

Milford Haven rally driver Nick Cristofaro, 17, enjoyed a successful debut in the high-profile British Rally Championship last weekend when he finished 15th overall and fourth in class on the Rallye Sunseeker.

Cristofaro’s event commenced with a Friday evening ceremonial start in Poole town centre where crowds of spectators gathered to see the cars. The competitive action then took place on Saturday in the forests of Dorset and Hampshire.

After an accident on his previous event Cristofaro was keen to get to the finish of the Sunseeker in his TEG Sport, Pirelli, Millers Oils, Genpower UK, Autoglym, EKM Systems and backed Ford Fiesta ST. A cautious start was made on the opening stage, with Cristofaro and co-driver Rob Fagg taking sixth in class. The pace was soon picked up though and at the end of stage 4 the crew were lying third in class and 15th overall.

“I wanted to get back in the rhythm of things after the accident so I decided to make a cautious start,” said Cristofaro. “I think I was a little too cautious though as I found I was braking too early for the corners and losing a lot of time.”

“From stage two onwards I got my confidence back and I was pleased with the times I was putting in, it was good to be third in class ahead of all the other Fiesta crews.”

Cristofaro’s kept up his pace on the remaining stages to maintain his 15th place although he was pipped to a class podium position by Craig Breen.

“Fourth in class is a good result to kick off my BRC season, third would have been even better but I am not too downhearted to have lost out to Craig as he has much more experience than myself, including competing on world championship events.”

“I am learning something new on each event I do and for my next BRC event I am planning to make my own pacenotes instead of relying on the notes provided by the event organisers – the Sunseeker was the first event where there has been the opportunity to recce the stages in advance although I found it very strange driving through the forests at a maximum of 30mph.”

“I have been having tuition on making notes from former World Rally Champion co-driver Nicky Grist so I am confident that I’ll have no problems.”

Cristofaro’s hectic programme of events continues with next weekend’s Malcolm Wilson rally in Cumbria, the second round of the BTRDA championship.

“I’m putting the miles in, competing on the south coast one weekend and then in the far north the next, I’m enjoying every minute of it though – thanks to all my supporters for giving me the opportunity. The Malcolm Wilson rally features some well-known challenging stages so it’s going to be another tough test but I’ll be pushing as hard as I can.”

For more information please visit

Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey

Wright keen to continue championship push in Cumbria

Bentham rally driver David Wright will head to the Malcolm Wilson rally next weekend keen to build on his excellent result on the opening round of the BTRDA championship when he finished fourth overall and first in class.

Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson will be contesting the Cockermouth-based event in their GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 with support from Proflex, Drenth, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage.

“The car will be pretty much the same specification as we ran on the Wyedean rally,” commented Wright.

“I was pleased with our pace on that event and hopefully we can get another good result to keep near the top of the championship leaderboard.”

The Malcolm Wilson rally is round two of the BTRDA championship and from the start in Cockermouth the crews will contest seven stages in the forests of the Lake District including the well-known forests of Comb, Wythop and Grizedale.

“The rally is my home event and the stages are amongst my favourites in the country, especially Grizedale which is very challenging but very rewarding if you get a good time.”

The event will start from Cockermouth High Street at 8.30am on Saturday with the successful crews arriving back in Cockermouth from 4.00pm.

Monday 21 February 2011

Regs available for the 2011 Britpart MSA BCCC

Regulations are now available for the 2011 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship.

The 2011 championship will comprise six two-day competitive safaris with the best five out of six scores to count towards the final championship classification. It is open to all drivers who register prior to April 1st 2011 and start at least five out of the six events. Drivers will require a National A, or higher, competition licence.

The championship entry fee is £1,200 which can be paid in full on entry or by an initial payment of £700 and two post-dated cheques of £250 each dated June 1st and September 1st 2011 respectively.

A Trophy championship for drivers who have never have competed in a competitive safari at greater than National B status will run alongside the main championship.

The championship will kick off in April with the opening round at Pikes Peak in Mid-Wales, a new venue for 2011. Supplier of parts and accessories for Land Rover vehicles Britpart will continue their sponsorship of the series and media coverage will once again be provided by Songasport and MC Video, with each event being shown on television as part of the Special Stage show on Motors TV.

The regulations and entry form can be downloaded by clicking here.

2011 Britpart MSA BCCC Calendar:

April 16/17: Pikes Peak
May 14/15: Ringwood
June 11/12: Forrest Lodge
July 30/31: Radnor
September 17/18: Sweet Lamb
October 15/16: Cardiff or Swynnerton

Cristofaro set for British Rally Championship debut

Teenage rally driver Nick Cristofaro will make his British Rally Championship debut next weekend when he contests the Poole-based Rallye Sunseeker.

Cristofaro, from Milford Haven, has had an anxious wait since his last event as his car has required a large amount of repair work following an accident while he was leading his class.

“The car was taken to TEG Sport for repairs right after the Wyedean,” commented Cristofaro. “The accident damaged most of the right-hand side and we’ve needed several new panels as well as paint but I’m pleased to say that the car is looking as good as new and we’re all set for the Sunseeker.”

Cristofaro will contest the event with co-driver Rob Fagg in his Ford Fiesta ST which now has support from Autoglym and EKM Systems as well as TEG Sport, Pirelli, Genpower UK, Millers Oils and

“It’s great to get two new sponsors on board to support us with our 2011 rally programme, I am grateful to Autoglym and EKM Systems for their assistance.”

Rallye Sunseeker will have a ceremonial start in Poole town centre on Friday evening before a tough day of competition in the forests of Dorset and Hampshire on Saturday. The successful crews will be part of a high-profile town centre finish in Bournemouth on Saturday evening.

For more information on Nick Cristofaro please visit

Monday 14 February 2011

Mixed fortunes for Cristofaro on Wyedean rally

Rally driver Nick Cristofaro, 17, had mixed fortunes on the Wyedean Forest Rally last weekend when damage from an accident forced him out of the event while leading his class.

Cristofaro, from Milford Haven, was contesting the event for the first time in his TEG Sport, Pirelli, Genpower UK, Nicky Grist and Millers Oils supported Ford Fiesta and he was immediately on the pace on the opening stage, Chepstow Park, setting second fastest time in the class.

The second stage was cancelled but a dominant run through the third stage saw Cristofaro and co-driver James Morgan storm into the class lead by 52 seconds.

“Stage three was the longest of the event and I knew if I could push hard then I could take the lead of the class,” said Cristofaro.

“The stage went really well, we had no problems at all and we established a good lead to take into the second half of the event.”

Cristofaro extended his lead on the fourth stage but then part way through stage five he aquaplaned off the road and into a tree. Despite the accident he still set second fastest time and maintained his class lead.

“The accident came after a left hand bend, we hit some very slushy mud and slid off the road at over 100mph. The car hit a tree on the co-driver’s side which bounced us up in the air and launched us across the road backwards.”

“When the car eventually came to a halt I was a bit shaken but we quickly got the car on the road and to the finish, amazingly we still had a lead of almost a minute.”

The crew continued their pace on stage six, increasing their advantage over the rest of the class but prior to the seventh and final stage the car was stopped by the event scrutineer and it was prevented from continuing due to the accident damage.

“It’s very disappointing that we couldn’t go on and get the class win but sadly the damage was too bad to continue. It was the biggest ever accident in my motorsport career and I suppose all drivers have to have one bad crash at some point.”

The car has now been sent away to be repaired but with only two weeks until the start of Cristofaro’s British Rally Championship campaign on the Rallye Sunseeker it will be touch and go whether the car is ready.

“It’s going to be a battle to get the car sorted but I can guarantee that if it is then both myself and the team will be back in fighting form.”

To follow Cristofaro’s rally season please join his supporter’s club mailing list on

Sunday 13 February 2011

Wright takes class win on new car debut

Bentham’s David Wright enjoyed a brilliant debut event in his new GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 rally car last weekend when he took fourth place overall and first in class on the Wyedean Forest Rally.

The Chepstow-based event kicked off with a stage in Chepstow Park forest and Wright claimed seventh fastest time despite it being the first time he had driven the Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage supported car in competition. Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson were lucky to survive an incident after they crossed the finishing line of the stage which could’ve ended their event.

“The opening stage went well, it took a while to get used to the new car, especially the braking which is more powerful than the old one,” said Wright.

“We crossed the finish line at high speed but there was a tight corner shortly after it, we locked the brakes and the car went into a ditch and came to rest against a tree. Fortunately we were able to get out and there was no damage to the car.”

With Wright becoming more familiar with the car he increased the pace on the second stage, Serridge, to take fourth quickest time which moved him up to fifth on the leaderboard.

This position was maintained over the next few stages despite an incident on the third stage which saw a rear door damaged as the car clipped a tree.

A good run on the final stage of the event saw Wright move up to fourth as the crews headed back to Chepstow racecourse for the finish.

“I’m very happy with the result, it’s my best result on the event so it’s a great start both for the new car and for our season.”

Wright’s next event will be the Malcolm Wilson Rally in Cumbria which takes place in early March.

Images from the Wyedean Forest Rally

To see the event gallery please click here.

Images from pre-season testing

To see the gallery please click here.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Becky dances on ice in preparation for rally season

Burton Pidsea rally driver Becky Kirvan continued her preparations for the 2011 season last weekend when she headed to Sweden to experience competition-speed driving on snow and ice for the first time at the Ice-Drive event.

The event was held on a frozen lake at Rörbäcksnäs just over the Norwegian border. The lake is frozen for around four months each year and the thick icy surface was a good test of rally driving technique.

2010 BTRDA Ladies Champion Kirvan had two days on the lake in a powerful four wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo rally car and she spent the time honing her driving skills in the extremely difficult conditions. Despite never having driven a four wheel drive vehicle before Kirvan quickly adapted to the both the car and the conditions.

"The ice was a great place to refine my driving technique as every input is massively exaggerated," said Kirvan. "You have to drive with a lot of control and anticipate precisely what the car is going to do, if you fail to do that then you are guaranteed to spin off the course."

"We were using Scandinavian winter road tyres on the car rather than studded rally tyres but even so, the grip was phenomenal considering we were basically driving on a giant ice rink! It was still extremely hard work keeping the car under control as we went quicker though."

With darkness falling at around 4pm each day, Kirvan also took the opportunity to practice some night driving as temperatures dropped to –17 degrees.

"It was a fantastic experience and a steep learning curve for me but I think it was very worthwhile and it has definitely helped me refine my rally driving skills which I can now transfer to driving my own Ford Fiesta ST this season."

Kirvan is hoping to secure support to enable her to compete in the British Rally Championship, starting with the Bulldog Rally in early April. To get involved with the Becky Kirvan Rallying team and to see the marketing opportunities available to team supporters please visit

Sunday 6 February 2011

Cristofaro wins Rising Stars competition

Teenage rally driver Nick Cristofaro has continued his good start to 2011 by being one of four winners of the Motorsport News/Millers Oils Rising Stars competition.

The competition, which aims to help young up and coming drivers achieve their goals and ambitions in the motorsport world will see Cristofaro receive a support package from Millers Oils which includes various products and technical support for his 2011 rally season.

“I’m delighted to be one of the four drivers chosen in the competition, the backing of Millers Oils will undoubtedly be a big help as I step up to the British Rally Championship this year,” said Cristofaro.

Millers Oils join TEG Sport, Pirelli, Genpower UK and Nicky Grist in supporting Cristofaro’s rally season, a season which will see him competing all over the UK in both the British Rally Championship and, if sufficient funding can be obtained, the BTRDA championship.

Cristofaro has put an entry in for next weekend’s Wyedean rally, the opening round of the BTRDA season, but at present he is on the reserve list and so he will have to wait to see if he gets a run on the Chepstow-based event.
He is also planning a test session in his Ford Fiesta ST prior to the Wyedean as he continues to develop his understanding of the new car in advance of the British Rally Championship kicking off at the end of the month.

Please visit for further information.

Image courtesy Chris Ponsford

Wright aiming for podium finish in Wyedean rally season opener

Bentham’s David Wright will start his rally season next weekend when he contests the opening round of the national BTRDA championship, the Wyedean Forest rally.

2009 champion Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson will be using a new car this year, a lighter and more powerful Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 prepared by Giles Philips Motorsport. The car was driven for the first time on gravel at a recent test and Wright was very pleased with the performance.

“We took the car to the Sweet Lamb test venue to try it on gravel and it was a very productive day,” said Wright. “We did a lot of work on the suspension set up and I think we’re ready for the Wyedean”.

“I had a disappointing finish last year on the event so I’m aiming to be in the top three of the leaderboard this year although we’re up against some tough competition.”

The Chepstow based rally will be fought over seven stages with six of them in the Forest of Dean. A capacity 180 car entry will start from Chepstow racecourse on Saturday morning with Wright starting at car 9 in his Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage backed machine.

After the Wyedean Wright is hoping to contest the full BTRDA championship with the possibility of a couple of events in Scotland.