Monday 25 April 2011

Cristofaro to continue championship charge in Cumbria

Milford Haven’s Nick Cristofaro will head to Carlisle next weekend as he continues his British Rally Championship (BRC) season on the Pirelli International rally.

Cristofaro presently lies fifth in the BRC Formula 2 championship standings as well as second in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy after good results on the events so far in his TEG Sport-run Ford Fiesta ST which is supported by Pirelli, Genpower UK, Autoglym, Millers Oils, Nicky Grist and Cut In Edge. The Pirelli rally will also see the start of a new partnership, with Elite Remapping providing support to Cristofaro’s new Cristotec Remapping business.

"We had an accident on an event earlier in the year and the costs of fixing the car severely dented our rallying budget," commented Cristofaro. "Elite Remapping have kindly loaned me some equipment to enable me to set up Cristotec Remapping so hopefully the business will help me replenish the budget."

Since his last event Cristofaro has had his Fiesta's gearbox completely stripped and repaired after problems on the last event and his hopes are high that the car will have a troublefree run on the Pirelli.

"We were stuck in third gear for the final part of the last event which lost us a fair chunk of time. It’s another expense that we could do without but hopefully the problems are not sorted."

The rally starts on Friday evening with two stages in Kershope forest before a full days competition on Saturday in Kielder.

"It’s going to be a very challenging event, Kershope and Kielder are extremely tough places to compete but I am confident that I’ll be on the pace and I’m aiming to get another good haul of championship points."

Please visit for all the latest news and photos.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Sunday 24 April 2011

Becky ready for Pirelli rally challenge

KC Rally Team driver Becky Kirvan will resume her BRC Challenge championship campaign next weekend when she contests the Pirelli Challenge rally.

Becky, from Burton Pidsea, took third in class on the opening championship round in early April and after a day testing her KC, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Bardahl Oils, Rally4Real, Songasport and Peart Auto Services-backed Ford Fiesta she is hoping for another good finish on the Carlisle-based event.

"I was pleased to get a solid finish on the opening championship round," said Becky. "It was my first event in the Fiesta so I spent the event learning the car and getting used to my new co-driver Kaz Watts. After a steady start we increased our pace on the afternoon stages as Kaz and I settled into a rhythm and I became more confident in the car."

"Since the event we’ve had some time testing in Wales to get more miles in the car and that went well so hopefully we can put that experience to use on the Pirelli and I'll be looking to up the pace a notch or two!."

The rally consists of six competitive stages in the famous rallying territory of Kielder forest which are sure to provide a stern test to the competitors and their machines.

"I competed in some parts of Kielder on my very first event in 2006 so I’ve got some knowledge of how tricky the stages can be. It will be a tough event but I’m confident we can get a good result."

Please visit or to keep up to date with all the latest news and photos from the KC Rally Team.

Sunday 17 April 2011

Wright wins class despite wheel drama

Bentham’s David Wright took a class victory on last weekend’s Somerset Stages rally despite a high-speed mechanical failure on the last stage.

Wright and co-driver Michael Wilkinson were hopeful of a good result after a disappointing retirement on their previous event and they made a fine start, lying in fourth place following the opening batch of four forest stages.

“Our times on the early stages were pleasing,” commented Wright. “We were close to the pace of the World Rally Cars and holding a decent position on the overall leaderboard.”

The rally moved to Porlock Hill for two stages on the tarmac of the toll road which runs up the hill. Despite being held up by another competitor Wright retained fourth place in his Proflex, Drenth, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage-backed GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9.

It was back to the forests for the final four stages, the first two of these went well for Wright and with two stages to go he was still in fourth. An overshoot on the ninth stage cost around 25 seconds dropping him to fifth. The final stage was only just over a mile long but it almost destroyed Wright’s rally.

“We were doing over 100mph and a bottom arm on the suspension broke, the wheel locked up and sent the car into a huge slide. We were extremely lucky not to have a big accident. Fortunately I caught the slide and kept the car on the road but we had to limp out of the stage.”

The last stage drama meant that Wright fell to eighth place overall but he still won his class. The result moves him up to ninth in the BTRDA championship standings with the next round being held in May at the Plains rally.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Harry happy with success on Somerset rally

Bangor on Dee's Harry Morgan got his rally season back on track on last weekend's Somerset Stages event when he claimed an excellent third in the RF1.0 class after ten challenging stages.

Driving his 1.0 litre Nissan Micra Morgan was keen to get a good result after a broken distributor forced him to retire from his last event. The event kicked off with the short Timberscombe stage near Minehead and Morgan was immediately on the pace, setting third fastest time in the class. Forest stages in Croydon, Chargot and Knowle followed and Morgan continued his good form to hold his third place.

"We got off to a good start, the stages were very dusty but there were some damp patches under the trees so we had to take care," said Morgan. "I kept it clean and tidy though and I was pleased to be setting times quicker than some of the crews in the bigger-engined classes."

The rally then headed to the Porlock Hill stage which presented Morgan with a new challenge as the surface was tarmac rather than the forest track he is used to. Despite his lack of experience Morgan set competitive times on both the Porlock tests. The event finished with four further forest stages and Morgan had a troublefree run to finish in third.

"Porlock was fantastic fun, I have never competed on tarmac before but I really enjoyed it and I definitely want to do some more tarmac rallying in the future. I'm delighted with the result, we needed a good finish after our disappointment on the previous event and we've managed to achieve that. Thanks to my co-driver James Ford who was spot on with the pacenotes all day and also to my Dad for servicing."

The result sees Morgan lie third in the RF1.0 class championship leaderboard and he is also second in the Rally First Junior Driver championship. He will continue his championship challenge on the Plain rally in May. Please visit for all the latest news and pictures.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Thursday 14 April 2011

Britpart BCCC crews set for opening round

As the crews for the 2011 Britpart British Cross Country Championship make their final preparations for the opening round this weekend the organisers have released the entry list for event which takes place in Myherin forest in Wales.

Leading the field away will be 2010 champion Tim Dilworth in his Subaru-engined Peugeot 206 STi. Tim will again have Anthony Brinkman in the navigator's seat. Martin Gould starts at car two in his Mattserati and he will be followed by Gordon Monaghan who will once again be campaigning his Monaghan RS.

At car four is the husband and wife crew of Justin and Louise Birchall who will be looking to start 2011 in the manner they finished 2010 when they took victory in the final round at Walter's Arena.

Rounding off the top five is Dan Lofthouse who will debut his long-awaited new car, the Lofthouse Freelander.

The 2011 championship will comprise six two-day competitive safaris with the best five out of six scores to count towards thefinal championship classification.

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: Cardiff
June 11/12: Forrest Lodge
July 30/31: Radnor
September 17/18: Sweet Lamb
October 15/16: Cardiff or Swynnerton

Sunday 10 April 2011

Harry hungry for success on Somerset Stages

Bangor on Dee rally driver Harry Morgan will resume his BTRDA RF1000 championship campaign next weekend when he contents the Somerset Stages event with co-driver James Ford.

After making his rally debut late in 2010 Morgan is contesting the full BTRDA championship this year in his Nissan Micra. His season got off to an excellent start with third in class on the opening round, the Wyedean Forest Rally, but there was disappointment on round two in Cumbria when distributor failure robbed Morgan of the chance of another good result.

"We had a fantastic start to the season with my first ever podium finish," said Morgan. "The little Micra was even beating some of the more powerful 1400cc cars."

"We were competitive again on the Malcolm Wilson Rally which was round two, once again we were in third but sadly we had the problem with the car which forced us out of the event."

Despite the non-finish Morgan presently lies fifth in the RF1000 class for near-standard 1.0 litre cars and he is keen to build on that position in Somerset. The car has been stripped down and repaired and a new exhaust has been fitted.

"The car seems to be running a lot sweeter now and I’m all set for the trip to Somerset. My aim is to try and get into the top three again and get a good haul of points to make up for the retirement on the last round."

"I’ve never competed in Somerset before so all the stages will be new to me. I’m particularly looking forward to getting experience of competition driving on tarmac as the rally will use the Porlock Hill toll road as part of the route."

The event kicks off on Saturday morning from Minehead with the bulk of the competitive mileage in the surrounding forests. Please visit for all the latest news and pictures.

Wright aiming to get championship back on track in Somerset

Bentham’s David Wright is looking to get his BTRDA rally championship campaign back on track next weekend when he contests round three of the championship, the Somerset Stages.

After a good start to the year on the opening round in the Forest of Dean where he claimed fourth place Wright suffered disappointment on last month’s Malcolm Wilson Rally when a stone holed the oil filter on his GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9, forcing him out of the event.

Post-rally checks found that the engine was badly damaged and it required a rebuild which has meant a lot of work to try and get the car ready for the Minehead-based event.

“We’ve just got the engine back from being rebuilt so it’s going to be a mad rush to get it in the car and remapped,” commented Wright. “The guys are GPM are working hard to get everything sorted and I’m confident we’ll be ready in time”.

Wright has a good record on the Somerset Stages and he took third overall and first in class in his Proflex, Drenth, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage-backed car last year.

“I’m looking forward to the event, we’ve shown this year that we have the pace to push the WRC cars so I am hopeful of another good result, we’ll be aiming to be on the podium again.”

The rally starts from Minehead on Saturday morning with the action taking place both in the surrounding forests and the tarmac of the Porlock Hill toll road.

Sunday 3 April 2011

KC Rally Team - testing and debut event gallery

Images of Becky Kirvan's Ford Fiesta ST in it's new KC livery, please click here to see the gallery.

Cristofaro overcomes gearbox problems to maintain championship positions

Rally driver Nick Cristofaro, from Milford Haven, battled gearbox problems all day on the Bulldog International Rally but he came away from a difficult event with a good haul of points to maintain both his fifth position in the British Rally Championship (BRC) Formula 2 standings and second in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy (FST).

Cristofaro and co-driver Rob Fagg were contesting the Welshpool-based event in their TEG Sport-run Ford Fiesta ST with support from Pirelli, Genpower UK, Autoglym, Millers Oils, Nicky Grist and Cut In Edge and their rally commenced with the Llangywer and Penllyn stages near Bala. The gearbox problems started in stage one with the car jumping out of second gear meaning that Cristofaro had to drive one-handed on the tight corners so he could hold the gear lever in position.

Despite the problem he completed the opening stages 7th in class and 5th in the Fiestas, positions which were maintained over the next two stages before the crews headed to a service halt back in Welshpool.

“I was quite pleased with our position early on as we lost a lot of time in the tight and twisty parts of the stages with having to hold the car in gear,” said Cristofaro. “Conditions were pretty tricky in some of the stages with the opening tests being particularly slippery.”

The rally then moved to the forests of Gartheiniog and Dyfi for two loops of three stages. Cristofaro continued his battle with the other Fiesta crews and with two stages to go he had moved to within one second of third place. Unfortunately further gearbox problems prevented him from pushing for a podium position.

“We had high hopes of getting up to third in the Fiestas but in the penultimate stage I was coming down through the gears and the lever got stuck in third. There was nothing I could do to free it so we had to drive the last two stages in third gear which was very tough.”

“It was a difficult day for me but I kept fighting the problems and it’s great to get some valuable championship points to keep us in fifth on the Formula 2 leaderboard and second in the Fiestas”

Nicks BRC and FST campaigns will continue with the Pirelli International Rally at the end of the month.

Please visit for further information.

Becky takes third in class on KC Rally Team debut

Burton Pidsea rally driver Becky Kirvan debuted her new KC Rally Team Ford Fiesta ST last weekend on the Bulldog Challenge event in Wales, taking third in class on a very tough rally which tested both car and crew to the maximum.

After a ceremonial start in Welshpool town centre on Friday evening the competitive action of the opening BRC Challenge championship round kicked off on Saturday morning with the Penllyn stage near Bala. Heavy rain in the hours before the rally had made the forest tracks treacherous and conditions were not ideal for Becky to get used both to a new car and new co-driver Kaz Watts.

"The course was extremely slippery on the first stage, it was like driving on ice in places", said Becky. "We took a cautious approach and got to the finish of the stage without any major problems."

The crews headed to the Dyfnant stage next which was followed by the popular Woodyard spectator stage. Becky continued to build her confidence in the KC, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Bardahl Oils, Rally4Real, Songasport and Peart Auto Services-backed Fiesta and she had a good run through both tests to lie third in class.

"I enjoyed the Woodyard stage, it’s not very long but there are always loads of spectators there which really adds to the atmosphere of the event. I liked getting the car airbourne at the finish line jump as well although we didn't have it marked as a jump in the notes so it was a bit unexpected!"

After a service halt in Welshpool Becky faced the daunting Gartheiniog stage which, at nearly 16 miles long, was the longest she has ever undertaken in her rally career. With the tracks drying and her knowledge of the car improving Becky enjoyed a clear run through the stage which saw many fellow competitors crash out or suffer terminal mechanical problems.

The event ended with two stages in Dyfi forest which Becky completed with no problems and she maintained her third in class as the crews crossed the finish line back at Welshpool.

"I’m delighted to get a finish on my first event in the Fiesta, it was a very tough rally and I still have a lot of learning to do as the new car is hugely different to my old one. I'm now looking to build on the experience I have gained on this event."

"My main priority for the rally was to get to the end in one piece and I’m pleased to have achieved that. Thanks to all my sponsors for providing the support which let me do the event – it was great to see Mark Conway from KC cheering me on in the stages!"

Becky will next be in action on the Pirelli Challenge event which is based in Carlisle and takes place at the end of April.

Please visit or to keep up to date with all the latest news and photos from the KC Rally Team.