Tuesday 19 July 2011

BCCC crews set to continue battle at Bleddfa

Crews from the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship will head to Bleddfa at the end of the month to contest round 4 of the six-round series.

The three events so far have seen three different crews at the top of the leaderboard and with two of the events being held at new venues it has been an exciting first half of the year.

The opening round at a sunny Pikes Peak in Wales saw 2010 champion Tim Dilworth take victory in what so far has been his only BCCC outing of the year. Richard Kershaw had a good return to the championship to finish second with Justin Birchall continuing the form he showed at the end of 2010 to take third.

Round two was held at Brynffynon and it was the scene of a close battle between Kershaw and Ian Rochelle in his Millington. Rochelle built up a lead of 20 seconds after day one but Kershaw fought back to lead by three seconds after the penultimate run. The scene was set for a dramatic last run and Rochelle went all out for the win, dispensing with his navigator to save some weight. Unfortunately a gearbox problem for Kershaw part way round the course denied a grandstand finish with Rochelle having a clear run to his first BCCC win. With Kershaw dropping to fifth Dan Lofthouse was promoted to second place in his new Freelander and Martin Gould took third in his Mattserati.

The crews headed to Scotland for round three at the now familiar venue of Forrest Lodge near Dalry. On a course which suited the more powerful cars Kershaw initially took the lead in his GSR 206 but by the fourth run Lofthouse had moved to the front, a position he maintained for the rest of the event to take a fine win. Rochelle had another good event to round off the top three.

Kershaw heads the championship positions going into the fourth round on 231 points, narrowly ahead of Rochelle on 223. In third place is Bob Seaman who has 198 points in his Milner R5. Seaman’s best result this year has been fourth at Forrest Lodge although he was heading for third place at the first round until a final run collision with a tree. Ian Bartlett lies in fourth after finishing in the top ten on all three rounds, a feat also achieved by Karl Gudgeon who has piloted his GSR Evo X to fifth.

In the Trophy championship Tom Hipkiss currently leads the championship from Greg Morris and Paul Myers.

Round 4 will be based at Bleddfa with the crews tackling a course using gravel tracks and off-road sections in Radnor forest. The event will start at 10am on Saturday 30th July with day two starting at 9am. For further information please visit www.marches4x4.com.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Harry stars on Quinton Stages rally

Rally driver Harry Morgan, from Bangor on Dee, enjoyed a very successful Quinton Stages event last weekend when he took second in class as well as winning the 'Star of the day' prize and the Power Stage Challenge.

Harry and co-driver James Ford made a good start to the event on the opening two stages, Monument and Route 60, setting two decent times in his Nissan Micra to lie second in the RF1.0 class.

Stage three was in Halfway forest and Harry was going well again but after arriving on the scene of an accident involving another competitor he stopped to check that the crew did not require medical assistance.

“The Monument and Route 60 stages went well and I was happy with my pace,” said Harry. “There were some very slippery parts of the course but we had no problems at all.”

“Unfortunately in stage three a car that started in front of us crashed and the car was upside-down when we approached so I stopped. I was relieved to find both crew members were ok as it looked like a nasty accident.”

Intercom problems made the remainder of stage three very tricky as Harry could not hear the instructions from his co-driver but the Micra crew made it to the end in once piece.

Harry pushed harder in the afternoon stages, setting particularly good times in Route 60 and Crychan before having a steady run over the final stage to ensure he made the finish in second place. The two runs of Route 60 formed the Power Stage Challenge, a new innovation that the event organisers introduced this year which awarded prizes to the fastest crews in each class, Harry winning an entry to next year’s event as a result of being the fastest RF1.0 crew.

“It was an amazing day, I am very happy to get second in class and also to have won the Power Stage Challenge. I was overwhelmed that we won the ‘Stars of the Day’ award, that was totally unexpected. I spoke to event sponsor Nicky Grist at the finish and the award was for stopping for the crew in stage three.”

“I would like to thank everyone involved for making it such an enjoyable weekend. I am currently looking for potential sponsors to get involved with the team for the remainder of this year and beyond, please contact me via www.harryrally.co.uk for further information.”

Harry will next be in action on the Woodpecker Stages rally at the beginning of September.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Sunday 3 July 2011

Morgan targets Rally First podium on Quinton Stages rally

Bangor on Dee’s Harry Morgan will return to rally action next weekend when he contests the Builth Wells-based Quinton Stages rally.

The event is round six of the BTRDA rally championship and, after missing the last round, Morgan presently lies in third place in the Rally First 1.0 class with his objective for the Quinton being to build on the excellent second in class result he got on the Plains rally in May.

“I was delighted with the result on the Plains rally, I’ll be looking for another strong finish on the Quinton,” said Morgan. “The stages look like they are going to be very fast and we’ve also got the challenge of the Route 60 ‘power stage’ where prizes are on offer for the fastest crew in each class. It’s going to be great to be competing on some of the classic Welsh stages.”

Morgan will be joined on the event by James Ford who will be reading the pacenotes in Morgan’s Nissan Micra.

“Both myself and James are young and at the start of our rallying careers but I feel confident that we have progressed well this year and we’re getting faster all the time.”

The rally will be fought over 44 miles of competitive stages on gravel tracks around the Epynt military ranges.

Please visit www.harryrally.co.uk for more information on Harry Morgan’s rallying.

Image courtesy Simon Clarke

Wright aiming to continue successful run on Quinton Stages

Bentham’s David Wright is aiming to continue his successful 2011 rally season next weekend when he contests the Quinton Stages rally in Wales.

Wright has dominated his class so far this year taking four victories out of the five BTRDA championship events he has contested in his Proflex, Kumho Tyres, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage-supported GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9.

“We’ve had a really good season so far, as well as taking the class wins we’ve been mixing it with the more powerful World Rally class cars which I am very happy with,” commented Wright.

“Some new dampers have been fitted to the car since the last round and they seem to have made an improvement to the handling so it will be interesting to see if we’re any quicker.”

The rally is based in Builth Wells with the competitive action taking place on gravel tracks in the area of the Epynt military ranges.

“The stages used on the Quinton suit our car so I’m confident that we can get a good result. We got third overall last time we competed on the event and I’m targeting another podium finish as well as another class win.”