Sunday 28 August 2011

Morgan aims for top of the class on Woodpecker

Bangor on Dee’s Harry Morgan will return to rally action next weekend when he contests the Ludlow-based Woodpecker Stages, round 7 of the BTRDA Rally First championship which he is contesting this year.

Morgan made his rallying debut on last year’s Woodpecker and he is confident that his experience of the stages will give him a good advantage on this years event.

“I’m really looking forward to the event, I’ve learned so much since last year and I feel that I will be much quicker this time out. It will be interesting to compare my times where the stages are the same.”

“The car is all together, looking great and ready to go. The rally has attracted a good entry in the Rally First 1.0 class so there should be some really close competition. Hopefully the recent rain will mean that dust is not a problem.”

Morgan presently lies in third place in the Rally First 1.0 championship but he is only two points behind the second-placed driver.

“I’ve finished second in class on the last two events and I’m hopeful of a similar good result on the Woodpecker, ideally I’d like to go one better and get the class win. There are just two events to go and I’m aiming to get into second in the championship by the season end.”

The rally starts from Ludlow racecourse on Saturday morning (3rd September) with the crews facing a challenging route including the notoriously tricky Radnor forest.

Please visit for more information on Harry Morgan’s rallying.

Wright hoping to continue class championship push on Woodpecker Stages

Bentham rally driver David Wright will contest round 7 of the BTRDA rally championship, the Woodpecker Stages, next Saturday (3rd September) as he continues his quest for the B13 class championship.

After being forced to miss the last round when the car developed engine problems on the eve of the event Wright has dropped to second in the championship but good performances on the final two rounds could mean that he takes the title in his Proflex, Kumho Tyres, Drenth and Grove Hill Garage-supported GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9.

“The engine has had a brand new block after the problems we had before the last round so hopefully we will have a trouble-free run,” commented Wright. “I’m really looking forward to the Woodpecker, it’s one of the best entries of the year and I can’t wait to get out on the fast stages.”

“We have been working closely with Proflex with some new valve adjusters which has allowed us to use softer springs, this has vastly improved the traction. We’ve also remapped the engine to improve low-down torque so we should be able to be on the pace.”

“We need a strong result on the Woodpecker after the bad luck we had on the previous round, we’re targeting the B13 championship and we’ve had four maximum scores so far, we could do with another.”

The rally starts from Ludlow racecourse on Saturday morning with the crews facing a full day of competition in stages such as Haye Park and Radnor.

Saturday 27 August 2011

2011 Roger Albert Clark Rally support events unveiled

Four individual rallies will support the 2011 Roger Albert Clark Rally, (2-5 December and will offer some of the most cost effective forest rallying in Britain this season. With most forest events now costing around £10 per mile, the four RAC support events will all be under that mark and three of them are priced at under £9 per mile. If three crews from the same club get together, the entry fee on three of the rallies will be less than £8 per mile.

The support rallies all offer competitors a chance to be part of what many people call the best rally of the season, but without the time and financial commitment of contesting the overall rally. The support events also offer a local rally for competitors based in Yorkshire, South-West Scotland and the Scottish borders/Cumbria.

“I have tried to make the support events as user friendly as I can with as compact a route as possible at a very affordable cost,” said Rally Manager Colin Heppenstall. “To make it even more attractive, I am offering a special team rate on three of the rallies for those who can put together a three-car team.”

The four support events for the 2011 Roger Albert Clark Rally are:

The Kall Kwik Bradford Rally
42 stage miles; entry free £400 (cost per mile £9.60)
Based at the Duncombe Park headquarters, the Kall Kwik Bradford Rally will take in classic Yorkshire forest tests as well as the spectator stage at Duncombe Park. The first car will start at 10pm Friday for a night stage in Dalby, re-start at 10am Saturday and finish at 4.30pm on Saturday.

The De Lacy Night Rally
22 stage miles; entry fee £200 (Cost per mile £8.99)
For a club team of three cars the total entry fee is £500 (£7.49 per mile)
The De Lacy Night Rally runs completely in the dark of Friday evening, starting at 7pm and finishing at 11pm after 22 stage miles in Dalby and Duncombe Park. Two runs through a nine-mile stage in Dalby are at the core of this rally.

The Clubman’s Rally
47 stage miles; entry fee £400 (cost per mile £8.51)
For a club team of three cars the total entry fee is £1,100 (£7.80 per mile)
Based at Dumfries, the Clubman’s Rally runs through Sunday over stages in Ae, Twiglees and Heath Hall with centralised servicing. The rally starts at 11am on Sunday and finishes at 7pm.

The Kershope Challenge
35 stage miles; entry fee £300 (Cost per mile £8.56)
For a club team of three cars the total entry fee is £800 (£7.61 per mile)
The Kershope Challenge runs on Monday morning and has 35 stage miles and just three road miles from its base at the Ash Park service area. The rally covers two runs of the fabulous 17.5-mile Kershope stage, which is in excellent condition. The rally starts at 9am and finishes at 12 noon.

For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, and its support rallies, please visit

Sunday 21 August 2011

Becky battles to double success on Ulster Challenge rally

East Yorkshire rally driver Becky Kirvan had reason to celebrate last weekend when she battled through some very tough stages to finish both Ulster Challenge rounds of the BRC Challenge championship, maintaining the KC Rally Team’s 100% finishing record in 2011.

Round four of the championship took place over the course of day one of the event with the Challenge crews tackling the Glendun and Torr Head stages first. Wind and heavy rain made the conditions difficult and, after much deliberation, it was only at the very last minute that a decision was made about which tyres to use. Becky and co-driver Kaz Watts overcame the conditions to arrive back in service in 11th place despite a couple of incidents.

"The opening two stages were very challenging," said Becky. "It was hard getting into a rhythm as there was not a lot of grip in some places. We had a big moment on the opening stage when we landed badly after a jump and the car slewed sideways, fortunately we stayed on the road and managed to take the square right corner that followed it!"

"We were lucky in stage two also when we only just managed to slow the car for a hairpin bend. I was pleased to get back to service unscathed, there were damaged cars throughout the stages."

The remaining three stages of round four took place in the dark. Despite her lack of experience of competing at night Becky successfully piloted her KC, Bardahl Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Rally4Real, Peart Auto Services and Songasport-backed Ford Fiesta ST to the finish in 9th place.

"I actually enjoyed the night stages, it is a real challenge to compete at night, it’s totally different to the day time stages as the landscape seems to change. It was great to get to the finish and score some championship points."

Round 5 consisted of four stages on day two of the event. Although conditions were much better than the previous day the stages still proved to be very testing. After three stages Becky was again lying in 9th place but she was only two seconds behind the car in front. Unfortunately the final stage was cancelled due to another competitor having an accident so she did not get the opportunity to push for 8th. Her result was still good enough to take the class award.

"The three stages we did went well, the only drama was an old man wandering across the stage in front of us, though fortunately we managed to miss him. The steering had a bit of play in it after two stages so the service crew did an extremely speedy steering arm change in service - big thanks to them for that."

"It was disappointing not to be able to push for 8th place on the last stage but the important thing is that the crew in the accident were ok. All in all I was delighted to get another good finish for the KC team."

The results means that Becky is now up to 7th in the BRC Challenge championship as well as lying second in her class championship. The next event for the KC Rally Team will be the Trackrod Challenge rally in September.

Please visit for all the latest KC Rally Team news and pictures or join the team Facebook page at

Sunday 14 August 2011

Becky all set for Ulster rally challenge

East Yorkshire rally driver Becky Kirvan will resume her rally season with the KC Rally Team next weekend when she contests rounds four and five of the BRC Challenge championship in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Challenge rally will see two days of competition with each day counting as a separate round.

Becky presently lies in second place in her class championship as well as tenth in the overall championship and she is keen to carry on her good season in the lanes of Ulster.

"We’ve had a really great season so far with good finishes on all three championship events," said Becky. "We will be competing on tarmac again on the Ulster Challenge and with the experience I built up on the last round, which was also on tarmac, I am confident we can go well."

With the last round being held back in May Becky has had a break from competing although she has not had much time to rest as she has been appearing at numerous local events to promote both rallying and her sponsors with her KC, Bardahl Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Rally4Real, Peart Auto Services and Songasport-backed Ford Fiesta ST rally car. She has also had an opportunity to test the car on tarmac to get back into the swing of driving at competition pace.

"Attending the events was a great experience, it was nice to meet lots of new people and there was loads of interest in the car and rallying. I also took the car to a track day at Cadwell Park recently for a test session and while it wasn’t really representative of the surface I’ll drive on in Ulster it was good for me to get used to driving the Fiesta again. This will be my first trip to Ireland so I can’t wait to get over the water and get to the rally start!"

The Ulster Challenge rally will start on Friday 19th August with the crews facing 90 miles of competition over the two days.

Please visit for all the latest KC Rally Team news and pictures or join the team Facebook page at

Monday 8 August 2011

EMMU rescue celebrates 30th anniversary

The Morecambe-based Emergency Mobile Medical Unit (EMMU) celebrate their thirtieth anniversary this year.

EMMU was formed by Stuart Westbrook who persuaded colleagues from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to give up some of their spare time to make sport safer by attending events such as car rallies and power boat meetings.

When the unit started medical cover at these potentially dangerous events was generally limited to basic first aid and it took some convincing to persuade event organisers to let them attend. However, EMMU quickly gained a reputation for providing a vital highly professional skilled service and within a year of being formed it had 40 members and was providing emergency medical cover at events all over the country.

"When I first started the unit I had no idea that it would grow so quickly but thanks to the volunteers we soon became known for enhancing the safety at dangerous sporting events and that reputation has continued to grow." said Westbrook.

One of the current EMMU team is Rachel Medich who has been part of the unit for six years. Even though she has recently moved to Aberdeen she still attends events with the team.

"I competed on events for several years and had not really thought about the medical cover on events. I then got a job at the Infirmary and chanced upon a poster advertising EMMU and a training weekend they were holding."

"The training was brilliant and I joined the unit as a trainee. For three years I attended events in a trainee capacity and learned about everything required to safely extract a casualty from a vehicle and immobilise them to prevent further injury. I then passed an assessment which meant I could be a fully licensed Motor Sport Association rescuer."

"I did not realise how much thought and preparation goes into every rescue. Each one is different and the circumstances of the rescue can be very difficult, for example a rally car crashed upside down in a remote forest."

"I absolutely love attending the events and being part of what is a very professional and well respected team, they’re like a big family to me."

Thirty years after its inception Westbrook still leads the EMMU team, although he has now retired from working at the Infirmary.

"The EMMU work is completely different from the job I did at the hospital. The events are often located in very remote locations so we have to be prepared to deal with all kinds of incidents on the spot."

"I feel very privileged to have had support from various local business over the years, including our present supporters Angus Fire, Macadam Garages, TEG Sport, Blaklader, Holmatro and North West Tyres. Without their assistance and that of the volunteers who give up their free time to attend events and training there would be no rescue unit so I am very grateful for the support we receive. Hopefully the unit will continue for many years to come."

Please visit for further information on EMMU or contact Stuart Westbrook on 01524 422896 or 07831 395221.

Morgan sparks interest in 2012 rally season

Formula 1000 rally competitor Harry Morgan enjoyed a successful test of the latest Chevrolet Spark competition car last week as he starts to make plans for his 2012 rally campaign.

Morgan, who currently competes in a Nissan Micra, is considering upgrading to the Chevrolet for 2012 and he was invited to the test at Blyton Park where the XS Racing team were undertaking development work. Before his driving stint Morgan was able to examine the newly developed Chevrolet.

“I had a good look at the car, the set-up and the development work, the build quality was excellent and the preparation completed by XS Racing was first class,” commented Morgan.

After Chevrolet driver Cameron Davies had completed his own test Morgan was able to get behind the wheel himself.

"I was very impressed by the performance of the Spark, I felt the brakes were powerful, the steering had a lot of good feedback making the car very precise and the suspension set-up was well balanced providing excellent feel whilst in the car.”

“The engine had excellent torque and power, providing exceptional acceleration and the gearbox had a nice gear ratio, making the most of the 1000cc engine’s power."

"My ambition for 2012 is to compete again in the Formula 1000 Forest Championship and hopefully if I can obtain sufficient backing and sponsorship I may be able to compete in the new Chevrolet Spark, with the aim of being the 2012 champion."

"I would like to thank Alistair Sutherland and the XS Racing team for inviting me to the test day, plus Cameron and Geraint Davies for making it such an enjoyable day."

If you would like to know more about Harry and his rallying career visit