Monday 26 September 2011

Broken driveshaft denies Fiesta victory for Cristofaro

Milford Haven rally drive Nick Cristofaro had a disappointing end to his British Rally Championship season when a broken driveshaft led to his retirement from the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire while leading the Fiesta SportTrophy class.

Having successfully tested his Genpower UK, Ginsters, Cristotec, Autoglym, Millers Oils, Nicky Grist and Elite Remapping-supported Ford Fiesta ST in Hamsterley before the event Cristofaro had high hopes of ending his season in style with a Fiesta win on the Scarborough-based event.

The rally kicked off with a 14 mile stage in Dalby forest, a forest where there are several long straights which suit the more powerful Fiesta R2 cars rather than Cristofaro’s older ST model. Despite this he managed to finish the stage in third place in the Fiesta class.

“We had a good test session and the pre-rally recce went well, it gave me the opportunity to get used to having Janice Moore as my co-driver again,” said Cristofaro. “I knew I’d have to push really hard in Dalby to try and keep up with the newer Fiestas and I was pleased not to drop much time to them.”

The next four stages, two runs of Gale Rigg and one of Cropton and Staindale were shorter and more technical. Cristofaro overcame his relative lack of power to storm to three fastest Fiesta times and one second fastest, a performance which saw him head the Fiesta SportTrophy leaderboard.

Sadly the chance of a Fiesta win for Cristofaro vanished when a loud bang at the start of the next Langdale stage signalled a broken driveshaft which forced him out of the event.

“Gale Rigg, Cropton and Staindale went really well, I was delighted with three fastest time although it could’ve been four but for a slight collision with a bank. Langdale was another long stage and I was confident that we could pull a good lead out over the other Fiesta crews but the snapped shaft put paid to that. It was really gutting as I think we were on for the win and that could’ve meant a possible nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver prize as well as taking the Fiesta championship but it was not to be.”

“I just hope that potential sponsors will see that I have the pace and commitment to compete at the top level of British rallying so that I am able to drive a TEG Sport Skoda Fabia in 2012. The Fiesta is now for sale and I’ll be working as hard as I can to get the funds together so I can continue in the British Rally Championship next year. Thank you to all the people who have supported me in 2011.”

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Sunday 25 September 2011

Brake failure results in dramatic end to Trackrod rally for Becky

East Yorkshire rally driver Becky Kirvan had a dramatic end to the Trackrod Challenge rally last weekend when brake failure resulted in her car flying off the road into a tree, putting her out of the event.

With the organisers of the Rally Isle of Man announcing that their event had been cancelled the Trackrod became the last round of Becky's BRC Challenge season so she was especially keen to get a good result on her home event.

The event started with stages in Gale Rigg and Cropton forests north of Pickering. Becky and co-driver Kaz Watts made a good start in their KC, Bardahl Top Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Peart Auto Services, Rally4Real and Songasport-supported Ford Fiesta ST to lie in 11th overall and 2nd in class. However, the opening two stages were not without problems with the car's brake bias needing altering after the first stage and then the brakes overheating when braking at the end of the many long straights in the second stage.

"The car was getting out of shape a lot under braking in the first stage so I adjusted the brake bias ready for stage two," commented Becky. "This seemed to help the handling in the second stage but then we had the overheating issue which caused some anxious moments when slowing from the high speeds we were doing on the straights."

Stage three took place in Staindale forest and Becky had another good run to maintain her 11th overall and 2nd in class. With the long Langdale stage next Becky was keen to push on and aim for the top ten but it all went wrong a couple of miles from the end of the stage. The stage was another with lots of long straights and Becky again had to battle overheating brakes but coming up to a right-hand bend the brakes totally failed. Although she attempted to turn the car on the handbrake it was going too quickly and flew off the road. The roof of the car hit a tree and it then landed upside-down with the crew initially trapped inside. Fortunately they were able to extract themselves and they were not badly hurt although as a precaution Kaz was taken to hospital to be checked over.

"It was a pretty high-speed accident and the roof took a lot of the impact on Kaz's side of the car though we were well protected by the roll cage. It was a little scary being trapped upside down but we got out eventually. It was a very disappointing way to end our BRC Challenge season but at least neither of us were seriously injured. I'd like to sincerely thank EMMU rescue for attending to Kaz and myself and also Lakes 3 and Difflock 8 recovery crews for extracting the car, it was a very professional job by them all. The car needs a new roof and door pillar and a few other parts but it will soon be back to full health."

Despite the retirement on the final round Becky ends the season in second place in the RC5 class championship and she is also the BRC Challenge Ladies Champion.

“I’ve really enjoyed my BRC Challenge season, it has been great doing events that are new to me. I am pleased with my performance and hopefully I can build on this year’s experience in 2012. Thank you to KC and all my other supporters for their invaluable help in 2011.”

Becky's next planned event is the Wales Rally GB world championship round but she is hoping to contest another event before this once the car is fixed.

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Images from the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire

To see the images please click here.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Becky to end season with World Rally Championship outing

Rally driver Becky Kirvan will end her 2011 season by competing at the very top of the rallying ladder when she contests Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB.

East Yorkshire-based Becky has enjoyed a successful year competing in the BRC Challenge in her Ford Fiesta ST car with co-driver Kaz Watts and she has secured a deal with world-leading chemical company Cristal Global which will enable her to contest the world championship event once her BRC Challenge campaign is complete. Cristal Global, who have a plant in Stallingborough, employs nearly 4,000 people on five continents and they are the second largest titanium dioxide producer in the world, the largest producer of merchant titanium chemicals and the leading manufacturer of specialty titanium products.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be entering Wales Rally GB, it is an amazing opportunity for me. Competing at this level would have been completely out of reach if it wasn’t for Cristal Global’s sponsorship so I’m extremely grateful to them for their support,” said Becky. “I once interviewed world championship driver Mikko Hirvonen for a television programme, little did I know that I’d be competing on the same event as him one day!”

Fahad Nackshabandi, General Manager of Cristal Global Corporate Communications commented: "We are pleased to support Becky on this event, she has done very well in rallying and we are proud to help her compete at the highest level possible."

Rally GB will consist of four days of competition all over Wales starting on the North coast near Llandudno and finishing in Cardiff. The total competitive mileage is 220 which is over three times longer than any other rally Becky has contested up to now.

“It will be the longest stage rally I’ve ever competed in and it’s sure to be very challenging. There is an immense amount of work to get both myself and the car ready for the event, though I believe the experience I’ve built up in the last two years will help me a great deal. I’ll be aiming to do the very best that I can.”

Becky presently lies in 7th place in the BRC Challenge as well as second in her class championship and she still has three rounds to complete before her Rally GB outing with events in Yorkshire followed by a double-header on the Isle of Man.

“The season has gone really well so far and I’m very pleased to have successfully completed all the events. The car has been great throughout the season, my only issues being a couple of punctures for which I can hardly blame the car! I’ll be pushing hard on the last three rounds to gain as good a championship position as I can. I would like to express my sincere thanks to my sponsors: communications company KC, Bardahl Top Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Peart Auto Services, Rally4Real and Songasport for supporting my BRC Challenge campaign this year.”

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Sunday 18 September 2011

Cristofaro and Moore to reunite in Yorkshire

Milford Haven’s Nick Cristofaro will return to the British Rally Championship next weekend when he contests the International Rally Yorkshire.

Cristofaro was forced to miss the last round in Ulster due to budget constraints but he has managed to secure sufficient support to take part in the Scarborough-based event in his TEG Sport Ford Fiesta ST.

He will be reunited with co-driver Janice Moore for the rally, the pairing having previously competed together when Cristofaro contested the Junior 1000 championship in 2009.

“I’m very happy to be competing again, it was very frustrating not being in Ulster for the last round,” said Cristofaro.

“I’ve been lucky to get some extra support from Genpower UK and I’ve also been working flat out with my Cristotec remapping business and at Carew karting to try and get the funds together to do the event. “

Joining Genpower UK and Cristofaro’s other supporters Cristotec, Autoglym, Millers Oils, Nicky Grist and Elite Remapping for the event will be Ginsters, the Cornwall-based manufacturer of pasties, sandwiches and pies.

“I’m very grateful to Ginsters for their support and also to Janice for securing the deal. We’re on a very tight budget so all the support we get is vital.”

Cristofaro is hoping for a good result to boost his hopes of attracting sponsorship for 2012 as he has the chance of competing in the British Rally Championship as part of the TEG Sport Skoda Fabia team.

“TEG Sport have given me the fantastic opportunity to compete in the Skoda next year but to take advantage of the offer I will have to get the funding together to help support the drive. With the championship moving to two-wheel drive cars only in 2012 and TEG Sport being one of the leading teams the Skoda drive would be ideal for me and I’ll be working as hard as I can to get the deal.”

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Becky back to the woods for next rally challenge

Burton Pidsea-based rally driver Becky Kirvan will return to the forests for her next KC Rally Team event when she contests the Trackrod Challenge event.

The last two BRC Challenge championship rounds have been held on the tarmac roads of the Scottish Borders and Ulster respectively but the Trackrod will use gravel tracks in the forests of Yorkshire.

"I’ve not competed in the forest since the Pirelli rally in April but I’m confident that I will quickly get back into driving on gravel," said Becky.

"I enjoyed the tarmac events and I was very pleased with the results we got but I prefer the rallying in the forest so I’m really looking forward to the Trackrod Challenge rally."

Becky will compete in her usual KC, Bardahl Oils, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Rally4Real, Peart Auto Services and Songasport-backed Ford Fiesta ST. Although she has not competed since Ulster it has been a busy time for Becky and the KC Rally Team.

"We’ve been doing a lot of promotional work with the car including appearing at the KC Rally Day at Sweet Lamb in Wales as well as filming a feature for the BBC. It’s all been great fun and it’s really added to my rally season."

"The Trackrod is my local event so I am especially keen to get a good result although it will be the first time I have competed in the Yorkshire forests. We’re presently in second place in the RC5 class championship so I am hoping to maintain that position."

The Trackrod Challenge rally will start in Scarborough on 24 September with the crews battling over 50 miles of stages in the forests around Pickering.

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Wednesday 14 September 2011

Championship battle resumes for BCCC crews

The battle for the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship will continue next weekend as the crews return to the Brynfynnon venue near Porth in South Wales for round 5.

The current championship leader Ian Rochelle took his first ever BCCC win when the series visited the same venue for round 2. Since then Rochelle finished third at round 3 before taking another win at round 4 in Radnor to head the leaderboard on 309 points. He also won the Ray Kempster Memorial Hill Rally in August.

Bob Seaman lies in second place going into round 5 on 268 points after three top-ten finishes in his Milner R5 with Gordon Monaghan just four points behind in third.

Bamber Bridge’s Dan Lofthouse is presently in sixth place but with the championship allowing one score to be dropped he is in a good position to challenge for the title with a win and two second place finishes in the last three events. Lofthouse recently contested the Rallye des Cimes in the south of France where he won his class in his Freelander.

The action will kick of at 10.00am on Saturday 17 September with Sunday’s competition starting at 9.00am. Spectators are welcome at the venue, it is expected that the landowner will make a charge for car parking of £5. Please follow the arrows from Llanwonno to get to the site.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Sponsorship boost for Becky as Top Oils Bardahl extend deal

BRC Challenge championship driver Becky Kirvan has received some good news ahead of her next rally outing later this month with the announcement that Top Oils Bardahl have extended their sponsorship deal for a further three years.

The leading supplier of high quality oil for both road and competition use initially supported Becky for 2011 but they have now extended that deal to cover all events Becky competes in until the end of 2014.

Peter Trott of Top Oils Bardahl commented: "I am particularly pleased to extend our sponsorship of Becky because she brings the right mix of fun and determination to motorsport. Becky is a shining example to potential rally drivers and racers and a sponsor’s dream. I look forward to seeing Becky make further progress in her rallying career."

Becky is presently concentrating on her BRC Challenge campaign but plans for 2012 will commence shortly with a season doing the British Rally Championship being the aim if sufficient suppoort can be obtained.

“I’m thillled that Top Oils Bardahl will continue their support beyond this year,” said Becky. “If it wasn’t for my sponsors I would not be able to compete at such a high level of rallying so I am extremely grateful for all the help I receive.”

“My ambition next year is to compete in the British Rally Championship as I feel that is the natural step up from the BRC Challenge but it will all depend if we can get the budget together and my plans to achieve that will start shortly. I shall definitely be out on the stages in some form!".

Becky will next be action at the Trackrod Challenge rally in Yorkshire at the end of September. Please visit or join the Facebook group at

Monday 5 September 2011

Disappointment for Morgan on Woodpecker Stages rally

Bangor on Dee’s Harry Morgan had a disappointing Woodpecker Stages rally when a broken clutch forced him out of the event on the third stage. The event was round 7 of the BTRDA Rally First championship and Morgan had been hoping to build on the third place he held on the RF1.0 leaderboard.

Morgan and co-driver James Ford already faced problems before the rally started when the fuel pipe burst on the night before the event. Fortunately a replacement was sourced and the pairing were able to make the start.

The Micra crew made a rapid start to the Ludlow-based event, setting second fastest time in the class on the opening High Vinnalls. Stage two, Hazel Coppice, did not go so well with a big spin and several near overshoots as Morgan battled to stay near the top of the leaderboard.

Morgan’s hopes of a good result ended in the Cwm y Gerwyn stage which was held in Radnor forest. Part way through the stage on a fast downhill section the car slid into a ditch. Although he was able to get the car out eventually the clutch had been put under too much strain and it failed on the next corner, putting Morgan out of the event.

“It was very disappointing to retire from the event”, said Morgan. “The first stage had gone really well and we were in a good position to challenge for a class win. I think I tried a bit too hard in stage two and the spin lost us some time before the clutch failure in stage three.”

“I’ll strip the car down over the next few days and repair all the internal damage. Hopefully I’ll be able to put an entry in for the Cambrian which is the final round of the championship. We’ll be pushing hard if we make it to the Cambrian, I want to try and get back into the RF1.0 top three if I can, I think that would be a great achievement for my first full season in rallying.”

The retirement means that Morgan drops to fourth place in the RF1.0 championship although he still lies in second place in the Junior drivers’ championship. Please visit for more information on Harry Morgan’s rallying.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Wright moves into championship lead despite Woodpecker woes

Bethham-based rally driver David Wright had mixed fortunes on last weekend’s Woodpecker Stages rally when a series of problems meant he only finished fifth in class but the result was good enough for him to move into the lead of the class championship.

The Ludlow-based event kicked off with the High Vinnalls stages. Wright was going well in his Kumho Tyres, Drenth, Proflex and Grove Hill Garage-supported GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9 but three miles from the end of the stage the engine started overheating forcing him to reduce his pace. Despite this he was still third fastest in the BTRDA B13 class.

In the second stage, Hazel Coppice, Wright thought the engine was seizing and so stopped for 90 seconds. With the engine cooled sufficiently he got to the end of the stage and back to the service halt where a quick oil change was performed but the delay had dropped him to 69th place overall and 14th in class.

“It was a disappointing start to the event, we had been flying in the High Vinnalls stage but the time loss at the end of that stage and in Hazel Coppice meant our hopes of going for a class win were over,” commented Wright. “The guys in service changed the engine oil to try and cure the overheating as there were no other apparent problems.”

The crews headed to Radnor for the Cwm y Gerwyn stage and Wright’s engine overheating troubles were over as he set the fastest time in his class. A different kind of problem was experienced in stage 4, Stanlow Tump, when Wright caught the competitor in front and was unable to get past because of dust which severely hampered visibility. With a clear run on the following Wigmore stage Wright was again fastest in his class, a feat he repeated on stage 6 to move up to seventh in class. A charge through the final Haye Park stage enabled Wright to move up to 14th overall and fifth in class by the rally finish.

“I was pleased that the oil change cured the overheating problem and we had a good run on the rest of the stages apart from losing around 50 seconds being held up in the fourth stage. Fifth in class is a good result considering where we were after stage two and the points we got have put us in a strong position in the championship. It was a very tough rally and it was great to be on the pace of the World Rally class cars.”

Wright now leads the B13 class championship with one round to go, the Cambrian rally in early October.

Images from the Woodpecker Stages rally

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