Tuesday 25 October 2011

Successful first event for the Rally2Raise team

The Rally2Raise team got their fundraising activities off to a great start at the recent Mull Rally when almost £60 was raised selling cakes and cookies to crews and spectators.

The Rally2Raise project is aiming to raise funds for the Nystagmus Network, Cancer Research UK and the MS Society as well as raising awareness of post-natal depression. Team members Rachel Medich and Katherine Begg have had personal experience of all four of the causes and they will be running a series of fundraising activities in the remainder of 2011 and throughout 2012.

“I’d like to say thank you to all the people who bought cakes and cookies on Mull, we sold all the items we had made so it was an excellent start to the Rally2Raise campaign,” said Rachel. “All the causes are very important to Katherine and myself and we’ll be working as hard as we can to raise funds and awareness.”

Plans are currently being made for the next Rally2Raise event to be the Neil Howard Memorial Rally near York where it is hoped that Rachel will debut her Nissan Micra rally car. The team is also aiming to have a rally calendar on sale in November.

Please visit www.rally2raise.co.uk for more information on the project or to make a donation – in partnership with Virgin Money Giving online donations can now be accepted from which the causes will also receive gift aid. Please also visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rally2raise.

Excitement mounts as Becky prepares for WRC debut

With less than three weeks to go to the start of Wales Rally GB rally driver Becky Kirvan is flat out with preparations for her first world championship event in her Cristal Global-backed Ford Fiesta ST.

After her accident on the Trackrod Challenge rally in September her car has had to undergo major surgery with a new roof, doors, wing, door pillar and bonnet having to be sourced and the roll cage fixed.

“We were able to find a Fiesta road car shell which we’ve taken panels from for the rally car,” commented Becky. “The cage has now been fixed so that will be going in the car in the next few days and then we can put the new roof on. The gearbox is away for a rebuild so that will have to be refitted as soon as it comes back and we’ve also to get the bodywork liveried with Cristal Global graphics. With the car work and all the other organisation required it’s going to be very busy right up to the start of the event.”

As well as having to get her car fixed Becky has had to find a new co-driver as Kaz Watts has withdrawn from the event due to a neck injury.

“It’s a real shame that Kaz will not be with the team but unfortunately the neck injuries she sustained in the accident on the Trackrod rally are still causing her problems so it was too much of a risk to her health to tackle a four-day event so soon afterwards. I will have Will Rogers co-driving for me and I am confident will we quickly gel as a team. I can’t wait for the rally to start!”

The rally will start from Llandudno on 10th November with the crews facing four days of tough competition before finishing the event in Cardiff.

Please visit www.beckykirvan.co.uk or www.facebook.com/BeckyKirvanRallying for more information on Becky Kirvan’s rallying.

Monday 10 October 2011

New charity fundraising venture aims to rally to the cause

Rally co-driver and rescue volunteer Rachel Medich has founded a new fundraising and awareness raising venture which will use car rallying to promote it’s causes. Rally2Raise will seek to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK, the Nystagmus Network, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Post-Natal Depression through a series of rallying-related events which will range from selling cakes and cookies to actually competing.

Aberdeen-based Rachel and her friend Katherine Begg will be organising the events and both have very personal experience of the causes which Rally2Raise will seek to help.

“We have chosen the causes as each one has affected us a great deal,” said Rachel. “I have had a torrid time with cancer recently, both personally and with friends. My son was born earlier this year with nystagmus, a not very well known eye disease for which there have been no medical advancements for many years.”

“Following the birth I suffered with severe post-natal depression for which I am still receiving treatment. Fortunately I recognised the symptons and got help but many women feel they have to keep it quiet and try and deal with it themselves and as a result become very ill. Rally2Raise is all about raising awareness of these causes and raising funds for the relevant charities.”

Katherine commented: “When Rachel told me about the concept for Rally2Raise I asked if we could also raise awareness and funds for MS. As a young carer I saw the affect MS had on the individual and also the family. I now know my mum had primary progressive MS, seeing my mum and best friend deteriorate over the years she was alive was the hardest thing to comprehend. Yet through it all she remained strong, kept her humour and remained true to her faith. All in all an inspirational figure for me, my brother and father who cared for her tirelessly and devotedly until she passed away in 1992.”

“I have close family members who have died from cancer. Very recently a lump was found in my breast after a mammogram test and I felt the fear of awaiting to know my "fate", planning what I would do if I had to tell my daughter. I was more terrified for my daughter and how it would affect her than anything else. The cells caught were benign, it was a relief but it also made me realise what others must go through too.”

“If Rally2Raise can help raise awareness and funds for all the causes we have chosen then I feel that I, in some way, have repaid all those who have helped me over the years, especially coping with the loss of my mum.”

The first Rally2Raise event will take place at the Mull Rally where Rachel and Katherine will be selling homemade cakes and cookies during the recce week and at the event itself – look out for them on the stages! After that Rachel is hoping to make her debut as a rally driver at the Neil Howard Memorial Rally in her recently acquired ex-Becky Kirvan Nissan Micra.

For more information on Rally2Raise please visit www.rally2raise.co.uk.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Nescliff set for BCCC title showdown

The sixth and final round of the Britpart British Cross Country Championship will take place next weekend at Nesscliff in Shropshire with several crews in with a chance of taking the crown.

Ian Rochelle presently leads the championship from Bob Seaman with Gordon Monaghan in third but when dropped scores are taken into account it is Dan Lofthouse who looks to have the best chance of challenging Rochelle.

"I’m massively looking forward to the event", commented Rochelle. "I’m hoping that the battle goes right to the final run and that all the contenders have a good clear run so that it’s decided without any mechanical issues."

"This will be the second event for our new Millington engine and I can't wait to try it out as the slippery conditions at the last round meant that we struggled to get the power down."

Lofthouse said: "We need to win the event so that’s what we’re aiming to do, whatever happens it’s been a great season for me with the new car, 2011 was planned to be a development year so to be in with a shout of the title is excellent."

Milner R5 driver Bob Seaman, who is on course for his best ever BCCC finish, said: "We are unbelievably second on the score sheet at the moment and with dropped scores we are only one point behind former champion Gordon Monaghan. If Ian and Dan finish then we cannot catch them but I will be pushing hard to take third place which I will be delighted with in only my fourth year of competing."

In the Trophy class Tom Hipkiss presently leads from Greg Morris but, as with the BCCC title, it’s all to play for on the final round.

A Clubman class will run for crews who are not entered in the championships. Entries cost £250 for the full weekend or £150 for either day. Please call Championship Secretary Lilian Turley on 01594 810161 or email lilianturley@btinternet.com if you wish to enter the

The event will take place at the Nesscliff army training camp with the action starting at 10am on Saturday. Day two will start at 9am. Spectators are permitted at the venue but, at the request of the MoD, they must be in the venue before 8am as the access gate will be locked after this time and it will not be opened until the day’s action is finished.

Further information on the championship is available on www.marches4x4.com.

Rally retirement robs Wright of championship win

Bentham’s David Wright had a disappointing end to his BTRDA rally championship last weekend when driveshaft failure forced him into retirement on the Cambrian rally.

Going into the Llandudno-based event Wright was leading his class championship and he had high hopes of taking the title but a good finish was required for him to achieve his goal. Sadly his victory chances were wrecked just three miles into the opening stage when the driveshaft broke on his Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth, Grove Hill Garage and York Brewery-backed Mitsubishi Evo 9.

“It’s a sad way to end the BTRDA season, I was confident that we could win the class and take the championship but it was not to be”, commented Wright. “I’m pleased that we took four class wins in the season, that shows that we had the pace to beat all the other crews in the class but the retirements we have suffered have cost us dearly.”

Wright is planning to end his 2011 rally season with an outing on the Grizedale Stages in November before commencing work on a new car which he is hoping to use in 2012.

“I love the stages in Grizedale forest and it’s my local event so it’s a nice way to end the year. We’ve gone well there before so hopefully we will have a good event. We’re going to build another Evo 9 in tarmac specification and we’re planning to do a few tarmac rallies next year in addition to the forest ones.”

Clutch failure ends Harry's rally season on Cambrian rally

Bangor on Dee rally driver Harry Morgan had a disappointing end to his 2011 season when for the second event running he retired due to clutch failure.

Morgan was contesting the Llandudno-based event for the second time and he had been aiming to finish his season in style after retiring on the previous BTRDA championship round in September.

The rally started with two stages in Penmachno forest and on the first one Morgan was third in class despite being held up by a slower car. The chances of a good result ended though after his Nissan Micra landed in a ditch on the second stage with the clutch being severely damaged when trying to get the car back on the road.

“The first stage was very rough,” said Morgan, “I was pleased to be third in class after being slowed by another car.”

“Stage two was going well, we were setting a good place but then we came across a stranded car again which held us up. Unfortunately we got lost in the pacenotes, I was going too quickly for a tight hairpin and we went straight on into a ditch. Thanks to some friendly marshals and spectators we were able to get the car out but the clutch was wrecked. We managed to get a little further on in the stage but then it failed completely.”

With his season finished Morgan now plans to upgrade his car for 2012 with a better clutch and possibly a 1300cc engine to replace the current 1000cc unit.

“I do not have the budget to do a full championship season next year so my plan is to do a few selected events throughout 2012. I want to put something back into the sport also by marshalling on some events and getting involved with rally organisation.”

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

Monday 3 October 2011

Harry targets end of season success

Bangor on Dee rally driver Harry Morgan will complete his first full season of rallying next weekend when he takes part in the final round of the BTRDA championship, the Cambrian rally.

After a disappointing retirement on the previous round in September Morgan is hoping for a good run on the Cambrian to end his season in style and he’ll be putting the experience gained from competing on the event last year to good use.

“I enjoyed the rally last year, the stages in North Wales were great and I think having previous knowledge will be an advantage for me”, commented Morgan.

“The event this year will have two stages around the Great Orme tarmac road which was not run last year so that will be a new and interesting experience. My only other competition experience on tarmac was the Porlock stage on this year’s Somerset Stages.”

“I’ve been very busy working on the car since the last round, the broken clutch has been replaced and there have been various other maintenance jobs to do but we’re all ready to go and I’ll be aiming for a strong finish in my class.”

Morgan will once again be partnered by co-driver James Ford for the event. Ford faces a busy week as he will head straight from the Cambrian to the Isle of Mull where he will swap seats to drive on the Mull Rally.

The Cambrian rally starts from Llandudno with most of the competitive action taking part in the forests of Penmachno, Clocaenog and Alwen before the crews head back to Llandudno for the final stages around the Great Orme.

Please visit www.harryrally.co.uk for all the latest news and photographs.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Wright aiming to end rally season on a high

Rally driver David Wright, from Bentham, is aiming to end his BTRDA season on a high by taking the class B13 championship on next weekend’s Cambrian rally in North Wales.

Wright presently leads the championship by five points and he needs a good result on the Llandudno-based event to ensure he wins the title in his Kumho Tyres, Drenth, Proflex and Grove Hill Garage-supported GPM Mitsubishi Evo 9.

“We’ve had four class wins in the championship so far which has put us into a good position going into the final round”, commented Wright. “However, with 20 points for the win we still need to perform well on the Cambrian to win the championship.”

“The car will be in a very similar specification to the previous round, we’ve done some work to improve the cooling after the overheating issues we had last time out. I’m hoping that we will be on the pace of the World Rally cars and I’m aiming to get a podium finish as well as taking another class win.”

The rally will start in Llandudno before heading to the forests of Penmachno, Clocaenog and Alwen for the bulk of the competitive mileage. The crews will then return to Llandudno for two runs around the Great Orme.

“I’m really looking forward to the rally, the stages are some of my favourites and I am confident we will have a good event.”