Monday 29 June 2015

Wright triumphs in Goodwood Festival of Speed rally shootout

Rally driver David Wright enjoyed a hugely successful Goodwood Festival of Speed when he beat some of the fastest drivers in British rallying to win the shootout event, which was held over the three days of the festival at Goodwood House in Sussex.

Bentham-based Wright was invited to appear at the prestigious event in his Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage-supported Ford Focus WRC, a car which has been used at world championship level by Spanish champion Carlos Sainz.

The shootout format meant that each driver had to nominate one run of the three mile course each day as a timed run so the pressure was on not to make any mistakes. Wright made a fantastic start on Friday, setting the fastest time of all the drivers. He continued his form over the weekend, with his times only beaten by Citroën world rally championship driver Kris Meeke.

“It was brilliant to get the shootout win,” said Wright. “The format of the event made it feel a bit like Formula 1 qualifying – you had to go flat out but just one little mistake would drop you right down the leaderboard. The rally course was quite narrow and very twisty with trees and banks right at the side of the track waiting to punish any errors.”

“I pushed hard on Friday and took a narrow lead. We couldn’t match Meeke’s times on Saturday and Sunday but then he’s a world championship driver in the latest specification of rally car! We did enough to top the time sheets over the three days though.”

“The whole event was amazing and to win the shoot-out just topped it off. Thanks for Lord March for inviting us and letting us rally in his garden! Thanks also to the International Rally Drivers Club and Southern Car Club for running the rally stage, Giles Philips Motorsport for the car, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage for their support and everyone else who has helped us.”

Wright’s next outing in the Focus will be on the Nicky Grist Stages in Wales on 11th July.

Monday 22 June 2015

Wright to battle against World Rally stars at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bentham-based rally driver David Wright will take on the stars of the World Rally Championship next weekend when he competes in the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It is the fourth time that Wright has been invited to the event, which runs in the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex. He will use his ex-Carlos Sainz Ford Focus WRC which will be backed by Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage. The car has been prepared for the event by Giles Philips Motorsport.

“It’s a huge honour to be invited to take part in the event,” said Wright. “The forest rally stage will see a variety of cars running with everything from classic 1960s Minis to the latest World Rally Championship machines. Britain’s two world championship drivers, Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke, will be there so it’ll be interesting to see how my times compare to them.”

“We’ll be using the same Ford Focus that we used on the Malcolm Wilson rally earlier this year. We also used the car at Goodwood last year. It’s a brilliant event – as well as the rally stage there is also a hillclimb course has an entry including several Formula 1 cars. There’s usually a good mix of celebs there too!“

Wright will be one of several International Rally Drivers Club members at the event, with others including Shelly Taunt, whose car has just arrived back in the UK after she competed on Rally Barbados.

The Festival of Speed starts on Friday morning with the action continuing on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Images from BCCC Forrest Estate

Please click here to see the images.

Back to back BCCC wins for Moran

Mike Moran repeated his round two win with victory at round three of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship at Forrest Estate in South West Scotland.

Moran took the lead on run one amidst horrendous weather conditions , setting a time four seconds quicker than Ryan Cooke. Cooke’s hopes of a good result were dashed when the radiator on his Milner LRM-1 was damaged after run three. Neil Davey was putting his run one retirement on the previous event behind him and, despite several issues with his GSR, he was second behind Moran at the end of day one. In third place was Andy Powell who had a narrow escape after going off the road and almost hitting two large tree stumps.

In contrast to day one the sun shone on day two and, as the course dried out, the top three maintained their pace to hold position. Davey was lucky to finish though after a major problem with the exhaust but he managed to get it fixed to allow him to complete his runs. It was Moran who headed the leaderboard, leading the pack by over three minutes. 

“I’m very pleased with the win,” said Moran. “The course was very tough and challenging but I think it put a smile on everyone’s face! Other than one puncture we had no issues all weekend. It’s a shame our rivals had problems but we still had some fun trying to see who’d set the fastest lap of the weekend.” 

Davey commented: “I’m really chuffed to get second, especially with the problems we had over the weekend – it was a case of damage limitation. We had issues with the clutch on day one and then the centre of the exhaust blew off on day two. Fortunately we were able to sort it out so we got to the finish. It was a belter of a course.”

Third place gave Andy Powell his second podium position of the season, a result he was happy with: “It’s been a cracking event and I’m very pleased with third. We had a few problems on day one including the fan belt coming off and a couple of near misses with ditches and tree stumps but we battled on and made it to the podium.”

Rounding off the top five were Jason Sharpe in the Isuzu D-Max and Mark Jacques in his 3M Challenger. Jacques was fourth overnight but two stoppages on day two caused by a belt coming off and broken windscreen wipers dropped him to fifth. Steve Smith was sixth in his Clio with Richard Green in seventh after a difficult weekend in his Tomcat which included having to replace both diffs.

In the Trophy category Sian Rogers took the win in her Mitsubishi Pinin ahead of Nick Pritchard’s Goka Buggy.

Ian Linford overcame a few problems, including a broken alternator, to win the Freelander Challenge. Alastair Moore-Myers, with Ravenol’s Brian Chase navigating, finished second despite a day one excursion. Louisa Felice continued her 100% finishing record in third, her first Freelander podium.

BCCC Results:
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger)   02:16:14
2. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)   02:19:23
3. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)   02:22:39
4. Jason Sharpe/Richard Lester (Isuzu D-Max)   02:26:27
5. Mark Jacques/Dan Lofthouse (3M Challenger)   02:29:18
6. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8)   02:32:46
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100)   02:33:46

Monday 1 June 2015

All to play for as BCCC title race heads to Scotland

Forrest Estate in South West Scotland will be the setting for round three of the 2015 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship next weekend. 

After two rounds it is 2014 champion Mike Moran who heads the leaderboard on 166 points, 24 points ahead of Andy Powell. There’s a very close battle for third presently with four crews separated by just five points. Mark Jacques is third going into round three on 139 points with Richard Green and Jason Sharpe on 137 and Ryan Cooke on 134.

Several crews will be hoping for better luck at Forrest Estate after suffering retirement at the previous round in Radnor forest. Paul Harris was forced out after a major gearbox oil leak but his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight has been repaired and is ready for Scotland. Ben Duckworth and Neil Davey, who finished first and third respectively at round one, both retired after the opening run at Radnor so they’ll be aiming to get their season back on track next weekend. 

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford leads the way on 116 points. After a tough course in Radnor Linford has had a lot of work to do on both his own car and that of fellow Team Sheepie driver Louisa Felice who has finished both rounds so far to lie in fourth place.

“I’ve had to put a new bumper on Louisa’s car and fix the one on mine as well as repairing the exhaust and fitting a new engine,” said Linford. “Since round two we’ve also taken both cars to a local Beavers and Cubs evening and apparently the kids haven’t stopped talking about it since. Maybe one day some of them will be competing.”

Craig Bounds is in second place in the Freelanders on 98 points with Andy Price just behind in third on 96. Price is another driver who has been busy since round two.

“I was losing a lot of power at Radnor and the engine was boiling at the end of every run,” said Price. “I thought it would be the head gasket but I took the engine apart and it was fine but I only had compression on two cylinders. I’ve changed and reseated the valves and did the head gasket as a precaution so hopefully there won’t be a repeat of our Radnor issues.”

Alastair Moore-Myers and Brian Chase from championship technical partner Ravenol will be aiming for a finish after retiring their Freelander at Radnor.

The action at Forrest Estate will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Day two will start at 9am with the event finishing early on Sunday afternoon. The venue will be arrowed from the A713 north of St John’s Town of Dalry. A public car park is available for spectators near the event service area. Please visit for further spectator information.