Elfyn Evans leads the champagne celebrations in Builth Wells after a superb Nicky Grist Stages
Elfyn Evans, co-driven by fellow Welshman Craig Parry, won the 2016 Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) in their DMACK British Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 – and celebrated in style by spraying the champagne in Groe Park, Builth Wells, at the end of a gruelling 100 mile event.
It was the first time that the Nicky Grist Stages had hosted a round of the MSA British Rally Championship, and to mark the occasion Quinton Motor Club had organised a 100 mile mixed-surfaced two-day event. With its headquarters at the Royal Welsh Showground, the event had attracted a 180 car capacity entry, with 45 stage miles run on gravel on Saturday and a further 60 miles run on Tarmac over the Epynt military ranges on Sunday.
Quinton Motor Club overcame a number of big challenges – not least the appallingly wet and windy weather conditions, which makes running such a vast outdoor event that much more difficult. Despite this, a large number of spectators braved the conditions – and 150 guests enjoyed a VIP day out at a stage-side hospitality marquee, where they enjoyed superb food, excellent viewing and a host of guest speakers.
The event also raised money for the Tirabad Village Hall, Brecon Rotary Club and the Welsh Air Ambulance, via collections and donations made during the event. Thanks to the generosity of those enjoying the entertainment in the Competitors’ Lounge in Rally HQ on Saturday night, a charity auction also raised over £1,600 for the Gareth Roberts Fund.
The event’s association with the GoSafe Safety Camera Partnership proved to be a big success, with no reported spike in road traffic offences over the weekend period for that region, despite the increase in traffic, and a fairly low number of motorist caught speeding – none of which are currently known to be associated in any way with the event.
In the battle for the BRC title, Evans took the lead of the Nicky Grist Stages on SS3 and never looked back – the Dolgellau driver going on to set a total of 12 fastest stage times to win the event by 1 minute 11.4 seconds and extend his lead at the top of the BRC points table. Aberdyfi’s Tom Cave and co-driver James Morgan made it a Welsh one-two by finishing second in their Spencer Sport Fiesta R5, while Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (ŠKODA Fabia R5) finished third.
The top three finishers overall, together with the top three DMACK Junior BRC finishers – 1st Robert Duggan/Ger Conway, 2nd Mattias Adielsson/Andreas Johansson (both Vauxhall Adam R2s) and 3rd Sindre Furuseth/Jim Hjerpe (Renault Twingo R2) – plus all the class winners (including Matt Edwards/Will Rogers, who clinched the BRC2 title in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) attended a special finish ceremony in Groe Park. There, on the banks of the River Wye and with Builth Wells’ iconic 18th Century bridge in the background, they were presented with their trophies by the Mayor of Builth Wells, Councillor Meryl Prynne, and the Head of Planning and ICT from Powys County Council, Mrs. Avril York.
Chris Wheeler/Yan Griffiths crashed their Citroen DS3 R3T on SS14, which saw the rapid deployment of the emergency rescue and medical units, and so the results were declared final after 15 of the 18 scheduled stages. Quinton Motor Club wishes Chris and Yan a full and speedy recovery.
In the battle for points in the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, HRCR Stage Masters Challenge, ANWCC Forest Rally Championship, ANWCC Historic Stage Rally Championship and FMP Rally Challenge – which ran exclusively over the eight gravel stages on Saturday – it was Luke Francis/John Roberts who came out on top, winning by over a minute in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta R5+) and Paul Benn/Richard Cooke (Ford Focus WRC02) finished second and third, after strong trouble-free runs. Julian Reynolds/Patrick Walsh (Ford Focus WRC) led after SS1, only to lose time with steering issues on SS2 and retiring on SS4 with a holed radiator. BTRDA Gold Star leaders Charlie Payne/Carl Williamson (Ford Fiesta) led for a time too, until electrical problems put them out on SS6. 2013 Nicky Grist Stages winners Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Peugeot 208 T16) retired with a cracked manifold.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Quinton Motor Club has put on another high quality event, and we worked hard on a new mixed-surface two-day format, which was extremely well received by the competitors. The stage safety marshals and all the officials out in the field worked heroically in some pretty appalling weather conditions, and whilst circumstances didn’t allow us to complete the full route, we gave all the competitors a tough event that they certainly rose to the challenge of.”
Nicky Grist said: “Not only has it been a challenging event for the crews, the organisers have also had one of the toughest events we’ve had to organise in quite a number of years. The weather and army movements on the ranges were out of our control, but we overcame everything that was thrown at us and put on a fantastic fifteen-stage rally on two different surfaces that crews really enjoyed. We’ve learnt a lot. Next year we will do a few things differently, which will make it a much smoother and an even better event.”
Nicky Grist Stages – Top 10 finishers overall
1. Elfyn Evans /Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)….1hr 18mins 48.4secs
2. Tom Cave/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5)….+1m11.4s
3. Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (ŠKODA Fabia R5)….+2m01.8s
4. David Bogie/James O’Reilly (ŠKODA Fabia R5)….+2m48.5s
5. Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5)…. +3m05.9s
6. Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroën DS3 R5)…. +3m08.0s
7. Rhys Yates/Tom Woodburn (Ford Fiesta R5)….+3m30.0s
8. Jamie Anderson/Ross Whittock (Ford Fiesta R5)….+5m38.2s
9. Ollie Mellors/Ian Windress (Proton Satria Neo S2000)….+5m48.7s
10. Tom Preston/Jack Morton (ŠKODA Fabia R5)….+5m58.7s
Competitor Bullitin 2 (Event Recce) has been added to the Competitor Section of the website
Event Regulations are now on line in the Competitor section of the website
Rally Guide now available from here
Nicky Grist Stages to give fans a BRC, BTRDA, Welsh and historic championship super rally weekend
This summer’s Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) is the only event to host a round of both the MSA British Rally Championship and BTRDA rally series – and with other major championships like the MSA Welsh Rally Championship and the Stage Masters Historic Stage Rally Challenge taking place too, it promises to be a truly super rally weekend for fans.
While Formula 1 supporters will be at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix the same weekend, British rally fans will be heading to the famous Epynt military ranges, bordering Carmarthenshire and Powys, for two days of outstanding rally action, organised by Quinton Motor Club. The first day (Saturday 9 July) will be run over 45 miles of challenging gravel roads, while the second day (Sunday 10 July) will take place over 55 miles of fast and undulating Tarmac.
The MSA British Rally Championship crews will contest the full two days – with drivers such as Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta R5), David Bogie (ŠKODA Fabia R5) and Keith Cronin (Citroën DS3 R5) competing on gravel and Tarmac. On the Saturday, centralised servicing will be located at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, while on the Sunday there will be a remote service on the Epynt ranges. All stages will be run in daylight.
All other championships, including the BTRDA rally series, will run on the Saturday (9 July) only, with four gravel stages run twice. The Nicky Grist Stages has been consistent in the top three BTRDA events for the last five years, winning the BTRDA ‘Rally of the Year’ award twice, and last year it was nominated as the best Pirelli Welsh National event. Quinton Motor Club is committed to giving the BTRDA competitors the same level of excellence that they have become accustomed to, and therefore it is retaining its 2015 stage mileage and increasing the entry fee by only £10.
Entries will open on 16 May – the Monday after the Plains Rally – when registered championship crews will be able to confirm their place on the starting list. Non-championship registered crews will be able to enter from 13 June. The closing date for entries is 5 July and the maximum number of entries is 180.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Value for money, we believe we are offering the BTRDA competitors something really good in keeping the entry fee to within £10 of its 2015 level and maintaining a stage mileage of as near to 45 stage miles as we can get it. We are very proud to be a round of the British Rally Championship, but we remain fully focused on giving the BTRDA competitors a fantastic event too. The Nicky Grist Stages is the only event to be a round of both the BRC and BTRDA, and with other top championship contenders taking part, it should also be a wonderful event for spectators too.”
Nicky Grist said: “This year’s rally will be an exciting challenge for all crews, but more so for the BRC competitors. The split of two different surfaces over the two days could possibly give us a different outcome to the overall results, but will also be a challenge for the service crews, as they will have a full suspension change after Saturday’s gravel stages. This event format is certainly a break from the norm, and is a throwback to events in the early eighties.”
Evans’ BRC lead reduced as rivals close in
Elfyn Evans continues to lead the MSA British Rally Championship, but the Welshman’s lead has been cut after he retired on the Circuit of Ireland Rally.
Round 2 of the BRC was won by Josh Moffett and co-driver John Rowan in their Ford Fiesta R5. That has moved the Irish driver up to second in the points table, 20 points behind Evans.
With Jonny Greer (Citroen DS3 R5), David Bogie (SKODA Fabia R5) and Tom Cave (Fiesta R5) finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively in Ireland, they are all now in a three-way tie for third position in the BRC Drivers’ standings. Out of the top placed drivers, only Evans has played his maximum points-scoring Joker thus far.
The Circuit of Ireland was another very closely fought BRC event, with four drivers leading during the two days. Evans led until he retired his DMACK Ford Fiesta R5, leaving Marty McCormack (SKODA Fabia S2000) and Fredrik Ahlin (Fiesta R5) in a fight for victory – until they both retired too. As the final slippery Tarmac loop began, Moffett continued his inspired form and established a comfortable gap ahead of Greer.
Robert Duggan won the DMACK Junior BRC category, while team-mate Mattias Adielsson made it a Vauxhall one-two in his ADAM R2. Both cars finished inside the BRC top 10.
“I didn’t come here this weekend thinking we could win it as the competition in the BRC is unreal,” said Moffett. “The first day we took it easy as it was my first time over the stages but we pushed really hard on the final day as the time was to be had. The conditions caught many out and we are glad we stayed clear of it all. The last stage was nerve-racking. I just wanted to get through it. I am so happy to have won the Circuit of Ireland. It’s the biggest win of my career.”
Round 3 of the MSA British Rally Championship is the Pirelli Carlisle Rally (April 30-1 May).
Circuit of Ireland – top 10 BRC finishers
1. Josh Moffett (IRL)/John Rowan (IRL) Ford Fiesta R5
2. Jonathan Greer (GBR)/Kirsty Riddick (GBR) Citroen DS3 R5
3. David Bogie (GBR)/Kevin Rae (GBR) SKODA Fabia R5
4. Tom Cave (GBR)/James Morgan (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
5. Jamie Anderson (GBR)/Ross Whittock (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
6. Rhys Yates (GBR)/Tom Woodburn (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
7. Ollie Mellors (GBR)/Ian Windress (GBR) Proton Satria S2000
8. Robert Duggan (IRL)/Ger Conway (IRL) Vauxhall ADAM R2
9. Mattias Adielsson (SWE)/Andreas Johansson (SWE) Vauxhall ADAM R2
10. Patrick O'Brein (IRL)/Stephen O'Brien (IRL) Mitsubishi Evo 9
BRC Drivers’ points (after round 2 of 7)
1. Evans 50; 2. Moffett 30; 3= Bogie, Greer, Cave 18; 6. Åhlin 15; 7= Anderson, Thorburn 6; 9. Yates 5; 10= Edwards, Mellors 4.
Full results and points are available at: msabrc.com
Elfyn flies to opening MSA British Rally Championship round victory in Mid Wales
The MSA British Rally Championship has returned in spectacular style – with close competition throughout the classes and a magnificently well-organised and exciting Mid Wales Stages.
Changeable conditions, including snow and ice in Hafren, Myherin, Tarenig and the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex, added to the challenge – but in the end Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry secured victory in their DMACK British Rally Team Fiesta R5, maximising their double points-scoring opportunity by playing their Joker.
“To have won the first two WRC2 rallies and now here is a great start to the year,” said Elfyn. “I am really pleased to have won – the last event I won outright was in 2011, so it has been a long time coming. The road position was a disadvantage but when conditions improved on the Sunday I was confident I was able to control the situation but Fredrik did have me worried! I pushed as hard as I could in the afternoon and it all came good in the end.”
It was far from a runaway victory, as Evans had to battle hard against Sweden’s Fredrik Ahlin (CA1 Sport Fiesta R5). They each recorded three stage wins and each led the event, but in the end Evans managed to turn a 3.5 second deficit after SS4 into a 17.1 second winning margin after SS6.
Tom Cave, driving a Spencer Sport-run Ford, made it three Fiesta R5s on the podium. He was to not have it his own way as he was pushed hard by former British rally champion David Bogie in his striking Skoda Fabia R5. Bogie recorded several top three times, but two spins left him out of touch of Cave, 16 seconds the deficit at the end of the event. Euan Thorburn brought his newly acquired Peugeot 208 T16 across the line in a respectable fifth ahead of Irishman Josh Moffett. BRC2 winner Matt Edwards finished seventh in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX and the DGM Motorsport Citroen DS3 R5 pairing of Jonathan Greer and Keith Cronin ended the weekend together in eighth and ninth respectfully with Desi Henry rounding out the top 10 in his Skoda Fabia R5.
The DMACK Junior BRC was to provide the same level of excitement with three different marques battling it out over the 68-mile event. From the outset Englishman Gus Greensmith topped the opening stage before Swedish star Sindre Furuseth snatched the lead from Greensmith, overturning an eight second deficit to grab an eight second advantage. The see-saw rivalry continued into the second day with Greensmith in a Ford Fiesta R2T having a good run to the event end, chalking up an 11.9 second advantage. Furuseth in his Renault Twingo R2 leads the championship, though, having played his Joker – as a result he sits five points clear at the top of the championship standings.
Swede Mattias Adielsson led the three-car charge for the Vauxhall Junior Rally Team with a fine third overall in the nimble ADAM while team mates Robert Duggan and Aron Windus finished fifth and seventh respectfully. Josh Cornwell, who finished fourth, also played his Joker in the junior category helping him kick-start his championship with 20 points.
Huge congratulations to Newtown & District Automobile Club on organising a fantastic Mid Wales Stages – and equal praise to the BRC team on revamping a magnificent series.
The MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) will return to terrestrial TV screens this year after concluding a deal with Channel 4 and BT Sport to cover the seven-round series. The country’s premier rally championship will have round one highlights this Saturday on both channels.
Round 2 of the MSA British Rally Championship is the Circuit of Ireland (April 8-9).
Mid Wales Stages – Top 10 finishers
1. Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)….1hr 08mins 14.3secs
2. Fredrik Åhlin/Morton Abrahamsen (Ford Fiesta R5)….+17.1s
3. Tom Cave/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5)….+1m26.8s
4. David Bogie/Kevin Rae (ŠKODA Fabia R5)….+1m42.8s
5. Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Peugeot 208T16)….+2m43.0s
6. Josh Moffett/John Rowan(Ford Fiesta R5)….+3m32.5s
7. Matt Edwards/Will Rogers (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)….+3m46.5s
8. Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroën DS3 R5)….+4m00.4s
9. Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroën DS3 R5)….+4m41.5s
10. Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (ŠKODA Fabia R5)….+5m29.8s
MSA British Rally Championship for Drivers points (after 1 of 7 rounds)
1: Evans 50*; 2: Ahlin: 15; 3: Cave 10; 4: Bogie 8; 5: Thorburn 6; 6: J. Moffett 5; 7: Edwards 4; 8: Greer 3; 9: Cronin 2; 10: Henry 1.
MSA British Rally Championship for Teams points (after 1 of 7 rounds)
1: DMACK Team 33; 2: CA 1 Sport 25; 3: Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Team 11.
Full BRC points are available at msabrc.com
Another great BTRDA season start!
Many congratulations to North Wales Car Club, and all the officials and marshals, for organising and running a fantastic opening round of the 2016 RAVENOL BTRDA Rally Series.
Another entry rich in quality and high in numbers tackled the Cambrian Rally stages in the Clocaenog, Alwen, Gwydir, Elsi and Penmachno forests, before a stunning final stage over the Great Orme. And the result could not have been closer, with Luke Francis/John Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) winning by just one second! Charles Payne/Carl Williamson (Fiesta) finished a close second, while a visit to a ditch might well have cost Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton victory, it was still a fine run to third in their new Peugeot 208 T16.
Next up is the Malcolm Wilson Rally on March 12, when another very strong BTRDA entry, and close competition, is expected.
We’re looking forward to hosting Round 6 of the 2016 RAVENOL BTRDA Rally Series on Saturday 9 July!
Happy New Year to you all. We hope you had a great Christmas and New Year break and are now raring to start the rally season. We are already making good progress in sorting out a great event for you on the Nicky Grist Stages and are looking forward to seeing many familiar, as well as new faces on the 8th-10th July.
The first event for many of the Nicky Grist Stages competitors starts with the Cambrian Rally on the 12th and 13th February. We appreciate how hard the organisers must have worked to put on the event, considering they were the last round of 2015 of both the BTRDA Rally Series and Welsh National Championship and are now the first round for 2016 season.
Run in Conwy county and Denbighshire, it will take in classic stages at Clocaenog and Alwen as well as in the Conwy Valley at Gwydir, Elsi, and Penmachno before finishing with the Great Orme stage used on Wales Rally GB.
The rally starts, and finishes, on Llandudno promenade on February 13th with scrutineering of competing cars at the town’s Victoria Centre car park from 2pm the previous day. Many of our team are there to support in various roles and we wish all attending a happy and safe event.
A Full Weekend of Rally
The Quinton Motor Club is delighted to announce that on the 9th July and 10th July 2016 the Nicky Grist Stages will be a round of the MSA British Rally Championship.
On the Saturday there will be 45 miles of prime gravel stages across some of the best and most popular stages on the famous Epynt Ranges and Crychan Forests as part of the BTRDA gravel series and Welsh National championships with other championships to be confirmed. The MSA-British Rally Championship will run seeded with the other championship contenders, gaining all the thrills and challenges that are synonymous with our event. At the end of these stages the BRC entrants will have plenty of service time to change from a gravel to an asphalt set up and then the cars will go into overnight Parc-Ferme, ready to take on the 60 miles of asphalt stages across Epynt on the Sunday.
The Saturday stages have become some of the most popular on the BTRDA and Welsh Rally Championship calendar and the organisers are keen to stress that for 2016 they will retain all the elements that keep entrants returning. This includes ensuring the entry fees for one day entries remain one of the lowest on the calendar and all the extra off rally activities will still be on offer. For those entered on the two day event, we are planning a number of off rally extras on the Saturday evening to retain the special atmosphere that has become a part of what makes the Nicky Grist so special.
We will announce more details as the 2016 season approaches but for now, we welcome the MSA-BRC and all the two day event entrants to what we know will be a very exciting and challenging weekend of rallying.