Nicky Grist Stages to be broadcast on Channel 4, BT Sport, Motors TV and on an S4C Ralïo special

Television cameras will be focused on this year’s Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July), as the event will enjoy an unprecedented amount of broadcast time on Channel 4, BT Sport and Motors TV – plus a dedicated 30-minute special on S4C’s Ralïo programme.

Hayfisher Productions will send a team of nine people to film the event for the MSA British Rally Championship. It has already completed a full route recce to determine the most suitable filming locations. Come the event, up to seven Panasonic 3100 cameras will take up these positions, ready to capture the on-stage action, while six cars will also carry two on-board cameras each. All the footage, including the pieces to camera by presenter Colin Clark and driver interviews, will be captured on solid-state cards (large data cards, about the size of a credit card). These will be taken back for post-production at Hayfisher’s studios in Droitwich, where Jon Desborough will do a voice over and the footage will be collated in four editing suites – all overseen by Chief Editor, Martin Rowe and Producer Mark James.

Three days after the event, a 48-minute programme for BT Sport and a 23-minute programme for Channel 4 (standard industry programme times for a 1 hour and a 30-minute programme, with room for ad breaks) will be transmitted by high-speed data connection to the two stations, for broadcast that coming weekend.

Ian Carver, who worked for Hayfisher Productions for 25 years on motorsport projects and who is now employed as a freelance rally co-ordinator, is responsible for all the logistics.

Filming a rally has its challenges,” says Ian. “It’s vital to do a full recce, because a map doesn’t show you any obstructions like trees that will ruin a shot. On a multiple stage event like the Nicky Grist Stages, it’s also important to work out how you’re going to get cameramen into locations on time, how and if they can move between stages and all the time never compromising on safety. You also have to think differently about gravel and Tarmac stages – with gravel there is often dust, and you never know what the wind direction is going to be until the day of the event, and on Tarmac the cars don’t slide as much, so you have to pick a camera position where there is a jump or something spectacular. And unlike racing, where cars pass you multiple times, you only get one chance in rallying!

It’s not just Hayfisher Productions who’ll be filming on the Nicky Grist Stages this year. Special Stage will also have its own dedicated camera crew filming the event, following competitors in the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. Produced by Wayne Goldring, the programmes are broadcast on Motors TV and presented by Paul Woodford.

Meanwhile, the new series of Ralïo, now in its 13th year on S4C, is currently on air and broadcasting reports from the FIA World Rally Championship. Produced by Llanelli-based Tinopolis Wales and presented by Emyr Penlan and Lowri Morgan, a 30-minute Nicky Grist Stages special will be broadcast at 21.30 on Thursday 1 September. A Christmas special, following Elfyn Evans’ 2016 season, is planned, which is likely to include the Nicky Grist Stages as well.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “TV exposure for the event, Nicky and the various championships is very important to the organising team and we are extremely pleased with the coverage this year’s event will receive. Following our TV planning recce, during which we drove through all the gravel and Tarmac stages with Hayfisher Productions and experienced rally photographer Mark Writtle, I’m confident we have identified the very best and safest camera positions along the one hundred mile route. We’re looking forward to welcoming the film crews and all media to the event next month, and continuing to help them capture fantastic images of the Nicky Grist Stages.

Nicky Grist said: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Nicky Grist Stages, because the combination of hosting a round of both the BRC and BTRDA, and running gravel and Tarmac stages, has created even more interest and excitement than we’d ever imagined. Quinton Motor Club is making a tremendous effort to make sure this is the best Nicky Grist Stages ever, and testament to that is the amazing response the organisers have received from competitors, film crews and broadcasters. I’m personally looking forward to welcoming everyone to the event in July, and enjoying what is guaranteed to be a fantastic rally festival up on Epynt.

The use of drones, by accredited media or spectators, is strictly forbidden on the Epynt military ranges, and no filming by drones will be allowed on any of the gravel or Tarmac stages.

 

Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk

Mikkelsen honoured by Nicky Grist Stages ‘Stars of the Day’ trophy, 10 years after his record-breaking win

Andreas Mikkelsen says that he is “honoured” to still have a trophy on the Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) named after him, 10 years after he won the Quinton Motor Club-organised event.

The Norwegian driver – who is now an established star in the Volkswagen Motorsport World Rally Championship team – won the Quinton Stages (as it was called then) in 2006. Victory came just 16 days after his 17th birthday, making Mikkelsen the youngest ever winner of a British national rally.

The Rally First ‘Stars of the Day’ Andreas Mikkelsen Award was introduced in 2008, the year the Rally First category within the BTRDA rally series was introduced. The class is aimed at providing young drivers with an affordable route into rallying, with no major modifications allowed (other than safety equipment) and engines no bigger than 1400cc.

The first winners of the award were Quinton MC members James and Simon McLean in 2008. They have been followed by David Bennett/Alistair McNeil (2009), Ashley Slights/Thomas Hughes (2010), Harry Morgan/James Ford (2011), Joe Evett/Calvin Houldsworth (2012), Nick Carr/Joe Sturdy (2013), Sam Bilham/Graham Wild (2014) and last year John and Duncan Freeman won the award.

As in all previous occasions, this year’s winners of the Rally First ‘Stars of the Day’ Andreas Mikkelsen Award will be judged by Nicky Grist and the organising team – and it won’t necessarily be the winner of the Rally First category, as sportsmanship, determination, overcoming problems and driving flair are all taken into account.

This summer’s Nicky Grist Stages 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, a near capacity 180 car entry is expected.

Andreas Mikkelsen said: “I have some really good memories from my win in 2006, in the very beginning of my life as a rally driver. I will never ever forget that event! It was a fantastic event and the stages were great – some of them I get to have fun on when the WRC visits. Even when starting Wales Rally GB, it still boosts me that I have this valuable experience on these roads. I’m very honoured that, even after all these years, there is an award named after me. Naming it the ‘Stars of the Day Award’ certainly puts a bit of pressure on! Best of luck to all the competitors, I can promise you a great time when you drive these stages, and maybe you will be awarded as the star this year! Again, wishing you a great rally!

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Over the years we’ve had many famous names enter and win the event now known as the Nicky Grist Stages. Andreas was the youngest ever winner and so it is right that we award the Andreas Mikkelsen Trophy to the Star Driver in the Rally First category. The award isn’t just about pace on the stages it encompasses teamwork, comradeship and determination to succeed, traits Andreas shows in his WRC campaign. Along with the Spirit of the Rally award it is one of the hardest awards to win. Good luck to all those eligible!

Nicky Grist said: “To have a WRC star like Andreas Mikkelsen on the winner’s trophy is a tremendous honour for the event. To win at such a young age was a fantastic achievement, and it’s entirely appropriate to mark such an historic British national rally victory with an award named after Andreas. We’ve had some very worthy winners of the Rally First ‘Stars of the Day’ Andreas Mikkelsen Award over the last eight years, and I’d like to wish all those who are eligible the very best of luck for this year.

 

Regulations and Entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk

Nicky Grist Stages receives 100 entries in just five days

Quinton Motor Club has received a record-breaking 100 entries in just five days for the Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July). The event Regulations and Entry forms were only published on-line at www.nickygriststages.co.uk on Monday, which sparked an unprecedented response from competitors.

Already entered is the current leader of the MSA British Rally Championship Fredrik Åhlin (Fiesta R5) – along with this CA1 Sport stable-mates David Bogie, Tom Preston (both ŠKODA Fabia R5) and Alex Laffey (Fiesta R5). Spencer Sport has entered a Fiesta R5 for Tom Cave and its Mitsubishi Mirage for Jamie Jukes, while Ollie Mellors (Proton Satria Neo S2000) and Desi Henry (Fabia R5) also have confirmed entries. Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series drivers Stephen Petch (Fiesta R5+), Karl Simmons (Subaru S11 WRC), Gavin Edwards (Escort Mk2) and Luke Francis and Wayne Sissons (both Mitsubishi Evo) are also already on the list, while Dessie Nutt has entered his historic Porsche 911. Other interesting early entries include Julian Reyonlds in his ex-Marcus Gronholm 2006 Wales Rally GB winning Focus WRC and Richard Burns’ godson, Tom Williams, in a Fiesta R1.

This year’s Builth Wells-based Nicky Girst Stages runs over two days, with a 45 mile planned route on gravel for competitors in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, HRCR Stage Masters Challenge, ANWCC Forest Rally Championship, ANWCC Historic Stage Rally Championship and FMP Rally Challenge on Saturday 9 July. The MSA British Rally Championship crews will continue the following day (Sunday 10 July), with another 60 miles on Tarmac.

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: “I’m delighted and overwhelmed at the level of response to the entries received to date. We received our one hundredth entry today, which is unbelievable. We are working hard with the MSA and Natural Resources Wales to ensure our original route is available.

 

Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk

Entries now open for the 2016 Nicky Grist Stages!

Entries are now open for the Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) – with the official event Regulations and Entry forms published on-line at www.nickygriststages.co.uk.

2016 celebrates the 36th running of Quinton Motor Club’s forest stage rally, the 29th consecutive year of it hosting a round of the BTRDA Rally Series, the sixth year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports and its maiden appearance as a round of the MSA British Rally Championship.

The big change for 2016 is that the event is actually two rallies – a one day gravel event in the forests on the Carmarthenshire and Powys border on Saturday 9 July for competitors 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, and a two day mixed-surface event for crews contesting the MSA British Rally Championship – with the second day on Sunday 10 July run exclusively on Tarmac over the fantastic Epynt military ranges.

Crews registered for the aforementioned championships are able to enter the Nicky Grist Stages now, thus confirming 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: “A lot of hard work and planning has gone into this year’s event. Accommodating the needs of the various championships was never going to be easy, but I believe we will be putting on a feast of rallying across the two days that will be enjoyed by the competitors, volunteer officials and spectators alike.

Nicky Grist said: “The Nicky Grist Stages has become a highlight of the year for all rally enthusiasts, both competitors and supporters alike. I am now into my sixth year of sponsorship of the event. This year I am delighted that the event has been chosen to be a round of the revamped MSA British Rally Championship in its return to the sport we all love. The inclusion of our rally in this championship is just reward for all the hard work and dedication that the successful organising team from Quinton Motor Club have put in over many years. This success was acknowledged last year when the event was voted the best round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh National Championship and shortlisted for the best event award in the BTRDA Series.

 

Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk

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.

Entry forms will be available in May on www.nickygriststages.co.uk

Nicky Grist brings a well-known rally voice to the GoSafe “20mph Rule Outside Schools” campaign

One of Britain’s best known and most successful rally co-drivers, Nicky Grist – and the pace note voice on the Colin McRae Rally PlayStation and Xbox games – is lending his support to this month’s GoSafe “20mph Rule Outside Schools” campaign.

The Welshman scored 17 (of his 21) World Rally victories with McRae – eight with Subaru (including the 1997 RAC Rally) and nine with Ford. He has also co-driven for Juha Kankkunen, Armin Schwarz and Malcolm Wilson, culminating in 48 podium finishes during a glittering World Rally Championship career. Living in Abergavenny, he now owns Nicky Grist Motorsports – a highly successful company that is dedicated to supplying the very best in motorsport safety equipment. Nicky’s passion for helping to keep competitors safe on racing circuits and rally stages is mirrored by his belief that driving at speed is strictly for a control motorsport environment only, and definitely not for the open public road.

The “20mph Rule Outside Schools” campaign is being re-launched in June to focus on making roads safer in communities. It is principally aimed at reducing risk to young persons and supporting local communities, and GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, will be enforcing in 20mph areas outside schools, educating drivers about the importance of adhering to the relevant speed limit.

Chris Hume, Partnership Manager, GoSafe said: “Our continued focus on 20mph limits around schools is part of our commitment to safer communities, and to protect the most vulnerable road users; our children. 20mph speed limits are a routine part of everyday driving now, but we still see flagrant discard of those limits, particularly at key times such as when children are going to and from schools. We want the support of all drivers, and we want compliance with 20mph limits to become the norm. Our aim is for everyone in Wales to understand the effects that those exceeding the 20mph limit can have on family and friends.

Nicky Grist said: “The lives that we all lead today just seem to get busier and faster, but regardless of the pace of modern day life it is absolutely essential that we don’t take risks on the open public road. I’ve lived life on the edge during my motorsport career, but nothing scares me more than motorists who speed and don’t pay enough attention behind the steering wheel. It’s essential that we all slow down and adhere to speed limits, especially around schools – and that’s why I’m delighted to support the “20mph Rule Outside Schools” campaign. It’s a very worthy, and potentially life-saving, cause that we should all champion.