158 cars, 10 championships and 3 rallies in 1 head to Builth Wells for the Nicky Grist Stages this weekend!

This weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages – which begins with a brand new Builth Wells town centre start on Saturday morning – has attracted a massive 158 car entry, with 10 championships and three rallies in one completing on the nearby gravel forest and asphalt closed roads of Epynt on Saturday and Sunday (8-9 July).

As leader of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, Welshman Osian Pryce will lead the field away as number one seed in his Ford Fiesta R5, and will be flagged away from the ceremonial start in Strand Street at 08.30 on Saturday. He will be aiming to maintain his championship advantage, and will contest the full two-days and 20 stages, which have been organised by Quinton Motor Club.

Stephen Petch (Fiesta WRC) is the top seeded Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series runner, and will resume his close title battle with his high-speed rivals, including championship leader Callum Black (Fiesta R5+). The eight forest stages on Saturday will count towards their championship points tally – and like many, they will stay on to contest the following day’s separate Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally, which has 12 asphalt stages and is part of the MAXXIS MSA English Championship ‘double header’ weekend.

Andy Davies (Subaru Impreza) arrives in Builth Wells aiming to extend his lead in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. Indeed, there will be fierce battles raging throughout the 158 car field, as crews compete for points and pride in the BTRDA 1400 Championship, BTRDA Rally First, Fiesta ST Trophy, MG ZR Rally Challenge, FMP Rally Challenge and ANWCC Forest Rally Championship.

Spectators are in for a real treat, as along with the very best British rally driving talent there is an extraordinary variety of cars – with no less than 20 different car manufacturers represented on the entry list. In addition to the more familiar rallying Ford Escorts and Fiestas, Subaru Imprezas and Mitsubishi Lancers is a Porsche 911, Toyota GT86, BMW 325i, Volvo Amazon and a Lotus Elise!

The top seeded cars and drivers will line up in Strand Street from 08.00 this Saturday before being flagged away from outside Strand Hall from 08.30. There are dedicated, well signposted, spectators areas where fans can watch the action on both Saturday and Sunday, with cars returning to service inside the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd throughout the event. The champagne-spraying finish will take place in Groe Park on Sunday – with local DJ Mark Weller making it a real family-friendly party atmosphere from approximately 16.00 onwards. Full spectator information is available at nickygriststages.co.uk.

Keep your cameras and mobile devices fully charged and be ready to enter a fantastic SPOT THE RALLY CAR competition – with some great rally prizes up for grabs! You can enter by posting your pictures on Facebook at fb.me/nickygriststages or on Twitter using the hash tag #ngstages17.

In association with Spencer Sport, Nicky Grist Stages VIP Hospitality packages are available for both the Saturday and Sunday – with exclusive car parking, stage-side viewing area, marquee, breakfast, lunch, unlimited refreshments and guest speakers. For information on availability and cost, please contact Sarah Williams on 01559 371534.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We are amazed at the depth and quality of the entry across all three events. Bringing ten championships has been a challenge and we hope we’ve risen to it. The stages I’m told are in fantastic condition and our thanks go to Landmarc and Rally4Wales for the preparation and to NRW and DTE Wales for allowing us access to their land. A huge thanks to RWS for making us welcome and to Builth Town Council and Powys County Council for all their work with the town centre start. We look forward to welcoming all competitors to Builth Wells for a cracking weekend’s rallying. Good luck to everyone and stay safe. My final thanks go to all the marshals, timekeepers, radio, rescue, recovery and medical crews for making the event happen.

Ian Butcher, Nicky Grist Stages Rally Manager, said: “We are delighted to bring such a quality entry to Builth Wells for this year’s Nicky Grist Stages. A small and dedicated team has put together what looks like a great weekend’s motorsport. However, without the support of the local community this would not be possible. So our sincere thanks go out to all the local motor clubs, their members and marshals, as well as all the other event officials, medical and recovery teams, that are travelling from as far as Yorkshire to make the event possible, because without this help we would not have a rally. We look forward to welcoming you all to Builth Wells and the Nicky Grist Stages; you have our eternal gratitude.

In line with MSA requirements, competitors have been seeded together in their order of expected performance. The top 10 seeded crews (with their start numbers) on each event are:

 

Nicky Grist 100 Stages (Gravel/Tarmac, 8-9 July)

1 – Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R5)

2 – Fredrik Åhlin/Torstein Eriksen (Škoda Fabia R5)

3 – Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Škoda Fabia R5)

4 – Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)

7 – Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod  (Ford Fiesta R5)

10 – Rhys Yates/Carl Williamson (Ford Fiesta R5)

11 – Jamie Anderson/Ross Whittock (Ford Fiesta R5)

22 – Thomas Preston/Stuart Loudon (Škoda Fabia R5)

25 – Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta)

28 – James Slaughter/Niall Burns (Ford Fiesta R5)

 

Nicky Grist Stages (Gravel, Saturday 8 July)

5 – Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)

8 – Callum Black/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta R5+)

9 – Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta WRC)

12 – Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Fiesta R5)

14 – Martyn England/Dawn England (Ford Fiesta R5+)

15 – Dylan Davies/Llion Williams (Subaru Impreza)

16 – Andy Davies/Max Freeman (Subaru Impreza)

17 – Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo 9)

18 – Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy (Mitsubishi Evo 9)

19 – Richard Hill/Steffan Evans (Mitsubishi Evo IV)

 

Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally (Tarmac, Sunday 9 July)

201 – Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)

203 – Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta WRC)

204 – Damian Cole/Den Golding (Ford Escort)

205 – Peter Stephenson/Will Rogers (Subaru P2000 WRC)

207 – Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo 9)

208 – Mark Worley/Hamish Campbell (Škoda Fabia S2000)

209 – Mark Gamble/Stephen Link (Subaru Impreza)

210 – Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Citroën DS3 R3T)

212 – Tim Phelps/Elwyn Manuel (Ford Escort MK2)

213 – Andy Woodward/Tom Bowen (Renault Clio)

 

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

10 rally championships come to Builth Wells this summer for the economy-boosting Nicky Grist Stages

This summer’s Nicky Grist Stages (8-9 July) will play host to no less than 10 different rally championships – highlighting not only what a major sporting attraction the event now is, but also a major boost for the economy of Builth Wells, Llanelwedd and the nearby Powys and Carmarthenshire towns and villages.

Organised by Quinton Motor Club, this year’s Nicky Grist Stages is, for the second year running, the only event to host a round of both the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship and Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series – meaning that Britain’s best rally drivers will be coming to the region. It is also a round of eight other championships too, including the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, MAXXIS MSA English Championship, BTRDA Rally First, Fiesta ST Trophy and FMP Rally Challenge – attracting the best regional and young up-and-coming drivers to mid-Wales.

The event will be based at the Royal Welsh Showground, with around 45 loose-surface stage miles planned for Saturday (8 July) in the forests of Crychan, Halfway, Route 60 and Monument. Only around a quarter of the forest stage miles will be held on Natural Resources Wales land, helping to keep the cost of running and participating on the event down. Sunday (9 July) will see a further 75 asphalt stage miles over the famous fast, undulating and spectacular Epynt military ranges.

To accommodate all 10 rally championships over the two day rally festival, there will be effectively three rallies in one. The split is as follows:

 

Nicky Grist Stages BRC (two day Saturday and Sunday event)

  • Prestone MSA British Rally Championship
  • FMP Rally Challenge

 

Nicky Grist Stages (one day Saturday event)

  • Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series
  • Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship
  • MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship
  • BTRDA 1400 Championship
  • BTRDA Rally First
  • Fiesta ST Trophy
  • MG ZR Rally Challenge
  • FMP Rally Challenge
  • ANWCC Forest Rally Championship

 

Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally (one day Sunday event)

  • MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship
  • FMP Rally Challenge

 

The Sunday rally will be sponsored by Llandysul-based rally team Spencer Sport, and will be known as the Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally – which pays homage to one of the very earliest events ever organised by Quinton MC. Soon after the club was formed in 1959, Quinton MC ran (amongst others) the Acropolis Rally from the mid-1960s onwards. It became a hugely popular Welsh Championship night road rally, however it has not taken place in this format since 1986. The club last used the name for a single venue stage event at Wheaton Aston for three years in the late 1980s. So, after an absence of over 25 years, the Acropolis Rally name returns to Quinton MC’s events calendar for 2017.

For the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship crews, this year’s Nicky Grist Stages will be a challenging two-day mixed surface event. For the MAXXIS MSA English Championship competitors, the event will be a double-header, with points awarded after day one and day two.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Having so many of the top championships wanting the Nicky Grist Stages to be included in their calendar is a great honour for the event and a testament of the challenge the event will pose. We learnt a great deal from last year’s event and we are planning a truly fantastic experience for all our competitors, regardless of championship. On a personal note it is pleasing that we can bring back an iconic name in Quinton MC’s rallying history. As an organiser I started with both the D’Isis and Acropolis Rallies, and to bring back the Acropolis Rally name evokes many wonderful memories.

Nicky Grist said: “When I started sponsoring the Nicky Grist Stages, I did not imagine that we would become a qualifying event for ten different championships. This is testimony to the hard work of all the main officials and Quinton Motor Club, who work really hard to make it, what it is fair to say, the biggest rally in the UK behind Wales Rally GB. The Sunday format has change to accommodate the Acropolis Rally, and twelve stages in a day will offer a real challenge.

Nicky Grist Stages on 8-9 July 2017 adds new national rally to its two-day mixed surface BRC spectacular

Next year’s Nicky Grist Stages (8-9 July) will host round five of the 2017 MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) – and whilst that will be a two-day mixed surface event, there will also be one-day rounds of other major championships, including the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, run on both the Saturday and Sunday next summer.

Organised by Quinton Motor Club, the date of the 2017 Nicky Grist Stages had been published as 15-16 July, but owing to MOD activities on the Epynt military range, the event will take place one week earlier on 8-9 July – the corresponding weekend to 2016, which saw 162 cars start from the Royal Welsh Showground.

Next year’s event will follow a similar format to 2016, with a mixed-surface two-day rally for the BRC crews. Saturday’s forestry gravel stages, run in the spectacular Carmarthenshire and Powys border region, will also host a round of the BTRDA Rally Series and include the MSA Welsh Rally Championship and the FMP Rally Challenge. Sunday’s stages will be held over the challenging asphalts road of Epynt for the BRC crews, plus at least one other National B event.

Builth Wells will play host to the ceremonial start and finish, the main service area will be in the nearby Royal Welsh Showground and there will be a new remote service area on Epynt on the Sunday.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Whilst the popular two-day gravel on Saturday and Tarmac on Sunday format of next year’s Nicky Grist Stages will be similar to 2016, the event has acted on the excellent and positive feedback received from competitors and will have a slightly different feel to it. We’ve worked closely with Natural Resources Wales and Rally4Wales to introduce some fresh gravel stages, whilst we’re looking at extending the Tarmac stage mileage on day two and also run a National B event on the Sunday as well.

Nicky Grist said: “The gravel route of next year’s Nicky Grist Stages is pretty much all confirmed, and we are truly blessed to have some of the very best forestry stages in Wales right on our doorstep. We’ll have a different route layout for the Sunday’s asphalt stages, which will allow the event to breathe. We’ll have a later start and a later finish, and we hope to run as much as seventy stage miles on the Sunday. Cars will still start at thirty-second intervals on the Tarmac – this makes it action-packed for the spectators, and has proven to keep the roaming sheep off the road, which is an important safety consideration.

Iain Campbell, BRC Championship Manager, said: “The Nicky Grist Stages proves once and for all that rallying is a team sport. The driver and co-driver may be the stars out on the stages, but the mixed-surface challenge from this rally means that the mechanics are the stars on Saturday night when they only have 180 minutes to change the complete suspension parts, brakes and roll bars on the cars. This year there were a lot of anxious faces around the service park as the end of day service began that were exchanged for high-fives and applause all around each competitor’s area as they all completed the set up change in time. A unique challenge on an event that offers stages with the unique terrain of Eypnt – the Nicky Grist Stages is somewhere the BRC is looking forward to going back to in 2017.

 

2017 MSA British Rally Championship calendar

4-5 March: Mid-Wales Stages (Newtown)

29-30 April: Pirelli Carlisle Rally (Carlisle)

19-20 May: RSAC Scottish Rally (Dumfries)

23-24 June: Ypres Rally (Ypres, Belgium)

8-9 July: Nicky Grist Stages (Builth Wells)

18-19 August: Ulster Rally (Derry/Londonderry)

14-16 September: Rally Isle of Man (Douglas)

 

2017 Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series calendar

11 February: Cambrian Rally (Llandudno)

11 March: Malcolm Wilson Rally (Cockermouth)

8 April: Somerset Stages (Minehead)

13 May: Plains Rally (Welshpool)

10 June: Carlisle Stages Rally (Carlisle)

8 July: Nicky Grist Stages (Builth Wells)

2 September: Woodpecker Stages (Ludlow)

30 September: Trackrod Forest Stages (Pickering)

Nicky Grist Stages confirmed on 2017 BRC calendar

The Nicky Grist Stages has been confirmed as a round of the 2017 MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) and will take place over the weekend of 15-16 July next year.

The Quinton Motor Club organised event hosted a round of the BRC for the first time this year, running as a two-day rally for the first time. Based at the Royal Welsh Showground, it was the only mixed-surface round of the 2016 BRC, with 45 stage miles run on gravel roads on the Carmarthenshire and Powys border on day one, followed by 60 stage miles on Tarmac over the Epynt military ranges on day two. After the challenging format received high praise from BRC competitors, next year’s event will follow a similar layout, with improvements and adjustments introduced following feedback and data collected this year.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “Having stepped up to the challenge in 2016 and gaining valuable experience of running a round of the MSA British Rally Championship, we are delighted to be included in the 2017 calendar. The event in 2016 was very well received, and we will take on the feedback we’ve acquired and will strive to improve the event for 2017.

Nicky Grist said: “I am delighted that the BRC has incorporated the Nicky Grist Stages into its 2017 calendar. We learnt a lot after running a two-day event for the first time in 2016, and we are much better equipped and excited about running a better event in 2017.

Iain Campbell, BRC Championship Manager, said: “The feedback we had from competitors about the event’s two-day mixed-surface format, together with the brilliant support we received from event organisers and from Nicky as the sponsor, made putting the Nicky Grist Stages on the 2017 BRC calendar a very easy decision to make. It’s a very appealing event, and we’re looking forward to returning to Builth Wells next July.

 

2017 MSA British Rally Championship calendar

4-5 March: Mid-Wales Stages (Newtown)

29-30 April: Pirelli Carlisle Rally (Carlisle)

19-20 May: RSAC Scottish Rally (Dumfries)

23-24 June: Ypres Rally (Ypres, Belgium)

15-16 July: Nicky Grist Stages (Builth Wells)

18-19 August: Ulster Rally (Derry/Londonderry)

14-16 September: Rally Isle of Man (Douglas)

Rally championships finely balanced as 180 crews look forward to the Nicky Grist Stages

This year’s Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July) is the only event to host a round of both the MSA British Rally Championship and Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series – together with the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship and a host of other top class British championships.

Quinton Motor Club has organised 45 stage miles on gravel for Saturday 9 July, over the magnificent loose-surface roads of Crychan, Halfway, Route 60 and Monument. The only mixed-surface round of the BRC continues on Sunday 10 July, with a further 60 miles over the fantastic Tarmac stages of the Epynt military range.

With a capacity entry of 180 crews, along with team personnel, rally fans and officials now preparing to travel to the event’s host town of Builth Wells, we take a look how the various championships stand, and who are likely to be the key players at this year’s Nicky Grist Stages.

 

MSA British Rally Championship

Elfyn Evans has retaken the lead in the MSA British Rally Championship, after the DMACK British Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 driver won round four of the series, the RSAC Scottish Rally, last weekend. The Welshman arrives in Builth Wells, just down the A470 from his home in Dolgellau, 20 points ahead of Fredrik Åhlin in the drivers’ standings. All the BRC events are new to the Swedish driver, who has been a revelation in his CA1 Sport-prepared Fiesta R5 and who led the series after taking victory on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally. However, a second retirement of the season in Scotland leaves Åhlin promising to “push like hell” on the Nicky Grist Stages, as he aims for nothing less than wins. Tom Cave is third in his Spencer Sport Fiesta R5 – the Welshman’s last appearance in the Epynt forests ended at the bottom of a ravine after a pre-BRC season accident on the Red Kite Rally, but he’s been on great form ever since and returns full of confidence. Monaghan’s Josh Moffett is Ireland’s top placed BRC driver in fourth, while the first non-Fiesta R5 is the Citroën DS3 R5 of Jonny Greer, who brings to Builth Wells a great deal of gravel and Tarmac rally experience. After retiring from his Joker-playing home round, Scotland’s David Bogie will be out to make amends in his ŠKODA Fabia R5 – a car that Desi Henry, Neil Simpson and Tom Preston will also be piloting. There is a great battle in the under 26-year old DMACK Junior BRC category, with the Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team Adam R2 pairing of Robert Duggan and Mattias Adielsson fighting with the Ford Fiesta R2s of Gus Greensmith, Josh Cornwell Meirion Evans, Adam Bustard and Blair Brown – although it was Sindre Furuseth who won last time out in his Renault Twingo R2. Matt Edwards leads the BRC2 production series in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

 

Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series

Another good result on the Nicky Grist Stages would make it extremely difficult for anyone to stop Charlie Payne becoming 2016 Ravenol BTRDA Gold Star champion. Co-driven by Carl Williamson, the Fiesta driver has posted two wins, two seconds and one fourth, and with six scores from eight rallies to count, that run of success puts him in a very strong position. After five rounds Andy Davies is second in the overall drivers’ standings, and after an excellent season so far the Lampeter man is also leading the Production Cup category in his Group N Subaru Impreza. Steve Simpson (Fiesta S2000) is third, Paul Benn (Focus WRC02) is fourth and Luke Francis (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) is fifth – although with two wins, one second and two DNFs, a good run on the Nicky Grist Stages could see the Rhuddlan driver launch a late challenge for the title. Likewise, with two DNFs to his name, Stephen Petch (Fiesta R5+) needs a strong run of points-scoring finishes from now on to keep his title hopes alive. The race for the BTRDA Silver Star title is wide open, with Caernarfon’s Gavin Edwards (Escort), leading Llandovery’s Cameron Davies (Fiesta ST), while defending champion Boyd Kershaw (Escort Mk2) is third. In the Thomas Panels BTRDA 1400 Championship, Neil Andrew leads Karl Davies (both Nissan Micra), while Dominique Hodge (Micra) leads the Rally First category, five points ahead of top lady driver Emily Retallick (Peugeot 205)

 

Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship

Luke Francis and co-driver John H Roberts lead the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, after recording their fourth maximum points score of the season on the Severn Valley Stages in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. Dylan Davies (Subaru Impreza) finished second on the most recent event to maintain second in the points standings, 30 points behind the leader. Andrew Jones arrives in Builth Wells third overall and leading both the Vital Equipment Junior Welsh Championship for drivers’ and the two-wheel drive category in his Ford Escort. Andy Davies slipped from second to fourth in the overall standings after retiring from the Severn Valley with fuel pump problems on his Subaru Impreza, although he continues to lead Group N. Brecon’s Sara Williams claimed Group N honours last time out, on her first rally in nearly seven months. Just three points separate fifth place defending Group N champion Paul Davy (Subaru) and Wug Utting (Subaru), while New Zealander Boyd Kershaw (Escort) is seventh. Luke Francis also leads the Ravenol Welsh Challenge from Andrew Jones, while four drivers are tied on points in third place.

 

HRCR Stage Masters Challenge

The Nicky Grist Stages marks the mid-way point of this new challenge for historic cars, which allows competitors to pick and choose their favourite gravel and Tarmac events and which has a points scoring system that gives everyone a chance of becoming overall champion. It’s proven to be a big success, with 20 registered crews and a fantastic mix of cars including Minis, Hillman Avengers, Datsuns, Opel Asconas, Porsches and of course Escort Mk1s and Mk2s. Northern Island’s Stanley Orr (Escort Mk1) currently leads the standings, having scored maximum points in all three previous rounds. Business commitments forces Orr to miss the Nicky Grist Stages, but his co-driver Guy Weaver hopes to maintain his lead in the navigators’ table as he partners Rudi Lancaster (Escort Mk1). Quinton MC members Peter Barlow/Mark Dillon will be aiming for Escort Mk2 honours, having recently finished repairing their car. Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride will be ones to watch in their Porsche 911, while Rikki Proffitt/Graham Wild will be aiming to end a run of bad luck on gravel with a good run in their Datsun 240Z.

 

ANWCC Forest Rally Championship

At the halfway point in the 2016 ANWCC Forest Rally Championship, Dolgellau driver Siôn Ellis holds a commanding lead in his Nissan Sunny – and regardless of the result on the Nicky Grist Stages, he will continue to be ahead of the closely grouped pack. Matthew Jackson is currently in the runners-up position, having led for a time in his Nissan Micra. 2015 champion Jayne Auden-Row is just one point behind Jackson, having forsaken her championship-winning MG for a Lancer for most of this year’s events. Small cars dominate with Paul Ellis fourth in his ŠKODA Favorit that has been returned to competition after a few years parked in his back yard! Scotsman Richard Crozier heads the co-drivers’ table, having contested all six qualifying rounds in a variety of cars, while North Walian Caron Tomlinson is second and Ian Jones third. Ladies take up the next two co-drivers places – fourth overall is currently Heather Merrison in her first season, whilst Jackson’s co-driver Claire Williams is close behind. The championship includes awards for best front- and rear-wheel drive competitors as well as novice, junior and senior awards.

 

FMP Rally Challenge

With three sealed surface and two forestry rallies having taken place, crews who just compete on gravel will be looking to redress the balance with 48 FMP Rally Challenge contenders already entered. Company Director Nev Jones brings his Vulcan Fasteners Subaru S7 WRC from Staffordshire and is aiming to take the FMP Gravel Cup from Cardiganshire’s Dylan Davies this year. Nev’s co-driver Chris Davies is in the running to win the FMP Junior title. BTRDA Production Cup leader Andy Davies with Max Freeman will be their closest rivals. A certain top 10 current position in the standings was thwarted when Chepstow’s Sacha Kakad retired on the Lawrence Landfill Stages in Dale in a hired Evo 10. He scored a class win on reserve round, the Severn Valley Stages, and he and Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates could still potentially become overall victors. Current junior and overall leader, 22-year old Siobahn Pugh from Newton, hangs on to the co-driver’s lead despite missing the last round, the Midsummer Stages at Caerwent. She has entered with fellow contender Siôn Ellis in a Nissan Sunny. Siobahn is hoping to emulate inaugural FMP Champion Claire Williams who took both titles in 2013 and who is competing with John Easson award winner Matthew Jackson. Claire is currently the leading BTRDA female co-driver. After an outing on the Red Kite Stages, current leading driver Wynne Watkins has vowed to stick to Tarmac and a 3rd in class on his optional nominated overseas round, the Manx Trophy Rally, gives him a four point lead. In a bid to help raise the profile of the championships chosen charity, the Wales Air Ambulance, Elfyn Evans and Osian Pryce have registered and will carry FMP colours on selected rounds which coincide with the BRC.

 

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We welcome each of the championships that the Nicky Grist Stages count towards to Builth Wells. With a capacity entry the battles that have developed so far this season will continue on the classic gravel and asphalt stages we have put together. It has become a tradition that class and sometimes overall championships will be decided on the Nicky Grist Stages, and we wait to see how things unfold this year. What ever happens Quinton Motor Club has worked hard to put the event on for you all.

 

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