Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod have been seeded at number one for this Saturday’s non-spectator Nicky Grist Stages, when they contest their first gravel rally in their Yuasa Rally Team Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
Edwards won the Quinton Motor Club-organised event in 2018, which helped him towards his first of two British Rally Championship titles.
Rhys Yates/James Morgan have been seeded at number two in their Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5, Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan are at three in the second Melvyn Evans Motorsport-tuned Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Tom Cave/Dale Furness return to competition at four in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5, Ollie Mellors/Max Freeman will start at number five in their Proton Iris R5 and Matthew Wilson/Stuart Loudon are seeded at number six in their M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5.
BRC leaders Sam Moffett/Keith Moriarty start at seven in their Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5, the returning Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin start at eight in a Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5, Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes start at nine in a Hyundai i20 R5, while the top 10 is completed by Seb Perez/Gary McElhinney in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5.
With 40 crews entered in the National section of the event, the Interclub section has 130 crews – highlighting the popularity of the UK’s premier clubman gravel rally championships this year.
There is an enormous entry from both the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh National Rally Championship, with many crews registered for both championships.
These include George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (seeded at number 16 in their Mitsubishi Evo X), the 2019 Welsh champions Matt Hirst/Declan Dear (20, Mitsubishi Evo IX), Russ Thompson/Peredur Davies (21, Mitsubishi Evo IX), 2019 BTRDA Bronze Star (1400) and 2017 Welsh driver champion Callum Black/Jack Morton (23, Ford Fiesta R5), 2018 Welsh driver champion Dylan Davies/Mark Glennerster (26, Škoda Fabia R5), the winners of last December’s Rali Adfer Coedwigoedd Cymru test event Ian Bainbridge/Will Atkins (30, Škoda Fabia R5) and the 2019 Welsh Junior drivers’ champion Tom Llewellin/Ross Whittock, who makes his four-wheel drive debut in a Mitsubishi Mirage, seeded at 31.
The full seeded entry list is now available at rallies.info.
The event, the first major forestry rally to take place in Wales for 17 months, received over 200 entry applications – and to accommodate as many competitors from the eight championships that it hosts, the number of starters has been increased to 170.
The first forest rally to be held in Wales since the easing of restrictions will run under strict Covid-19 compliant rules, and because of the high number of military training exercises currently taking place on the Epynt military range, the event will be run behind closed doors.
Whilst spectators will not be allowed to watch on the stages, nor in the service area, Special Stage TV will live stream the action on its Facebook page (facebook.com/specialstage) – covering all crews from as many stages as possible.
Furthermore, the event itself, many of the championships, competitors and independent rally news outlets such as RallyFM.net and @RallyingUK will cover the event live on their social media channels – making this weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages one of the biggest live online streamed rallies in the UK, outside the WRC.
The Nicky Grist Stages contains eight stages, totalling 44 stage miles. A loop of four stages through Llyn Login, Monument, Halfway and Crychan will run in the morning, before midday service at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, followed by a repeat of the four stages in the afternoon.
2021 Nicky Grist Stages – Top 10 seeded entries
- Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod….Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
- Rhys Yates/James Morgan….Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5
- Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan….Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
- Tom Cave/Dale Furness….Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5
- Ollie Mellors/Max Freeman….Proton Iris R5
- Matthew Wilson/Stuart Loudon….Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5
- Sam Moffett/Keith Moriarty….Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5
- Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin….Ford Fiesta Mk2 R5
- Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes….Hyundai i20 R5
- Seb Perez/Gary McElhinney….Ford Fiesta Rally2 R5