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Rallye Sunseeker - 22-23 Feb 07

Posted: March 20, 2008 3:17 PM - 7764 Hits

Round 1 - 2008 ANCRO MSA National Rally Championship
Round 1 - 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge

Encouraging season opener for the DGM team

Posted: March 20, 2008 3:17 PM

The DGM team suffered mixed fortunes at last weekends Rally Sunseeker, opening round of the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge.

Two of the three car team that will be competing throughout the year on the seven round Championship made it to the finish line and bagged valuable points to kick start their campaign.

If the opening round is a signal of what is to come then all the drivers face a very tough and competitive season with 6 crews finishing within 28 seconds of each other at the end of the rally and 9 crews being within 30 seconds of each other at the first service interval there was absolutely no room for error.

At first service the DGM prepared cars made up three of the nine cars within the 30 second timeframe. Neil McCance lay 10th Overall and 3rd in the Evolution Challenge in his newly built Evolution 9, Jonathan Greer and Richard Cathcart held 16th and 17th spots respectively with Cathcart coming back through the field after a costly first stage stall.

However all three cars were not to leave the service area and complete the remaining stages, Jonathan Greer had been struggling with terminal gear selection problems during stages five and six.

An attempt to change the gearbox by the DGM team was in vein as there just was not enough service time available eventually going over the time limit and being forced into retirement.

Through the remaining stages of the event the top places changed every stage due to the close nature of the competition, the only constant being young Scotsman David Bogie who after taking the lead in stage two held onto it for the rest of the rally.
He was really made to work for it with the final winning margin being a mere 9 seconds from Irishman Daniel Barry.

The DGM team continued to fight for every available second in the chasing pack and at the end of the 13 stages came home in 5th and 6th place, with Richard Cathcart leap frogging Neil McCance on the very last stage to take fifth position.

Both drivers have a lot of positives to take from the event with Cathcart's first stage stall and the close nature of the rally he was always fighting a losing battle, but winning 6 out of the 13 stages on the rally shows that he can challenge for the overall honours.

Neil McCance is pleased to get a result under his belt with the rally being his first competitive outing since September 2007. All three drivers are strong contenders when the Mitsubishi Evolution challenge resumes at the Border counties Rally at the start of April.

Bogie scores maiden Mitsubishi victory

Posted: March 20, 2008 3:07 PM

Following a faultless performance David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae won the opening round of the 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge on this weekend’s Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker, recording their first ever victory in the highly competitive one-make rally championship for Group N (production specification) Lancer Evolutions.

Behind them, a battle raged for second place - no less than 9 of the 14 Evolution Challenge crews swapping times throughout the event - with Daniel Barry/Mark Bowens the eventual runners-up, just nine seconds behind the winners and only five seconds ahead of third-placed Seb Ling/Aled Rees.

In fact, such is the level of performance in this year’s Evolution Challenge, seven different drivers set fastest times out of the event’s 13 special stages and less than 30 seconds separated the first six cars after 62 miles of competition.

The event began on Friday evening with two runs of its now traditional 1.6-mile tarmac stage, which runs through Bournemouth’s botanical gardens and along the sea front towards Boscombe, in front of 1000s of spectators, Nik Elsmore caught the whole 90-car field napping on the opening stage by not only taking the fastest Evo Challenge time, but stopped the clock two seconds ahead of everyone else!

However, his overall lead was short-lived when he collected a puncture on the second run through the stage, dropping him to second in the Mitsubishi standings. Bogie posted an almost as impressive third overall time on the second run to lead the Evolution Challenge field before the overnight halt, with Elsmore just 0.5 second behind in second and Icelandic Rally Champion Daniel Sigurdarsson in third.

Not enjoying his first night on the prom was Evo Challenge newcomer Richard Cathcart, who’s car stalled on the start-line of the very first stage when he tried to use its launch control. Although getting going again, he had dropped 30 seconds to the Mitsubishi front-runners, giving him a tough task for the following day.

Saturday saw the road surface switch to gravel and a further 11 stages in the Ringwood and Wareham Forests. Determined to make up for lost time, Cathcart won the first two tests, but his charge was temporarily curtailed when a stone split a rear brake pipe, causing him a heart-stopping moment when he found he had no brakes! This left Bogie to record the fastest time through SS5 and Sigurdarsson to do likewise in SS6 - the popular spectator stage through the grounds of Somerley Park.

At the first service halt, the Evo Challenge leader board showed Bogie eight seconds ahead of Elsmore, with Neil McCance a further eight seconds behind in third. The top trio were followed by Ling, Simon Harraway, Daniel Barry and Sigurdarsson, all separated by just three seconds! A little further back was the young Irishman and another series newcomer Keith Cronin, who admitted to be over-driving his new Evo IX, a trait which was causing him to overshoot junctions and lose time,

First to leave the Mitsubishi pack in the initial loop of Saturday’s stages was Tom Naughton, when his car’s transmission brought him to a stand-sill at the end of SS3. Initially being slowed by a blown turbo pipe, a similar fate befell David Meredith, when his inaugural Evo Challenge outing came to a halt at the start of SS5.

Also suffering transmission troubles was another series debutant, Jonny Greer and, although his gearbox was changed in service, the job over-ran the allotted time, forcing him to retire from the event before the next stage.

Now running with only three operational brakes, Cathcart defied his handicap by setting fastest times on stages seven and eight. Barry, who now had the bit between his teeth, took the honours on SS9, but not to be outdone, Cathcart did it again on SS10.

Although a relatively short run of just under three miles over Bere Heath, stage 10 saw two of the Evo Challenge front-runners leave the fray: Sigurdarsson succumbed to a slipping clutch and had no choice but to retire, whilst Harraway exited in more spectacular style, when a wheel caught an inconspicuous hole on the inside of a fast right hander, launching his car off the road and into a watery marsh on the outside of the bend. A disappointing end to his first ever Evo Challenge event.

Although not entirely comfortable driving on the soft gravel stages, Ling recorded the fastest time in SS11, the second run through Somerley, following which the times at second service showed Bogie now 18 seconds ahead of Barry and Elsmore a further five seconds behind in third - after revealing he had made a brief excursion into a ditch on stage nine,

After borrowing a rear brake caliper from Greer’s side-lined car, Cathcart was back to a full compliment of stopping power following the service halt and he proceeded to set fastest times on final two stages of the day. His efforts were enough to see him finish fifth in the Evo Challenge standings and win the Sunoco Spirit and Walkinshaw Performance best Rookie awards,

Bogie, on the other hand, took a cautious approach to the final pair of stages, judging his pace to perfection to get back to the finish in Bournemouth town centre to record his maiden Evolution Challenge victory, claim an overall position of sixth, win Group N and scoop the PIAA Junior Award for under 25-year old drivers.

“I’m delighted to have won my very first Evo Challenge round”, said Bogie at the finish. “This has been a tough rally because of the quality of the competition, so I went flat out where I could and, having pulled-out a lead, I just backed off when I wasn’t too sure about the conditions. This result is a great way to start my Evo Challenge campaign!”

Barry was more than pleased to finish second, whilst a final push by Ling saw him overhaul Elsmore by just 1.4 seconds. With Cathcart fifth, it was McCance who claimed sixth place in his brand new Evo IX, although admitting that a loss of pace mid-way through the afternoon had spoilt his possibility of a podium finish.

Having proved that when it all went well he was on the pace of the leading group, Cronin was relieved to get to the finish in seventh after a character-building day. Miles Johnston had spent the rally acclimatising to his newly acquired Evo VIII to finish eighth, with Jonathan Sparks embarking on his third year in the Mitsubishi series and finishing ninth - both drivers satisfied with their day’s work.

Evolution Challenge teams now prepare for round two, the Border Counties Rally, which takes place in the infamous Kielder Forest on 5th April.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is backed by Mitsubishi Motors UK and Ralliart, with support from its associate sponsors: Pirelli tyres, PIAA lights, Speedline Corse wheels, Sparco racewear, Performance Friction Brakes, Sunoco Race Fuels, ADR Motorsport and Walkinshaw Performance.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge – Round 1 Results
1 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) 1:01:21.3
2 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Mark Bowens (Cork) 1:01:30.3
3 Sebastian Ling (Llandysul)/Aled Rees (Crymych) 1:01:35.3
4 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Paul Wakeley (Llanelli) 1:01:36.7
5 Richard Cathcart (Enniskillen)/Martin Brady (Navan) 1:01:43.7
6 Neil McCance (Coomber)/Graham Hopewell (Worcester) 1:01:49.9
7 Keith Cronin (Bantry)/Anthony O’Conaill (Ballymakeera) 1:03:54.0
8 Miles Johnston (York)/Ian Bevan (Holywell) 1:04:16.6
9 Jonathan Sparks (Glastonbury)/Chris Davies (Abergavenny) 1:08:23.1

Retirements
SS3 Thomas Naughton (Bury)/Horace Saville (Bury) Transmission
SS5 David Meredith (Dolgellau)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen) Transmission
SS7 Jonathan Greer (Carryduff)/Jonny Hart (Moneyrea) Transmission
SS10 Simon Harraway (Weston-super-Mare)/Craig Drew (Bream) Off road
SS10 Daniel Siguardarson (Iceland)/Isak Gudjonsson (Iceland) Clutch

CRONIN OPTIMISTIC FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Posted: March 20, 2008 3:05 PM

2008 Billy Coleman award winner Keith Cronin remains optimistic about his chances in the U.K.Evo Challenge despite a slow start in the new EVO 9 on the opening round, the Sunseeker Rally, in Bournemouth.

Keith and his navigator Anthony O Conaill, finished the rally 16th overall and 7th in group N,which was not anywhere near what they had hoped for.

Despite the disappointing result Keith remains upbeat and is very happy with the performance of the new car.

Speaking after the event Keith said.”While the result is not what we were hoping for we have a lot to take away from this event. I’m delighted with the performance of the new car but just haven’t had enough time in it to try out different set ups and to just get the feel for it.The next event is the Border counties on the 5th of April and we have the car home now so we have plenty of time to iron out the little teething problems we had this week.

I’m very confident that once we get the set-up right we should be on the pace for the rest of the challenge”

Keith only collected his new EVO 9 in the UK on Wednesday and there were still some problems to be ironed out.

This resulted in him only having an hours driving to get the feel of the car before going into action.

Keith used SS 1 to get settled in the car and posted a good enough time with no mistakes. This wasn’t to last however as he lost all brakes on SS2 which cost time and in his efforts to claw some of that time back he overshot twice on the third stage which cost him more time and also affected his confidence a little.The clutch going on the next stage didn’t help matters either.

He decided to take things steady on the next few stages and even with his steady approach he was only 5 seconds off fastest Group N time in SS 5,was second fastest on SS 7 was again only seconds off fastest on SS 9,10 & 11.

Then came the killer blow. Keith had an excellent run on SS 12 but when he got to the end of the stage he was told the beam didn't work for him and that they had no time and to drive on to the next control.

Navigator Anthony O Conaill had a time for the stage of 10.23 and worked out his due time at the next control from that.
However they were contacted later and were told that they had been given 11.23 for the stage and subsequently had booked in a minute early at the next control,hence they received a one minute penalty which dropped them right back.

The sad part of it is that without the penalty they were on 33 seconds off the bogey time for the stage.
However Keith is philosophical about the outcome of the rally and knows only too well that these are some of the joys of the sport.

He is eagerly looking forward to the next round when he hopes the car set up will be sorted and all the teething problems a thing of the past.

SIX OF THE BEST FOR DODD

Posted: March 20, 2008 1:52 PM

Defending ANCRO Champion Marcus Dodd got the season off to a great start by claiming an unprecedented sixth victory on the Bournemouth based Rallye Sunseeker which comprised the opening round of the 2008 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship.

Driving the HPM Motorsport Hyundai Accent WRC along with co driver Andrew Bargery, with whom he won last year’s event also, the local ace overcame clutch problems last night and a broken paddle-shift late this afternoon to take a deserved victory some 43 seconds ahead of the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton.

Burton and co driver Shelley Rogerson had problems of their own with a broken exhaust manifold on the final loop of stages, but despite this Burton was delighted to record only his second ever finish on the event and the result has given him a good start to his championship challenge.

Third went the way of Irish newcomer Stephen Moore who, along with co driver Tony McHugh, brought their ex Henning Solberg Ford Focus WRC home ahead of Jon Ingram and co driver Ian Allsop who were left disputing a one minute time penalty, incurred for a jump start last night, at the finish.

Isle of Wight driver Will Nicholls and co driver Nick Broom claimed fifth in their Subaru WRC with Scotsmen David Bogie and co driver Kevin Rae claiming Group N and Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge honours in sixth place overall.

Daniel Barry beat off fellow Mitsubishi drivers Sebastian Ling and Nik Elsmore for seventh position with Richard Cathcart also in a Mitsubishi completing the top ten.

“I broke the paddle-shift before the last two stages but it just made me drive harder. We’ve had a good battle with Andy and I’m delighted to win my local rally for a sixth time in total and to make it two wins out of two in the past two years” said Dodd, who revealed he may not contest further rounds of the ANCRO organised series depending on budget restrictions and the possibility of his car being hired out.

The next round of the 2008 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship takes place on April 5th with the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally based in Jedburgh.

Provisional Final Classification
1, Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC) 58:09.8
2, Andrew Burton/Shelley Rogerson (Peugeot Cosworth) 58:52.9
3, Stephen Moore/Tony McHugh (Ford Focus WRC) 59:31.2
4, Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:00:01.2
5, Will Nicholls/Nick Broom (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:00:08.4
6, David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi) 1:01:21.3
7, Daniel Barry/Mark Bowens (Mitsubishi) 1:01:30.3
8, Sebastian Ling/Aled Rees (Mitsubishi) 1:01:35.3
9, Nik Elsmore/Paul Wakeley (Mitsubishi) 1:01:36.7
10, Richard Cathcart/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi) 1:01:43.7

Posted: February 17, 2008 6:40 PM

  • ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR EIGHTH YEAR OF EVOLUTION CHALLENGE
  • BLAST OFF IN BOURNEMOUTH!
  • Entry List available
  • List of Entries received to date available:
  • Alan Carmichael to use McKinstry S9 on Sunseeker
  • Rally Details
  • Regulations available

17/02/08
ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR EIGHTH YEAR OF EVOLUTION CHALLENGE
The eighth consecutive season of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge gets underway next weekend with its now traditional season-opener, the Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker, which takes place on 22nd & 23rd February.

So far, 15 crews have signed-up for the popular one-make series for Group N Lancer Evolutions and, with a driver line-up comprising top names from the UK, Ireland and overseas, there’s no doubt that the Evolution Challenge will continue to live up to its reputation of being a highly-competitive and fiercely-fought championship.

Top Mitsubishi seed is last year’s Evo Challenge runner-up Seb Ling, who is out for nothing less than victory this time round. He is followed by the talented young Scot David Bogie, who also impressed in 2007.

Others returning to the series are last year’s third-placed Nik Elsmore, reigning Icelandic Rally Champion Daniel Sigurdarson, last year’s Evolution Cup winner Miles Johnston, Evo Challenge winner on the Isle of Man Neil McCance, plus two Evo drivers who get quicker each time out, Tom Naughton and Jonathan Sparks.

As in previous years, the Evolution Challenge has attracted a crop of up-and-coming Irish drivers - and this year is no exception: Daniel Barry, who finished in fifth place last year rejoins for a full assault, as does series regular Connor McCloskey who also makes a welcome return.

There’s some fresh faces too, including Billy Coleman award winner Keith Cronin, 2007 Fiesta ST Champion Jonny Greer and the extremely rapid Richard Cathcart, all three young Irishmen set to make a name for themselves in the Mitsubishi series.

Also new to the Evo Challenge are Welshman David Meredith and the hotly-tipped Simon Harraway, both of them drivers to watch this season.

PIAA are once again supporting the award for junior drivers, five falling into the category for under 25-year olds this season.

“We are delighted with the quality of the Evolution Challenge entries this year”, said Championship Coordinator Simon Slade. “Once again, it is going to be difficult to predict a winner, so this season is going to see another closely-fought championship – which is just the way we like it!”

With an overall entry of 90 cars, the Evolution Challenge represents 16% of the Rallye Sunseeker field and it is anticipated that more registrations will be received before the start of the event.

The Rallye Sunseeker gets underway from Bournemouth town centre on Friday evening, with two spectacular stages through the botanical gardens and along the esplanade. The road surface switches to gravel for Saturday’s 11 stages, all of which take place in Ringwood and Wareham forests and, following a total of 62 competitive miles, the event returns to Bournemouth for the finish at 6.00pm.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is backed by Mitsubishi Motors UK and Ralliart, with support from its associate sponsors: Pirelli tyres, PIAA lights, Speedline Corse wheels, Sparco racewear, Performance Friction Brakes, Sunoco Race Fuels, ADR Motorsport and Walkinshaw Performance.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge entries (in number order)
11 Sebastian Ling (Llandysul)/Aled Rees (Crymych)
12 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) (J)
14 Keith Cronin (Bantry)/Anthony O’Conaill (Ballymakeera) (J)
15 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Paul Wakeley (Llanelli)
20 Neil McCance (Coomber)/Graham Hopewell (Worcester)
21 Jonathan Greer (Carryduff)/Jonny Hart (Moneyrea) (J)
22 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Mark Bowens (Cork) (J)
23 Richard Cathcart (Enniskillen)/Martin Brady (Navan)
31 Connor McCloskey (Kilrea)/Damian Connelly (Monaghan) (J)
32 Daniel Siguardarson (Iceland)/Isak Gudjonsson (Iceland)
33 Miles Johnston (York)/Ian Bevan (Holywell)
34 David Meredith (Dolgellau)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen)
43 Thomas Naughton (Bury)/Horace Saville (Bury)
44 Jonathan Sparks (Glastonbury)/Chris Davies (Abergavenny)
45 Simon Harraway (Weston-super-Mare)/Craig Drew (Bream)

BLAST OFF IN BOURNEMOUTH!
The eagerly anticipated battle for the 2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship gets underway next weekend when crews from all over the UK converge on the seaside resort of Bournemouth for the annual ANCRO season opener as the 23rd annual Rallye Sunseeker bursts into life.

Five-times winner and very much the local hero, Marcus Dodd from nearby Poole and co-driver Andrew Bargery from just down the coast at Hove, are looking to defend their title once again in their FliteWise sponsored Hyundai Accent WRC and whilst the pair will start the Southern Car Club and Croydon & DMC organised event as favourites, there is the usual class entry following Dodd away from the start in Bournemouth on Friday evening.

Heading the challenge will be recent Wyedean Forest Rally winner Andy Burton in his Peugeot Cosworth whilst a trio of Subaru Impreza World Rally Cars, each in very capable hands, complete the top five. Jon Ingram, Julian Reynolds and Isle of Wight driver Will Nicholls can be regarded as potential event and Championship winners, and their respective campaigns for these coveted positions start now.

John Lloyd is at the wheel of the first of three Ford Focus WRCs in the entry, whilst a very strong Irish presence is led by Sean Devine (Subaru Impreza WRC) and Stephen Moore (Ford Focus WRC) and despite regular ANCRO stalwarts such as Steve Perez, Paul Bird and Roger Duckworth missing for various reasons this year, the battle will be just as intense.

Once again, the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge kicks off in Bournemouth with a host of drivers intent on emulating Phillip Morrows 2007 success. Welshman Sebastian Ling, Scot David Bogie, Englander Nik Elsmore and Irishman Keith Cronin lead the field as all the contenders set out on the long road which does not reach its conclusion until the end of October.

Other drivers who could make a splash on the two day event include Stephen Petch who takes to the wheel of dad Steves Hyundai Accent WRC, whereas Charlie Payne is set to contest the series in a Mitsubishi WRC. Fellow Northerners Tony Thompson (Mitsubishi) and Miles Johnston (Mitsubishi) will also be looking for a good result, as will veteran Warren Philliskirk who ventures south in his MG Metro 6R4, as does Stuart Larbey, to take part in the festivities that aim to celebrate the iconic marque on Rallye Sunseeker.

In the supporting Subaru Group N Trophy, rapid youngster Tristan Pye will head the challenge although he can expect stiff competition from Roger Chilman and Alistair Thorburn.

Throw in 70 years young veteran Harry Dodd (Hyundai Accent WRC), Ulster starlet Jonathan Greer (Mitsubishi) and Icelander Daniel Sigurdsson in a similar car and the scene is set for a typically exciting curtain raiser to the National rally scene.

More details, including entry lists, spectator information and maps etc on the event can be found at the rally website below:


14/02/08
Full Entry List on event website:
03/02/08
List of entries received to date on event website:

Rally Details & Regulations available on the event website:

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