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Malcolm Wilson Rally - 7 Mar 09

Posted: March 12, 2009 10:27 AM - 9562 Hits

Round 2 - 2009 BTRDA Rally Championship
Round 1 - 2009 Fiesta SportingTrophy UK

  • Perez/Rae win

Posted: March 12, 2009 10:53 AM


Photo: cmwi.net

Fordes finish tough Malcolm Wilson Rally

Posted: March 12, 2009 10:27 AM

Irish brothers Ross and Arron Forde had a tough start to their Fiesta SportTrophy season on the Malcolm Wilson Rally last Saturday (7 March).

The Galway crew came home 11th in the series and 55th overall in their Motorsport Ireland and Irish Sports Council-backed M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta on the 45-mile gravel event.

It was the pair’s first time on the Cumbria-based rally with Arron able to step in at the last minute to navigate.

The trouble started on stage two when they noticed the power was down and they could only hit a maximum speed of 55 mph.

They reset the ECU on their way into the third test but around three miles in the car lost power again with the issue repeating itself in stage four. At service the crew worked hard to change the fuel pump and examined the ECU and all seemed well on the trip to stage five.

But a new problem arose towards the end of stage five when the brakes began to fade and in stage six they lost all brakes and had to use the handbrake and gearbox to reduce their speeds.

At second service they could not find an obvious fault with the brake system but bled them. On their way to the final test, however, the issue returned and they were relieved to make it through a shortened stage seven to the finish ramp in Cockermouth town centre.

“It wasn’t the ideal start to the campaign but we battled on and made it to the end to get a result and some all-important points,” Ross said.

“It’s just the way rallying goes sometimes and it was the first time the car had been out competitively.

“I’d like to thank the Irish Sports Council and Motorsport Ireland for their support.

“If it wasn’t for our service crew from M-Sport and Galway Mini Centre, we wouldn’t have made it to the finish so we’re really grateful for all the effort they put in.

“We’re going testing ahead of the next round so we hopefully won’t have any problems next time out.”

The Fordes do not have long to wait until round two of the championship. They will be contesting the Bulldog Rally in just over two weeks on Saturday 28 March.

Gears go in Greystoke to deny Breen victory

Posted: March 10, 2009 4:21 PM

Sadly, the anticipated showdown between eventual winner Kris Hall and his nearest rival, Craig Breen never happened on last weekend’s (7 March) opening round of the Kick Energy Fiesta Sport Trophy UK.

Hall had won the first two stages of the Malcolm Wilson Rally, but 19-year old Breen from Ireland fought back on SS3 to record exactly the same time as his rival.

Craig said, “We finished the first stage seven seconds behind Kris and I felt that I’d been sloppy and found it hard to get a good rhythm going. On the day’s second stage, we found ourselves a further six seconds adrift. But at that point I felt that we’d begun to find my pace and had driven better. I remember saying to my co-driver Gareth (Roberts), ‘we can push now’’. On the third stage I finally got into the swing of things and we were joint fastest with Kris.”

Now thirteen seconds behind Hall, Craig felt that he could make the deficit up in Greystoke Forest.

“You could say it was time to go ape” the young Irishman joked. But then disaster struck. The Greystoke stage was scheduled to be the last one of the day before the cars were due to go into the service area, but the relentless pace and conditions took their toll before the cars reached safety.

Hall’s was the first to suffer when fuel pump problems forced him to slow. He lost over a minute and dropped to 3rd position. Breen meanwhile had the hammer down and was set to assume the lead when, just three miles into the stage, his gearbox failed.

“The stage was going really well until about halfway through. I went to select second gear and there was no drive. I wracked my brains to think what the problem, and of course the solution could have been - but no matter what we tried, it soon became evident that whatever it was, it was terminal.”

Craig added, “I was gutted. After an exciting morning, the afternoon was shaping up to be even better. I experienced the highs and lows of rallying in the space of just two hours. It proves that, even with the best preparation, there are some things which can’t be avoided. On the plus side though, we’d shown our pace and proved that we could well be strong contenders for the Championship this season.”

Hall - who survived to the service area and was able to repair his car before going on to seal the Fiesta class victory - sportingly acknowledged the threat from Breen.

“I’m delighted with this result, but disappointed that Craig had to retire in Stage 4 and it’s a shame that we were denied that battle. I look forward to the challenge he’ll surely offer during the remainder of the season.”

Craig and his Tom Gahan Motorsport team are now preparing for what will be a very busy period in the coming weeks. They will compete in the Bulldog International Rally, Rally de Portugal and the Circuit of Ireland - all of which follow one after the other.

Video Clips

Posted: March 9, 2009 2:41 PM

Fiesta SportTrophy UK - Hall dominates on home ground

Posted: March 9, 2009 2:39 PM

Kris Hall (19) won the first round of the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy UK, the Malcolm Wilson Rally, by 54 seconds and finished 18th in the overall classification. The event is Hall’s local rally, just a few miles from his Appleby home, making the Cumbrian a firm favourite for the win. However, not all odds were stacked in Hall’s favour, as it was his first time he had teamed up with navigator Robbie Durant.

There were many ‘firsts’ for FST competitors on this rally. The event was to be 2008 FST International Shootout winner, Belgium’s Matthias Boon’s (19) ninth rally, but his first rally on gravel and his first rally outside of his home country. Harry Hunt (20) from London had never competed before and only had five miles of experience in a rally car. Matt Edwards (24) from Bothel, Cumbria had worked hard to build his own car in a three sided barn, only just completing it in time; while Stefan Davis from Aylesford bought his Fiesta ST just one day before the rally, so neither driver had much experience of their cars before the start of the rally.

Heading into SS1, Hobcarton (2.73 miles), conditions were reported to be inconsistent, with stages covered in slippery mud with occasional areas of grip. The first stage was won by Hall, setting a stunning time of 3 minutes 12 seconds a new FST record for the stage. In second position was Craig Breen (19) from Waterford with 2008 FST UK and FST Ireland champion co-driver Gareth Roberts. In joint third place were Stefan Davis with co-driver Louise Cook and Matt Edwards with co-driver Andy Murphy. Last year's Malcolm Wilson Rally winner, Stevie Brown (21) from Aberdeen with co-driver Martin Forrest was aiming for another win, but suffered with a broken driveshaft on SS1 causing considerable time loss.

SS2, Comb (5.63 miles), witnessed a second stage win by Hall six seconds ahead of Breen and eight seconds ahead of Edwards in 3rd. FST regulars Barry Greer (21) from Carryduff with co-driver John Lemon broke a driveshaft on the start of SS2 and had to limp through the stage

SS3, Wythop (3.25 miles), saw Hall, and Breen set exactly the same time with Edwards once again third. There where three drivers in equal fourth position again showing how tight the FST series is. Stefan Davis, Barry Greer and Mark Donnelly (17) from Omagh with co-driver Paddy Robinson, whose team had worked round the clock to repair his Fiesta ST after Donnelly rolled it in Ireland the previous weekend, making it to the rally just in time. Billy Coleman Award winner Ross Forde (25) from Galway and co-driver Arron Forde struggled through the stage with an intermittent engine problem.

SS4, Greystoke 1 (6.55 miles) was the last stage before the cars were due into service and paid its toll on a number of the Fiestas, changing the order significantly. Current leader Hall lost over a minute with a fuel pump issue dropping him into third position, a problem that would also affect Ross Forde and Neil Coalter (26) from Belfast and co-driver Hannah Cessford. Second-placed Breen was the first retirement from the event, losing forward drive three miles into the stage and into a very disappointed retirement after a strong showing. Matthias Boon and current Belgian champion co-driver John Lavaerts, John Boyd and co-driver Fred Bell, Donnelly and Edwards all sustained punctures in Greystoke Forest.

The problems for Hall and Breen resulted in Stefan Davis taking the stage win and rising into the lead. Kyle Orr (19) from Dromore and co-driver Owain Davies snatched second place on the stage and overall, with Manx Motorsport Youth Trust supported Martin Jones from Douglas with co-driver Kris Killip third fastest on the stage.

Following the service in Penrith, the rally headed south to SS5, Grizedale South (11.11 miles), where drivers were greeted with torrential rain and thick fog. Hall took his fourth fastest stage time of the day. Edwards second and Davis rounding up the top three.. Orr struggled with the handling of his car in the Grizedale stages, as well as backing off after a big moment unsettled him.

SS6, Grizedale North (7.38 miles), saw Hall inherit the lead once again, with the retirement of Davis whose impressive drive ended with a suspension failure. Hall was fastest with Edwards second and the recovering Stevie Brown in third. The scene was set for a thrilling finish as both Kyle Orr and Matt Edwards where tied on time going into the final stage.

The final stage of the day, the second run through Greystoke 2 was shortened to approximately three miles to try to improve the conditions., , Hall took his sixth fastest stage time of the day, earning himself the Castrol Hard Charger Award and winning the rally by a margin of 54 seconds. The battle for second was taken by Matt Edwards by just 4 seconds to Orr who was happy to finish third on the first round of the series. The awful luck of 2008 winner Stevie Brown didn’t improve as he got another puncture and got stuck off the road eventually able to finish the stage with the help of the ever enthusiastic spectators.

Kris Hall (19) from Appleby, Cumbria, said:
“I’m delighted with this result, but disappointed that Craig [Breen] had to retire in Stage 4 and it’s a shame that we were denied that battle. I look forward to the challenge he’ll surely offer during the remainder of the season. I thought it was all over when we lost the fuel pump and I have to thank my team for getting the car back on the road.”

PEREZ TAKES DEBUT MALCOLM WILSON VICTORY

Posted: March 9, 2009 2:02 PM

Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez scored a sensational debut victory on today's Malcolm Wilson Rally after a day of drama in the forests of the Lake District.

Driving the Ford Focus WRC with Scotsman Kevin Rae on the notes, the Chesterfield businessman was doing battle in the back yard of two of his rivals, M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson and arch rival Paul Bird.

Sponsoring both of their respective World Rally and World Superbike teams, Perez was up against Wilson, who was in action in the 2WD Ford Escort, but the main chalice was that of Bird who has won the event three times.

However, the battle failed to materialise when Bird crashed out on SS2 leaving Perez to battle with BTRDA regulars Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) and Will Nicholls (Subaru WRC).

A combination of incorrect tyre choice on the opening stages, coupled with stopping to see if Bird needed assistance following his accident, saw the double British Champion drop time but gradually he upped the pace despite the tricky conditions.

Driving conservatively, Perez chipped away and by the end of the rally's seventh stage in Greystoke, he'd secured the victory by a handsome 25 seconds as the crews headed back to the Cockermouth finish.

"I'm ecstatic" declared Perez. "To win this event is fantastic as we sponsor the M-Sport Team from just up the road but this is Birdy's back yard and it's a shame he couldn't muster a challenge today. We stopped to see if he was OK and from then on, we just had to make sure we kept it clean ourselves and to win the event for the first time is brilliant. And what's more, the champagne is going to taste even better tonight as Paul Bird is buying not only for me, but for Malcolm Wilson too!"

Perez will be back in action in just two week's time on the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally when he hopes to erase the disappointment of an early retirement on the opening round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship in Bournemouth last weekend.

Photos

Posted: March 9, 2009 1:57 PM

Full Results

Posted: March 9, 2009 1:51 PM

1 Steve Perez/Kevin Rae (Ford Focus WRC) 44:24
2 Will Nicholls/Nick Broom (Subaru Impreza WRC) 44:49
3 David Wright/Michael Wilkinson (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) 45:16
4 Tim Pearcey/Robin Hernaman (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) 46:10
5 Michael O'Brien/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC) 46:12
6 Jonathan Greer/Anthony O'Conaill (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) 46:15
7 Paul Benn/Richard Cooke (Ford Focus WRC) 46:22
8 Nigel Griffiths/Josh Burton (Subaru Impreza N12) 46:33
9 David Weston jnr/Neil Shanks (Subaru Impreza N14) 46:43
10 Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Hyundai Accent WRC) 47:02

Entry List

Posted: March 5, 2009 11:26 AM

Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy boosts into action!

Posted: March 2, 2009 3:08 PM

The Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy (FST) 2009 will officially kick off next weekend with the first meeting of the seven round mixed surface rally championship - The Malcolm Wilson Rally. The event is based in Cockermouth, Cumbria, at the headquarters of M-Sport in the picturesque English Lake District.

16 Fiesta ST’s are entered for the event and registered competitors will tackle 45 stage miles in the classic forests of Hobcarton, Comb, Wythop, Greystoke and Grizedale. With a large amount of new competitors as well as some familiar faces from the past FST seasons this year is as ever expected to be another very exciting and interesting championship.

The championship is once again delighted to be supported by Chesterfield based Global Brands, through their dynamic Kick Energy brand, and Global Brands Managing Director - Steve Perez will also be competing in the event in his newly acquired Ford Focus 07 WRC Car - a perfect opportunity for the FST crews to try and challenge the series sponsor! 2009 also sees the continued support of technical sponsor Pirelli who will supply the control tyre for the series.

2008 saw a close title fight between Elfyn Evans, Max Utting and Meilyr Evans. Evans would eventually take championship glory from Utting, with Meilyr in third. With all three of these drivers moving on for 2009 it means this years title fight is wide open and as unpredictable as ever.

Among the series contenders is returnee Kris Hall from Appleby, Cumbria. Hall (19) will be partnered by experienced navigator Robbie Durant. Hall showed improved pace throughout the whole of 2008 and came a very close second overall in the FSTi International Shootout at the end of the season and is expected to be the early pace setter.

Stevie Brown (21) from Aberdeen returns for a second season in the championship with Martin Forrest navigating. Brown won the Malcolm Wilson rally at the start of last season but had a troubled remainder of the season. With a fresh series of goals for this year he hopes he will be back on the top spot of the podium as quickly as possible.

Barry Greer (21) from Carryduff and John Lemon, Kyle Orr (19) from Dromore and Graeme Stuart, Mark Donnelly (17) from Omagh and Paddy Robinson and Craig Breen (19) from Waterford all make the trip over the water from Ireland. With all the crews having potential to win the opening round it will make for an interesting cross-country battle. Greer and Orr are both familiar faces to the series and both will want to make their impression on the series from the start. Donnelly is gearing up for a full assault on both the British and Irish series FST and with an impressive 8th overall finish on the National Rally in Galway the young Irishman cannot be underestimated. Breen is also committing to both the full UK and Irish series as well as having an entry on the opening round of the FSTi he could well be a formidable force for the win.

Matt Edwards (24) from Bothel, Cumbria had some great results in the 2008 BTRDA series culminating in a 3rd overall on the Cambrian Stages rally. After pulling together enough funds to build a Fiesta he will be hoping the competitive single make FST series can further his rallying career. However, with no seat time in the car before the opening round his first goal is for a top 5 finish. Edwards will be co-driven by Andy Murphy.

2008 Billy Coleman award winner Ross Forde (25) from Galway will take up his prize of a funded drive in the FST UK 2008. The Irishman will be co-driven by Manxman Robb Fagg and will be hoping to get his 2009 season off to the best of starts.

Martin Jones and Kris Killip both also from the Isle of Man will start the event entered in their Manx Youth Trust Fiesta ST. Jones was selected from a group of drivers by a panel and will be hoping to justify his selection at the first round.

Luke Francis (19) and Jon Madoc-Jones from Denbighshire return to the series for another attack after increasing their speed throughout the whole of 2008. After a season long lay off Rory Hall (26) from Haverfordwest and Lee Burgess make a welcome return to the series, whilst Neil Coalter (26) from Belfast and Hannah Cessford have recently acquired a Fiesta ST and aim to use their vast rallying experience in other cars to score highly in the FST.

The first round also sees two competitors who will be competing in their first ever gravel stage rally. Harry Hunt (20) from London and Thomas Watson (18) from Glanamman both come into the series as complete novices. Hunt aims to do as much rallying as possible during the year to get up to speed in the shortest period of time, whilst Watson is an ex-motocross Star who hopes to make a name for himself in the rallying world.

Prior to the first round competitors will have the opportunity to take part in a pre-season test/training event organised by series promoters M-Sport. Drivers will get the chance to test their car at Greystoke Forest on the Thursday before the event and then on Friday undertake a series of workshop based exercises hosted by a number of rally specialists including MSA British Rally Elite tutor Glenn Paterson and current WRC co-driver Scott Martin. The day is aimed to help competitors understand what is needed to succeed in rallying away from simply the driving aspect.

The FST will again have a prize fund in excess of £18,000, with £750 for the winner of each round down to £75 for eighth place. The winner at the end of the series will have the opportunity to compete on the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge - The UK RAC MSA Rally of Scotland in an M-Sport prepared Fiesta R2 rally car. The top finisher in the championship as well as one “wildcard” will have the opportunity to compete in the FST International Shootout with a chance to win a year’s placement with M-Sport.

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson, said:
“As the Fiesta SportTrophy enters it’s fourth season, again with fantastic support from our long term partner, Steve Perez, we are delighted that once again we have the cream of the best young drivers from the UK and Ireland competing in Fiestas. With a new crop of drivers to challenge the old guard it looks like another close fought season. I will be out myself on the first round of the series to get a good look at who is likely to set the pace and we look forward to following their progress over the course of year”

Forde gearing-up for Malcolm Wilson Rally

Posted: February 27, 2009 9:53 AM

Galway driver Ross Forde is gearing-up for the opening round of the Fiesta SportTrophy, the Malcolm Wilson Rally, a week on Saturday (7 March).

Forde is contesting a full season in the series this year in his Motorsport Ireland and Irish Sports Council-backed M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta with the support of Global Group Ireland as his prize for winning the 2008 Billy Coleman Award.

The 25-year-old will be joined by experienced Isle of Man-based co-driver Rob Fagg as Forde’s regular navigator, his younger brother Arron, could not commit to the weekend.

The pair warmed-up for the forthcoming event by contesting Sunday’s (22 February) Nenagh-based Birr Stages Rally and it was not just the first time the crew sat together in a car but it was also Forde’s debut behind the wheel of a Fiesta.

Unfortunately they failed to finish due to a mechanical problem but over the next week Forde will be spending time testing ahead of the Malcolm Wilson.

He has never competed on the 45-mile Cumbria-based forest gravel event but is aiming to get off to a strong start in the championship.

“I’m really looking forward to the opening round and to getting back out onto the gravel,” he said.

“Although it’s an event I’ve never done before I’m feeling pretty confident and just want to begin the season well with a good result. It’s going to be tough as there’s a lot of good drivers in the series but we’ll be trying hard from the off.

“I got a bit used to the Fiesta on the Birr Stages although the mechanical problems meant I didn’t get a full feel to it. Rob and I got on well and I’m pleased he’s on board for the event.”

List of Entries Received

Posted: February 27, 2009 9:51 AM

Regulations available

Posted: January 27, 2009 1:00 PM






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