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Sunseeker Rally - 27 Feb 10

Posted: November 7, 2010 9:02 PM - 16127 Hits

Round 1 - 2010 MSA ANCRO Gravel Rally Championship

Poole Tourism award for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: November 7, 2010 9:02 PM

Following its first ever visit to the nearby town of Poole this year for the start of Rallye Sunseeker, the rally has scooped a prestigious award in recognition of Tourism Promotion following the recent Sibbert Gregory Poole Tourism Awards.

Jonathan Sibbett, Director at Sibbett Gregory, said:
“We are extremely proud Rallye Sunseeker came to Poole this year and we are continually inspired by the strength of businesses, organisations and individuals who make a key contribution to the reputation for quality synonymous with Poole. These businesses and events play an important part in making the town attractive not just to visitors and residents but to people wanting to invest and grow in this vibrant town. The Palms is a fantastic way to acknowledge those businesses and individuals who have invested both their enthusiasm and commitment to play their full part in Poole’s reputation for excellence.”

Rallye Sunseeker took the category for Tourism Promotion of the year with the event attracting over 7000 thousand people to Poole Quay and gave Poole a superb out of season event, at a traditionally quiet time of the year. With a line up featuring teams from across the UK, Ireland, Iceland and Europe the prestigious Rallye Sunseeker bought the world’s motor sport elite to Poole Quay for a unique ceremonial start and parade, giving visitors and residents a fantastic chance to see world-class motor sport up close and all for free. Next year the event has gained British Championship status and will be the opening round of the Dulux British Rally Championship.

Bruce Grant-Braham, Chairman of the Poole Tourism Management Board, said:
“We are thrilled that in this difficult economic climate businesses have continued to invest and develop showing their confidence in our town. Poole businesses are leading the way but we can never be complacent about just what this level of dedication and investment means for the town in terms of jobs, facilities and reputation which benefit residents and visitors alike.”

Rally Investigation - Conclusion and Agreement

Posted: April 1, 2010 2:50 PM

Following an incident on Rallye Sunseeker 2010 when a fire appliance from Dorset Fire & Rescue Service accessed a live special stage, the organisers with the assistance of the Forestry Commission, Dorset Police and Dorset Fire & Rescue Service have conducted a thorough investigation.

The Organisers are satisfied that they did everything that was required of them under current MSA regulations and procedures. It is however apparent that internal procedures in DF&RS contributed to a lack of information being available to the local fire station and it is also now known that the Forestry Commission provided keys to forestry gates for DF & RS (a fact the organisers had not been made aware of by Forestry Commission). DF&RS acknowledge that the local station did know of the rally, but that they were under the misapprehension that it had finished for the day when they accessed the forest; they are unable to explain why the fire crew concerned failed to see several regulation size warning notices on the access road used.

For the future DF&RS have agreed to be represented at the Rallye Sunseeker regular Safety Planning/Multi Agency meetings, which they have been unable to do previously, in conjunction with representatives from Dorset Police and South West Ambulance Trust who already attend.

The Motor Sports Association has been provided with the complete results of the investigation.

Rallye Sunseeker Event Director Rick Smith commented
"we are grateful for the time given by representatives of all parties involved, we believe lessons have been learnt which will stand us in good stead for the future. We do however urge other organisers to insure that all the emergency services are involved in safety planning meetings and that they know who has keys to venues used".

Rallye Sunseeker TV Transmission times

Posted: March 29, 2010 9:20 PM

MSA Gravel Rally Championship

Posted: March 1, 2010 3:30 PM

Defending champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery got the defence of their title underway in the best possible fashion with a sensational seventh victory on Rallye Sunseeker held in Bournemouth today.

Driving the Hyundai Accent WRC the pair emerged 33.7 seconds ahead of the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton and co driver Robin Kellard, with former ANCRO champion Steve Perez and co driver Paul Spooner claiming third place a further 13 seconds back on the opening round of the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship.

Dodd, from nearby Poole, overcame the disappointment of retiring on last year's event, and also the drenched Dorset forests this year, to run out a clear winner and apart from a couple of moments during the day his only problem was an errant warning light on the last stage.

Burton, who decided not to register for ANCRO points, brought his crowd-pleasing Peugeot Cosworth home in runner-up spot after Perez, the 2004 national champion, suffered a last stage spin which meant the Chesterfield driver had to settle for third place in his Ford Focus WRC07.

Towcester's Roger Duckworth and co driver Mark Broomfield had a trouble-free run to fourth place in their Subaru WRC, with Paul Bird, from Penrith, and co driver Kirsty Riddick in their Ford Focus WRC08 putting in a brave drive to finish fifth following the death of his mother last week.

Yorkshiremen Jonny Milner and Ian Windress brought their Toyota Corolla WRC home in sixth after a misfire slowed the former double British champion earlier on. Next up was Anthony Willmington, Dave Weston Jnr and Jonny Greer, but none of them were registered for points leaving Co Durham driver Stephen Petch and co driver John Richardson to claim sixth place ANCRO points following their tenth place finish in the Hyundai Accent WRC.

In the Viking Motorsport Ford Escort Challenge, Richard Lane and co driver Frank Richer took the spoils and the Nissan Micra pairing of Ian Barrett and co driver Gavin Wright claimed victory in the 1400cc Cup.

Marcus Dodd:
"It's been a very difficult rally and the stages have been as wet as I've ever known them but to win this event for the seventh time is fantastic. One mile from the end of the last stage the water temperature shot through the roof but it was not a problem in the end and to claim victory on my local event is a great start to the year."

The next event takes place on 23rd/24th April with the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria which is based in Carlisle.

BRAVE BIRD BATTLES TO FIFTH ON RALLYE SUNSEEKER

Posted: February 28, 2010 8:43 PM

Former national rally champion Paul Bird overcame an emotional week to record a fifth place finish on today's Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker.

Bird, from Penrith, lost his mother Isabel to cancer last week but following Thursday's well attended funeral he vowed to contest the opening round of the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship.

Along with Scottish co driver Kirsty Riddick, who was suffering from suspected glandular fever, the Rockstar Energy, www.supercasino.com and Vent-Axia pairing suffered a spin on the opening stage and their problems were compounded two stages later when they lost a minute after going off the road.

Holding sixth position, the Kawasaki Superbike racing team boss clawed back some time in the loop of stages around Wareham at half distance to move into contention but couldn't quite do enough to reduce the deficit to fourth placed Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield. As a result Bird had to settle for fifth place overall on the event and with it, fourth place points in the ANCRO-organised series.

Paul Bird:
"It's been a tough week and I wondered if I should do the event but I'm glad I did. I couldn't concentrate properly but that's not an excuse. I just made too many mistakes early on and from that point we were playing catch up. Kirsty's not been too well today and that's not helped our cause but I'll chill out tonight and have a few beers and look forward to next weekend's Malcolm Wilson Rally."

Bird will be in action on the Cockermouth-based event next Saturday where he is looking to make it an historic fourth win on his home rally.

ANOTHER SUNSEEKER PODIUM FOR PEREZ

Posted: February 28, 2010 8:41 PM

Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez overcame the disappointment of retiring from the event last year to record a superb podium placing on today's Rallye Sunseeker in Bournemouth.

Driving the Ford Focus 07 along with Welsh co driver Paul Spooner, Perez, from Chesterfield, claimed a battling third place overall after 60 challenging stage miles on the opening round of the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship.

However it could have been so much better had the former national and historic rally champion not suffered a problem on the final stage which cost him the second place he had been holding on to for most of the rally.

"I threw it all away on the last stage! We had a minor spin but I accidentally caught the master switch and by the time we'd realised what had happened we'd lost a lot of time. It was our only problem all day long. The car has been great as always and we had a relatively comfortable second place until that happened" said Perez.

Ahead of Perez was mutliple ANCRO champion and seven times Rallye Sunseeker winner Marcus Dodd with the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton edging past Perez for runner-up spot.

Steve's next outing is scheduled for next Saturday where he will be looking to add the Malcolm Wilson Rally title to his Wyedean victory earlier this month.

Media Team finish first in Class on Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 28, 2010 8:39 PM

Hamilton makes successful return to rallying despite tough conditions After a two year break from the co-driving seat, F1 journalist Maurice Hamilton jumped at the chance of competing on the Rallye Sunseeker (26-27 February) alongside Sky Sports presenter Tony Jardine. Rallying an MG ZR the media pairing finished first in class N1 and 30th overall in the Bournemouth-based event, which was also the opening round of the MSA Gravel Rally Championship. Despite no rainfall on Saturday, the poor conditions faced by competitors in the forests around Ringwood meant that stage eight of the rally, Stapehill, was cancelled. Standing water on Stapehill was the reason for the organisers just running ten full stages, with the rally having officially started in Poole on Friday night and finishing the following evening by Bournemouth Pier on the seafront. Delighted with his first in class trophy, Hamilton commented,
“Rallying is a great passion of mine and I always look forward to getting back out there on the stages.

It’s been a fun weekend, and although it was difficult due to the conditions, we just wanted to get stuck in and finish as best as we could. It was fantastic to secure our first in class position. I must say a big thank you to Tony and the ProSpeed team for inviting me to join them once again on a rally.”
Driver and President of the Southern Car Club, Tony Jardine, has competed in numerous Rallye Sunseeker events and said,
“That was actually the toughest Rallye Sunseeker for at least ten years, but it was a great challenge. We were up to our axles in mud on certain parts of the rally and it was the right decision for stage eight to be called off, it would have just taken out too many competitors.” Jardine continued,
“Apart from a small spin on special stage six, we did well to keep our MG on the right tracks. Maurice is one of the best journalist co-drivers there is, and his time keeping, pace note calling and general approach to rallying is brilliant. Our trusty ProSpeed boys, from the York based outfit, did a superb job in service and thanks to Kumho for tyres that handled all the punishment that the event’s rough ground could throw at us! ”

Winning the Rallye Sunseeker for an amazing seventh time was Marcus Dodd, in his Hyundai, finishing 33.7 seconds ahead of Andrew Burton who was competing in the same class.

Sunseeker Round-Up

Posted: February 28, 2010 8:37 PM

At prizegiving in the Marriott Hotel, Bournemouth Marcus Dodd praised the efforts of Co-Driver Andrew Bargery in helping him win his seventh Rallye Sunseeker title. He said
"Andrew was magnificent today, considering the conditions we faced. He called everything spot on, and even when the mid morning stages passed within yards of my own front door, he was calling me to take the correct lines, a great job as usual"

The pair finished back in Bournemouth Town Centre 33. seconds ahead of last minute entry Andrew Burton and Robin Kellard in the newly engined Peugeot Cosworth. Both were delighted on the finish ramp and Andrew said
"Its been a great battle here all day, with both Marcus and Steve, though to be honest we were on a closer battle with Steve than with Marcus. When we left the last service at Canford, we decided on the way to the next stage to give it a real go, and considering all the last minute hassles we had, our team did a great job to get us here"

Global Brands supremo Steve Perez, partnered by Paul Spooner eventually came home third in the Energy Drink Ford Focus WRC 07, rueing a last stage spin which cost him time in his battle with Andy Burton
"I threw it all away on the last stage! We had a minor spin but I accidentally caught the master switch and by the time we'd realised what had happened we'd lost a lot of time. It was our only problem all day long. The car has been great as always and we had a relatively comfortable second place until that happened" said Perez. 

Following Perez home in fourth place was the Subaru WRC of former winner Roger Duckworth, who had a trouble free day partnered by Mark Broomfield. A further 29 seconds behind was Penrith based Paul Bird, who had a troubled day in his Ford Focus WRC 08. Paul said at the finish "Its been a harder event than I intended for loads of reasons y'know, we lost time with a spin on stage 1, tried a different cut of tyre on the second loop to improve our times, but it was just one of those days when it didnt click, and Kirsty and I are happy to be back here safely in fifth place" He went on to say "Its been a good run out really too for the Malcolm Wilson stages next week, and I would be hopeful that we will do well there" Jonny Milner and Ian Windress came home in sixth place in their Merlin International / BF Goodrich sponsored Toyota Corolla having endured a problematical morning in the Dorset Forests, and said at prizegiving last night "The misfire and time we lost this morning really cost us y'know and but for that we could have finished much better, but once we got the misfire sorted or times were good and to be honest happy enough to get back here in once piece considering how slippy it was out there today" Local driver Anthony Wilmington was delighted to back to Bournemouth and a solid 7th place after enduring a day of overheating and tyre issues. Dave Weston Jnr was delighted to win the Production Cup and arrive back in 8th place, in his brand new Gp N Subaru Impreza. Dave said at the Award ceremony last night
"I am over the moon to have won in the car first time out, but then on the way back to Bouremouth myself and Ieuan realised that we had won the Richard Burns Trophy as well as the invite to the Goodwood Festival, so we were delighted with the way the whole trip down here worked out" He went on to say "It has been a good and well run event, but it always is and thats what makes you come here"

Results

Posted: February 28, 2010 8:31 PM

1 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC - 55:02.1
2 Andrew Burton/Robin Kellard - Peugeot Cosworth - 55:35.8
3 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner - Ford Focus WRC - 55:48.8
4 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield - Subaru Impreza WRC - 56:17.5
5 Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick - Ford Focus WRC08 - 56:46.3
6 Jonny Milner/Ian Windress - Toyota Corolla WRC - 57:51.6
7 Anthony Willmington/Andrew White - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6 - 58:21.3
8 Dave Weston Jnr/Ieuan Thomas - Subaru Impreza N2010 - 59:09.0
9 Jonathan Greer/Brian Crawford - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9 - 59:40.4
10 Stephen Petch/John Richardson - Hyundai Accent WRC - 1:00.23.5

Leaders After:
SS1 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner - Ford Focus WRC
SS2-11 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC

Stage Winners:
SS1 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner - Ford Focus WRC
SS2 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS3 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS4 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS5 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS6 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS7 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner - Ford Focus WRC
SS8 - Cancelled
SS9 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS10 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery - Hyundai Accent WRC
SS11 Andrew Burton/Robin Kellard - Peugeot Cosworth


Photo: www.shelbyimages.com

Tony Jardine + Maurice Hamilton come to Bournemouth

Posted: February 25, 2010 4:03 PM

Following a successful 36th place overall on the opening round of the World Rally Championship in Sweden two weeks ago, in a one off drive for Subaru Norway, Jardine was keen to get back in a rally car for Rallye Sunseeker in the UK. However, the car Jardine planned to use was sold days before the entry closed for Rallye Sunseeker - the prestigious opening round of the MSA National Gravel Rally Championship, taking place on 26 - 27 February in Bournemouth. With a tight work schedule on his return from Sweden, Jardine was limited on time to try and source an alternative rally car until his York based ProSpeed team, run by Olly Marshall, stepped in to take up the hunt for a suitable car.

Marshall commented,
“There was nothing ready or available at such short notice until I started squeezing all my contacts but finally we located a car at the last minute near my own back yard, a 1400cc MG ZR with 115 bhp, which will be a bit of a contrast to the powerful 300 bhp four wheel drive Subaru Tony was using on Rally Sweden a couple of weeks ago! At least we can welcome Maurice back after a last minute find.”

Maurice Hamilton can now be reunited with Tony Jardine after two years, following their successful Donegal International Rally exploits in a full WRC specification Skoda Octavia which was a challenge for the duo on the fast sweeping coastal tarmac stages on the Irish coast. The MG ZR they will campaign on Rallye Sunseeker has a third of the power but is similar to the works MG machine with which the duo finished 35th overall and won their class in the World Rally Championship Wales Rally GB in 2003. Hamilton and Jardine were then team- mates to Gwyndaf Evans, former British Rally Champion and have always enjoyed success together.

The pair had promised each other another team outing since the Donegal but each time work got in the way. “It has been disappointing not to team up for so long but each time something clashed or got in the way, this time we nearly didn’t have a car! However, I am pleased Olly Marshall of ProSpeed kept up the search and I look forward to working with his professional team again. Tony and I have already made a plan, we aim to win the class. I don’t like to miss the Sunseeker, even if I am not competing I try to come along and spectate, it’s such a great event”, said Hamilton of Cranleigh Surrey, “it will be great to be back in the co driving seat and get some practice in, especially as we may go to Donegal again this summer.”

For Tony Jardine who runs a successful media communications company, Jardine International, and works with Sky Sports as their motor sport correspondent, Rallye Sunseeker has particular significance. He is the President of the Southern Car Club (SCC) and Rallye Sunseeker is the club’s premier event of the season. “It always gives me a great amount of pride that the Southern Car Club, through Rick Smith and his team, do such a great job. Their attention to detail is a model for many other events to follow, so to compete in it is a pleasure, I think this will be my 20th event in Bournemouth.”
The ProSpeed team will again work with Kumho Tyres, Alpinestars and Arai Helmets as team suppliers.
Maurice Hamilton is one of the most successful journalist co-drivers in the sport. Together with Jardine he has notched up a variety of class wins, including at WRC level whilst also winning the classic RAC Rally with Russell Brooks in a Porsche in 1997. He is also a prolific author, his books on Eddie Jordan, Williams F1 and the definitive book about the RAC Rally represent just some of his work whilst he has also been an F1 journalist for the Guardian, Observer and BBC Radio 5 Live over a sustained period of time. The media duo have finished Rallye Sunseeker together before but Jardine’s best on the Rallye Sunseeker was 14th overall in 1997 with fellow SCC member and Club Vice President, Louise Goodman.

Andy Burton places last minute entry for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 24, 2010 5:41 PM

It has just been confirmed that Andy Burton and Robin Kellard have placed their entry for this weekends Rally Sunseeker. After enduring Engine Block problems on the Wyedean, which almost put an end to any hopes of contesting the event, they have burned much midnight oil to ensure that they will be in Bournemouth this weekend.

Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker, Andy said
"We only fired the car up at lunchtime today and it ran first time. We have worked hard to get it ready and make sure that we get to Bournemouth for Friday. It's a great event and although we are all tired here, we are looking forward now to a good event"

Andy and Robin will carry car number 33 but will run at Number 8 on the road in place of Richard Cathcart who has withdrawn.

Kenny Plants a sponsor

Posted: February 24, 2010 5:39 PM

Former ANCRO Champion Kenny McKinstry has completed a deal in time for Rallye Sunseeker that will see him carry the logos of one of London and the South East of England's Plant Hire Specialists. This year he will carry the name of GGH Hire based at Enfield in North London. Kenny and co-driver Harvey Bell will drive the ex-Prodrive works Subaru WRC S30WRT.

Speaking this morning to Rallye Sunseeker, Kenny said "The deal came about through a phone call at the end of last week, to be honest, and I am delighted that we will promote Gerry's company this weekend in Bournemouth." Kenny added that should himself and Harvey contest the next round GGH Hire will remain on board as a sponsor.

GGH Hire is a North London based Plant Hire company that Specialise in all types of Plant Hire and speaking to Rallye Sunseeker Gerry Gardiner, one of the Directors said " Its our first venture really into Rally Car sponsorship, but we have sponsored and supported the odd event previously in the South East. We are delighted that we can support Kenny, who as you know has previously won this event and the championship, so we would be hopeful for a good result this weekend." He went on to add " We have grown as a company over the last few years and Rallye Sunseeker is an ideal platform to reach more people in the South East of England, so you never know"

This weekend Kenny will also carry the name of long term sponsors Protec, Triton Showers and VERY VERY Long term sponsor Tom Geraghty Tyres.

Sunseekers Somerley Spectacular

Posted: February 24, 2010 2:02 PM

This time of year is obviously Rallye Sunseeker and the event and rally Stages that go with it.
To most people it's the rally and that's it.
However over the last number of years, the Motorfair held at Somerley Park during the course of Rally Saturday, has continually grown into its own event.
It has turned into a Classic day out in its own right, ably run this year by Annie Roden and the huge number of staff she has persuaded to come on board.

By the time Saturday arrives with us later this week, chances are that there will be more for the Family + Kids to go and see within the confines of the stately Somerley Park.

For those who don't know the Rally visits the Park twice on the Saturday, and literally passes the Earl of Normantons front door.

More Details on:

Turbo Dynamics’ record-breaker line-up for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 23, 2010 3:00 PM

World-renowned turbocharger company Turbo Dynamics is sponsoring Rallye Sunseeker this year and will be headline sponsor of the popular Somerley Park stages in Ringwood.

Turbo Dynamics, aka TD, has announced that it will have a large stand at Somerley Park on Saturday, 27th February. The stand will feature TR Racing’s turbocharged Nissan Skyline, which is now driven by record-breaker Mick Begley, and a new turbocharged Nissan R35 GTR.

Begley used to own the famed ‘Gaijin’ – an 8 second Nissan Skyline GTR fitted with two Turbo Dynamics highly modified & blueprinted GT3542R turbochargers. However, in honour of his recently deceased best friend - Rob Gallagher (‘Tweenie Rob’ of TR Tuning) - Begley is now driving the TR Racing road car.

TR and Begley have big plans for the car this year; hoping to take it to new levels and make it as famous as the Gaijin, which was recently purchased by, TD Dealer, East Coast Customs.

Beautiful TD Girl, Rebecca will be present at the rally as well. Back by popular demand, she will be posing for photographs and handing out TD goodie bags at the Scrutineering sessions on Friday, the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening and at the Ramp Ceremony on Saturday evening.

The lucky winner of the Richard Burns Award will be photographed with Rebecca at the Ramp Ceremony which takes place at Pier Approach in Bournemouth from 5:15pm.

This year will be Turbo Dynamics’ fifth consecutive year of sponsoring the rally.

Spectators Information

Posted: February 22, 2010 9:51 PM

MSA Gravel Rally Championship - STARS SET TO SHINE ON RALLYE SUNSEEKER

Posted: February 21, 2010 9:23 PM

The eagerly anticipated battle for the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship gets underway next weekend when crews from all over the UK as well as further afield converge on the South coast resorts of Bournemouth and Poole for the annual ANCRO season opener as the 25th annual Rallye Sunseeker roars into life.

And with the best entry assembled in recent years, fans on the South Coast's premier motorsport event will be revelling in the atmosphere amidst the Dorset forests.

Six-times event winner and very much the local hero Marcus Dodd from nearby Poole along with co driver Andrew Bargery from just down the coast at Hove, will be looking to win back the crown they relinquished to Isle of Wight Subaru driver Will Nicholls and co driver Nick Broom last year, and given that Nicholls and Broom are not returning to defend their title, the Hyundai Accent WRC pairing will start the event as one of the favourites.

Whereas Dodd is the reigning Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Champion having landed the crown five times in total and the last three times in succession, he faces stiff opposition as heading the challenge will be four former champions who are making a welcome return to the fold.

Twice Rallye Sunseeker winner Roger Duckworth and co driver Mark Broomfield took the Championship honours in 1998 and the driver who lives near Silverstone is back for another crack at the title in his venerable Subaru whereas 2004 ANCRO winner and VK boss Steve Perez from Chesterfield along with co driver Paul Spooner has the ex Marcus Gronholm Ford Focus WRC07 at his disposal and is fresh from winning last weekend's Wyedean Rally. 2005 Champion Paul Bird is back with a vengeance in his works-specification Ford Focus WRC08 and the flamboyant chicken farmer from Penrith has won his last three events in a row along with co driver Kirsty Riddick but like Perez, has never sampled Sunseeker glory. The other winner of the national title to take to the start line is Ulsterman Kenny McKinstry who won the series in 1999 and the Subaru WRC driver will be looking to repeat his win on Rallye Sunseeker of 2002, this time with co driver Harvey Bell on the notes.

The rivalry between Perez and Bird is legendary in Rallye Sunseeker history, but they, as well as Dodd, Duckworth and McKinstry, will be having to look to their rear view mirrors as there are a host of top names expected to be in the mix come Saturday afternoon.

Double British Champion Jonny Milner is reunited with his trusty Toyota Corolla WRC and co driver Ian Windress so could be the dark horse whilst Irish marauders Richard Cathcart/Martin Brady (Subaru WRC) and Jonny Greer (Mitsubishi Evo 9) could spring a surprise. County Durham driver Stephen Petch teams up with John Richardson in their Hyundai Accent WRC and don't rule out local aces Anthony Willmington/Andrew White (Mitsubishi Evo 6) and Scotsman Dave Weston Jnr and Ieuan Thomas in their latest version Subaru. Scandinavian drivers Daniel Sigurdarson and Johannes Gunnarson add to the international ambience in their respective Mitsubishis as part of the shakedown for the upcoming Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge.

Other drivers who could make a splash on the two day event include local motor dealer Steve Hendy (Ford Focus WRC), BTRDA front runner Alex Allingham (Subaru) and the similar cars of Tristan Pye and Wug Utting plus there's a legendary MG Metro 6R4 competing in the hands of Stuart Larbey which is always a crowd favourite.

Strength in depth in the various classes is the outcome of some radical restructuring of the championship over winter and around 70 crews will be doing battle for honours including the Viking Motorsport Ford Escort Challenge, 1400cc Cup, Super 2000 Cup and Land & Range Rover Cup, Richard Burns Trophy and Manufacturer's award which should make a great spectacle to entertain the huge crowds expected on the South coast.

Throw in the cosmopolitan mix of 72-years-young veteran Harry Dodd (Hyundai Accent WRC) competing in his back yard, fast ladies Shelley Taunt and Sara Williams, both driving Subarus, and the iconic Lancia Delta Integrale Evo of Rod Bennett, and the scene is set for a typically exciting curtain raiser to the National rally scene.

With the traditional Friday evening Winter Gardens and Seafront stage not included this year, the event gets underway with a pompous ceremonial start at Poole Quayside at 18.15 on Friday, before the event proper starts on Saturday morning with the traditional loops around the forests and stately homes of Ringwood and Wareham before the winners' champagne is uncorked in Bournemouth town centre around 17.30.

Sunseekers Police Partnership

Posted: February 21, 2010 9:16 PM

Rallye Sunseeker continues to thrive due to a range of successful partnerships. There are many commercial partners without whom the event would never run and the 25 year partnership with the Forestry Commission and Somerley Estates ensures that the event has unique access to southern England’s best rally stages. Less obvious, but equally important, are the partnerships with the local emergency services such as the South West Ambulance Service Trust and Dorset Police.

Nowhere else in the UK does a rally work so closely with the local police to ensure a safe event and promote road safety. Certainly, it is the only rally in the country where a police car is used as one of the official safety cars.

The Dorset Police Land Rover Discovery travelling ahead of the rally cars will be crewed by Inspector Shaun Cronin of Dorset Police and Rallye Sunseeker Safety Manager, Neil Roden. As a highly trained police driver as well as a rally competitor, Shaun is the ideal person to undertake this role.

“Rallye Sunseeker brings tens of thousands of spectators out onto Dorset’s roads”, says Cronin. “The rally organisers have always worked closely with my Police colleagues to ensure the minimum of traffic disruption and that people arrive safely, watch safely, and get home safely. With the Safety Manager for the event sat alongside me both the organisers and Dorset Police are better able to monitor people’s safety and react more effectively should there be an incident of any kind”.

Although he has to endure quips that he’s “helping the police with their enquiries”, Rallye Sunseeker Safety Manager Neil Roden is equally enthusiastic about this unique partnership,
“We have an enviable level of co-operation with Dorset Police” says Roden, “And this is mirrored in the support we also get from the South West Ambulance Service Trust. While incidents are rare and Rallye Sunseeker has a dedicated teams of doctors, paramedics, rescue crews and recovery vehicles ready to respond, the county ambulance and air ambulance are already briefed and on stand-by should they be needed.”

Despite all this, none of us should forget the wording on the back of the car park ticket and the signs as you approach special stages, “Warning – Motor sport can be dangerous”. So if you want to see rally cars behind the Dorset Police Land Rover make sure that you’re behaving sensibly and not standing in a dangerous place. If you are, the stage won’t run. It’s that simple because we will not compromise Rallye Sunseeker’s excellent safety record.

Help us to keep it that way through your actions on the special stages and your driving to and from those stages. We want you to enjoy your day, arrive home safely, and come back next year.

Sunseekers 12th year

Posted: February 16, 2010 2:58 PM

Sunseeker International, the world’s largest privately owned yacht builder, will be continuing its long standing commitment to the National Rally Championship as official sponsor for the 12th year running.

The prestigious Rallye Sunseeker, taking place on 26th and 27th February in Dorset, will see the world’s motor sport elite brought to Poole Quay – home to Sunseeker’s shipyards – where a unique ceremony and parade will open the rally. A Sunseeker Yacht will be on display at the quay from 6.00pm- 8.00pm.

Expected to attract up to 10,000 spectators, Rallye Sunseeker 2010 will be showcasing all the competing cars during the ceremonial start at Poole Quay from 6.15pm on Friday 26th with the Mayor of Poole flagging the cars off from 7.30pm.

Enthusiasts will also be able to view the cars before the rally at the Littledown Leisure Centre in Bournemouth on Friday 26th February where the competing cars will undergo inspection for the rally. The event itself, known to be the biggest rally staged in the South, will take place on Saturday 27 February in Wareham Forest, Ringwood Forest and Somerley Park, near Ringwood.

A motorfair will be held at Somerley Park which will include catering, hospitality, a classic car display, a Pirelli Rally simulator as well as an F1 simulator, a display of Richard Burns cars, a Sunseeker XS Challenger, and a fun fair and farmer’s market.

The ceremonial finish will take place at 17.30 hours in the presence of the Mayor of Bournemouth at the Pier Approach in Bournemouth.

Seeded Entry List Available

Posted: February 16, 2010 2:20 PM

RALLYE SUNSEEKER boosts the local economy on the South Coast

Posted: February 11, 2010 2:10 PM

Last year's Rallye Sunseeker car rally injected at least £718,000 into the local Dorset economy according to an economic impact pilot study undertaken by the Motor Sport Research Group of Bournemouth University.

A sample of 600 competitors, officials and spectators polled through questionnaires, many of which were completed online, revealed what each had individually spent on food and drink in Dorset and also with accommodation providers, such as hotels and bed and breakfast businesses. The research also revealed travel costs of petrol and fares as well as expenditure such as car parking. It turned out that the competitors and their teams were by far the biggest spenders.

Dr Bruce Grant-Braham, Director of the Motor Sport Research Group said,
"Rallye Sunseeker is a major boost to Dorset's economy at a traditionally quiet time of the year".

BU Lecturer and Motors Sport Research Group member, Paul Boyce, said,
"We have actually taken a conservative approach to the figures as estimating the total number of spectators in Dorset's forests is not an exact science. Our research intention is to develop a reliable model for gauging the contribution that motor sport events such as Rallye Sunseeker bring to destinations. We are grateful to the Rallye Sunseeker organisers who have helped us considerably in our quest to develop such a research model."

The pilot study established that the majority of the event's spectators came from within the local BH postcode area with a sizeable number travelling for about two hours from locations such as Reading, Oxford, Southampton, Portsmouth, Exeter and London. A small number of dedicated rally fans came from as far afield as Newcastle and Glasgow to the South Coast specifically for Rallye Sunseeker 2009.

The Rallye Sunseeker organisers already generously provide placement opportunities for BU students within the event's operational team of 1200 officials" said Bruce Grant-Braham. "That Rallye Sunseeker 2010 and Bournemouth University continue to work together provides a Win - Win situation for everyone involved".

Rick Smith, Rallye Sunseeker Event Director commented
" We have always been certain in our own minds of the economic value of the event to the region, to have that quantified by this robust research by Bournemouth University is excellent news. However for us to be able to continuously deliver these benefits we need continued financial support from local government and business"

More WRC Enter Rally

Posted: February 8, 2010 12:56 PM

With the entry date fast closing in for this year’s Rallye Sunseeker the organizers have seen a flurry of entries in the last few days. Entries have come in from Jonny Milner, Marcus Dodd, , Harry Dodd and Roger Duckworth and all are campaigning World Rally Cars.

Jonny Milner + Ian Windress
Jonny returns to the British rally scene again, having purchased the car he previously won the British Championship in from Glen Allen.
A double winner, Jonny and co-driver Ian Windress will start Rallye Sunseeker as certain favourites to win the event. Last year Jonny won the Toyota Sprint series, while Ian won the Manx National sitting alongside Paul Bird.

Marcus Dodd + Andrew Bargery
Marcus and Andrew return to the forests of Bournemouth and Poole once again in the HPM Motorsport prepared Hyundai Accent WRC. A multiple National champion, Marcus may not actually be seen on the stages that much this year, as he has qualified to represent Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships for his age group. Last years champion told Rallye Sunseeker that he was looking forward to this years event "I know its my local event, but every year we compete we have a different kind of event, and this year the entry list is shaping up really well. It will be nice to battle again with Kenny, and of course Jonny Milner will be here,along with the Likes of Steve Perez, Paul Bird and of course Roger, it could be the best battle in years in these forests y'know"

Harry Dodd + Alun Cook
Harry and Alun will return to the stages this year to compete in their Hyundai Accent WRC. Prepared by the family Motorsport business, Harry is hoping for his best ever finish on Rallye Sunseeker. Its hard to believe that Harry has only been rallying for 8 years, as anyone who has seen him compete will tell you that at high speed its hard to tell whether its him or Marcus driving the car, such is his level of commitment. Married to Pat, famous for her catering expertise, Harrys other hobby is Farming. Alun is no stranger to the ANCRO Championships having sat beside many top line National drivers over the last few years.

Roger Duckworth + Mark Broomfield
Roger Duckworth returns to Rallye Sunseeker this year, once again with Mark Broomfield in the co-drivers seat. With both of them vague on how long they have been rallying all they will say is "been rallying for a very long time", they will certainly be amongst the favourites for a good result on this years event. A previous Championship winner, Roger will compete in his ex-Juha Kankunnen Subaru WRC. This year will be Rogers 20th Rallye Sunseeker, and they are hoping for a good event. Mark meanwhile is a two time Championship co-driver.

Full List of Entries recieved to date at:

Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge endorses Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 3, 2010 2:19 PM

The Organisers of Rallye Sunseeker are pleased to announce that the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is utilising their event as its Official Shakedown Rally for 2010. Although there are no series points up for grabs for Evo Challenge competitors, Mitsubishi teams are encouraged to enter and get their season off to a high profile start.

They will also have a chance to test their cars against some of the best Production Cup drivers in the country, but they also have a very real chance of winning the new Richard Burns Trophy and the £1000 cash prize but also booking a guaranteed place at Goodwood Festival of Speed Rally Stage.

Rallye Sunseeker Event Director Rick Smith commented:
”Our event has been the opening round of the Mitsubishi Series for almost all if its 10 years, so it is fitting that once again we will lead the way.”

In reply Simon Slade, the Evolution Challenge Manager said:
”Our annual trip to the South Coast at the start of the season has become a tradition with the Evolution Challenge. The Rallye Sunseeker one of the best promoted rallies in the UK and therefore its a great event at which to launch our season.”

As this announcement is so close to the closing date, Rally Organisers have agreed that there will be no late entry fee penalty for registered Evolution Challenge contenders;

Sunseeker Stage sponsor enters Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 1, 2010 2:44 PM

Through his Wimborne based company SCF Hardware, Les Harrogate not only has entered this year's Rallye Sunseeker as co-driver for Matt Thorne, he has also decided to sponsor both of the Ringwood North spectator stages on this year's event.

In the last 10 years, Les has only missed one Sunseeker event as a competitor and as he explained earlier this week to Rallye Sunseeker
"Yeah I have only missed one Rallye Sunseeker, and that was because of an argument with a Ski slope a few years back." He went on to add "Its my local event y'know and until recently had only competed, but I started to see some of the advantages of getting involved as a sponsor for the business SCF Hardware. Last year was a bit of a try out really, but the feedback we got during the rally and certainly afterwards through the year as a local supplier encouraged me to come back again." He went on to say "I actually like the Ringwood stages as a competitor, but the whole event here in the South is a good way to start the year"

Matt on last years Sunseeker

Les has previously finished 3rd in class, 7th overall on the 2001 World Cup Rally as well as 1st in Class on the 2006 Rallye Sunseeker event.

Matt and Les will be out in a Mk II Ford Escort, only joined forces to compete together in the middle of last year. Both were actually contemplating calling time on their respective paths in motorsport, but a chance meeting led them to "try out a few events together for a laugh, and we'll see how it goes" and the result of this is that they will be out together in time for this year's Sunseeker.

Matt, a local builder paid tribute also to Goldstar Onboard Ltd and to John Dunham for their continued support and involvement as well as their In-Car cameras and was hopeful of a good run on this year's event. Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker he said "This will be my third Sunseeker, and I think Les' ninth or tenth but we are going to look at continuing in the ANCRO championship with the incentives they have, as the whole thing looks good, but let's get Sunseeker out of the way first"

Steve Perez for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: January 24, 2010 8:54 PM

Steve Perez will be returning to Bournemouth once again this February for Rallye Sunseeker; fresh from a superb 3rd overall on the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally in December. Using his more familiar, Kick Energy sponsored, ex Marcus Gronholm Ford Focus 2007 WRC Steve, will once again team up for this year’s event with Raglan based Paul Spooner on the notes.

Once again Tim Ashton and BTR Preparations will run the car, the same team that ran his Safari historic Datsun 260Z and of whom Steve said at the finish of that event “A massive thanks to Tim and the whole of the BTR team as the car has been perfect and ran faultless throughout.” This kind of preparation bodes well for his attempt at this year’s Rally Sunseeker.

Steve, the 2004 ANCRO National Rally Champion as well as the 2003 British Historic Rally Champion told Rallye Sunseeker “ I am looking forward to getting down to Bournemouth for the opening round. It’s a good event, and very ably run although it is a little bit different to East Africa where I was last competing” he laughed

He went on to say “the forests are always in good condition, but it will be interesting to see what they will be like after all the recent bad weather we have had” He continued by saying “Hopefully now the likes of Marcus, Roger and Birdy will be down as well, and its good to see Kenny come back over for a run once again, to add to the competition, on top of that I want to beat Birdy, I mean we finished higher than him on a WRC event by completing Rally GB, and it’s the usual thing of the loser out of us pays for the Champagne all night at FYEO in Bournemouth and I have not paid there for years, so Yeah I am really looking forward to February ”

Steve Perez, as chairman of Global Brands will be well represented on Rallye Sunseeker, with VKTV once again covering the event on the Friday in Poole and naturally on the Saturday Stages, they will also be in evidence at the Saturday Spectator Stage at Somerley Park with the Kick Energy merchandising girls and on hand to spice up proceedings.

Also speaking to Rallye Sunseeker, was co-driver Paul Spooner who added “ We are not too sure of our plans after Sunseeker, but we are possibly looking at the BRC Historic championship in the Stratos, but the thing is we are coming to Bournemouth and we are one up already on Birdy in that we have our entry in before him. So already he is trying to catch Steve and myself up y’know”

When asked about the changes to the rally format he said” Makes no difference at all about the Friday, the rally will be won on the stages, and again the organizers have provided us with a challenging event to compete on and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. It’s the competition that we are after and the battles with the likes of Marcus, Paul and Roger and of course Kenny is coming over from Northern Ireland, and bringing Richard Cathcart too, so it is shaping up to be a really good days rallying down in Bournemouth.”

Where to spectate for Rallye Sunseeker 2010

Posted: January 24, 2010 8:52 PM

Friday 26th February.
Scrutineering, Littledown Centre, Bournemouth 11.00am-4.00pm.
Gives you the chance to see the competing cars up close as they undergo technical inspection for the rally. There will be full commentary and driver interviews, as well as the opportunity to buy the official souvenir programme and car park tickets for the following day.
Admission is £3 per person.

Ceremonial Start, Poole Quay, from 6pm.
New for 2010 all the competitors with their cars will be on display on Poole Quay. The Mayor of Poole will flag cars off from 7.30pm. See a magnificent Sunseeker super yacht, the VK bus, merchandising stalls and visit the pubs, bars and restaurants

Saturday 27th February.
9am - competitors leave the service area at Elliotthire Canford Arena for stages in the Wareham and Ringwood forests as well as Somerley Park.

Sunseeker comes to Poole

Posted: January 24, 2010 8:51 PM

One of the UK’s most spectacular motor sport events is coming to Poole for the first time.

With a line up featuring teams from across the UK, Ireland, Iceland and Europe, the prestigious Rallye Sunseeker brings the world’s motor sport elite to Poole Quay for a unique ceremonial start and parade on Friday 26 February.

Kicking off a weekend of exhilarating motor sport in style, Poole Quay will be closed to traffic as the best cars, drivers and teams in the business arrive on Poole’s continental quayside from 6.15pm onwards for a fabulous line up. Drivers will take to their vehicles at 7.30pm for the Ceremonial start of the rally, with each car leaving the starting blocks at 30 second intervals, flagged off by the Mayor of Poole Cllr Rev Charles Meachin. The only free event in the programme will see competitors from 16 classes on display ranging from state of the art World Rally Cars to historic vehicles plus six identical Land Rover Wolfs from the Armed Forces Rally Team.

Enthusiasts will also be able to view the cars before the rally at Littledown Leisure Centre on Friday 26th February where the technical details of the cars are checked and verified with the event itself taking place on Saturday 27 February in Wareham Forest, Ringwood Forest and Somerley Park, near Ringwood. Tickets are available from the event website.

The rally will see reigning national rally champion Marcus Dodd with co-driver Andrew Bargery hoping to win with their Poole based Hyundai World Rally Championship car.

Bruce Grant Braham, Chairman of Poole Tourism Partnership, said: “This event is a great opportunity for novices and enthusiasts to quiz drivers about these fabulous vehicles and the driving techniques needed to compete at the highest level in this thrilling sport. We are delighted they have chosen to come to Poole and I hope everyone makes the most of this fantastic chance to see world class motor sport up close and personal – all for free.”

For the first time a new trophy and £1000 prize has been introduced in memory of the late Richard Burns a former World Rally Champion. The prize and trophy are designed to raise funds for and the profile of the Richard Burns Foundation which supports those who have suffered serious or life threatening injuries, particularly in motor sport.

Event Director Rick Smith, said: “Our title sponsor for the past 12 years, Sunseeker International is a major part of Poole life, what better place to start Rallye Sunseeker than on Poole’s vibrant Quay.”

For more information on the event visit

Sunseeker raises the Flag

Posted: January 24, 2010 8:49 PM

The Chequered Flag Team are going to sea, for the 2010 Rallye Sunseeker and will be raising funds for The Royal National Lifeboat Institute. What could be more in keeping than having a prestige event sponsor in Sunseeker Powerboats and the RNLI, both important organisations working on the water. The difference being the RNLI relies on charity support to carry out its operations and save lives on a daily basis. As Poole will be playing a part in the 2010 event it is very appropriate because the Poole lifeboat is essential to this area.

The objective is to raise funds by selling ‘Chequered Squares’ on the rally car to local businesses, car club members, friends and colleagues, each bought square will then have the name or logo of the supporter on it. This is a similar scheme to 2008 when the team raised some £2,500.00 for local children’s charities

The basic team remains similar to 2008, the black Peugeot 106 has had extensive work completed since it last event and will be polished and ready for Rallye Sunseeker 2010. Driver John Flippance lives in Alderholt an area the rally passes through on its route. He is long term Southern Car Club member and has also for many years been part of the stage set-up crew. John, his wife Claire and others have been responsible for the set-up of the Somerley stages for many years and he is hoping to improve on his 2008 result when broken suspension finished his rally just before he entered the Somerley stage. We have a new co-driver for 2010, Amelia Davidson is a Witney Motor Club member. She is new to special stage rallying but is very keen to gain experience and enjoy the event. The service and assistance crew will include Miles Horne who has a Peugeot preparation business ‘Pug Racing.com’ in Alderholt, Dave Morgan will look after the service area and Southern Car Club members Tony Bird and Neil Boxall who are part of their own N-Sport Rally Team will be on hand to oversee the success of the event.

 The team have the support of The RNLI with this appeal. John’s daughter Emily is a member of the young RLNI supporters and she has enlisted the help of ‘Stormy Sam’ the RLNI junior mascot at the Poole Quay start on the Friday night.

RICHARD BURNS REMEMBERED WITH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

Posted: January 19, 2010 2:22 PM

As part of the Richard Burns Foundation activities at Somerley Park, on Rallye Sunseeker - Saturday 27th February, the organisers are putting on a grand Concours d’elegance especially for owners of RB5 and RB320 limited edition Subaru’s. This will be judged by Richard’s co-driver Robert Reid, top motor sport journalist Jerry Williams, Richards father Alex Burns and other celebrities.

The winner will receive not only the coveted Rob Arthur trophy – presented in memory of the Southern Car Clubs late President – but also a special edition Robert Reid

Co-driver watch, kindly donated by Fast Time. As Robert Thacker the MD of Fast Time commented “the Robert Reid watch is used by many competitors in the WRC, so we are pleased to help support the Richard Burns Foundation in this way”

FULL REFUNDS!

Posted: January 19, 2010 2:21 PM

The Organisers of Rallye Sunseeker are offering a hand of friendship to competitors in these difficult financial times. Accepted and paid entrants who have to withdraw any time up until the late closing date (noon on Friday 19th Friday 2010) will have their Entry Fee REFUNDED IN FULL.

Event Director Rick Smith made plain his views “it’s a hard world out there at the moment, we are all feeling the financial pinch, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to help competitors plan their rallying; so a crew can now enter Rallye Sunseeker knowing that if they lose their job, have a vehicle blow up, or suffer any other financial problem – we will send them ALL their money back”

You can enter on-line at

BTRDA Champion for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: January 17, 2010 1:06 PM

Stalybridge driver Alex Allingham, co driven by Mark Glennerster will compete on the Rallye Sunseeker for the first time in 2010. Stepping up to the ANCRO Championship, the BTRDA N4 champion is looking forward to the challenge of longer events and the chance to compete alongside the countries best drivers in WRC and GPN cars. The Hankook backed driver speaking to Rallye Sunseeker said, "Its the first ANCRO event for me so I am looking forward to challenge and I have heard that the Sunseeker is such a well run event we are really looking forward to it. The added bonus of £ 1000 and the Richard Burns trophy is a great incentive to Group N competitors like my self to come down to Bournemouth and give it a go" Following on he added, The other thing is we have just heard about the invite to Goodwood for the winners of the Production Cup to compete on the Rally Stage, and I mean to go there would be something else..."

This year as well as concentrating on the ANCRO Championship, they have plans to enter Rally GB, in their ex-Prodrive Subaru, and are hopeful that some of their colleagues from the BTRDA will goin them on this years ANCRO campaign.

Co-Driver Mark Glennerster went on to say "Yes its a step up for us, but we want to try different events and championships and the format of the Championship this year suits the way we want to go Rallying. We have both heard good reports about Rallye Sunseeker, and we are really looking forward to getting into the forests in the South of England come February"

Goodwood shines for Gp N Winner on Sunseeker

Posted: January 15, 2010 12:03 PM

The top Production Cup driver on Rallye Sunseeker 2010 will not only win the new, coveted Richard Burns Trophy + £1000 cash, but will also be further honoured with an invitation to attend - and drive their car - on the tough Forest Rally Stage at Goodwood Festival of Speed [July 2-4]

Jarrah Venables, the Motorsport Competitions Secretary at Goodwood commented
"Rallye Sunseeker is recognised as a major motor sport event in its own right and as Goodwood supports the Richard Burns Foundation, we thought this would be a great way to enhance that support while bringing a prize winning driver to the Festival of Speed"

Rallye Sunseeker Event Director Rick Smith had this to say
"Southern Car Club is proud to organise not only Rallye Sunseeker, but also assist with the Forest Rally Stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, so with the help of Goodwood we are now able to further reward a talented driver and also remember how much Richard Burns contributed to the aspirations of such a driver today"

RALLYE SUNSEEKER HISTORIQUE

Posted: January 7, 2010 3:38 PM

RALLYE SUNSEEKER HISTORIQUE:
A brand new National B permit rally, exclusively for registered contenders in the HRCR Stage Rally Challenge & Mini Cup.

Total stage distance over 35 miles:
using 7 single-usage, all gravel forestry stages, all on 1 day

Running ahead of the main Nat A RALLYE SUNSEEKER means first usage of ALL stages

Friday afternoon Scrutiny & Documentation indoors at the popular Littledown Centre with commentary & driver interviews for spectators
Somerley Park stately home hosts a spectator stage and the family-friendly Motorfair, welcoming the Richard Burns Foundation with 6 cars from their world-famous Collection, plus classic car displays, trade stands, hospitality, kids activities & demonstration runs.

Canford Park Arena welcomes spectators & crews to the spacious, well-appointed Service Area; competitors will benefit from dedicated car wash and refuelling facilities

NEW Poole Quay Ceremonial Start: a Civic Welcome reception & photocall before being flagged off in style against a picturesque backdrop of waterfront bars & restaurants

For Regulations and Details go to:

Sunseeker WRC's for Kenny McKinstry and Richard Cathcart

Posted: January 7, 2010 3:35 PM

Kenny Mc Kinstry who was the 2001 ANCRO National Rally champion has entered Rallye Sunseeker. He and Harvey Bell will team up to compete in one of Kennys fleet of Subaru WRC's. The Rally Engineer from Banbridge in Northern Ireland has been persuaded by Harvey to come over to Bournemouth and visit the Forests of Bournemouth and Poole Once again. Kenny a former winner of the event itself in 2002 is looking forward to competing on Sunseeker again. Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker, he said
"For the last few years I have actually been at the rally, but normally it is in the role of running the likes of Jon Ingram, Alan Carmichael or Ollie, but it will be good to have a go this year now with Harvey on board" He went on to say
"I like the rally to be honest with you,  whether you are driving or running a car y'know. Its a really well run event and its a nice way to start the year."  

For Harvey Bell, who normally co-drives for Jim Harrison its a chance to perhaps take a look at the MSA Gravel Rally Championship for the rest of the year, but first up for him its Rallye Sunseeker in February with Kenny. Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker on Tuesday Harvey said
"Its something Kenny and I have talked about before, doing a couple of events together and I am looking forward to the rally now in February. I will probably put in an entry for the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria soon, and we will have a serious look at the whole championship for the rest of the year." He went on to add
"Its a good event and fairly local for me coming from South London so it suits really well, and we would be hoping for a good result, as I know Kenny has had some great battles with the likes of Marcus Dodd and Roger Duckworth, so Yeah can't wait really"

Richard Cathcart returns to Bournemouth  
Richard Cathcart, former winner of Group N on Rally Ireland returns to Bournemouth in a McKinstry Motorsport run Subaru WRC. Teaming up once again with Championship winning Co-Driver Martin Brady, himself a recent winner of a prestigious award for services to the Gardai in Ireland, they will begin the event in February as real dark horses for a good result. He is no stranger to winning in a WRC, having won the 2008 Lakeland Stages, a round of the Northern Ireland Championship previously. Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker yeasterday Richard said
"We are coming over because I really like the event. Its a cracking rally, and ok in the past we have a few problems on the event itself, I am looking forward to those forests now in February in a WRC, plus right now with the way the weather is over here, winning that holiday to Cyprus would be nice.....all that sun" When asked about his plans for the rest of the year RIchard said
" We will probably do Galway in the FR Cathcart Home Design Centre sponsored Subaru N12, see how that goes and will take a really good look at the BRC

Kenny McKinstry and Richard Cathcart enter Sunseeker

Posted: January 5, 2010 5:27 PM

List of Entries to date on Event website:

Rallye Sunseeker Recieves first entry for 2010

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:34 AM

Chiristmas saw the entries open for Rallye Sunseeker 2010, and the first one recieved was from the Northern Irish crew of Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont.
Rally Sunseeker holds fond memories for Alan, as a few years ago, aside from one or two sprint events, it was the first grave rally they contested.
This year sees them using the event as a warm up for the Mitsubishi Challenge, which runs within the BRC for 2010.

Speaking to Rallye Sunseeker Alan said "Its a great event, and one which I really enjoy coming over to compete on. Its the furtherest one we would go over to, but I really look forward to going back. I am starting to get to know the stages now, and following our win on Group N on last years Circuit of Ireland and eventual 4th overall in the Mitsubishi Challenge, I reckon we can have a real good effort at trying to lift the Richard Burns trophy come February in Bournemouth." He went on to add "Group N should be a really good event, and the added bonus of the prize fund on offer and the fact of Richards name on the trophy means that Group N could turn out to a classical close battle in the forests"

Richard Burns Trophy / 1400 Cup

Posted: December 13, 2009 1:04 PM

It has been confirmed that the Prize Money on offer for the winner of the Production Cup on next years Sunseeker Rally will receive the Trophy itself and £1000. These awards have been donated by friends of Richard, and the idea is to help raise money and awareness for the efforts and good deeds that the Richard Burns Foundation does throughout the year.

Plans for a Major display of Richards‚ cars that he drove throughout his career are already well advanced. This display will be the prime theme at the Somerley Park stages on the Saturday.

1400 Cup
Incentives for the 1400 cup on next years Rallye Sunseeker have increased dramatically with the confirmation that the top crew to finish will receive a Free entry to the Rallye Touquet Pas de Calais which takes place on the 19th ˆ 21st of March.

More Details:

Rally Winner to Receive a Holiday!

Posted: December 13, 2009 1:03 PM

Rallye Sunseeker are delighted to announce a Major new prize for First overall. Next Years winner will receive a Holiday for Two people for 7 nights, including Flights and Hotel to North Cyprus. This has been kindly donated by North Cyprus Tourism.

More Details:

NEW FORMAT FOR RALLYE SUNSEEKER

Posted: December 13, 2009 1:00 PM

A major rethink by the organising Southern Car Club, mindful of the continuing challenges of the economy, will give the traditional curtain-raiser to Britain’s National rallying calendar, Rallye Sunseeker, a fresh new look when it is staged on Friday and Saturday, February 26/27, 2010. Key changes to the format include a Ceremonial Start in Poole on Friday evening, replacing the tarmac stage on the Bournemouth seafront, while the Finish Ceremony has been moved to Pier Approach in Bournemouth, allowing space for competitors and service crew to join the thousands of spectators who traditionally attend the champagne celebrations.

Benefits for competitors include entry fees REDUCED from 2009, offering cheaper cost per mile, with the discounted two-wheel-drive entry fee still in place, plus the introduction of the Sunseeker Trophy Rally, to encourage those who suffer an early retirement to restart. Abandoning Friday’s stages removes the need for separate tarmac tyres and suspension, while a later start for scrutineering will also save many crews an extra night of accommodation costs.

Clerk of the Course Robert Pike said:
“To quote American billionaire and stock market legend Warren Buffett: ‘Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.’ And that neatly sums up the approach to our plans for Rallye Sunseeker 2010.
“Ever mindful of the tough economic times that we all face, we knew that, if we were to ask people to invest both precious time and money in Rallye Sunseeker, we had to offer greater value than ever before.
“That didn’t mean slashing mileage or cutting stages left, right and centre to chop 50 or 100 quid off the entry fee - that would have just cheapened the event and offered less for less! Rather, it meant maximising the enjoyment and minimising the costs wherever possible; that way, we could offer the best value for money . . . to competitors, officials, spectators and, of course, our sponsors.
“In some places, we have trimmed costs without, we believe, diluting the enjoyment; in other places, we have endeavoured to improve the show, without increasing the cost.”

Key elements of Rallye Sunseeker 2010 are these:
total stage distance remains at 60 miles of forestry roads: for the first time, all are gravel stages, and will all run in one day
entry fees REDUCED from 2009, offering cheaper cost per mile
discounted two-wheel-drive entry fee maintained, to support clubmen running further down the field
Friday night tarmac stages abandoned: no need for competitors to source separate tarmac tyres and suspension
start of Friday scrutineering and documentation put back:
potentially, this saves teams from further afield the cost of Thursday night accommodation . . . or might encourage them to switch to Saturday, and stay for the Awards Ceremony
the two stages at Somerley Park remain:
the grounds of this stately home provide one of British rallying’s most family-friendly venues, with displays, activities and demonstration runs.
As usual, the organisers are working on one or two surprises to keep everyone entertained throughout the day . . .

Friday afternoon’s scrutineering and documentation will once again be staged at the popular Littledown Centre, with commentary and driver interviews for spectators
spectators will also be welcome at the highly-acclaimed Service Area, once again in the spacious and well-appointed Canford Park Arena; competitors will benefit from dedicated car wash and refuelling facilities

New elements for 2010 are:
the Sunseeker Trophy Rally:
competitors who retire from the main event early on will be encouraged to return for more action, rather than head home for ‘an early bath’
the Ceremonial Start on Poole Quay: with a Civic Welcome Reception,
Competitor Briefing and Group Photocall, Friday evening promises an electric atmosphere in the bars and restaurants along the picturesque quayside, as the entire field gathers to kick off the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship in style
the Finish Ceremony on Pier Approach:
the climax of Rallye Sunseeker 2010 is moving, with the final regroup for competitors adjacent on the seafront, not at final service.
These changes will give competitors and service crews the opportunity to join the thousands of spectators who turn out for the champagne celebrations

Summarising the changes, Pike added:
“We’re confident that the 2010 event is shaping up to be the best-ever Rallye Sunseeker. But, at the end of the day, its success is down to everyone who participates, whatever role he or she chooses to fulfil. We very much hope to see many familiar faces, be they competitors, officials or spectators, in February.”

Event Website

Posted: December 13, 2009 12:56 PM

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