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International Rally of Yorkshire (Trackrod) - 26 Sep 09

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:59 PM - 12023 Hits

Round 6 - 2009 British Rally Championship
Round 8 - 2009 MSA ANCRO Gravel Rally Championship
Round 8 - 2009 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Round 7 - 2009 Fiesta Sporting Trophy UK
Round 8 - 2009 UK Evolution Challenge

  • Cronin/Shinnors win Rally and 2009 BRC!

Photo: Ray Gavin

BRC Video Clip

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:59 PM

Fiesta SportTrophy UK - Boyd claims the final victory of 2009!

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:56 PM

The seventh and final round of the 2009 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy took place over the weekend at the International Rally Yorkshire. The event gave the competing crews 45 miles of fast dusty stages. With championship winner Craig Breen (18) from Waterford and navigator Gareth Roberts not competing at the event it left the door open to the other championship contenders to seal the final victory of the year. At the end of a beautiful sunny day it was John Boyd (22) from Edinburgh and navigator Fred Bell who would take their first outright victory in their first year of competition, a great achievement.

The FST event consisted of four stages, the first of which was the 14 miles of Langdale. Kris Hall (19) from Appleby and navigator Robbie Durant would be the first crew into the stage as they were the only of the entered crews competing in the International section of the event. They would finish the stage with a time of 13:47.5, which was to prove a blistering pace. The second quickest crew was that of Boyd and Bell, 27 seconds slower, with third quickest falling to Robbie Barrable (20) from Dublin and stand in navigator for this event Damian Connolly. Rory Hall (26) from Fishguard and navigator Lee Burgess purchased a new car day’s before the event and finished the first stage with a very competitive fourth quickest time. Hall had however suffered a couple of overshoots of which one resulted nudging a bank with the front wheel and damaging the wishbone, but he would continue to finish the stage. Second placed competitor in the championship Matt Edwards (24) from Cockermouth and navigator Rob Fagg caught a struggling car from the International field on their first stage and lost time in the dust.

The crews then headed for a short auxiliary service before tackling the remaining three stages of the event. The second stage of the event was the 17 miles of Dalby. After Hall’s cracking first stage time disaster would strike as the drive belt on the car snapped causing instant retirement for the youngster, a disappointing end to his event after a brilliant start. This left the event battle in the FST down to BRC Challenge crews only. Barrable would set the quickest stage time with Boyd only three seconds adrift. Billy Coleman award winner Ross Forde (25) from Galway and navigator Gary McElhinney were competing in their final event of their prize drive and set third fastest time on this stage. Rory Hall would also see his event end here as the bent wishbone became progressively worse as they drove through the stage eventually resulting in their retirement.

The penultimate stage of the event was Gale Rigg at 4.5 miles. Boyd would take his first stage win of the event with Edwards second quickest only 2.1 seconds slower. Third quickest went to Barrable and fourth quickest 0.1 seconds slower was Thomas Watson (18) from Glanamman and navigator Ken Bowman. Watson was having a trouble free event and setting consistent stage times, whilst gaining more experience on new stages.

The final stage of the event, Cropton at 9.4 miles saw Barrable enter the stage 9.0 seconds behind Boyd. Barrable would do all he could and set the fastest FST time on the stage but Boyd would finish only 1.3 seconds behind the Irishman and with this take his first ever event win by 7.7 seconds - an incredible achievement in his first full season of competition. Third fastest on the stage was Forde and with this he would take the final podium spot of the year. Watson would finish fourth overall. Neil Coalter (26) from Aberdeen and navigator Hannah Cessford had been battling with Watson during the day and would take fifth overall, their second points scoring event of the year. Edwards had a troublesome day suffering a puncture on the final stage and would finish sixth overall.

With the 2009 series coming to a close plans are already well under way for the 2010 championship and after a great year it will not be long until more of the same begins again!

Event Winner, John Boyd said:
“It was a great day for me, it felt brilliant to win a round of the FST in my first year competing, although it was a close battle between me and Robbie [Barrable], it was also a shame what happened to Kris [Hall] as he had again shown great pace. I really enjoyed the event and hope the win is the first of many!”

BHRC report, round eight: Trackrod Historic Cup
Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) 2009 BHRC Champions

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:51 PM

The fast and dusty stages of Yorkshire played host to the eighth and final round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Trackrod Historic Cup (26 September).
Another category one victory for Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) confirmed them as overall BHRC champions, while victory in category three was a superb result for Julian Reynolds and Ian Oakey, who set a fearsome pace in their Escort Mk2.
In category two, the non-registered Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard led the field, while maximum points for David Stokes and Guy Weaver confirmed them as category champions. Meanwhile, Darren Moon and Chris Parsons topped a fine season in their Escort Mk2 by securing the category three crown.  

Category 1
With championship points as the main target, Nutt/McBride took a measured approach to the rally but started with a moderate push on the opening 16-mile stage in Dalby. However, they were still quickest and took a lead that would carry them through to the finish despite a very cautious run through the concluding 14 miles of Langdale.

"We had a bit of a try in Dalby and got a lead," reported Nutt. "After that it was a case of holding the lead. The can ran perfectly."

Although the tough stages thinned out the category one field somewhat, Nutt could never afford to relax too much as Paul Mankin and Desmond Bell kept up a spirited pursuit in their Lotus Cortina and were quickest category one car through Langdale. "Third time lucky," said Mankin after failing to finish the two previous Trackrods. "We went off twice in Dalby, but it was okay after that," reported Mankin.

Terry Cree and Richard Shores were third in the category and won class B2 in their Mini Cooper S despite finding a big hole in Langdale and bending the steering. Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill took their Sunbeam Imp Sport to B1 spoils as a water pipe problem sidelined the Sunbeam Stiletto of Mike Barratt and Jody Watson, while the Saab 96 of Nick Pinkett and Jonathan Lodge took B3 honours.  

Category 2
Stokes and Weaver could only go for maximum points in category two and hope that Nutt faltered in the contest for the overall BHRC title. But with the Porsche running strongly, Stokes and Weaver were left to claim the category two crown after another strong rally.

However, ahead of them were non-registered Stouf and Erard after a tremendous run. "It's a great result; the last stage was awesome," said Stouf after his best ever result on gravel.

"It didn't matter about Stefaan for the championship," said Stokes. "We had a wrong slot in Cropton that cost us 10s and I wasn't going to risk going off chasing him."

Third in category two came Rupert Lomax and David Alcock in their Escort Mk1, although they dropped some time with ignition dramas and were relieved to get to the finish, still within half a minute of Stouf.

A tremendous fourth in category two and winners of C3 were Russell Morgan and Martin Kenyon in their Escort Mk1. On their first rally since retiring from the Bulldog, Morgan admitted to a steady start in Dalby, but he soon upped his pace to take control of the class. "We lost time in Dalby, but after that it went well," said Morgan, who has spent the summer concentrating on the racing career of son Adam.

Fastest in C3 through Dalby was a mighty performance from James Slaughter and Phil Peak. Unfortunately, their bid for second in C3 was ruined when a big bump in Langdale threw their Escort into a ditch, and more than two minutes were lost getting going again. Instead, Ken Forster and John Stanger-Leathes took second from Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson. Another fine run from Vincent Bristow claimed class C2 in his Ford Escort Mk1, this time with Tim Sayer in the co-driver's seat. They battled all through Dalby with a stuck throttle and wore the brakes out in the process, but still took the class and ninth overall in category two.  

Category 3
Right from the start of 16 miles in Dalby, the pace in category three was fierce and it was Reynolds and Oakey to the fore in their Escort Mk2. Too often this season their pace has gone unrewarded, but this time it all held together for a superb victory. The fact that they won away from Wales made it all the sweeter, although the loss of first gear made things tougher. "It was a problem out of the chicanes and slow corners," admitted Reynolds after a great drive.

The non-registered crew of Martin McCormack and Jim Goodman took second, while Nick Elliott and Dave Price retired their Escort Mk2 after the first stage. They got through Dalby, but thumped the bank on the last corner and damaged the steering. "On the next road section when I braked hard it spun the wheel out of my hands, so there was no point in carrying on," explained Elliott.

Into third came Darren Moon and Chris Parsons in their Escort Mk2 after some brake dramas, while the top five featured two non-Escorts as Steve Magson/Geoff Atkinson (Opel Ascona 400) and Rob Smith/Shaun O'Gorman (Vauxhall Chevette) both had excellent runs to show the potential of their cars.

Richard Lane and Frank Richer bagged class D3 again in their Escort Mk2, finishing 1m20s clear of Stephen Richards and Ian Withecombe as Devon-based Richards sampled the Yorkshire stages for the first time. Wayne Bonser and Richard Aston took their Escort Mk2 to third while Chris Shooter and Bev LeGood parked their Escort for the second event running with cam belt woes. Jacob Scannell and Nina Thompson were also new to Yorkshire and they bagged D2 spoils ahead of the battling Sunbeams of Ian Coulson/Joe Jones and Pat Anderson/Robert Brook.

Tom Cave looks forward to return to Latvia after frustrating weekend

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:48 PM

Teenage rally sensation Tom Cave endured a frustrating weekend when an early mechanical failure meant he was unable to start the International Rally Yorkshire and instead, he contested the national event. Despite this, Tom and co-driver Craig Parry won their class and the 17 year-old from Aberdovey is now looking forward to this weekend's Rally Latvia, as he returns to more familiar ground.  

Tom's Group N Ford Fiesta suffered a rare mechanical failure prior to the start of the Rally Yorkshire, when a faulty master fuse meant that the car's electrical system was effectively isolated prior to the first stage of the International Rally Yorkshire, the event Tom was entered in.  

The Davis Motorsport crew retrieved the car and back in service, were able to find and rectify the fault but the organisers would not allow Tom to restart the International category of the event. After much deliberation, Tom was eventually permitted to start the National category event, which used the same five stages as the International but run just once in the afternoon, as opposed to twice for the International.  

Despite not contesting the event he wanted and was prepared for, Tom and Parry set about making the most of the day's action and posted times on the five stages making up the event that the team felt were representative. They took an overall stage win on the Langdale test and on the basis of the times that Tom put in through the afternoon, the team estimated that he could have finished third in class on the International event, had he been allowed to compete.

  Commenting after the event, Tom said; "This wasn't an easy rally, that's for sure. Because of the problem and the change of circumstances, I found it difficult to get into the right mind-set. The nature of the stages themselves also made it quite difficult to find the right pace. I'm more used to the type of stages we have in Wales, where they flow and tend to have a natural rhythm. On this event, there were lots of long straights followed by square corners and I was constantly looking for the braking points and where the grip was, for example.  

"There were also sections where you would have a series of very technical corners following a long straight and you'd arrive and have to get your head around these corners, rather than the squares we'd already seen. Having said that, it's all good experience, as you don't always have ideal stage conditions or a perfect mind-set at the start of an event and these are all things I need to understand for the future and deal with."  

As is normal for Tom, things continue at a pace following the conclusion of the Trackrod, as he traveled to the Lake District on Monday to test the new M-Sport-developed Ford Fiesta R2 rally car, to assess its potential as the basis of the next phase of his rally career. Tom has several tests lined up over the coming weeks, in a range of cars which he could use for the 2010 season, when he will be 18 and therefore, able to compete in any of the events forming the FIA World Rally Championship and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.  

As soon as the M-Sport test is complete, he and co-driver Gemma Price will resume more familiar action, as they board a flight heading for Riga and Rally Latvia, the flagship event in the Baltic nation's National Rally Championship.  

Tom will be using a locally rented car for the event, since logistically he would not be able to get his own car there and he needs to ensure that it remains intact should he need it for his entry in Wales Rally GB.  

Tom has contested the event twice before, finishing fourth in class last year, to gain the final signature necessary for his Latvian-issued International Rally License. So while the last two years have been about experience and finishing, Tom predicts this year will be more about showing what he is capable of.  

"I'll definitely be pushing for a result this year," he said. "Last year was all about the finish but this year, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Of course, I don't want to damage the car, as it's a rental but I will certainly be pushing hard. I have a pretty good idea of the nature of the stages and while I gather there are some new ones this year, there are also lots that I have already driven, so I will be on it from the first stage.  

"I think for me to do the event for the third time while I'm still only 17 is quite an achievement. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Latvia and some proper rallying; the Latvians have been extremely helpful to us in the last couple of years, the stages are fantastic, the organisation is excellent and the people are incredibly friendly, helpful and welcoming. I'm really looking forward to it."  

The one-day event on Sunday 4 October sees the crews contest 98 stage Kilometres including two runs around a superspecial stage situated in the centre of Riga.

Daniel’s championship winning season comes to an end in Yorkshire

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:45 PM

It was not the end of the season that Eniskerry rally driver Daniel Barry and his co-driver Martin Brady from Navan were looking for, when a suspension problem on the second stage of this weekend’s Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire denied them of what promised to be an excellent result.

After securing the title for this year’s UK Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge back in July, Daniel intended to contest the final two rounds of the season - both of them also rounds of the MSA British Rally Championship - as would be able to compare his pace against that of the BRC contenders, with thoughts of joining the series in 2010.

Having retired from the previous round in Ulster in August after clipping a bank and damaging his Mitsubishi too badly to continue, the Barry Motorsport team did an excellent job in repairing the car and, now back to a gravel surface, Daniel was raring to go. The event comprised a loop of four stages on the North Yorkshire Moors during the morning which were repeated in the afternoon, the day punctuated by a lunch time service halt and a short spectator stage around Pickering Showground.

Daniel and Martin got off to a fantastic start. Not only were they the quickest of the Evolution Challenge competitors on the opening stage, a 14-mile run through Langdale Forest, but they set a time of third fastest overall – right up there with the leading British Championship competitors.

However, as soon as they left the start line of SS2 Daniel realised something was wrong, his car beginning to handle very strangely. After managing to nurse his Evo through the 16.6 miles of Dalby Forest, inspection showed that the left-hand-side rear suspension mounting bolts had pulled out of the bodywork.

Daniel quickly realised that there was little he could do to fix the problem, as it became apparent that the suspension mountings had been weakened due to the impact of the Ulster incident. Reluctantly, he and Martin had no other choice but to retire from the event, a disappointing end to what has been a fantastic and highly successful season.

“It’s just one of those things. We changed everything we thought we needed to, following the accident in Ulster and there looked to be nothing wrong with the suspension mountings”, said Daniel. “However, at least the one stage we did get through this weekend showed that we do have the pace to mix it with the BRC front-runners, so I come away from this rally very pleased with that.”

Daniel continued: “All in all it’s been a fantastic year and we have achieved what we set out to achieve by winning the Evolution Challenge. I must therefore take this opportunity to thank Martin, our sponsors and the whole team around me who have made this successful season possible.”

Daniel and the Barry Motorsport team will now assess their options for 2010, details of which will be announced soon.

Daniel’s 2009 campaign was supported by: Tech-Plus, Irish Shipping and Transport, BPI Telecom and SC Signs.

Puncture denies JR Motorsports team of its maiden victory

Posted: October 4, 2009 1:43 PM

Driving one of the two JR Motorsports Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs, Gwyndaf Evans and co-driver Chris Patterson set a blistering pace in the opening stages of the Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire, only to suffer a puncture on stage six whilst holding the lead. After changing the wheel they went on to finish in eighth place after setting six fastest stage times during the day.

Team mates David Bogie and Kevin Rae also succumbed to the perils of the sixth stage, when their promising run came to an end after a rock in the centre of a fast section of road punctured their Evo’s sump.

The rally comprised four stages in the forests of the North Yorkshire Moors, run once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The day was punctuated by a short spectator stage held at lunch time around Pickering Showground, the venue also hosting the start, finish and service area. And, with dry and sunny weather greeting crews for the sixth and final round of the MSA British Rally Championship, the pace for the day’s 90-competitive miles was fast right from the word go.

Following the opening stage, Gwyndaf reported that a layer of loose gravel on the surface of the forest roads was not providing as much grip as the conditions would suggest and he pulled into the opening stage in second place 1.4 seconds behind Keith Cronin, who was locked in combat for the Championship title with Mark Higgins. However, with Gwyndaf not registered for the BRC, the target for the JRM team was for overall honours and not to get in the way of the title battle.

Suffering from a cold, David started his day a little subdued and exited the first stage a surprising ninth. Then, on SS2, the car bottomed out when going through a compression at high speed, the impact making the car handle strangely for the morning’s remaining two stages.

Gwyndaf however, was flying and he took the lead on SS3, returning to Pickering for the lunch-time service halt seven seconds ahead of Keith Cronin. Albeit uncomfortable with his car’s directional stability, David was now up to seventh place, a good performance considering that on inspection, it was found that some of the bolts holding the front sub-frame onto the car had been sheared.

Although the JRM team were able to fix the problem, it took longer than the time allowed and David was penalised by a minute for leaving the service area six minutes late. Gwyndaf continued to set the pace and went quickest through the Showground stage, pulling out a lead of eight seconds before the second loop of four forest stages.

Then, about a mile into SS6, Gwyndaf felt that his car was not handling as is should and realised that a rear tyre had punctured. With too much of the stage left to drive, he and Chris decided to stop and change the wheel, the delay costing them four minutes and dropping them to 11th place.

David was now far happier with the way his car was handling and began to push as he looked forward to his last run in the JRM Evo X - his prize drive for winning last year’s Evolution Challenge. However, it was not to be, as a rock on a fast section of the stage – right on the racing line – smashed into his car’s sump guard, the impact so hard that is also split the sump, the loss of oil bringing his rally to a disappointing end.

Even though there was now no chance of winning, Gwyndaf didn’t back off and went onto set another three fastest stage times during the afternoon, his pace seeing him finish the day in ninth place. Gwyndaf’s lead was inherited by Keith Cronin, who went on to win the event and, in doing so, become 2009 British Rally Champion. JRM would like to congratulate  Keith Cronin and his co-driver Greg Shinnors on this outstanding achievement.

Although the results did not reflect the true performance of its crews and cars, the JRM Motorsports team were delighted with the pace of its Evo Xs. It was also pleased to see its other team JRM Lico Evolution X, driven by Stuart Jones and co-driven by Andy Bull, finish in second place after setting four second-fastest stage times.

Team Quotes

Chris Hodgson – JRM Motorsports Director
“It was great to see our cars perform so well this weekend and six fastest stage times says it all really. It’s just so frustrating to end up with the results we did, which were just down to bad luck. However, there’s little doubt that the work we have done on the Evo X this season has really paid dividends and it’s only a matter of time before we see our cars regularly winning international events.”

Gwyndaf Evans
“I was really pleased with the car’s performance all day, it was such a shame we picked up the puncture, as the way things were going I think we could have won the rally. I was also pleased to have set the fastest time on six out of the nine stages, which just shows the potential of the car.”

David Bogie
“Following the development work that’s been done recently I was really looking forward to this event. Unfortunately the day didn’t quite go according to plan and it wasn’t the way I wanted to end my season. However, I have to thank the JRM Team for a great opportunity this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

David now goes on to drive his own car in this weekend’s final round of the Scottish Rally Championship, the McRae Stages and, if he finishes sixth or higher, he and Kevin will claim the 2009 title. The team at JRM Motorsports wish them every success.

JR Motorsports’ 2009 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by: Oakbank Services, exe-tc competition suspension, Lico, Opie Oils, PPG Transmissions and Carbonetics Clutches.


Posted: October 4, 2009 1:23 PM

Saltash rally driver Alan Cookson just missed out on the top step of the podium on this weekend's Pickering-based Trackrod Rally which comprised the final round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship.

Along with Wandsworth co driver Julian Wilkinson, the pair headed the leaderboard after the first two stages despite a spin in the Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza WRC, nicknamed 'Daisy', on the second stage.

"We found a new pace today, again, everything just seemed to be going right until we had the spin on stage two, I had difficulty selecting reverse gear and we dropped about 15 seconds. But I was glad to still be at the top of the leaderboard when we finished the stage, little did I know that the spin would cost me overall victory" said Alan.

He continued "I really enjoyed the event; I think the only way to describe it was awesome! I don't think I have ever driven as fast as that before and I really enjoyed seeing how good Daisy was against the much newer car of Charlie's."

As the crews entered the final stage of the day the team was less than a second ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC of Charlie Payne and Craig Thorley. However, despite wringing every last ounce of performance out of the TEGsport prepared car they were just pipped at the post by Payne and Thorley.

Alan was magnanimous in defeat giving credit to Payne and Thorley, "Charlie must have been flying through there because I know I was. At the end of the day I am overjoyed with second place and the points we have scored today means we have finished sixth overall in the Championship, its been a fantastic year and I couldn't have done it without the backing of my sponsors."

The team are now considering putting an entry in for an end of year bash on the Coniston-based Grizedale Stages Rally in December.


Posted: October 4, 2009 1:22 PM

Making a welcome return to the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship for his local event, Charlie Payne (Ripon) and co-driver Craig Thorley (Pocklington) just managed to scrape victory on the final round of the series in this weekend's Trackrod Rally.

It was Alan Cookson (Saltash) and Julian Wilkinson (Wandsworth) in their Friesian-liveried Subaru WRC who topped the leaderboard after the first stage, stopping the clocks exactly sixteen seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC of Payne and Thorley. A spin in stage two saw Cookson and Wilkinson drop fifteen seconds when they had trouble with gear selection allowing Payne to claim a stage victory.

Payne managed to clinch the next two stage victories closely followed by the hard charging Subaru of Cookson and as they entered the final stage of the day Cookson had the slimmest of leads, just eight tenths of a second.

Payne pulled out all the stops on the final stage of the day, the very fast Langdale stage, stopping the clocks eight seconds ahead of Cookson which was enough for them to claim overall victory. However the points Cookson and Wilkinson claimed for second overall were enough to move them ahead of Paul Bird to take sixth overall in the Championship.

The only other championship contender out on the final round of the season was Nathan O'Connor (Newport) co-driven by Jessica Rogan (Cardiff) in their Citroen C2R2. The pair looked to be heading for a class victory before a driveshaft failure on the penultimate stage of the day forced them into retirement.

Already Marcus Dodd (Poole) and co driver Andrew Bargery (Hove) had clinched the title in their Hyundai Accent WRC with Steve Perez (Clay Cross) and Paul Spooner (Raglan), who were competing on the event in their historic-specification Lancia Stratos in readiness for the upcoming Roger Albert Clark Rally, claiming runner-up spot in their Ford Focus WRC.

Mitsubishi Rallliart Evolution Challenge winners Daniel Barry (Enniskerry) and Martin Brady (Nevan) finished third in the ANCRO-organised series with Nik Elsmore (Coleford) and Craig Drew (Bream) ending up joint fourth with Simon Hughes (Abergele) and Craig Parry (Oswestry) in their respective Mitsubishis.

The awards presentation takes place at the Barcelo Daventry Hotel on Saturday 14th November 2009 and for further details of all championship positions and a booking form etc, please visit www.gravelrally.co.uk


Posted: October 4, 2009 1:18 PM

Keith Cronin and Greg Shinnors set a blistering pace on International Rally Yorkshire to not only take their third gravel victory of 2009, but with it secure the MSA British Rally Championship at their first attempt. [AUDIO]

The battle with season-long championship rivals Mark Higgins and Bryan Thomas was all-but won on the first of the day’s nine stages, where the 23 year old from County Cork took thirteen seconds of the triple British rally Champion. Sadly on the last stage, any hope of a late chance for Higgins was quashed when his Pirelli TEG Sport Impreza left the road at high speed.

Cronin’s victory is the first for an Irish driver since 1974, when Billy Coleman took the title at the wheel of a Ford Escort. His reaction at the finish was typically calm, “It hasn't sunk in yet, but we knew we had the pace on this event, having competed here last year. It’s a shame Mark (Higgins) went off on the last stage and I hope they are OK, but to take the title against such an excellent driver is fantastic.” He went to speak briefly about the forthcoming Pirelli Star Driver Shootout and his expectations. [AUDIO]

Stuart Jones and Andy Bull made an excellent comeback to the BRC, beating both Higgins and Cronin on four of the day’s nine stages to take a well deserved second place overall. The times set in the borrowed Team JRM Lico Evo 10 were sufficient to secure the final place in the Pirelli Star Driver Final too, impressing the judges with a controlled but quick drive. [AUDIO]

The fifth driver to take third place in 2009 was an elated Jonny Greer, he and Kirsty Riddick having an untroubled day aside from a puncture early on. The Ulsterman has been in the chasing pack of young drivers all season, his pace improving throughout. This first BRC podium is certainly well deserved on such a demanding event.

Promoted to fourth after Higgins’ accident were outgoing Pirelli Star Driver Adam Gould and co-driver Seb Marshall. They managed to get to grips with the older specification Impreza after swapping with Pirelli TEG Sport team-mate Higgins, their second fourth place sufficient to seal the MSA British Teams Rally Championship for the Carnforth based outfit.

The final round of the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship has sealed titles for more than just new BRC champ Keith Cronin. Rally Yorkshire has also given us Rally 1 and Rally 2 champions in the form of Luke Pinder and Jason Pritchard respectively.

Pritchard, along with co-driver Andrew Edwards, didn't need to contest Rally Yorkshire for his Citroën Racing Trophy campaign, the final round of which is Rallye Le Touquet next weekend. His goal for Rally Yorkshire was to impress the Pirelli Star Driver judges; however problems from the outset dashed those hopes. He broke a brake pipe and suffered two punctures, but still takes class R2 honours in the British championship. [AUDIO]

Luke Pinder took a haul of awards, starting with the class R1 victory on the event. The victory was sufficient to secure the class in the championship but probably more rewarding was being crowned 2009 Swift Sport Cup champion. In taking the overall series victory, he is also highest placed junior driver, the accolade bringing with it his second Pirelli Star Driver nomination. As the only driver to have been nominated in both 2008 and 2009, the Yorkshireman should have some small advantage in the forthcoming shootout.

Gordon Nichol and Emma Morrison were bitterly disappointed to lose out for a second year. Their event getting off to a bad start on stage one when the little Swift slid off into a ditch. Molly Taylor and Jemma Bellingham, the only other pair with a chance of the title, sadly retired when a rock fractured their fuel tank.

Audio Clips on:


Posted: October 4, 2009 1:03 PM


Posted: October 4, 2009 12:59 PM

1 Keith Cronin/Greg Shinnors (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:20:24.4
2 Stuart Jones/Andy Bull (Mitsubishi Evo X) 1:20:45.8
3 Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:21:42.5
4 Adam Gould/Sebastian Marshall (Subaru Impreza N11) 1:22:22.3
5 Dave Weston_Jnr/Ieuan Thomas (Subaru Impreza N14) 1:22:26.3
6 Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:22:47.1
7 Euan Thorburn/David Robson (Subaru Impreza N12B) 1:23:18.1
8 Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:23:22.9
9 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 1:23:53.6
10 Alistair Ginley/Kim Baker (Subaru Impreza) 1:25:06.4

Full Results and Times:

JR Motorsports continues with a two-car team in Yorkshire

Posted: October 2, 2009 1:11 PM

The Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire is the sixth and final round of this year’s MSA British Rally Championship and, after three events on asphalt, the season finale takes competitors back to a gravel surface for 90-miles of stages in the forests on the North Yorkshire Moors.

After an impressive performance on last month’s Ulster Rally and leading the Group N (Production Class) field for much of the event, JR Motorsports have invited Gwyndaf Evans back into the team to put the Evolution X through its paces on gravel. Co-driven by Chris Patterson, the experienced Welshman will once again join JRM team-mates David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae, who recorded their second podium finish of the season in Northern Ireland and will now be looking for a repeat in Yorkshire.

“As this is the last event of my prize-drive year, after winning last year’s Evolution Challenge, I intend to make the most of it”, explained David. “The season has seen its highs and lows, but I’m pleased to be back in the forests and I’m really looking forward to driving the Evo X on gravel again, especially as the car has been developed so much since the Pirelli Rally.”

Following a successful test by both drivers on Friday (18th September) the team are happy that it’s cars have a good-set up for the long fast straights and tight corners of the Yorkshire Forests. After the test, both David and Gwyndaf were extremely upbeat with the prospect of driving the JRM Evolution X on gravel:
“The test was the first time I had driven the Evo X on a loose surface and it felt very good right from the start” said Gwyndaf. “We made some minor changes to the suspension and transmission and I came away very happy with the way things went. It would be great if we can get amongst the leading BRC runners again this weekend, like we did in Ulster.”

For the team, the development of the Evolution X is an important part of its rally programme, as it is aims to maintain its position as leader in the preparation and construction of Mitsubishis, as it was the for the Evo IX.

The Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire is based in Pickering, with the start, finish and service area all located at the agricultural showground situated just south of the town. The one-day route features nine special stages, eight in the North Yorkshire Forests and one spectator stage held within the showground.

JR Motorsports’ 2009 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by: Oakbank Services, exe-tc competition suspension, Lico, Opie Oils, PPG Transmissions and Carbonetics Clutches.

Action starts again for Tom Cave

Posted: September 26, 2009 11:22 PM

Teenage rally sensation Tom Cave will be back in action next weekend, as the remainder of his 2009 programme gathers momentum. The 17 year-old from Aberdovey will tackle Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the final round of the British Rally Championship, before heading back to Latvia for the nation’s flagship event, Rally Latvia.  

Since his last event in August, the Richard Burns Memorial Rally, Tom has spent the summer looking into options for 2010, including discussing both programme and car possibilities for the next phase of his career. He was present at RallyDay at the weekend, the foremost rally show in the UK representing the International Rally Drivers Club, where his Group N Ford Fiesta ST was on display. He took the opportunity to speak to several key members of the rally community as well as look more closely at some of the possible options for 2010.  

However, with the spectacle of RallyDay over, Tom's thoughts turned to the job in hand and the Trackrod Rally. The final round of the British Rally Championship is based in Pickering in Yorkshire and features some of the UK's most iconic locations.  

Tom will be using his own Fiesta, run once again by Davies MotorSport and will be co-driven by Craig Parry, as he was on Rally Poland, where the pair claimed the class win on all but one of the stages they drove competitively. And while Tom isn't familiar with the stages, he is excited about the prospect of once again going up against drivers in the UK version of the one-make Fiesta series.  

"I think we'll face some stiff competition," he said. "Drivers like Kris Hall have been very quick all year and we've already done a couple of events against him, such as the Jim Clark and know that he is very competitive. If I can match his times, and some of the other Fiesta drivers, I'll be happy.  

"I normally set my own goals before a rally and I think that if we can be competitive against the regulars and get a top three result, I'll be pleased. But of course, if it looks like we could be in a position to do better, then perhaps we'll push a bit harder."  

But while he may be able to push, Tom will be mindful that he cannot afford too many risks, since the Fiesta is currently ear-marked for his entry on Wales Rally GB next month, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Tom is looking into alternatives for the event but will need to keep the Fiesta in one piece so that he definitely has a car available for the event.  

Once Tom has completed the Trackrod, there will be little more than a chance to pop home, wash his overalls and grab a night's sleep, before he has to pack up again and this time, head back to Latvia, where he cut his rally teeth. He will be contesting the nation's flagship event, Rally Latvia, the following weekend using a locally hired car and is relishing the prospect of returning to the country where he spent two seasons developing the skills which have served him well already.

BRC Swift Sport Cup - A Swift, decisive end to the season in prospect

Posted: September 23, 2009 6:04 PM

On the final round of the MSA British Rally Championship’s Swift Sport Cup it comes down to this: whoever wins from the top three takes the title. International Rally Yorkshire, the one-make series’ decider, is a short, sharp finale to what has been a fascinating and exciting second season and it is still too hard to predict a likely outcome, as all three have wins to their credit.

At the top of the standings are Gordon Nichol and Emma Morrison. The Scotsman’s win came on the home tarmac of the Jim Clark rally back in May, but he is certainly capable of going well on gravel as well as asphalt, having spent a full season in the little Suzuki last year. Budgetary constraints mean that last year’s runner up may have to forgo the pre-event test, but whatever happens he will give it 100% in the quest for the title.

While Nichol is the only driver with experience of all six rounds of the Championship at the wheel of the Swift, close behind on points is Australian Molly Taylor who made her UK debut in Yorkshire last year. She and Jemma Bellingham have worked well all season, taking both their wins on gravel on the opening two rounds. But they struggled on asphalt, so will be relishing the return to gravel and could not only secure the overall title here, but take the Junior category and with it an automatic place in the Pirelli Star Driver final.

But Yorkshire youngster Luke Pinder is also after that spot as well as the Swift Sport Cup, having made the final last year with an excellent drive on this event. He and co-driver Peter Scott will need to stay focused to try and achieve the double, particularly with two crashes this year. The first spectacularly ended his Pirelli Rally lead, while a frustrating coming together with a bank cost a good result on the recent Ulster Rally.

With Manxman David Harrison missing from the entry list, Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor should easily leap-frog him for fourth in the table. The pair could still mathematically take the runners-up spot too, but that would require retirements at the front and the Midlander will have all his attention on a second event win, triumphing in Ulster a month ago.

Like Pinder, Nicolas Everard has county honours to uphold and the Hull based 2009 BRC debutant has had a challenging year so far. The learning curve in the UK’s premier rally championship has been a steep one for the 21 year-old and his co-driver Chris Davies, but they have improved steadily and home support is certain to boost his confidence after a difficult Ulster.

With just nine stages making up International Rally Yorkshire, it will be a sprint to the finish and all the combatants will need to be on their toes from the 08.40 start. The unique character of the North Yorkshire forests of Dalby, Cropton ad Gale Rigg means ultra fast sections and tricky junctions to negotiate, a real test of nerve for the Swift crews who finish back at the event’s Pickering base at just after 6pm on Saturday.

Keith Cronin / Greg Shinnors - The Final Countdown

Posted: September 23, 2009 5:58 PM

This weekend, the International Rally of Yorkshire, known as the Trackrod rally after the organising club, will be the centre of Motorsport attention on both sides of the Irish Sea. The Trackrod is the final round of the 2009 British Rally Championship and it is set to determine who becomes the 2009 British Rally Champion.

The two main protagonists for the championship are former triple BRC Champion Mark Higgins, a 37-year-old Manx National who now resides in Abermule in North Wales and 23-year-old Keith Cronin, a trainee accountant from the small West Cork village of Ballylickey. Mark Higgins was the pundits favourite to run away with this years Championship prior to the opening round in his adopted North Wales. Keith Cronin, however had other ideas and clinched victory on the final stage, which catapulted him into the lead of the championship.

Victory on the Pirelli Rally in Carlisle and second places on the Jim Clarke Rally and Rally Isle of Man meant that he held on to that lead until the Ulster International Rally where an off road excursion put an end to his rally and also his BRC lead. With only 5 of the 6 rounds of the BRC counting towards the overall result, this was not a disaster but it does mean that he has to win or finish second (and in front of Higgins) in Yorkshire in order to be crowned Champion.

The only Irishman ever to be crowned British Rally Champion was the legendary Billy Coleman in 1974. Cronin has a real possibility of bridging that 35-year gap and carving himself a piece of motorsport history.

Mark Higgins on the other hand could make history of his own. If he is crowned Champion he will join the famous Roger Clarke on 4 BRC titles(Jimmy McRae leads with 5).

From an Irish point of view, seeing as it is such an historic weekend, it must be pointed out that Roger Clarke had only 3 titles to his credit(as Higgins) when Billy Coleman interrupted and became Champion, but Clarke later added the 4th.
Lets hope history repeats itself!!

Evans joins JRM team for second event

Posted: September 23, 2009 5:45 PM

The Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire is the sixth and final round of this year’s MSA British Rally Championship and, after three events on asphalt, the season finale takes competitors back to a gravel surface for 90-miles of stages in the forests on the North Yorkshire Moors. After an impressive performance on last month’s Ulster Rally and leading the Group N (Production Class) field for much of the event, JR Motorsports have invited Gwyndaf Evans back into the team to put the Evolution X through its paces on gravel.

Co-driven by Chris Patterson, the experienced Welshman will once again join JRM team-mates David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae, who recorded their second podium finish of the season in Northern Ireland and will now be looking for a repeat in Yorkshire.

"As this is the last event of my prize-drive year, after winning last year's Evolution Challenge, I intend to make the most of it", explained David. "The season has seen its highs and lows, but I'm pleased to be back in the forests and I’m really looking forward to driving the Evo X on gravel again, especially as the car has been developed so much since the Pirelli Rally."

Following a successful test by both drivers on Friday (18th September) the team are happy that it’s cars have a good-set up for the long fast straights and tight corners of the Yorkshire Forests. After the test, both David and Gwyndaf were extremely upbeat with the prospect of driving the JRM Evolution X on gravel:
"The test was the first time I had driven the Evo X on a loose surface and it felt very good right from the start” said Gwyndaf. “We made some minor changes to the suspension and transmission and I came away very happy with the way things went. It would be great if we can get amongst the leading BRC runners again this weekend, like we did in Ulster."
For the team, the development of the Evolution X is an important part of its rally programme, as it is aims to maintain its position as leader in the preparation and construction of Mitsubishis, as it was the for the Evo IX. The Trackrod International Rally Yorkshire is based in Pickering, with the start, finish and service area all located at the agricultural showground situated just south of the town. The one-day route features nine special stages, eight in the North Yorkshire Forests and one spectator stage held within the showground.

JR Motorsports' 2009 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by:
Oakbank Services, exe-tc competition suspension, Lico, Opie Oils, PPG Transmissions and Carbonetics Clutches.

Final FST battle of the season!

Posted: September 20, 2009 11:13 AM

The seventh and final round of the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy UK takes place next weekend at the International Rally Yorkshire, based in the picturesque town of Pickering. The event organised by the Trackrod Motor Club will see some of the competing crews tackle up to 90 miles of competitive stages in the classic forest complexes of Cropton, Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale. The FST event will be contested over the first four stages of the event covering 45 gruelling stage miles.

Seven registered FST crews will tackle the event with one crew entering the full BRC International event and the remaining five crews taking on the BRC Challenge event. With the championship title already wrapped up on the previous round by Craig Breen (18) from Waterford, and navigator Gareth Roberts - who will not be competing at the event, means the door is wide open for a different name to grab the last top podium spot of the year.

The first of the crews in the full International event is that of Kris Hall (19) from Appleby. Hall has had an up and down season, with victory on the first and fourth rounds of the season he looked liked a favourite for championship honours but two DNF's took the top spot dream away from him but he still has the chance to claim second overall in the series this weekend.

Away from the main event, the remaining five FST crews are all competing in the BRC Challenge event that runs for the first four stages of the event. The first of these crews is current second placed man in the overall series Matt Edwards (24) from Cockermouth and navigator Rob Fagg. Edwards has had an impressive season for his first year in the car. After winning the Bulldog Rally and scoring highly on nearly all the other events he has been at the top end of the table all year. However an off on the previous round saw him DNF and with it his chances of the overall title. Edwards just needs to finish ahead of Hall for second in the FST series and can also wrap first overall in the BRC Challenge series at the event.

Ross Forde (25) from Galway and navigator Gary McElhinney compete on their final event of the year as part of their Billy Coleman award prize drive. Forde has had a successful season completing every FST event of the year and scored second overall on the Manx round of the series. Forde will look to finish the year off in style and reward Motorsport Ireland with a great result to thank them for showing faith in him throughout the year. Mathematically Forde still has a chance of finishing second in the series if Hall and Edwards hit problems.

Thomas Watson (18) from Glanamman and navigator Ken Bowman were also new competitors to the series at the start of the year. Watson has been competing as much as possible throughout the year and has improved steadily as the year has gone on. His best FST finish to date is fifth overall; the Welsh newcomer will be looking to finish the year off in style by climbing onto one of the podium spots - an achievable aim. Watson can also still mathematically finish as high as third in the BRC Challenge.

Neil Coalter (26) from Aberdeen and navigator Hannah Cessford had a tough start to the year failing to score on the first three rounds despite setting some competitive times and showing excellent potential. After deciding to sit out the previous two rounds they managed to score their first points of the year in Ulster with an excellent eighth overall. Coalter will want to repeat his finish on this event and score more points whilst showing the other crews he has the speed required to challenge for the top positions.

John Boyd (22) from Edinburgh and navigator Fred Bell were also newcomers to the series at the beginning of the year. Boyd has showed increased pace as the year has progressed and although missing out the previous two rounds of the series he has been competing on other events and scored class wins. Boyd will hope this extra practice on other gravel events will put him in a favourable position for a good result on the last round of the year.

The final competing crew is that of Robbie Barrable (21) from Dublin. Barrable only made the switch to rallying at the beginning of the year after moving away from his circuit racing background. Barrable has proved his pace on the Tarmac rounds of the series culminating with a second overall on the previous round of the series - The Ulster International Rally. Barrable can still finish well in the BRC Challenge standings and will be hoping for a drama free and successful run on the event.

Watson, Barrable and Boyd all also still have the chance to take the junior title of the BRC Challenge series at the event.

The Kick Energy FST UK has a prize fund in excess of £18,000, with £750 for the winner of each round down to £75 for eighth place.

Second placed competitor in the series, Matt Edwards, said: "Just getting to this event is going to be a big challenge, as with a week to go we still don't have the car back after the Ulster incident, but I'm looking forward to getting back onto gravel and hopefully ending the year on a high. Well done to Craig for the championship this year; its now down to myself and Kris [Hall] to fight for second, but we also have BRC Challenge to think about so it will be an interesting weekend to say the least"


Posted: September 20, 2009 11:11 AM

After a superb podium placing on the Woodpecker Rally earlier this month, Saltash rally driver Alan Cookson is looking to end the season on a high when he contests the final round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship which takes place next Saturday with the Pickering-based Trackrod National Rally.

Along with Wandsworth co driver Julian Wilkinson, the pair will be contesting the event in the venerable Friesian cow-liveried car nicknamed 'Daisy' and despite Cookson stating the Woodpecker would be the final outing for the car, he is giving the Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza WRC one final blast.

With most of the championships sewn up, the pair are hoping to propel themselves up the order and a finish in the fast and flowing Yorkshire forests will see them claim sixth overall in the main championship, despite two non-finishes, to add to their runner-up placing in Class 9.

"I'm really looking forward to getting out on the Trackrod for what will definitely be the last outing in a WRC car for now at least. We will be definitely putting 'Daisy' up for sale after this event, and are hoping we can re-home her, maybe even back in Sweden where she could be restored to her former glory and live in the country where she won her only world championship rally.

"We really loved the event last year and recorded our best finish of 2008 on it, so we hope we can continue with the good luck we had there last year. The stages are fast with lots of tight corners which don't best suit the old technology of our car but it does make it fun to drive and should make for plenty of sideways action again which is why we do it really, simply for fun!

"We would really like to give our long-term backers Wiseman, Spar, Olverelectrical.com and VK Vodka another good finish to round off the year as a way of thanks for all their support over the last three years of doing the ANCRO series and hope we can continue our relationship on the BRC in 2010. If the car performs like she did on the Woodpecker earlier this month I really feel we can record another podium finish which would nett some more points when the championship's final table is published come Saturday night.

"The TEGsport team have a very busy weekend running three cars, and trying to secure the BRC drivers title as well as the BRC Team title and we wish both Mark and Bryan and all the boys all the best."

British Rally Championship 2009 - Game on!

Posted: September 20, 2009 10:46 AM

The year-long battle between Keith Cronin/Greg Shinnors and Mark Higgins/Bryan Thomas for the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship comes down to this: whoever wins International Rally Yorkshire takes the title - it’s simple as that!

Actually neither really needs to win, but without complicating the issue with tedious calculations, so long as they finish inside the top three (as they have all year), Irishman Cronin needs to beat Higgins for the title and vice-versa.

Pirelli TEG Sport number one Higgins goes to the ultra fast North Yorkshire forests on a roll, having taken three tarmac victories in a row as in 2008. He swaps to the faster Impreza N15 that team-mate Adam Gould has used this year, the youngster offering to swap cars to help Higgins’ title bid. But the triple British Rally Champion is definitely concerned, since this is the first event where Cronin has previous experience, finishing third last year in Yorkshire.

Whilst not registered for BRC points in 2008, the then 22 year old came home just 39 seconds behind Higgins, who was locked in a battle for the Championship with Guy Wilks, the latter taking the title, but not likely to defend his win in Yorkshire.

Cronin does, however have the disadvantage of having crashed out of the previous round in Ulster while leading the event, but the 23 year-old will put that out of his mind for this sprint event which carries a multiplier of one and a half points.

Alastair Fisher and last year’s Champion co-driver Rory Kennedy could still take second in the Championship if Cronin falters, currently lying third after an excellent season. The young Northern Irish driver is certainly very close to the pace of the front pair, just over a second a mile behind Higgins at the finish of his home event last month.

Any driver down to sixth place in the current standings could still mathematically take second at the end of the 2009 season, but disaster would have to strike all the top seeds, certainly possible in such an unpredictable sport.

The youngest of the pack chasing third on most of the events in 2009 is Dave Weston Junior, who should go quickly here as he was another to finish well last year whilst not registered for the BRC. His fourth place on the event was one better than Ieuan Thomas, yet another new co-driver for the 19 year-old, who has drafted in last year’s Championship runner-up.

Martin McCormack has wrapped up the BRC Junior title and with the final round of the Citroën Racing Trophy being Rallye Le Touquet in France, the fifth-place sitter in the overall standings has opted to contest the event at the wheel of an historic class Escort.

David Bogie and Kevin Rae will hope that their Team JRM Lico Mitsubishi has benefited from input from 1996 BRC Champion Gwyndaf Evans, who cannot score points in Yorkshire. It will therefore be down to Scotsman Bogie and returning team-mates Stuart Jones & Andy Bull to push as hard as they can for another podium, having three third places between them this year.

Jonathan Greer and recently enlisted Kirsty Riddick have had an up-and-down season, but the Ulsterman could still improve on his 2008 Championship position. Last year he finished sixth on Rally Yorkshire, moving him to fifth place in his first full season. Currently seventh, the memories of the last two tarmac events will need to be forgotten as the crew set about the stages, crashing on the Manx and retiring from third with mechanical failure on his home event.

Yorkshireman Chris Firth is delighted to be inside the top ten in his debut BRC season. He has not had the best of years though, crashing heavily in the Isle of Man before bouncing back with his second eighth place this year.

The 2009 Fiesta SportTrophy UK and Ireland winner Craig Breen won’t be contesting the event, the ninth placed youngster instead concentrating on preparation for his place in the Pirelli Star Driver final which will take place sometime after Rally Yorkshire.

Reigning Pirelli Star Driver Adam Gould will contest the final event of his prize season in Higgins’ older specification N11 Impreza and is under strict instructions to get the car to the finish for Pirelli TEG Sport team points. The youngster from near Bristol has proved his pace this year, having set excellent podium-worthy times, but three crashes have left him languishing at the bottom of the top ten BRC points table.

One to watch for overall honours on this event is sure to be Daniel Barry, the 2009 Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge Champion wanting to make a good impression ahead of next season when it is hoped he will contest the full British Rally Championship.

With the return of Stuart Jones to the JRM Lico team, Pirelli TEG Sport’s potential early victory in the MSA British Teams Rally Championship has been denied.

The late addition of Jones to the Rally Yorkshire entry list will mean that Higgins and Gould will be up against both cars in the rival team, regular driver David Bogie making his sixth appearance in the Mitsubishi Evo 10.

TEG Sport’s Lynn Newby had been keeping her fingers crossed that the team could concentrate wholly on overall positions on the event, but the battle will now be a tactical one if the Carnforth-based outfit is to take the prestigious title.

With 33 points splitting them and Chesterfield’s all-Mitsubishi JRM Lico team, Higgins and Gould will need to have a disaster to lose the top spot, but as always anything can happen in rallying.

Euan Thorburn will be the only driver representing the Revolution Wheels Rally Team again, since Dave Weston Jnr who was tipped to join the fold, opted for a no-registered co-driver and is therefore ineligible to score on the Tamworth team.

The Pirelli Star Driver judges will be out on the Yorkshire stages for the final time in 2009 on the lookout for the sixth event-based finalist. The top placed Junior driver from each of the three one-make series’ will also take their places in the shoot-out for a fully funded drive in the 2010 BRC. Although Fiesta SportTrophy Junior and overall winner Craig Breen already had his place booked back in April on the Pirelli Rally.

Rally 3 has attracted just a couple of drivers to the event, but the absence of Breen and Diesel Cup winners Steve and Tony Graham, means that Tom Walster cannot now be caught in the BRC’s two litre class. It will be Kris Hall with the pressure of needing a win to snatch second in his Fiesta and it is another FST runner and Jonny Greer’s brother Barry will be Hall’s opposition. He will want to finish the year on a high with just one finish from three starts to his credit.

As no Rally 2 cars will contest International Rally Yorkshire, the category points will remain fixed and MSA British Junior Rally Champion elect Marty McCormack adds another award to his 2009 haul.

He and regular co-driver Phil Clarke cannot now be caught in the BRC class, so they will take even more silverware with them from the BRC Awards ceremony in October. This, coupled with his nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout, makes 2009 a very good year for the Ulsterman.

Rally 1 is still wide open for any of the top three Swift Sport Cup drivers to take, along with the one-make series crown. Gordon Nichol, Molly Taylor or Luke Pinder are all in with a shout for both class and Cup and the maths are simple, winner takes all! The top placed Junior from the Swift Sport Cup also gets his or her place in the Pirelli Star Driver final, only Pinder and Taylor eligible.

With the whole event based around the Pickering showground again, it is an ultra-compact route that will face the crews on this, the final round of the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship.

A spectator stage will draw the crowds at the showground too, and this year RallyFM will be broadcasting live via the BRC website www.rallybrc.co.uk and www.rallyfm.net.

Greenlight Television’s Rallyzone preview programme will go out on Sky Sports Xtra on Wednesday 23rd September at 6pm. The main event will then feature on Monday 28th September, again on Sky Sports Xtra at 6pm.
Full listings including repeats on other Sky Sports channels at

Goodman turns back the clock on Trackrod Rally Yorkshire

Posted: September 20, 2009 10:25 AM

Thirty years after he won the event, Whitby co-driver Jim Goodman will return to the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, when it runs in the Yorkshire forests on Saturday 26 September.

Goodman, who spent 21 years out of rallying before making a comeback last July, will partner Irish sensation Martin McCormack in the Trackrod Historic Cup, where they will run at the head of a superb field of pre '81 rally cars in McCormack's Ford Escort Mk2.

"To compete with Martin could become the highlight of my entire career and will be something that I will remember forever," said 58-year old Goodman. "I have seen him drive on the Roger Albert Clark Rally for the last two years and his speed has opened my eyes. It will probably do the same on the Trackrod!"

Goodman snapped up the coveted place in the co-driver's seat of the Escort in a charity auction, which was set up to raise money for Irish rally driver Paul Gallagher, who was injured in a rallying accident earlier this year.

Goodman enjoyed most of his success in Ford Escorts and is thrilled to be preparing to compete in one of the fastest Escorts in British rallying. "I'm looked forward to this event as much as any other that I have done and more than most," he said.

"I won this event back in 1979 with John Laley and I do have a little feeling of optimism within me. I think that to ride with Martin will take me back to my days of partnering Steve Bannister. I have rallied in the Yorkshire forests since September 1973."

BHRC preview, round eight: Trackrod Historic Cup

Posted: September 20, 2009 9:45 AM

It is back to gravel for the final round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Trackrod Historic Cup (26 September).
The season decider will be played out in the famous Yorkshire forests, starting with a 16-mile stage in Dalby and a superb field of nearly 70 cars will gather in Pickering for an early start on Saturday morning.

Category 1
Heading the field away will be the category one pre '68 cars and it is the Porsche 911 of Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride that has the best chance of winning the overall BHRC title. If the Irish crew win the category, they will repeat their 2004 crown and that is a result well within their reach. However, it only needs a small problem or a puncture to shake things up. Leading the chase of the Porsche will be the Lotus Cortina of Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell, who also top class B4. Chasing them will be the Porsche 911 of Phil and Barbara Smith, fresh from contesting Tour Britannia, while the Saab 96 of Nick Pinkett/Jonathan Lodge tops class B3.
In B1, it will be a head to head between the Sunbeam Imp Sport of Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill and the Sunbeam Stiletto of Mike Barratt/Jody Watson. Barratt had a great run in Flanders as he fought back from an early delay, only to be denied a finish due to driveshaft dramas. He will be keen to make amends in Yorkshire.
Adding to the category one field are crew contesting the HRCR Historic Stage Rally Challenge and the Mini 50 Cup, which has boosted the field to 18 cars. Notable front-runners include the Volvo Amazon of Graham Waite/Gill Cotton and the Minis of Clive King/Bob Ward and Terry Cree/Richard Shores.

Category 2
Category two is for the cars from 1968 to 1974, with David Stokes and Guy Weaver chasing the overall title in their Ford Escort Mk1. They can only go all out to win the category and see if Nutt has done the same. If Nutt does win category one, Stokes cannot be champion.
In class C5 it is Belgian crew Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard who are the major rivals to Stokes, while the class also include local legend Bob Bean, partnered by Malcolm Smithson in his Escort Mk1. Also set to feature in C5 is the glorious Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez and Paul Spooner.
Taking the fight to the Escorts in category two will be the fastest of the Porsche 911s and two Yorkshire drivers will be right on the pace. Peter Smith and Russ Langthorne are getting quicker and quicker in their 911, while Tim Mason and Graham Wild will be bang on the pace after a short break from competition.
Meanwhile, the contest for class C3 will be as fierce as ever, with three cars at the head of the action. Andrew Siddall and Captain Thompson took their Escort Mk1 to a fine victory in Flanders, but Ken Forster and John Stanger-Leathes will be out to turn the tables. If their entry is confirmed, Drew Wylie and Howard Pridmore will be right in the thick of the battle. But with more very quick C3 Escorts in the hands of drivers like Russell Morgan, James Slaughter and Robin Shuttleworth, the class is wide open.
A good C2 entry among the 1600cc Escorts should be headed by Vincent Bristow and Tim Sayer, but Neil Rudd/Brian Hodgson and Richard Williams/Joe Cruttenden will take the fight to the Sussex driver.

Category 3
Category three is for the most recent cars up to 1981 and is set to deliver a spectacular contest among four very quick Mk2 Escorts. Darren Moon and Chris Parsons are on target to win the category in the championship and will want to wrap up the season with a big result in Moon's native Yorkshire. However, after missing the most recent asphalt rounds, Nick Elliott/Dave Price and Julian Reynolds/Ian Oakey are back in harness and will surely have another monster contest. Elliott won the event a year ago, while Reynolds is not as familiar with the Yorkshire stages as some of his rivals.
But they will all be watching the pace of Martin McCormack and Jim Goodman with great interest as McCormack drives his Escort Mk2 for the first time in 10 months. Having not been out this year in the car, McCormack is not registered for the championship, but he is sure to be very quick. Leading the chase of the big four Escorts will be the similar cars of Dick Slaughter/Geoff Dearing, local legend Peter Slights and Joyce Champion, Charlie Taylor/Steve Bielby and James Potter/Bob Duck. In class D3, the contest will be among more Escort Mk2s, this time Pinto-powered, with Richard Lane and Frank Richer likely to set the pace from Wayne Bonser and Richard Aston.
Finally, in class D2 and fresh from a great result in Flanders, it is Jacob Scannell and Nina Thompson who should take the spoils in their Escort Mk2.

The Trackrod Historic Cup starts at 7.30am on Saturday 26 September from Pickering Showground.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 20, 2009 9:42 AM

Dalby spectacle for spectators on Trackrod Rally Yorkshire

Posted: September 11, 2009 3:46 PM

Over 12 hours of rallying in the famous Dalby forest stage awaits spectators on the 2009 Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, when it runs in the Yorkshire forests on Saturday 26 September.  

To celebrate Dalby's significance in rallying history and the fact that it is only available for one rally each year, the event organisers from the Trackrod Motor Club have arranged a stunning 16-mile stage over the classic forest tracks.  

The Dalby complex will be busy throughout the day, with rallying starting just after 8am and finishing over 12 hours later after the passage of up to 250 rally cars. The international and national events will tackle the stage twice, while the historic and clubmans events will run through the stage once.  

It will be the perfect venue for spectators, and in conjunction with the forestry commission there will be two main spectator areas in Dalby; the traditional sites at the Woodyard (along Ellerburn) and Housedale. There is manned parking at the Woodyard and Housedale and additional general parking in the main car park at the Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre will be open on the day with refreshments available at Treetops Restaurant. "The Forestry Commission works closely with the rally organisers to ensure that the forest roads are prepared for the rally," said Katie Thorn of the Forestry Commission. "The Forestry Commission also works hard to ensure that the public are aware that the forest is closed for the rally.  All cycle trails and walks trails are closed on the day and there is only access for rally spectators and 'Go Ape' customers."  

"Dalby has a place in rallying folklore and we are delighted to offer both competitors and spectators a once-a-year chance to enjoy this superb forest stage," said clerk of the course Rod Parkin. "There will be action all day as the final rounds of three major British championships are contested."  

Already over a third of the entry is filled and the organising team is confident of starting a full field of 180 cars. Regulations for the event are still available and for more details of the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire '09, please visit

List of Entries to Date:

Posted: September 11, 2009 3:44 PM

Regulations available

Posted: August 5, 2009 1:24 PM

2009 Trackrod Rally Yorkshire is unveiled

Posted: May 17, 2009 2:18 PM

"Something for everyone" is the strap-line for the 2009 Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, which will be a round of no less than 15 championships when it runs in the Yorkshire forests on Saturday 26 September.  

In taking the wraps off Trackrod Motor Club's 2009 event, clerk of the course Rod Parkin revealed a range of events within the overall rally to cater for all needs and tastes, ranging from the crews contesting the final round of the MSA British Rally Championship to clubman competitors in rounds of four regional stage rally championships.  

"We are delighted to have such a great line-up of championships coming to Yorkshire," said Parkin, who has been chairman of the organising committee since the first running of the event, which was known as the Crest Stages when it was first run in 1977.  

As well as the final round of the BRC, the rally will also form the final round of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Championship and the final round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship. The range of individual events will range from 45-stage mile rallies for the historic and clubmans contenders, to over 90 miles of action for the BRC competitors.  

All of the competitive action will be on Saturday, after scrutineering and documentation on Friday 25 September. As before, the event will be based at the Pickering Showground, which will also be the venue for a spectator stage and central servicing during the rally.  

The full list of championships included in the event is:  

MSA British Rally Championship
BRC Challenge
Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge
Fiesta Sporting Trophy UK
Suzuki Swift Sport Cup
Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship
Mintex Two-Wheel Drive Championship
Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship
HRCR Historic Stage Rally Challenge
Mini 50 Cup
Association of Northern Car Clubs Northern Stage Rally Championship
Competition Car Insurance East Mids Association of Motor Clubs Multi-Venue Championship
Association of North East Midlands Motor Club Multi-Venue Stage Rally Championship
Association of North Western Car Clubs Stage Rally Championship
  Regulations for the event will be available in early August.
For more details of the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire '09, please visit the event website:

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

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