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Jim Clark Rally - 27-28 (29) May 11

Posted: June 7, 2011 2:20 PM - 9713 Hits

Jim Clark National / International Rally - 27-28 May 11
Round 4 - 2011 British Rally Championship
Round 3 - 2011 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2011 Citroen Racing Trophy UK

Jim Clark Reivers Rally - 29 May 11
Round 4 - 2011 Scottish Rally Championship


Posted: June 7, 2011 2:20 PM

The reigning REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Champion, Damian Cole, has put his campaign for the 2011 title back on track with a win in the third round of this year’s series – the Jim Clark National Rally (May 27/28). Having finished second in the opening round but failing to finish the last one, he now sits joint fourth overall with 47 points and six events remaining.

After 120 stage miles the Ford Focus WRC of Cole and new co-driver James Morgan emerged victorious by just 5.2 seconds from the Subaru Impreza WRC of Steve Simpson and Patrick Walsh. Intermittent heavy rain showers made the going very tricky at times and tyre choice was a crucial element, as always – a regular Kumho runner, Cole’s triumphant Ford Focus was shod with Kumho C03 rally covers throughout. The next event in the Series is the Rally of The Midlands on June 18/19.

Former champion returns in style

Another Kumho runner on the Jim Clark Rally was former National Rally Champion and Flixton mushroom farmer David Mann, who with Caerphilly co-driver Alun Cook was contesting the International section of the event (the fourth round of the Dulux Trade British Championship) in a Subaru Impreza – his first experience of Britain’s premier rally series in over a decade. The pair achieved impressive progress, notching up half a dozen top 10 stage times en route to finishing eighth overall.

Equally quick to comment on the challenging weather conditions, Mann said, “There was an occasion where we put intermediate tyres on and the weather immediately dried up, so switched to slicks and it started to rain!” He spoke highly of his Impreza’s Kumho C03 tyres, however, which kept him on the road throughout the 16 high-speed stages – a notable achievement in itself in a rally where less than a third of the entry made it to the finish.

Conspicuous by its prominent Kumho branding, Mann’s Subaru was also the only top competitor not running on Pirelli rubber - a requirement of the Series. Rather than score championship points, the team’s priority was, however, to use the event as a shakedown for the Ypres Rally round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge later this month, where they will once again be competing on Kumho tyres.

In Car with Jonathan Greer & Dai Roberts

Posted: June 3, 2011 8:58 AM

Jonathan Greer & Dai Roberts (Skoda Fabia S2000) - SS7

Fisher Back to Winning Ways on Jim Clark Rally

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:33 PM

Alastair Fisher marked his return to the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship by winning the R2 class on the Jim Clark International Rally, which took place in the Scottish Borders last weekend (May 27/28).

Fisher, who is contesting the FIA WRC Academy – a young driver training series for aspiring world rally champions – was using the event primarily to practice driving on asphalt ahead of the sealed-surface WRC Academy round in Germany in August.

However, the outing also gave the Northern Irish star an opportunity to drive in anger following his early exit from Rally d’Italia Sardegna earlier this month with an oil leak.

“It was nice to be back in a rally car and on a great event such as the Jim Clark Rally,” said Fisher, who hails from Trillick in County Tyrone. “There’s not much time between Rally Finland, our next WRC Academy event, and Rallye Deutschland, which runs on asphalt so this was a good chance to get some Tarmac experience in my Ford Fiesta R2, which is pretty similar to the Fiesta I use in the WRC Academy.”

Co-driven by Burnley, Lancashire-based Daniel Barritt, Fisher finished sixth overall and topped the Fiesta SportTrophy UK standings on the two-day Jim Clark Rally, which uses a combination of closed main roads and narrow country lanes. While there were rain showers over part of the rally route on Saturday, Fisher was spared having to drive in wet conditions.

“The fact there was a threat of rain helped because we were able to experiment carrying intermediate tyres as spares and it’s always good to consider how rain could affect the handling of the car and what tyre choice you need to make,” said Fisher, whose only delay occurred prior to the start when a driveshaft failure led to him receiving a one-minute penalty for his late arrival at the first time control.

“Fortunately it didn’t have any real affect on our rally because we were able to do all the stages and the result was a good boost for our team after the problems in Sardinia,” said the 22-year-old, who has now claimed a total of nine Fiesta SportTrophy victories in his career.

Fisher’s run to sixth place overall and second two wheel drive wasn’t his best finish on the Duns-based event, however. He claimed second overall on the rally last season during his BRC campaign in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
Since his appearance on Rally d’Italia Sardegna, Fisher has completed his Honours Degree in Construction, Engineering and Management at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Belfast.
“It’s great to be able to go rallying without the stress my studies hanging over me,” said Fisher.

Fisher is one of 18 of the sport’s most promising young drivers contesting the new-for-2011 FIA WRC Academy. All competitors use identical Ford Fiesta R2s on control Pirelli tyres. A scholarship of 500,000 Euros will be awarded to the champion. His next Academy event, Neste Oil Rally Finland, takes place from July 28-30.

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:28 PM

Video: BRC Review

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:26 PM

McCormack Dominates on Jim Clark Rally

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:21 PM

In his first tarmac outing in the Sainteloc Citroen DS3 Marty McCormack and co-driver David Moynihan finished 5th overall dominating the R3 class and the F2 (two wheel drive) category of the Jim Clark International Rally.

The closed tarmac roads of the Scottish Borders present a unique rallying challenge with a mixture of smooth, flowing asphalt and well used and tight by-roads that can present sudden and large changes in grip to catch the unwary.

The fight for the lead of the F2 category suffered a blow when Mark Donnelly’s Renault spun out on cold tyres at the end of the first stage however Marty had a clear remit to explore the pace of the Citroen on tarmac and went on to post several overall top five times including two third fastest. McCormack said “This is our first outing with the car on tarmac and we have only run a few kilometres of the shakedown stage to gauge broadly where the settings are. The large number of surface types here have given us a tremendous insight into finding more speed from the car – it can only get quicker”

A puncture early on stage 10 (Eccles 1) cost a worrying two minutes and dropped McCormack and Moynihan to fifth place however the pace of the Citroen was clear and the final standings show the potential of the Sainteloc car. Nicolas Bernardi, team manager for Sainteloc said “For sure we came here without testing but we have good experience from France and this result has exceeded our expectations”

The Jim Clark International Rally is the fourth round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

Marty and the DS3 will compete on the next round of the BRC, the Toddsleap International Rally in Northern Ireland on the 19th-20th August

Disappointment for Breen at Jim Clark

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:09 PM

Craig Breen's up and down season continued this weekend with another non finish when leading his class at the Jim Clark International Rally. Craig taking part in his first tarmac event of the season was very downhearted afterwards "We had a minor off on stage 8 that punched a hole in the radiator got forcing us to retire. It's just another disappointing end to an event when we're leading."

The fourth round of the British Rally Championship saw the competing crews make the transition from gravel to tarmac and Irish driver Breen made the trip to the Scottish Borders looking for a good result. The rally was based in the town of Kelso and got underway on Friday evening with six stages. After a good recce on Thursday, Craig was looking forward to the fast stages in the dark. Craig took a cautious approach on the opening loop of three stages and was 9th overall, 3rd in Formula 2 and 2nd in both the R2 class and the Fiesta Sport Trophy.

On the second loop as darkness closed in Craig set the pace in R2 and even picking up a puncture didn’t hold him back on stage 5. The Waterford driver finished the evening with best time of the R2 field on SS6 and overnight he stood 7th overall, holding a narrow lead in both the R2 Class and the Fiesta Sport Trophy.

Day two started with Polwarth (1), stage 7 and Craig was immediately on the pace, setting fastest time in the R2 class. Sadly his run came to a premature end on stage 8 when after a minor off the Fiesta’s radiator sustained some damage and the Irish/Welsh crew had to retire. Craig said later “It’s another event we come away from with the feeling of what could have been.”

The Keltech Fiesta will be back on the stages again next weekend when Craig takes on the Rallye-du-Limousin in central France. The six stage event starts on Friday with two tests and then is followed on Saturday with a further 4 stages.

Mechanical problems end Tom Cave's Jim Clark Rally

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:08 PM

This weekend's Jim Clark Rally ended in frustration for Tom Cave and co-driver Craig Parry, following the failure of the gearbox on their Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX, which became stuck in third gear. The JRM team attempted to change the gearbox in the short mid-day service but the complex job took longer than the crew had available and they went OTL (Over Time Limit) and were out of the event.

The event seemed jinxed from the start. Following a successful shakedown, where Tom drove the EvoX for the first time on asphalt, the heavens opened as he drove the second stage and as a result, he lost time to those drivers ahead on the road, who had drier conditions.

He then began to lose his brakes on the following stage and as there was no service between the two loops, was unable to rectify the problem before the second run through the three stages, dropping more time in the process.

He began the second day of the event in a positive frame of mind and was more comfortable in the car, increasing his pace from the first leg. However, towards the end of the day's third stage, the gearbox began to feel nothchy and on the road section back to service, it became stuck in third gear.

A gearbox change was an unavoidable but time consuming job. The JRM team tackled the task but were unable to complete the work before Tom and Craig reached their maximum allowed lateness and therefore, they were out of the rally.

Commenting, Tom said:
"This is an incredibly frustrating end to the event. Things were starting to look up for us on the first loop of stages this morning. We were making changes to the car's set-up because of the conditions and to pick up some more pace and it seemed to be working. But towards the end of the third stage, the gearbox started to let go and when we got to the finish board, it was stuck in third.

"I didn't want to force the box and do more damage. The boys tried to change it and did their best but we went OTL. We all tried hard during the event to find some pace and it's so disappointing to finish like this.

"I'm trying not to dwell on the championship position too much. It's a huge learning curve this year and all I can do is try to pull some positives from this and move on. We're doing the Severn Valley Stages next weekend and I'm really looking forward to it."

Podium For Gould With Evans Fourth On Jim Clark Rally

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:07 PM

After missing out on the podium at the last round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, the Carnforth-based TEG Sport team were back amongst the silverware in round four of the series which took place with the Jim Clark International Rally based in the borders town of Duns.

Whereas Pirelli Star Driver Elfyn Evans had to settle for a fourth place finish once again but still maintained his championship challenge, it was Bristolian Adam Gould who secured a third place finish to get his challenge back on track after the disappointment of retiring on the last round.

23 year old Gould and co driver Seb Marshall led the event last night despite a buckled wheel which was caused by hitting a bank and were unlucky not to return to Duns as overall leaders after six stages as they were just 0.8 seconds adrift of eventual winner David Bogie overnight, with the added bonus of two stage victories.

22 year old Evans from Dolgellau, along with Aberystwyth co driver Andrew Edwards, dropped time in the TEG Sport Pirelli Shoot Out sponsored Subaru Impreza N15 but made it back to the overnight halt in sixth place albeit a minute off the lead.

Today's remaining ten stages saw Gould maintain his second place for the opening loop before dropping back to third where he remained for the duration of the event as Evans, on his first four wheel drive on tarmac, charged up to fourth place, which he consolidated by setting fastest time on the very final stage to add valuable points to his championship hopes.

Evans is now 12 points adrift of series leader David Bogie going into the next event which is in August with the Toddsleap International Rally Northern Ireland with Gould in fourth place and both drivers hoping to make advances up the table in Ulster.

Adam Gould:
"We're quite disappointed, we hoped for a lot better here and after last night it was looking like the fight was going to be on for the win today. We lost a lot of time in the early part of the day today and couldn't pull it back so we had to settle for third. It's very, very fast here and everyone was taking a lot of risks. We tried to push early in the wet and went off twice. We really needed to win here and now I'm not sure about the championship and there's quite a lot of damage to the car."

Elfyn Evans:
"We had done nothing before in a four-wheel drive here so Friday was our test as such. We set fastest time on the last stage and I think we can look positively to Northern Ireland. We've learned a lot today about the car and driving it and hope for a good result in Ireland."

Stuart Newby - TEG Sport Team Principal:
"This is a good result and we scored strong points in the championship. Adam has had a few moments and the battle scars on the car tells the story but he drove well and scored a podium again. Elfyn built up his pace steadily and produced a sensible drive which culminated in setting fastest time on the final stage so considering it was his first time on tarmac in this car, he's done a great job. A special word about the Pirelli tyres too as despite them being bounced off banks and gates today, we've not suffered one single puncture which combined with the high speed nature of the event, just goes to show what outstanding performance they have provided."


Posted: June 1, 2011 1:04 PM

Defending REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Champion Damian Cole has won the third round of the series, the Jim Clark National Rally, for the second consecutive year but, as it was in 2010, the Hereford driver did not have things all his own way! Giving best to a couple of local crews over the opening stages on Friday evening, Damian and new co- driver James Morgan set about moving up the order in their Ford Focus WRC on Saturday morning. However, Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh had similar ideas and it was they who moved to the top of the timesheets in their Subaru Impreza WRC.

Intermittent heavy rain showers made the going difficult at times – and tyre choice a nightmare! Having retired last time out on the Isle of Man, Cole needed a good result in the Scottish Borders to put his desire for back-to-back MSA Asphalt Championship titles back on track. And so it was that he managed to edge ahead of Simpson but, after 120 miles of stages, the winning margin was just 5.2 seconds! Having won the first event of the season, the Tour of Epynt, Simpson also registered a DNF on the Manx Telecom Rally. Consequently, runner-up spot on the Jim Clark did his Championship aspirations a power of good while Walsh, who won the Manx sitting alongside Melvyn Evans, now leads the Co-drivers’ table by 12 points.

Simon Mauger/Brian Cammack struggled on the slippery roads in their Ford Escort MkII but 3rd place overall, and top ‘Millington Escort Challenge’ points, were just rewards for a superb effort. They admitted to being caught out by the weather on at least one occasion and were also slowed when they were caught in the smoke belching out of James Grint’s Mitsubishi Lancer that was on its way into retirement with a blown turbo

. John Stone arrived in Kelso as leader of the 2011 REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and 5th place in his Skoda Fabia WRC ensured that he returned south in the same position. His was, nevertheless, a fraught event – he, too, had caught a car at one point and the Skoda’s front spoiler bore witness to an overshoot.

Hailing from the south-west of Scotland, David Hardie/John McCulloch would class the Jim Clark as their ‘home’ event and should be well pleased with 7th overall. Indeed, the duo have been quietly ‘getting on with it’ since the start of the season and their Subaru Impreza has finished all three rounds of the Championship to date, such that they currently occupy runners-up spots in both the Drivers and Co-drivers’ points tables.

From one extreme to the other, John Indri/Dave Engwell had driven up from Essex to contest the Jim Clark in their Darrian T90 GTR. Like Simon Mauger, they found their two-wheel drive vehicle a handful, especially when it was on the wrong tyres which, according to the driver, was most of the time! Be that as it may, Indri has recorded three finishes and is 3rd in the race to the coveted MSA Asphalt title. Michael Glendinning had been running in 6th place in his Impreza for much of Saturday but a problem on the very last stage of the rally dropped him to 9th in the final reckoning, while Andy Davison/Mike Curry (BMW M3) rounded off the Top Ten. Overcoming some fuel problems during the early stages of the rally, Julian Wilkes/Will Rutherford put their 1400cc Vauxhall Nova VXR190 into a fantastic 12th place overall, winning their class by almost 20 minutes. Wilkes was awarded the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Drive’ trophy for his efforts, presented by John Horton himself who briefly broke off from his commentary duties at the finish in Duns to hand over the stylish piece of glass.

The list of retirements on an event of such a challenging nature as the Jim Clark is normally quite extensive but, this year, it contained remarkably few MSA Championship crews. In addition to the aforementioned James Grint, Tommi Graham/Mike Bailey’s Escort had been returned to its correct shape after an ‘off’ on the Isle of Man, only for its differential to fail and Christopher and Katherine Singer’s Citroen Saxo S1600 was involved in an accident early on Saturday afternoon.

The next round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is the Rally of the Midlands which is based in Hinckley and takes place on 17th/18th June.


Posted: June 1, 2011 12:49 PM

1 David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9) 2:05:41.9
2 Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts (Skoda Fabia S2000) 2:05:59.5
3 Adam Gould/Seb Marshall (Subaru Impreza N15) 2:06:46.3
4 Elfyn Evans/Andrew Edwards (Subaru Impreza N15) 2:07:38.2
5 Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Citroen DS3 R3) 2:10:56.8
6 Alastair Fisher/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta R2) 2:14:05.0

Barrable Relishes Tarmac Challenge

Posted: May 27, 2011 2:47 PM

Robert Barrable winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman award supported by the Irish Sports Council, in his Skoda Fabia S2000 has his sights set on a top place at this weekend’s Jim Clark Rally. The event will see Robert and British Rally Championship regulars switch from the gravel of the British forests which has been the focus of the first three rounds of the championship to their first event on tarmac. Robert with Damien Connolly alongside on the notes heads to the rally buoyed by a number of strong finishes on tarmac in the Skoda since he took charge of the car at the beginning of the season, including the West Cork rally which he won back in March his first tarmac outing in the car. “I am really looking forward to the Jim Clark the Skoda is amazing on tarmac and I have had some really solid runs on tarmac in the car already this season so it will be good to see how it compares with the group N machines this weekend. The championship is still quiet open with a couple of strong finishes it is still there for the taking so I am hoping for a trouble free run” mentioned Robert prior to starting his reece for the event.

This weekend’s rally marks the halfway point in the BRC, with its base in Kelso south of Edinburgh the Jim Clark’s special stages are characterised by high hedges that line the special stages which coupled with fast straights and tight corners provide all the competitors with a tough challenge due in part also to a number of late evening stages. Robert and Damien took part in the rally in 2010 in their championship winning C2R2 and feel that the added experience of the event will help them in their quest for top honours.

Robert will face tough competition on the rally from championship leader David Bogie and second placed Elfyn Evans.
“I am enjoying the car and I feel that I am now getting to know the cars limits and I have a good handle on the braking, the Jim Clark stages will suit the Skoda” said Robert.

Following Robert’s outing on the Jim Clark he will commence his preparations for this year’s GEKO Ypres Rally, the fifth round of this year’s IRC which takes place in Belgium at the end of June.

Tom Cave heads north for tarmac BRC debut

Posted: May 26, 2011 11:40 AM

Teenage rally driver Tom Cave will make his 2011 4WD tarmac debut next weekend, when he and co-driver Craig Parry tackle the Jim Clark Rally, the fourth round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. After non-finishes on the last two rounds, the 19 year-old is keen to get his championship campaign back on track, despite not having driven the JRM Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX on tarmac before.

The action will begin as Tom sets the car up for the weekend on the official event shakedown, running on the morning of Friday 27th May, following the completion of the one-day recce. As this will be his first taste of the JRM car on asphalt, he will be keen to not only get a feeling for the car on sealed surfaces but also set it up to his liking.

Luckily, Tom already has some idea of what to expect on the event itself, having competed on it two years ago, at the wheel of the Group N Ford Fiesta ST. He also has experience of tarmac events in his own Subaru Impreza so the shakedown and early stages will be a case of tying everything together to find the right rhythm to give Tom back his confidence.

The event itself will be the toughest challenge the BRC crews have faced so far this year, with six stages run on Friday evening and a full 10 timed tests on Saturday. The total competitive distance for the event is almost 140 stage miles, more than double some of the previous rounds, so while this will place huge demands on crews, it also means that the opportunity to regain lost time or stretch an advantages also exists.

Commenting, Tom said;
"I'm definitely looking forward to getting back in the JRM EvoX and back into action. I'm sure the last two rallies, where we finished neither, will play on my mind to start with but if we can find a good rhythm and get my confidence back, then there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to have a good rally.

"I haven't driven the JRM car on tarmac before and while it's physically a big car, other drivers who have driven it say it's very good on asphalt. But I think that this event will be where we start to see the S2000 cars come into their own. We already know that the Skoda is the front-running S2000 car and I think this event will be better suited to their lower weight.

"I think they will push the Group N cars quite a lot and I feel we'll also see the pace of the whole championship take a step forward, as a result.

"But it's a very long rally and with six stages on Friday in the evening and a full day on Saturday, there's plenty of opportunities; rain could change the whole game and in this case, it could well be a case of sitting back and waiting to see what happens."

The event begins with the ceremonial start in the centre of Duns, the home town of namesake Jim Clark, from 17.30 on the evening of Friday 27th May. The event begins with the first of two runs around the Duns superspecial at 19.00, followed by five more stages before the crews reach the overnight parc ferme from midnight. The action begins again at 08.00 on Saturday, with the crews facing a further 10 stages and almost 100 stage miles, before arriving at the ceremonial finish, again in Duns, from 18.00.


Posted: May 24, 2011 11:24 AM

Following a six-week gap, crews contesting the MSA Scottish Rally Championship are preparing to kick-start their campaigns on the fast and challenging Berwickshire lanes next weekend.

More than 100 cars are entered for the popular Jim Clark Reivers Rally on Sunday, 29th May, the only tarmac event in the eight round series.

Defending title-holder and current points leader David Bogie will be targeting a third successive victory on the Duns-based event and his third win of the 2011 championship.

However, this time out, he will power through the lanes in his family's 23-year-old MG Metro 6R4 - the same car in which his father John won the Reivers rally in 2002.

Bogie will make the switch from his regular Mitsubishi Evo 9, which he will use on the Friday and Saturday of the Jim Clark weekend for the fourth round of the British championship, which he also leads, alongside co-driver Kevin Rae.

"The tarmac roads can be really sore on a car - the engine, transmission and other components - so it would be really stupid not to have a back-up plan for the Sunday", explained Bogie: "The Metro is being brought up from its base in Lincolnshire, and so as not to waste the opportunity, we've decided to use it on the Reivers. It's a very enjoyable car to drive, and despite the fact it's 23-years-old, the same age as myself, I still think it can be competitive, and we can win the rally in it".

He will face stiff competition from a clutch of leading drivers, not least Euan Thorburn the runner up for the past two years.

Thorburn who lives in Duns, and obviously knows the surrounding roads well, will be aiming to go one better this time out at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Evo 9, co-driven by Paul Beaton from Inverness.

Missing from the start line will be the third seed, Dave Weston, who pipped Bogie by one second to win a memorable Granite City round in April in a Ford Focus WRC '01. The Aberdeen-based competitor has had to withdraw his entry because of work commitments.

The Castle Douglas crew of Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick have had mixed fortunes over the first three rounds - a third place on the Snowman, was followed by a non-finish on the Border Counties, while a puncture meant they could only manage seventh overall on the Granite City.

Armstrong took the final podium spot on last year's Reivers, and believes better settings on his Subaru Impreza could lead to an improvement in stage times, compared to twelve months ago.

Following a fourth place finish on the Granite, Mike Faulkner moved into second spot in the drivers' standings overall - eight points adrift of Bogie, and one ahead of Thorburn.

With navigator Peter Foy, the Kirtlebridge-based driver is aiming for "a solid result to leave us in a good position to attack for the rest of the year".

"Although I've had some great results on tarmac in single makes, the Jim Clark has never been particularly good to me", admitted Faulkner: "The Berwickshire roads are very difficult, very fast where late braking is key to a good stage time but the grip varies a lot ? particularly if it's wet - and it's very easy to get caught out".

Andy Horne, co-driven by Jim Howie, will be back in action on the tarmac in his DAM 4100GTi, in which he finished seventeeth overall twelve months ago. The pair will be targetting a strong finish to get their campaign back on track after mechanical woes halted their charge in Aberdeenshire.

The only non-SRC registered crew in the top ten are tarmac specialists Mark Jasper and Don Whyatt from Stafford, who will be hoping to push for top honours in their recently-rebuilt Hyundai Accent WRC.

The leading rear-wheel drive entry is the "historic" Mk2 Escort of Steve Bannister, who with Louise Sutherland of Hawick on the notes, achieved a memorable second overall on the Reivers in bone dry conditions in 2008. That was followed by a fifth-place finish the following year, and a hard-earned fourteenth in 2010, when the pair were beaten to top 2WD honours by Keith Robathan/Ian Nicoll, who start further down the order in their Mk2.

Championship returnee Robbie Head has said he relishes the prospect of the Berwickshire tarmac stages ("it's a favourite event of mine") at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Evo 9, alongside local navigator Claire Mole. The Lanark driver is currently lying fourth in the overall standings, six points behind Thorburn.

Young Highland driver David Wilson turned in a storming drive to secure the final podium spot on a tie-break at the Granite City Rally. The Alness competitor will again be accompanied by Jedburgh-based co-driver Dave Robson.

Meanwhile, Barry Groundwater and navigator Neil Shanks - who were tenth overall in Aberdeen - will go into next Sunday's event having contested the National Rally the previous day in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.

The hotly-contested 1600cc category will see Thornhill's Jim Robertson (Citreon C2R2) attempting to extend his 3-point advantage in Class 4 over Graeme Schoneville, who will also be chasing Brick & Steel Challenge honours in his Honda Civic.

On the Granite, the Carluke-based driver suffered transmission problems on the penultimate stage, having built up a lead of more than half a minute: the class win on the day going to a delighted Alasdair Graham from Paisley, who will again be in action in his Vauxhall Corsa.

The first car will be flagged away from Duns town centre at 0845 on Sunday, with the leaders returning around 1645.

JRM Rally Team prepares for asphalt encounter

Posted: May 24, 2011 10:53 AM

The JRM Rally Team is pleased to be continuing its assault on this year’s Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship with Tom Cave, who has driven the team’s Mitsubishi Evolution X in the first three rounds of the season. The fourth in the calendar is the first asphalt surface event of the year – this weekend’s Jim Clark Rally - where JRM hopes it can help put the 19-year old from Aberdovey’s bid for the British title back on track.

Together with his co-driver Craig Parry from Llanymynech, Cave brought the JRM Mitsubishi home an impressive second in the first round of the Championship, February’s Rallye Sunseeker. However, in the two events that followed - the Bulldog Rally of North Wales and the Kielder Forest-based Pirelli Rally - bad luck prevailed, with a minor off-road excursion and a puncture resulting in two non-finishes respectively.

The team hopes that the switch of road surface with see a return to better fortunes, even though this will be the first time Cave has driven the Mitsubishi he used for the previous three gravel rounds on tarmac. He therefore aims to familiarise himself with the car and its asphalt set-up during the pre-event shake-down on Friday morning.

JRM are no strangers to success on this event when, at last year’s Jim Clark Rally, Gwyndaf Evans recorded the team’s first ever International victory on asphalt driving another of its Mitsubishi Evolutions. With this achievement under its belt, JRM hopes that the data and experience gained in 2010 will help the team provide Cave with the best tool for the job.

The Jim Clark Rally is the UK mainland’s only rally which is held on closed public roads, with all of its 140-miles of competition held in Berwickshire. The event gets underway on Friday evening with a ceremonial start in the centre of Duns. This is followed by six stages before the overnight halt at Kelso Racecourse, which also hosts the event’s service area. A further ten stages take place on Saturday, with the finish in Duns scheduled for 18.30.

Team Quotes

Tom Cave
“I'm definitely looking forward to getting back in the JRM Evo X and getteing back into action. I'm sure the last two rallies will play on my mind to start with but, if I can find a rhythm and get my confidence back, then there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to have a good rally. I haven't driven the JRM car on tarmac before and, while it's physically a big car, other drivers say it's very good on asphalt.”

John Barnes - Team Manager
“After winning this event last year, I’m confident that we have the car for the job. It would be great if we can achieve a good result this weekend, as we are all aiming to get Tom’s campaign back on track and to see if we can still mount a challenge for the title. The Jim Clark is a long rally and there are a lot of factors that come into play, such as reliability, good pacenotes and, of course, the weather, which has a reputation of making grip levels a bit of a lottery. It’s going to be an interesting event and the whole team is looking forward to it.”

First Taste of Tarmac in 2011 for Breen

Posted: May 20, 2011 11:27 AM

As Craig attends the Irish Motorsport Expo in Kilkenny (Ire) this weekend, I'm sure the Scottish Border town of Kelso will also be on his mind as the Waterford rally driver will return to the asphalt stages South of Edinburgh next weekend.

The British Rally Championship makes it transition from the loose surface of the opening three rounds next weekend and it's also a transition for Craig as he has pencilled in three tarmac events over the next month. The previous eight months have been the longest term in the Irish driver’s career not to compete on the black stuff but with two tough events coming in the WRC Academy later in the season, it's now time to get some sealed surface experience in the Fiesta R2

First up is the Jim Clark round 4 of the BRC, then Craig takes on the Rallye Ronde Limousine in France and then on the 26th of June Craig will be back in his Fiesta S2000 on home soil for the Ravens Rock Rally.

Craig's views as he looks ahead to the next few weeks
"I first want to wish all involved with the Irish Motorsport Expo well for what is set to be a great weekend in the HUB, Kilkenny. I know John Rafter and all his team have put a huge amount of work into it and I'm delighted the Carrick Motor Club has decided to organise this event which showcase the best Irish Motorsport. I will have my S2000 car there and my Dad’s Ford Focus will also be on display. My supporters club will have a stand and I'm looking forward to taking part in the Young Drivers Forum.”

“It’s back to work then next weekend with my first tarmac event of the year and the Jim Clark Rally in the BRC. I'm looking forward to putting the R2 through its paces on the tarmac stages around Kelso. 2011 has been different as we started out with WRC Sweden and then with the opening rounds of the WRC Academy on gravel that's where our priority stood to this point. I've also targeted the Rallye Ronde Limousine which comes up the week after the Jim Clark; it's a round of the French Championship and with round 5 of the Academy in France it will be an important face finding exercise. At the end of June I'll be home for my local Ravens Rock Rally. The Rally is a round of the National Tarmac Championship and I'm taking the opportunity to use my Fiesta S2000."

REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship - Round 3 : Jim Clark National Rally

Posted: May 18, 2011 11:55 AM

There is plenty of talk at present regarding the possibility of closed-road rallying on the UK mainland at some point in the future but, in the here and now, the one event that is afforded that status is the Jim Clark Rally. The National section forms the third round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and crews will be heading up to Kelso in the Scottish Borders on 27th/28th May for this iconic event in the British calendar.

Leading the field away from the start in Duns, home town of the late Jim Clark, will be 2010 winner Damian Cole in his Get Connected! Ford Focus WRC. Following his retirement last time out on the Isle of Man and accompanied on this occasion by series newcomer James Morgan, Damian needs a result here to put his quest for back-to-back REIS Championship titles back on track.

Another Manx retirement, almost before the event had started, was Steve Simpson who arrived on the island as MSA Championship leader, having won the Tour of Epynt, but is now also in need of a boost to his campaign. The 2007 MSA Asphalt Champion has Manx winning co-driver Patrick Walsh with him in his Subaru Impreza WRC which is now maintained by Melvyn Evans Motorsport.

For the second year running, John Stone arrives in Kelso as REIS Asphalt Championship leader and is reunited with Lee Carter in his Skoda Fabia WRC. Simon Mauger, who was leading the 2010 Jim Clark National Rally in his two-wheel drive Ford Escort MkII until the rain came, is back to try and go one better this time. Simon and co-driver Brian Cammack recently appeared at the Rally Show at Cornbury Park in the car and won virtually everything they entered, including the ‘McRae Vision’ trophy, presented by Jimmy himself, for providing the most entertainment for the crowds!

John Indri makes the long trek up from his home in Chelmsford to the Borders with his Darrian T90 GTR. Fresh from winning the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ on the Isle of Man, John is reunited with regular co-driver Dave Engwell and, given a clear run and dry weather, should be well up there by the finish on Saturday afternoon.

On the other side of the coin, to Dumfries residents David Hardie and John McCulloch the Jim Clark represents their ‘home’ event! Their season has started well and, after two good results, their Subaru Impreza is 4th overall, six points behind John Stone’s Fabia. Michael Glendinning, in another Impreza, has ‘form’ in this part of the world and is known to be quick, while James Grint leads the Championship Group N charge in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9. Jim Sharp/Amy Mackinnon have swopped from a Lancer to an Impreza this year and the quality continues right through the entry.

The full list of REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship-registered crews contesting the Jim Clark National Rally is as follows:

    * 101 Damian Cole/James Morgan Ford Focus WRC
    * 102 Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh Subaru Impreza WRC
    * 103 John Stone/Lee Carter Skoda Fabia WRC
    * 104 Simon Mauger/Brian Cammack Ford Escort MkII
    * 105 John Indri/Dave Engwell Darrian T90 GTR
    * 108 David Hardie/John McCulloch Subaru Impreza
    * 111 Michael Glendinning/Fiona Douglas Subaru Impreza
    * 112 James Grint/Steve Greenhill Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9
    * 114 Jim Sharp/Amy Mackinnon Subaru Impreza
    * 119 Roger Donnan/TBA Ford Puma S1600
    * 122 Richard Clews/Barry James Subaru Impreza
    * 124 Andy Davison/Mike Curry BMW M3
    * 125 Paul Swift/Edwin Cook Ford Escort MkII
    * 126 Tommi Graham/Mike Bailey Ford Escort MkII
    * 129 Tom Preston/Yan Griffiths TBA
    * 130 Chris Daykin/Dan Megannity Subaru Impreza
    * 132 Tim Daltry/Paul Ohren-Bird Peugeot 205
    * 137 Kevin Monaghan/Chris Purvis Vauxhall Corsa
    * 150 Garry Wilson/Fiona Gourlay Opel Manta
    * 151 Paul Culverwell/Jo Saddington Peugeot 205 RWD
    * 156 Richard Felgate/Mark Mason BMW 325i
    * 160 Kevin Harbour/Dave Tortoishell Peugeot 205 GTI
    * 162 Ian Copping/Dave Rowley Ford Fiesta RWD
    * 167 Michael Davison/Josh Davison Proton Satria
Split into two legs, the rally begins on the Friday evening in Duns and, following an overnight halt, draws to a close back there on Saturday afternoon.

Seeded Entry Lists Available

Posted: May 16, 2011 3:54 PM

Seeded Entry Lists available via event website:

Unseeded Entry Lists

Posted: April 20, 2011 10:57 AM

Regulations/On Line Entry Available

Posted: March 17, 2011 9:25 PM

Regulations available from

Jim Clark Rally withdraws from Irish Tarmac Championship

Posted: February 23, 2011 4:13 PM

Following a review of this year's Jim Clark Rally, to be held on the Bank Holiday weekend of 27th - 29th May, the organisers are disappointed to announce that the event will not, as originally hoped, incorporate a round of the 2011 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

It had been hoped that the Jim Clark, a counting round of the top Irish rally championship from 2003 to 2009, would once again form part of that series after a year out in 2010. However, taking a number of factors into consideration, the decision to again drop out of the Irish championship for this year has had to be taken.

Jim Clark Rally Manager Colin Pagan said:
"There are considerable costs involved in being part of an international series such as the excellent Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. However in the current financial climate we have not been able to find the necessary funding to cover these. After considering the low number of registered Irish competitors, and the significant outlay involved by us, particularly for television coverage, we just cannot go ahead without financial assistance. As we have not been able to attract relevant financial support, we feel there is no alternative but to continue our sabbatical from the Irish series.

The competitors from across the Irish Sea are a popular addition to the weekend of rallying, and we are disappointed they may not all be over in May. However we have put in place a drivers' incentive scheme so that hopefully we can continue to attract Irish competitors over to an event which so many enjoy.

We had been planning to accommodate the WRC competitors of the Irish championship within a separate event, but this will not now take place. The drivers' incentive scheme will only be open to those registered for the Irish series and who are eligible for classes R1, 2 and 3.

But the Jim Clark Rally weekend, including the British Championship counting International Rally on the Friday and Saturday, and the Scottish Championship round of the Reivers Rally on the Sunday, goes ahead and promises as always to be a great three days of rallying in mainland Britain's only closed public road event."

Rally Guide 1

Posted: February 7, 2011 8:28 PM

Jim Clark International Rally returns to the Citroen Irish Tarmac Rally championship in 2011!

Posted: June 1, 2010 9:47 AM

The Irish Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA) is pleased to announce that the popular and challenging Jim Clark International Rally, based in Kelso in Scotland, will return to the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in 2011.

TROA Chairman, Bobby Clinton, also confirmed that the Jim Clark Rally (JCR) will cater for WRC Cars, which will remain eligible to score overall and class points in the Championship in 2011.

The JCR was always one of the most competitive, spectacular and well organised rounds of the championship since its first inclusion in 2002. Previous Irish Tarmac Championship winners include Andrew Nesbitt (three times), Eugene Donnelly (twice), Eamon Boland and Derek McGarrity.

Colin Pagan, JCR Rally Manager, stated:
"We are delighted that the Jim Clark International Rally is once again part of the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. We look forward to the additional competition and spectator interest created by inclusion of the Irish Tarmac Championship competitors – and they will, as always, be made most welcome".

Event Website

Posted: June 1, 2010 9:45 AM

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