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Jim Clark Rally - 28-29 May 10

Posted: June 2, 2010 9:01 AM - 15605 Hits

Round 3 - 2010 British Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2010 Scottish Rally Championship
Round 3 - 2010 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship & BTRDA Asphalt Rally Challenge
Round 3 - 2010 UK Evolution Challenge
Round 3 - 2010 Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2010 Fiesta SportTrophy UK

  • Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson win Jim Clark 2010

Citroën Racing Trophy - Barrable makes it two from three

Posted: June 2, 2010 9:01 AM

Of the six Citroën Racing Trophy UK (CRT) crews on the Jim Clark International Rally, three took turns to lead the event but only one emerged victorious, Irishmen Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly eventually streaking over a minute clear of the pack after 130 miles of asphalt action.

The third round of both CRT and Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship began in fine weather, despite forecasters predicting showers, with a blast through the centre of Duns where racing legend Jim Clark grew up.

First round winners Mark Donnelly and stand-in co-driver Emmet Sherry took first blood but the gap to Luke Pinder and Peter Scott was less than two seconds, although the Yorkshireman was already suffering with electrical problems. The car cut out before the stage start and the crew would fail to make the re-start on Saturday, becoming the one-make series’ first retirement of the event

Stage two, the technical Abbey St Bathans, saw a change of lead in the form of Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor, who posted a storming time over six seconds clear of Donnelly and ten ahead of the eventual winner. It was Barrable who struck back on the third test, stopping the clocks a second sooner than Sykes, but the Midlander remained at the front, Donnelly splitting them in second.

Another run through Duns saw Donnelly fastest again, but all Sykes’ hard work was undone on the re-run of Abbey, a problem with his rev-counter causing him to change gear too soon. Barrable took advantage of his misfortune and having never contested the Jim Clark Rally before, his second runs through the stages were considerably quicker. He stunned the rest of the field and with a time 23 seconds clear of Donnelly and leap-frogged to the front of the field, moving another six seconds ahead on Friday’s final night time stage.

Meanwhile Irish crew Joe McGonigle and Niall Burns pulled away from Australian Molly Taylor with last year’s champion co-driver Phil Clarke, who had only one goal; to get to the final service of the day so an ailing gearbox could be changed.

By the second service on Saturday, Sykes joined Pinder on the list of retirements with a seriously sick sounding engine, this elevated McGonigle and Taylor who had swapped places on every stage, until the Australian admitted she had started making silly mistakes, allowing McGonigle to pull clear after resolving a rear brake problem.

At the front Barrable was on a mission, setting fastest times on all but one stage on Saturday. Donnelly took the sensible approach, considering the championship, although he did admit to an excursion into a field, thankfully only pride damaged in the process.

So it was Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly who took the Citroën Racing Trophy UK honours in Duns, placing ninth overall and highest placed two wheel drive crew on the International Rally. Their second straight win moves them five points clear at the head of the championship table and nets them €5,000 in prize money, certainly worth the effort on their first Jim Clark International Rally.

2010 Citroën Racing Trophy UK
Jim Clark International Rally Results/prize money
Pos Driver/Co-driver Prize
1 Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly €5,000
2 Mark Donnelly/ Emmet Sherry €4,000
3 Joe McGonigle/Niall Burns €2,000
4 Molly Taylor/Phil Clarke €1,500
5 Luke Pinder/Peter Scott DNF
6 Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor DNF

Fiesta SportChallenge - Cunningham extends lead as rivals hit trouble.

Posted: June 2, 2010 8:57 AM

Championship leader Jonny Cunningham extended his lead in the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportChallenge with an impressive drive on round four, the Jim Clark Challenge Rally. Championship returnee Rory Hall took second with youngster Alex Laffey third.

The shorter challenge event took in the same stages as the international rally but with crews only contesting each stage once. Pirelli Challenge winners Damien Smith, 28 from Silsden and Frazer Hutchinson, drew first blood winning the opening one and a quarter mile stage through Duns town centre despite missing the recce and never having driven the car in anger on Tarmac. 26-year-old Galwayman Cunningham was next, with brother Patrick sitting in for regular co-driver Richard Millener. Cunningham had also never driven his ST on Tarmac prior to the opening test, but put his experience competing in Ireland to good use posting a time less than a second behind Smith. Championship returnee Rory Hall, 27, from Goodwick and co-driver Lee Burgess were third just ahead of Alex Laffey and Peter Martin. 17-year-old Dan O'Brien from St Albans was next through the short opening test with new co-driver Paul Morris in the passenger seat. Championship contenders Richard Parry-Jones and John Pritchard suffered a trying start to the opening stage posting the sixth and seventh fastest times respectively. Jamie Brown and Craig Burgess were next less than one second behind Pritchard.

Smith continued his impressive start to the event on stage two, Abbey St Bathans to increase his advantage over Cunningham to 16 seconds. Parry-Jones recovered from his slow start to post the third fastest time and climb to fourth overall, less than three seconds behind Hall. Pritchard also started climbing up the leader, passing O'Brien for sixth. Cunningham started his fight-back on the final stage of Friday night posting a time four and half seconds quicker than Smith and closing the ga to eleven seconds. Hall posted the second fastest time on the stage less than two seconds behind Cunningham. Parry-Jones from Abermaw and co-driver Sara Price continued their recovery posting the fourth fastest time just three tenths of a second ahead of Laffey, 20 from Market Harborough. Pritchard and O'Brien posted exactly the same time through the stage as darkness fell with Brown, 18 from Foulsham a further five seconds behind.

As the crews return to service at Kelso Race Course at the end of day they were all raving about the stages and how much they enjoyed driving them. O'Brien summed it up perfectly saying "Rallying on Tarmac is great, you get to drive how you wish you could on the open road."

It was all change at the top of the leader board after the opening test of day two, Cunningham posted the fastest time to overhaul Smith and open out a ten second advantage. Laffey claimed his best stage result so far posting the second fastest time six seconds ahead of Smith in third. Parry-Jones continued his climb up the leader board with the fourth fastest time to pass Hall for third. Pritchard and co-driver Chris Williams were more comfortable on the morning of day two, posting the fifth fastest time and increasing their advantage over O'Brien to over 30 seconds. With SS5 cancelled due to an accident in the International event, the crews had just two final stages to tackle before the end of the event. Cunningham continued to stamp his authority over the event winning the stage by seven seconds from Rory Hall. Hall was promoted into second after Smith hit trouble and dropped over seven minutes. Laffey continued to improve posting the third fastest time less than half a second behind Hall. More importantly he closed to within three seconds of third placed man Parry-Jones.

Cunningham took his tally of stage wins to five on the final stage of the event to increase his winning margin to just over a minute ahead of Rory Hall who made an excellent return to the series. Cunningham claimed his third win of the year in fine style winning all but the first two stages and gain some valuable Tarmac experience ahead of the Manx Challenge Rally. Laffey posted a time ten seconds up on Parry-Jones to overhaul the more experienced competitor and claim the final spot on the podium, his best result of the season so far. Smith recovered from his problems on the penultimate stage to post the second fastest time, he had lost too much on the previous stage for this make an impact on the leader however. Pritchard's confidence continued to grow as the event went on and he recorded the fourth fastest time on the final test, less than 15seconds behind winner Cunningham.

The Kick Energy Fiesta SportChallenge championship heads halfway across the Irish Sea next, to the Manx Challenge Rally around the challenging Isle of Man roads.

Event Winner - Jonny Cunningham said:
"It's great to come here and score our first win in the ST on Tarmac. We had a good fight with Damien today and it's a shame it ended prematurely. I have to thank my brother Patrick for doing a great job standing in for Rich. I can't wait for the next round to try and secure the championship victory.

Cunninghams tames the Tar!

Posted: June 2, 2010 8:56 AM

Last weekend saw another great result for Jonathan Cunningham (26) from Workington, after he took his third overall victory in the Fiesta SportChallenge (FSC) at the Jim Clark Challenge Rally. The event which is based in the Borders Region of the UK was the first tarmac event of the year and the fourth round of the competitive one make Fiesta ST rally series. The impressive result sees Cunningham retain the lead of the series after it has reached the halfway point of the season.

It was to be a race against time to prepare for the event as the young Irish born driver had to repair damage sustained to the car at the previous round, the Pirelli International Rally, as well as convert the car into Tarmac specification. With all this completed only hours before the event began there was also another hurdle to clear, regular navigator Richard Millener was unfortunately called away to work at the World Rally Championship event in Portugal for the M-Sport BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, meaning that Cunningham was effectively left a person short! With a phone call home his brother Patrick was able to fly to the UK and take over the important map reading role.

The event was a two day rally beginning on Friday night, where the FSC crews took in three night stages, a challenge not often seen in modern day rallying. Cunningham has never driven the Fiesta ST in tarmac trim and was unable to test before the event so the night stages really would be a baptism of fire. A steady run over the three tests to ensure he made it to the start of day two saw him take in 7th, 4th and 2nd fastest stage times respectively and would see him end the leg 4th overall and lying 2nd FSC competitor, 11.4 seconds off Damien Smith.

With a few hours sleep the crew were up again and ready for the early morning Saturday start. The day would see the Cunningham brothers take in a further four stages before crossing the finishing ramp at Kelso racecourse. Consistency would be the name of the day, the first stage of the morning saw Cunningham post a fourth fastest stage time and with this leap frog Smith and take the lead in the FSC.

Stage five was cancelled after a crash in the International field meant the test could not be run competitively. This left only two stages for Cunningham to tackle. Growing more and more confident with the handling of the ST on tarmac Cunningham was getting more into the groove and was able to set a further two fourth fastest stage times. The mature drive throughout the event saw Cunningham take his third FSC victory of the year over one minute ahead of his nearest rival. It means he continues to lead the series and remain in strong contention for overall victory at the end of the year.

As well as the FSC the Jim Clark Rally was the third round of the BRC Challenge series. Championship leader Julian Wilkes suffered an unfortunate retirement early on during the event which left championship newcomer Richard Archer to take victory. Cunningham would take his second podium of the weekend finishing third overall in the event and would spray a second lot of champagne. The third overall sees him also increase his lead in the N3 class of the championship.

Cunningham and Millener will reunite again at the weekend at the Chatsworth Rally Show, based at Chatsworth house in Chesterfield. The PR event designed to bring rallying to new fans will see the Workington pairing take part in an FSC shootout with the winner getting to drive a Focus World Rally Car around the stage at the show. Cunningham’s busy weekend will not end there as he will fly out to Ireland on Saturday night to compete on the next round of the Irish Junior championship, the Circuit of Munster Rally where he hopes to take his first victory on Irish soil this year, competing on the two events in one weekend will be a tough test but a great challenge nonetheless.

Driver Jonathan Cunningham said:
“It was another great event for me, to bounce back from a disappointing result on the previous round of the series to taking victory again was a fantastic result. I am still learning the Fiesta ST on tarmac but it’s a great handling car. The other FSC competitors all drove well but I am just glad I managed to stay ahead to take the win. Hopefully I can do some testing before the next FSC round in the Isle of Man and I can then push for another victory. In the meantime I am looking forward to the rally show at Chatsworth as it would be a dream come true to drive a World Rally car and competing in Munster the day after will mean a busy but great fun weekend!”

BRC Video Report

Posted: June 1, 2010 3:26 PM

Fiesta SportTrophy UK - Evans takes the win MacCrone steals the show.

Posted: June 1, 2010 12:57 PM

The fourth round of the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy UK Championship took place last weekend on the 40th annual Jim Clark Memorial Rally. Championship leader Elfyn Evans scored his fourth win of the year on the all Tarmac event but it was Scotsman John MacCrone who stole the show, posting seven fastest times from the eight stages on day two of the event.

The Duns based event started on Friday evening with a one and a quarter mile dash through the town centre. Rally Team Scotland driver, John MacCrone, 20 from the Isle of Mull, started the event in fine style winning the opening test by four and a half seconds ahead of fellow Scot John Boyd. Elfyn Evans, 21 from Machynlleth and Andrew Edwards were third less than half a second behind Boyd. Peter Taylor lost a minute when he had to stop just before the end of the opening stage due to petrol fumes entering the cockpit. It turned out to be due to an over-filled fuel tank and he and co-driver Andy Richardson were able to continue.

MacCrone and co-driver Stuart Loudon's lead was short lived however, a broken driveshaft on stage two forced them out of the event and the chance of scoring their first FST UK victory. Normal service was resumed on SS2, the challenging 15mile Abbey St Bathans stage. Elfyn Evans took the stage victory and moved into the lead ahead of the freshly rebuilt Fiesta ST of John Boyd, 22 from West Linton and Craig Wallace. MacCrone's misfortune promoted 18-year-old Peter Taylor onto the third podium position. Evans increased his lead by a further 34 seconds through SS3, Polwarth. Boyd was next through the stage and consolidated his second place finishing the stage just over five second ahead of Peter Taylor.

After a short refuel stop the crews headed off for a second run over the first three stages. Peter Taylor claimed his maiden FST UK stage victory on the second run through Duns. Less than one second covered the three remaining Fiesta runners. Evans claimed the second spot with John Boyd third. The second run through Abbey St Bathans produced a repeat of the result from earlier with Elfyn Evans taking the win 50seconds ahead of John Boyd. Despite the reduced visibility due to the falling light, Taylor in the sole remaining Fiesta R2 was able to improve on his earlier time by almost 15seconds.

The final stage of the night was Polwarth 2, Evans and Edwards took their fourth stage win of the night to increase their advantage over the similar Fiesta ST of John Boyd and Craig Wallace to over two minutes. Peter Taylor and Andy Richardson held third a further two minutes back. Returning to service at the end of day one the remaining crews were happy to have made it through some tricky stages. All reported the conditions to be somewhat tricky due to the changeable weather but had none the less enjoyed the nights rallying. With repairs in place on his Fiesta R2 MacCrone would be able to restart day two under super-rally.

Cool-dry conditions greeted the crews as returned to Kelso Racecourse for the start of day two. Tyre choice was still critical however as the high road mileages meant that conditions on the stages could be totally different to those at HQ. Day two of the event was made up of two loops of four stages once again around the Berwickshire area.

The opening test of the day was the 11-mile Wedderburn stage. With a sizeable advantage over Boyd, Evans could afford to relax on day two and cruise to the finish. This didn't stop him posting his sixth fastest stage time of the event twelve seconds quicker than Taylor. MacCrone had restarted day two and posted the third fastest time despite recovering from a minor spin with Boyd a further four seconds back.

MacCrone scored his second stage win of the event on SS8, Edrom 1, posting a time ten seconds up on Evans. The stage was marred however by a heavy crash involving Peter Taylor and Andy Richardson. The pair went off the road at speed into a tree resulting in the stage having to be stopped, while emergency services attended the accident. While Taylor escaped injury Richardson wasn't so lucky and had to be flown to hospital for emergency treatment. Richardson is thought to have aggravated a previous injury in the accident and is undergoing treatment at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The first run through Eccles saw Isle of Mull based John MacCrone once again take the stage win in his Rally Team Scotland Fiesta R2. MacCrone posted a time 14 seconds quicker than Evans who still led the FST event by almost three minutes over John Boyd. After being forced out of the event early on, MacCrone was clearly out to prove a point on his home event. MacCrone drew level with Evans in the Castrol Hard Charger Award for most stage wins on SS10, Swinton 1. By contrast Evans knew all he had to do to claim his fourth consecutive FST UK victory was drive steady and make it to the end of the event. He was performing that role perfectly and barely put a foot wrong on the demanding border stages.

MacCrone continued his run of stage wins on SS11 and 12, Eccles and Swinton 2. MacCrone's confidence in his R2 was clearly growing as he posted times well inside the top 15 overall. Evans continued to increase his lead over Boyd, to head the field by over four minutes with just two stages remaining. Boyd was having a somewhat lonely event in second and was trying to build his confidence on Tarmac ahead of the next two challenging events, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland International Rallies.

The final two stages saw MacCrone and Loudon increase their tally to eight stage wins from a possible 14 to claim the Castrol Hard Charger award for the event. MacCrone was left to wonder what might have been had it not been for the problems on SS2. It was championship leader Elfyn Evans who would secure the FST event victory and claim his fourth win of the season. Despite a scare on the final test, where he slid into a bank, Evans finished strongly to increase his championship lead over Boyd to 29 points. Boyd consolidated his second place in the standings with a measured drive to second.

Andy Richardson is currently in a stable condition at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Fiesta SportTrophy UK championship organisers would like to extend their best wishes to Andy and hope he makes a quick recovery.

The fifth round of the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy UK championship takes place on 9-10 July 2010 with the Isle of Man International Rally based in Douglas. The challenging event takes in some of the most famous Tarmac stages in the world around the island, which has a renowned Motorsport heritage.

    1 E Evans/A Edwards 2:06:05.5
    2 J Boyd/C Wallace 2:10:42.4
    3 J MacCrone/S Loudon 2:53:09.0

    DNF P Taylor/A Richardson

Fine Second for Alastair on Jim Clark International

Posted: June 1, 2010 11:32 AM

For Alastair Fisher this season’s British Rally Championship has had its frustrations. Two non finishes with mechanical failures on the opening Bulldog and Pirelli gravel rounds had left no points on the board. On the first two British rounds Alastair had shown his speed, and now on the weekend’s Jim Clark International, with the speed came a well deserved result, a fine second place behind former British Champion Gwyndaf Evans.

Alastair with co-driver Rory Kennedy started the Jim Clark International in confident form after their recent successes on the Irish Tarmac rounds, which included leading the Circuit of Ireland overall. After a blast around the late Jim Clark’s home town of Duns, it was on to the first proper Abbey St Bathans stages, where Alastair lay fourth overall at the finish of the test.
“We had a good time on Abbey St Bathans, Keith set the fastest time and we were 5 seconds off Gwyndaf and 1 second faster than Craig Breen in the Super 2000 Fiesta. On the night stages we also had clean runs and by the end of the day we were in third place.”

Day two started extremely well for Alastair, the Co.Tyrone driver turning in stage times on the pace of the two British Champions, Keith Cronin and Gwyndaf Evans. After the day’s first two tests, Alastair maintained his 26 second advantage over Gwyndaf, with Craig Breen now leading from Keith Cronin. Then the drama unfolded with Craig retiring with a blown engine and Keith losing time with a puncture.
“Things really heated up over the morning loop, we swapped just a tenth of a second with Gwyndaf over the opening two tests of the day and after Craig and Keith’s problems we found ourselves leading the rally.”
But, unfortunately Alastair was to have his own niggles.
“The last four stages were one big loop and we chose slicks which was the correct choice despite a shower. On the first test it was very slippery for everyone and some of the sections were like driving on ice!
Unfortunately we developed an engine problem, with a misfire coming into the car. It just wasn’t revving out clean and we were really losing out on the fast sections, dropping maybe a second a mile with it. Gwyndaf slipped ahead of us, it would have been nice to have been racing him to the finish, but we had to settle for second place. Nevertheless we were happy with the result and with it we won the UK Evo Challenge round also scooping £500 of parts vouchers. It was good to get the result and put a few points on the board.”

The next rally for Alastair is the Topaz Donegal International on the 18th-20th June, round four of the Citroen Irish Tarmac Rally Championship which Alastair amazingly leads overall.
“The entry in Donegal is going to be very competitive. It’s also a three day rally, a tough rally, so we really need to try and make sure of a finish and think of the championship.”

Superb Second Citroen Place for Mark Donnelly on Jim Clark Rally

Posted: June 1, 2010 11:29 AM

Second place on the Citroen Racing Trophy UK Jim Clark Rally in Scotland, netted 19 year old Omagh driver Mark Donnelly a welcome 4000€ prize money from Citroen Racing. It was indeed a needed boost for the young rally driver after a disappointing early retirement on his outing in Killarney.
“The Jim Clark was a good confidence builder after Killarney, and I think I’ve made a few more improvements on driving the C2 on tarmac. I’m looking forward now to the next Citroen Racing Trophy (CRT) Ireland round in Donegal.”

For the Jim Clark Mark’s Citroen C2 R2 Max was once again rebuilt by the Motor Sport Service team, and he also had a new co-driver in for this event, Monaghan’s Emmett Sherry. It took a while for the pair to acclimatise as they started the Friday night stages, with the first stage a blast through the late Jim Clark’s home town of Duns. However Mark was impressive with an eighth fastest overall time and top two wheel drive machine. Onto the first proper stage, Abbey St Bathans, and at the end of this 15 mile test Mark was lying 11th overall, 2nd Citroen to English driver Richard Sykes but there were a few worries inside the car.
“We had a problem with the oil light flickering on and off, and I was worried about the engine, so we were easing off a lot. We had a similar problem on the Circuit of Ireland and I was just worried about the same issue again, but Robbie McGurk changed a few things on the day’s final service and the car was perfect for day two.”
Overnight they lay 12th overall and 2nd CRT runner, 26 seconds down on a charging Robert Barrable, despite also clipping the rear of the C2 on stage 3.

“I started day two a little too cautious, and we dropped a good bit of time to Robbie. We also had a big moment over a series of crests when I wasn’t prepared for a Square right and we got stuck in a field for 30 seconds. I certainly wasn’t pushing really hard, and it was taking a few stages to rebuild the confidence on the fast stuff too.”
Nevertheless after eleven stages, with three to go, they were 2nd Citroen, 1 minute 8 seconds behind Robert Barrable, and 3rd two wheel drive car, now just 3.3 seconds behind Finnish ace Matti Rantanen with his Renault Twingo R2. When the rain came down for the final few stages however, Mark put in some very good times.
“We had a good push on the first wet stage, and took 16 back off Robert, and moved ahead of Matti Rantanen which I was happy about. That also was important for our finishing position in Group R and the Citroen prize money. Now though I’m really looking forward to Donegal and I really want to be right there if I can.”

A finishing position of 11th overall and 2nd CRT UK runner now means Mark commands a healthy second place in the CRT UK series with the next round on the Isle of Man, whilst the next CRT Irish round is Donegal on June 18th-20th.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK - Alastair Fisher scores convincing maiden victory and finishes second overall.

Posted: June 1, 2010 10:42 AM

A stunning performance this weekend saw Alastair Fisher and co-driver Rory Kennedy claim their first ever Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge victory on this weekend’s Jim Clark International Rally, their pace good enough to see them finish second overall and even lead the event outright at one point. Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts were second and therefore continue to lead the Mitsubishi series, whilst Daniel Sigurdarson and Asta Sigurdardottir were third and delighted to finish their first ever all-asphalt rally.

The event, which was also the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and began with a spectacular start in Duns at 7.00pm on Friday. The first of the evening’s six stages featured a spectacular run from the centre of the town and through its closed streets, Fisher/Kennedy fastest of the Evo Challenge crews – but only just – with Greer/Roberts just 0.1 second behind.

Next were Owen Murphy/James O’Brien, who were aiming for a trouble-free run after a non-finish and then power issues in the first and second rounds. However, luck was still not on their side, when their car’s clutch started slipping almost right from the start.

Sigurdarson/Sigurdardottir were trying to remain calm before the start, as this was only the second all-asphalt rally for the Icelandic driver, his first being a short-lived affair when he crashed on the Isle of Man two years previously. Added to this, it was the first tarmac event for his co-driver.

Their nerves were not helped when seconds before they were due to leave the start line a wild Deer ran down the street in front of them. Fortunately, the stray animal didn't stay around long enough to cause a hazard, but their momentary loss of concentration caused them to spin at the very first corner.

All Mitsubishi crews made it through SS2 and SS3, with Fisher/Kennedy pulling out a comfortable lead of 41 seconds before the loop of the same three stages was repeated. Following this, competitors entered the service area and over-night halt at Kelso Racecourse, with the time sheets showing that Fisher/Kennedy had extended their advantage by another 30 seconds and now held third place overall.

Greer/Roberts were still in second, but disappointed not to be closer to the leaders. Having been advised that the weather was going to change they had opted for wet pattern tyres, which had hampered their progress greatly in the dry conditions.
Murphy/O’Brien had retained their position, although they were not comfortable with the feel of their car through the bumpy Berwickshire lanes, although the clutch was now behaving itself. Following them, Sigurdarson/Sigurdardottir were just relieved to get through the first part of the event with no problems whatsoever.

Saturday provided a further eight stages, each run twice, with a service halt after SS8 and SS10. Fisher/Kennedy carried on from where they left off on the previous day and proceeded to extend their Evo Challenge lead. They even went onto first place overall after SS10, when cars ahead of them collected punctures or had mechanical problems.

Even though Greer/Roberts were now on the right tyres and their pace was closer to that of the leaders, they could realistically only consolidate their position. But for Murphy/O’Brien SS8 was to be their last, when a loud bang from their gearbox signalled they had a problem and, although making it to the end of the stage, the car would go no further.

With the final loop of four stages to go, the podium positions in the Evolution Challenge looked unlikely to change unless bad luck intervened. Having got to this point in the last two rallies and then retired due to transmission troubles, Fisher/Kennedy took a deep breath and aimed for the cleanest run they could, staying out of trouble and away from punctures – especially as light rain had now started to fall.

Their strategy and the onset of an intermittent misfire from stage 11 onwards was to allow eventual rally winners Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson through and into first place overall. However, after an excellent drive 21-year old Fisher went on to record his best result to date by taking second place overall, finish runner-up in a round of the British Rally Championship and secure his first ever victory in the Evolution Challenge.

“I am extremely pleased with the way things have gone this weekend and I must thank the team for all they have done”, said Fisher at the finish. “I was bit worried towards the end when the engine started to misfire, but it’s great to get to the finish of a British Championship event this year and to record my first Evolution Challenge win. My season starts now!”

Greer/Roberts did what they needed to do and, with a trouble-free run throughout the day collected second place in the Evolution Challenge and fourth overall, which was enough to ensure they maintain their lead in both the Mitsubishi series and the British Rally Championship.

Sigurdarson/Sigurdardottir were both relieved and delighted to finally lay the spectre of completing an asphalt rally to rest and, in doing so, recorded a highly respectable third in the Evolution Challenge and seventh place overall.

The fourth round of the British Mitsubishi series is the second of three consecutive asphalt-based events, when the series heads to the infamous land mass in the Irish Sea for the International Rally Isle of Man, which takes place on 9th & 10th July.

The 2010 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK is supported by: Mitsubishi Motors UK, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JRM, Cyprus Automobile Association, Fairways Mitsubishi, Speedline Corse wheels, Murray Motorsport, CL brake pads, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights - who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.

For the first time this season the winner of the Evolution Challenge in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, will win the same prize: A supported drive in the FxPro Rally Cyprus, the final round of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). Then, whichever of the three teams are first home on this event will be crowned European Evolution Challenge Champions. Added to this, the winning driver in the UK will be a guaranteed nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK - Round 3 Results
1 Alastair Fisher (Trillick)/Rory Kennedy (Letterkenny) 1:55:04.6
2 Jonny Greer (Carryduff)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen) 1:57:17.7
3 Daniel Sigurdarson (Iceland)/Asta Sigurdardottir (Iceland) 2:00:57.0

Retirements
SS8 Owen Murphy (Cork)/James O’Brien (Cork) Gearbox

In Car

Posted: June 1, 2010 10:30 AM

Steve Bannister / Louise Sutherland

More Video Clips..........

Posted: June 1, 2010 10:21 AM





Craig Breen Rallying: Engine Failure Ends Star Drive

Posted: June 1, 2010 9:19 AM

A feeling of could have been at the Jim Clark International Rally, round three of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship as Craig and Gareth were within reach of their first BRC win and putting their championship right back on track but this was not to be. After setting six fastest stage times out of nine, Craig’s Fiesta S2000 engine cried enough on stage ten ending a fantastic display of tarmac rallying. The retirement spells disaster for the Waterford driver’s championship aspirations as this is his second non finish out of three rounds. There was some consolation however as Craig was awarded the Pirelli Star driver for an incredible drive to that point. His performance over day one and his level of commitment on stages seven, eight and nine highlighted the talent before his premature retirement.

Craig had put a huge amount of preparation into the event and the test session held just over a week ago paid dividends as he set four fastest stage time on Friday evening. He did state that Friday’s tests would suit his car “My aim is to push as hard as we can on Friday, as I feel this is where the time can be made with my car”. This push started with the Dunn’s town opener and as Friday evening’s action came to a close Craig held a twelve second lead.

He did say before the start that he could struggle with top speed on Saturday but this was not obvious when the rally restarted with Wedderburn 1 on Saturday morning and the Kick Energy Fiesta screamed to the top of the time sheets. Stage eight, Edrom 1 went the same way and as Craig entered first service he had extended his lead from 12.9 to 26.8 seconds. Gwyndaf Evens set the pace on SS nine but again Breen was right there just .4 of a sec way from top spot. The stage did see Keith Cronin suffer a puncture which left Craig 52.9 seconds ahead of Alastair Fisher who was elevated to second position by virtue of Cronin’s flat tyre. The Irish/Welsh crew looked to be in prime position heading into stage ten but as Craig said afterwards “without warning the engine let go a third of the way through the stage. At this point I’m just so gutted”.

Evans breaks Jim Clark Rally duck in style

Posted: May 31, 2010 8:01 PM

A delighted Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson broke their Jim Clark International Rally duck in style this weekend, taking victory on the all asphalt third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

The fifty year old Welshman proved he still has the hunger for victory by bouncing back from a double puncture on Saturday evening, the 1996 British Rally Champion also surviving a high speed moment on Saturday afternoon. At the finish in Duns he offered his thanks to a strategically placed telegraph pole, which while damaging the rear of his JR Motorsports Mitsubishi Evo 10, helped keep both car and crew on the road at around 100 mph.

While Evans was the eventual victor, four different drivers led the event throughout its 130 miles of ultra fast asphalt. First blood went to Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts who had proved their ability in the Fiesta S2000 on the previous round in Cumbria, topping the time sheets in the fantastic Duns town centre spectator special stage.

Reigning BRC champ Keith Cronin had other ideas though, and along with Barry McNulty set about showing their pace in the Pirelli TEG Sport Impreza on the technical Abbey St Bathans stage. Breen responded, but Cronin held him off with a repeat of Abbey, although all his good work was undone in the darkness of the final test. Cronin clipped a bank, losing a spotlamp and puncturing his left front wheel, leaving Breen to hold an overnight lead of a whisker under thirteen seconds.

It was a lead he would not relinquish until the tenth stage when reports came in from the stages that he was stopped with a sick engine. This was confirmed as terminal and the youngster recorded his second none finish of the season, obviously very disappointed.

Another Irish youngster tipped for BRC victory inherited the lead from Breen, Alastair Fisher, ably guided by double British Rally Champion Rory Kennedy, was sadly unable to hold of the advances of a charging Evans. Fisher managed to keep the eventual winner within his grasp on stage eleven, less than half a second splitting the pair, but a misfire put paid to Fishers hopes and although disappointed, he equalled his best ever result, taking second from a distant Cronin in third.

A delighted Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts took fourth and with it extend their lead of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship by one point from Evans and Patterson, who have now had back-to-back perfect scores.

DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH TEAMS RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

With Evans taking twenty Teams points, Icelandic brother and sister crew Daniel Sigurðarson/Ásta Sigurðardóttir’s broke their own tarmac duck with seventh place behind Jason Pritchard/Robbie Durant and Adam Gould/Dave Robson. It netted a healthy haul for JR Motorsports and has opened a gap of eighteen points to reigning champions Pirelli TEG Sport.

The Lancastrian outfit had a difficult event since, coupled with Cronin’s puncture, local talent Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton did not even make it to the start. Their similar Impreza developed an engine problem on Friday morning’s shakedown, which whilst ultimately repaired, it took hours to fully diagnose, leaving him as a reluctant spectator.

Ramsport’s single car entry of Dave Weston Jnr and Ieuan Thomas promised to be amongst the leading pack with some excellent stage times. But a failing gearbox cost them heaps of time and while the team replaced both gearbox and rear differential in double quick time, the crew was left in eight place and third in the Teams table.

DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH JUNIOR RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Elfyn Evans pulled another point clear of Jarkko Nikara at the head of the Junior Championship battle with a sensible third place in the category. But while Nikara’s fellow Fin Mikko Pajunen remained on his own in fifth, two Irishmen now tie for third on fifty points apiece. Robert Barrable had an excellent Jim Clark Rally, taking top two wheel driver honours and maximum Junior points to lock with his Northern Irish Citroën rival Mark Donnelly.

PIRELLI STAR DRIVER

While Craig Breen may have taken an early bath, he was given some good news as the rally finished; although on his way back to Ireland, he became only the second driver to receive the Pirelli Star Driver yellow jersey twice, having been nominated on the Pirelli Rally in 2009. The nomination adds his name to those of Pajunen and Evans junior for a chance to take part in the end of season shootout.

DULUX TRADE MSA BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES & CUPS

Alastair Fisher took some consolation for missing out on overall victory by taking top spot in the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge, but it is still Greer who took second, extending his lead the series along with the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

Worthy of note in the Rally 4 class are two privateers both driving Subarus; Alan Cookson and Julian Wilkinson survived a monumental thump in their distinctive cow liveried car, (nicknamed Muriel) clouting a bank side-on, but still made it into the top ten for the second event in their debut season. Another 2010 BRC debutant Max Utting and co-driver Ken Bowman were inside the top ten in the Rally 4 class on their first Jim Clark Rally in their older specification car.

The 2010 Rally 3 class and the Fiesta SportTrophy must now be within Welsh crew Evans junior and co-driver Andrew Edwards’ grasp as they took maximum points in both on the Jim Clark Rally. Scots pairing John Boyd and Craig Wallace are their nearest rivals in the FST having had a solid and trouble-free rally, while leading Diesel Rally Cup brothers Steve and Tony Graham are second in the R3 class, relieved to have had upgraded front brakes for the tarmac.

Heading the Rally 2 class and Citroën Racing Trophy were Barrable and co-driver Damien Connolly from Donnelly and Niall Burns, both crews reporting trouble free runs in their identical C2R2 Max Citroëns. Positions in the points table follow places as the crews head across the water for the next round of the Irish Citroën series.

The BRC’s Rally 2 class is dominated by French cars and it is Finnish newcomer Nikara who leads in a Renault Twingo with brother and fellow BRC novice Petri Nikara alongside. They had an excellent second-ever asphalt rally, learning stage by stage, but were beaten to third on the event by fellow Fins Matti Rantanen/Mikko Lukka in a similar car.

The Swift Sport Cup has been dominated by Pirelli Star Driver nominee Pajunen and despite this being his first ever asphalt event, he and Janne Perälä took victory in the one-make series, needing just one more win to secure the 2010 title. Their learning curve was made steeper when they struggled with rear brakes on Saturday, but with typical Finnish modesty the youngster shrugged it off, reporting it as part of the experience.

The next event in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship is International Rally Isle of Man which takes place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th of July and is based at the island’s world famous TT grandstand.

Coverage of the Jim Clark International rally will be broadcast a day later than usual because of the bank holiday in the UK, appearing on Sky Sports 4 at 19:00 on Tuesday 1st

Second British Rally Championship victory for JRM

Posted: May 31, 2010 7:51 PM

Driving a JRM Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Gwyndaf Evans and co-driver Chris Patterson recorded the team’s second Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship victory in a row, when they won the Jim Clark International Rally. After battling for the lead during the first half of the event, they went ahead on stage 12 and pulled out a lead of 31 seconds by the time they crossed the finish line.

Starting from the centre of Duns, with a stage that ran through the spectator-lined streets of the town, the 40th running of the Jim Clark Rally featured three stages ran twice on Friday evening followed by a further eight on Saturday, with all of the event’s 134 competitive miles and 14 stages held on closed public roads in Berwickshire.

Using the car that was campaigned in 2009 by David Bogie, as his Pirelli winning LHD Evo was on its way to Sardinia to compete in the Rally d’Italia Sardegna with Swedish driver Per-Gunnar Andersson behind the wheel, Evans reported he was very happy with the car after the pre-event shake-down.

In the first stage through Duns, Evans pushed a little to hard when negotiating the roundabout on the outskirts of the town and dropped six seconds to Craig Brean in a Fiesta S2000 and four to Keith Cronin in a Subaru. Once out into the country lanes Evans was able to claw back some of the time from Brean and after SS2 was ahead of the Ford driver by one-tenth of a second.

However, Cronin was flying and had pulled out a led of 12 seconds by the time cars reached the regroup after the first loop of three stages. Evans and Brean swapped times for the next two stages, but on SS6 the JRM driver clipped a rock puncturing the two left-hand-side tyres and, with four miles still to go, dropped around half-a-minute by the time cars pulled into the service area in Kelso.

Cronin also had problems, having clouted a wall and damaged his car’s suspension. So, when cars restarted on Saturday morning it was Brean that led the way from Cronin and then young Irishman Alastair Fisher in third, with Evans now fourth.

Positions were maintained for the first loop of two stages, but on the third stage of the morning it was Cronin’s turn to suffer from punctures and the subsequent time loss dropped him to fourth. Then, on the next stage Brean’s charge was brought to an end, when his Fiesta’s engine expired in the middle of SS10.

Evans meanwhile, was pushing hard, his efforts plain to see when he arrived at the second service halt with damage to the rear of his Mitsubishi. Although there was nothing mechanical to fix, the JRM team set about the repairs, with team owner James Rumsey also lending a helping hand by straightening the bent body panels with a sledge-hammer!

With four stages to go, it was Fisher in the lead by 11 seconds ahead of Evans and Cronin now nearly a minute behind in third. But with rain starting to fall on the smooth asphalt Borders roads, the outcome of the event was far from decided.

Totally focussed on the task ahead, Evans drove faultlessly for the remainder of the rally and went ahead of Fisher on SS11. Once in front, the experienced Welshmen stayed there, Fisher unable to respond when his Mitsubishi’s engine developed an intermittent misfire during the final two stages.

At the finish in Duns town centre the time sheets revealed that Evans, Patterson and JRM were winners for the second time in succession, ending the weekend with a 31.1 advantage. Fisher scored the best result of his career so far in second place, with Cronin ending the weekend in third, a further one-minute and 15 seconds behind.

JRM team-mates Daniel Sigurdarson and Asta Sigurdardottir from Iceland also recorded a first, as this was the first time they had ever completed an all-asphalt event. With their Evolution X running 100% throughout the rally, they were delighted to finish in seventh place overall.

These impressive results mean that JRM now leads the British Team’s Championship, with Evans now to second in the driver’s table and Sigurdarson equal fourth.

Team Quotes

Gwyndaf Evans
“I am extremely pleased with this win. It certainly wasn’t easy. I had to fight back following the punctures and drive flat-out throughout the event with no let-off right to the end. JRM provided me with another excellent car so I’m very pleased for the team that we were able to achieve our second win of the season, as it’s the result we were all looking for.”

John Barnes – Team Manager
“It’s a great result – especially as the car ran perfectly throughout the event. All we had to do was change the brake pads – and carry out a few repairs - which we did with the help of the boss! It’s good to get our first tarmac win under our belts. We now look to the IRC and the gravel of Sardinia next week and then its back to asphalt with the Donegal Rally the week after that.”

James Rumsey – Team Principal
“So far this season we have shown that our cars can win on three completely different surfaces: snow, gravel and tarmac. I am delighted that having only started our motorsport campaigns last year, we are now achieving success with our cars at international level in both racing and rallying.”

MSA ASPHALT RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP - COLE FIRED UP!..

Posted: May 31, 2010 1:54 PM

Fresh from their success on the Manx Telecom Rally, Damian Cole and Craig Drew have taken their second maximum points score in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship in a month by winning the third round, the Jim Clark National Rally, outright. Their Ford Focus WRC suffered from gear selection problems virtually from the off – the car stuck in 6th gear on the opening stage! - but survived to give them one of the best results of their careers to-date.

However, Cole/Drew did not have it all their own way and, whilst not detracting from their achievement, the final top three could so easily have had a different look to it. Previous Jim Clark National Rally winners Andy Fenwick/Lee Tindall set the fastest time through the opening stage in the Scottish Borders town of Duns to put their Subaru Impreza WRC into a lead it maintained for 11 of the 14 special stages. Just when the pair thought they were home and dry, brake problems intervened forcing them out of the event.

Simon Mauger, partnered on this occasion by Ashley Trimble, was putting in one of the ‘giant-killing’ performances for which he has become renowned in his 2.5 litre Ford Escort MkII. He finished 3rd here last year and, following Fenwick’s retirement, moved into the lead. However, his tenure at the top of the timesheets was short-lived as the promised rain began to fall and Cole was able to make the most of his four-wheel drive technology to overhaul the Escort.

Championship leaders John Stone/Lee Carter rounded off the Top Three with another calculated drive in their Skoda Fabia WRC. After a slow start on the Friday evening, the pair settled into the task in hand and, by the end of the rally, were setting fastest stage times.

Michael Glendinning and Andrew Roughead’s first Championship outing in a Subaru Impreza netted 5th and, but for a problem on the eleventh stage which cost 14 minutes to the leaders, David Hardie/John McCulloch’s similar car would have also taken a Top 10 finish. They had already suffered the ignominy of a blown turbo at the end of the first leg with the resultant smoke billowing out of the back of the car obliterating the headlights of following cars!

Top 10 starters who didn’t fare so well included Mark Jasper who had hired a Hyundai Accent WRC for the event. The car suffered a puncture on the opening leg in a narrow part of a stage and, before Mark was able to pull over, the tyre had delaminated and a flailing piece of rubber had removed the alternator belt. The engine quickly overheated and a possible blown headgasket saw his early exit.

Desperate for a finish to kick-start their campaign, all seemed well for 2008 Jim Clark winners and MSA Asphalt Champions David Kynaston/Andy Russell until what seemed like a minor oil leak was diagnosed as scavenge pump failure – easy to replace once you’ve taken half the Audi A3 Quattro’s engine to bits…

George Mackey had teamed up with Simon Hunter in the former’s Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6 and, having survived one granddaddy of a spin during Saturday morning, weren’t so lucky the next time.

A total of 27 Championship-registered crews entered the Jim Clark National Rally and, including those already mentioned, only six failed to make the finish. Some, especially Martin Newson/Peter Morris, were very glad to see the finish arch as they had damaged their MG ZR which, although limping back to Duns, actually had to be pushed over the line.

Other finishers included : 10th Jim Sharp/Amy Mackinnon Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9
11th Steve Cressey/Sam Collis Subaru impreza
13th/1st class Roger Donnan/Chris Davies Ford Puma S1600
14th/1st class Steve Leonard/Sion Humphreys Ford Escort MkII
19th James Martin/Dylan James Vauxhall Astra GTE
21st/1st class Richard Clews/Barry James Ford Fiesta ST
23rd Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett Peugeot 205
24th Phillip Merrills/William Kelly Honda Civic Type R
29th Tim Daltry/Paul Ohren-Bird Peugeot 205
30th Martin Murray/Peter Weall Peugeot 205
31st Chris Daykin/Dan Megannity Subaru Impreza
32nd/1st class Roland Jones/Kate Gamez MG ZR
36th *** Lewis Roper/Joe Cruttenden Nissan Micra
37th Ian Copping/Dave Rowley Ford Fiesta RWD

*** Lewis Roper was awarded the ‘John Horton Motorsport Management Star Drive’ salver for his performance on the Jim Clark National Rally. On what was his first major asphalt event – and first MSA Asphalt Championship round – the 26-year old from Ely adopted a sensible approach and spent the time getting used to slick tyres. A trouble-free, and very enjoyable, run ensued and his perseverance paid dividends.

For many asphalt rally drivers, the Jim Clark is still ‘it’ – the only ‘closed-road’ rally on mainland UK. It is a very tough nut to crack but, win or lose, a hugely enjoyable experience. James Martin, paying his first visit to the Scottish Borders with his Astra GTE, described it as ‘the best rally ever’ – and he wasn’t alone!

The next round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is the Trinity Hyundai Rally of the Midlands on 18/19th June.

TOP TEN FOR COOKSON ON JIM CLARK RALLY

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:32 PM

For the second event in succession Saltash rally driver Alan Cookson and co driver Julian Wilkinson from Tunbridge Wells claimed an impressive top ten placing on this weekend's Jim Clark International Rally.

Contesting the Kelso-based round of the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship for the first time, the Wiseman Dairies, Spar, Kick Energy and Speedline Wheels sponsored crew got off to a steady start and held tenth overnight in the 'cow-liveried' and TEG Sport prepared Subaru Impreza N15.

The pair continued to push hard during today's high speed action on the closed public roads around Duns and despite dropping time after a couple of spins and hitting a bank, they were as high as ninth before settling for a fine tenth place at the finish.

"I'm happy enough considering this was the first time on tarmac for us in this car and it was a huge learning exercise. As a result we didn't have the car set up ideally but all things considered, we have to be pleased with another top ten finish. The car tried to get back into the fields with the other cows a couple of times but we managed to keep her out!" quipped Cookson.

Wilkinson added:
"We've learnt a great deal today and despite banging my arm when we had a big spin, I've really enjoyed it. Thanks must go to our team and our loyal sponsors as ever, we'll put what we've learnt today into practice for the Manx Rally next time out and hope to improve."

JIM CLARK PODIUM FOR CRONIN

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:29 PM

Pirell TEG Sport driver Keith Cronin got his 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship back on course with a battling podium placing on this weekend's Jim Clark International Rally.
Driving the TEG Sport prepared and Pirelli sponsored Subaru Impreza N15, along with co driver Barry McNulty, the defending British Rally Champion set the pace during last night's stages on the closed public roads around Duns and led early on before a clash with an unforgiving bank dropped him time but he still ended the leg in second place overall.

Despite an unfavourable weather forecast for Day 2, the roads remained mainly dry and the 23-year-old Irishman pushed hard in the early stages to hang on to his second position but after puncturing he dropped to fourth overall.

Mindful that he needed to score points after his unfortunate non finish on the previous round, Cronin mixed speed with caution and was rewarded with a third place finish at the Duns finish ramp this evening.

"It's been a tough event for us. We started very well but it went a bit downhill after we dropped some time today because of the puncture problem but I'm very pleased to get on the podium and score important points after missing out on the Pirelli Rally. I'm looking forward to the Manx International where we'll be trying hard for the win." said Cronin.

There was disappointment for Euan Thorburn and co driver Paul Beaton who failed to make the start of their local event in their TEG Sport Subaru.

Thorburn, from Duns, was hoping to make an impression on his local event but suffered a misfire on the shakedown stage yesterday and didn't make the start as a result.

However be made amends in the Reivers Rally where he and Beaton finished 2nd.

Stuart Newby - TEG Sport Team Principal:
"It was very important for Keith and Barry to be on the podium today and they achieved that. Third place isn't where we want to be but considering the luck we've had recently we'll take that, and it means we've scored important points in both the drivers' and the teams' championships to put us back in contention. I feel desperately sorry for Euan and Paul, their luck goes from bad to worse and I also feel for the team who spilled blood in getting the car ready after their Manx roll. "

After three rounds of the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Cronin holds sixth in the series with Thorburn, despite his non finish, retaining eleventh position in the series.

The next round of the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship is the Manx International Rally on 9/10th July.

HANKOOK SRC: BOGIE POWERS TO SECOND REIVERS WIN

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:21 PM

David Bogie dominated the Jim Clark Reivers Rally to win the only tarmac round of the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship for the second year running.

The reigning Scottish champion, driving a hired '05 Ford Focus WRC, mastered the often wet and treacherous conditions to complete the eight Berwickshire stages in a total time of 57 minutes 57 seconds - 2 minutes and 32 seconds ahead of last year's runner up Euan Thorburn in a Subaru Impreza N15.

Jock Armstrong ended the day third overall and, with Thorburn not registered for the SRC, was second in the points and first in the Hankook Group N category.

Paul Benn secured the final championship podium spot in a Ford Focus WRC, while hotly tipped young driver David Wilson was in impressive form at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Evo 9 to take fifth overall.

At the mid-way stage of the championship, Andy Horne, who finished fourteenth of the SRC competitors, leads the overall drivers' standings by a single point from Bogie, who now has two victories to his name this season. Armstrong is a further two points behind in third.

The "Reivers" proved to be a day of high attrition for many - with 48 retirements out of a start list of 135 crews.

Among them was Alick Kerr who had led the drivers' championship going into the Duns-based event in his Subaru Impreza but was forced to pull out with two broken driveshafts.

The day belonged to Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae, who threw down the gauntlet from the start in their Derek McGeehan-prepared Focus - blasting through the opening 6.45 mile Bothwell stage to finish 9.8 seconds ahead of Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton.

Despite problems with his launch control which saw him stall at the start of SS2 Moon and Star, Bogie kept his nose in front and by first service had a 10.9 second advantage over Thorburn.

Mull's Paul McKinnon - another non-SRC registered competitor - was closest to Bogie on the second run through Bothwell - the Subaru Impreza pilot missing out by a mere 0.1 of a second.

As the rain continued to fall and conditions deteriorated, tyre choice proved critical and many crews experienced "moments", spins and "offs" on the fast Berwickshire lanes.

By the end of SS4 Moon and Star 2, the top three of Bogie, Thorburn and Armstrong had been established in the overall classification.

With the rain clearing in the afternoon, the Dumfries driver steadily increased his advantage through the remaining four stages to build up a comfortable advantage over the hard-charging Thorburn, who was keen to perform well in front of his home supporters after the disappointment of a non-start on the BRC round earlier in the weekend because of a mis-fire.

"It's been great to get the chance to drive the Focus on this event", said Bogie, at the sun-blessed finish in Duns town square: "Obviously we had a few problems along the way, and it was difficult to learn the car in the conditions, but all in all it's been a very enjoyable day. We just picked a pace and stuck at it and felt comfortable".

Hankook Group N leader Jock Armstrong was also satisfied with his day - the Castle Douglas co-driven by Christine Sanderson of Berwick while regular navigator Kirsty Riddick competed on the Sol Barbados Rally.

A puncture on the second stage did not hamper their progress, and the pair were just twelve seconds shy of Thorburn at the finish.

"You're always a bit disappointed not to take the top spot", said Armstrong: "But this has been a good day for points, because having dropped a score on the Border Counties earlier in the year, I'm really keen to capitalise on every event from now on in. It's going to be a close championship over the remaining four rounds".

Cockermouth's Paul Benn, who normally drives his own '01 Ford Focus WRC, had the loan of Michael O'Brien's newer model for the day, and took full advantage.

On the way to fourth overall, Benn and fellow Cumbrian Richard Cooke were second quickest through the final Fogo stage, having notched up three third-fastest times earlier in the day.

"It's been an excellent day and I'm very grateful for the loan of the car - it was sitting in the workshop with the right suspension set-up for the tarmac, and it's been perfect for the conditions", enthused Benn: "I hadn't done a competitive stage in the car until the event, so it took a while to get up to speed, but it's such a good car that you quickly build up confidence".

David Wilson led home the "Highland" contingent in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, the Alness-based competitor delighted with his result alongside highly experienced co-driver Dave Robson from Jedburgh.

Said Wilson:
"If you'd said to me before the event I'd be in the top 15 that would have been brilliant, but to finish fifth overall is absolutely fantastic. It was very tricky early on - we were on cut slicks the whole day and although not perfect, I was used to them so we decided not to change. The car ran exceptionally well, Dave was fantastic on the notes with his local knowledge, so all in all I'm very pleased".

Lancastrian Wayne Sisson was one of many competitors who returned to Duns with dented and bashed body-work as a result of "off road excursions", but nevertheless the rally preparation expert, with David MacFadyen of Inverness on the notes, hoisted himself up the leaderboard to finish fifth in the points in his Evo 9 on his first-ever "Reivers".

"We went off on the first run through Blackadder - it was a slippy square left, we went into a hedge and bashed the left rear side of the car - it didn't cost us much time but we could have done without it", said Sisson: "I lost ten seconds apiece on the first two stages getting stuck behind cars in front so the day has not been without its problems, but we've made it to the finish, that's the main thing".

Local Duns driver Dale Robertson turned in another good performance to finish seventh overall for the second successive year in his Evo 9, alongside Paul McGuire from Tranent.

"As the weather improved, we were able to push on through the afternoon stages so we're happy where we finished up", said Roberston, adding: "The home support has been great this weekend".

Oban's Shaun Sinclair and Chris Hamill finished a further second adrift in their Evo 9 after brake problems on the first two stages and what Sinclair described as "a lack of punch" on some of the faster sections.

However, he was satisfied with the result which keeps him second in the Hankook GpN standings.

The Rintoul brothers from Fife had tyre issues with the changeable conditions in their Evo 9 but driver John was pleased with a creditable ninth place overall.

"Some of our forest results haven't been so good of late, so it's nice to get a top ten finish. The last two stages were really good. We should really have chosen a different tyre as the conditions improved and we might have made up a couple of places, but we can't complain".

The top ten was rounded off by Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy in their Evo 6 after a difficult and frustrating day.

"We got off to a bad start with a "moment" on the first corner of the first stage which dropped us 20 seconds and upset the rhythm", and then later driving on a puncture lost us more time, "said the Kirtlebridge-based Faulkner: "But we've really enjoyed the afternoon fighting our way back up and we've finished the rally on an upbeat note. At least we live to fight another day, and we'll be back on the gravel on the RSAC Scottish and give it 100 percent".

In the "battle of the Escorts", top honours went to non-SRC registered Keith Robathan and Neil Ewing - who finished 12th overall - with championship contenders Steve Bannister and navigator Louise Sutherland a further five seconds back in 14th place.

"I think our car is suited to the tricky technical stuff, rather than the long straights. As soon as we got onto those last two dry stages, Keith, with a similar car to mine last year and an extra 40 bhp more, was just that little bit quicker. But for the third time this year we've finished as first registered two-wheel drive, and first registered in class so we can't complain".

St Boswell's driver Ross Hunter and Jedburgh navigator Eildon Hall won the 1600 category in their Honda Civic - to make up for retirements on the two previous rounds - while Carluke's Graeme Schoneville - also in a Civic- increased his advantage in the SRC Junior Championship, finishing second in class of the registered competitors.

The fifth round of the Hankook SRC is the RSAC Scottish Rally, based in Dumfries, on Saturday June 26th.

BOGIE/RAE IN COMMAND

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:20 PM

Reigning Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie rounded off the Jim Clark Rally weekend in style with a commanding performance to win the Jim Clark Reivers Rally - the sixth event of an action-packed three days on the closed public roads of Berwickshire.

Winning all eight stages, the Dumfries driver, co-driven by Hawick's Kevin Rae, finished ahead of local hopeful Euan Thorburn from Duns, alongside Paul Beaton of Inverness. Bogie's winning margin of 2 minutes 32 seconds underlined his dominance in his Ford Focus over the slippy eight stages of the Reivers event, which amongst other counters, was the fourth round of the Hankook Scottish Rally Championship. However Thorburn did well to recover from dropping to 44th in stage 3 to charge back into second place in his Impreza just twelve seconds ahead of Castle Douglas driver Jock Armstrong, with co-driver Christine Sanderson, in their Subaru.

As with all six events of a splendid Jim Clark Rally weekend, detailed results can be found by accessing

EVANS DOES IT AT LAST

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:19 PM

After a good number of years trying, Welsh ace Gwyndaf Evans has finally won the Jim Clark International Rally.
The former British Rally Champion finished the two-day event where it started, in the Berwickshire County town of Duns, leading home the field with a 31 second margin over second placed Alastair Fisher from Ireland.

Fisher had briefly led the 335 mile rally following the engine blow-up which saw his countryman Craig Breen's exit from the event in Stage 10, Swinton. 20 year-old Breen had charged through the Berwickshire stages, winning six of the opening eight, before the engine of his Fiesta finally cried 'enough'. But Evans was never far off the pace, despite two punctures, and he won the final six stages in a row to overhaul Fisher's Mitsubishi EVO 9 and take the win alongside co-driver Chris Patterson in their J R Motorsports Mitsubishi EVO X. It puts Evans into second place in the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship. But consistency has its merits - no wins, but good finishes in all three opening rounds keeping Belfast driver Jonny Greer, co-driven by Dai Roberts, seven points clear at the top.

Hereford's Damian Cole, alongside Craig Drew, brought his Ford Focus WRC home in first place in the Jim Clark National Rally ahead of Simon Mauger and Ashley Trimble.

The Challenge Rally saw Richard Archer and Tom Ward bring their Vauxhall Corsa into first place, 1 minute and 43 seconds clear of Callum Black and Paul Wakely's MG XR.

It was back to the future as Ford Escorts barked their way round the Berwickshire stages, and Darren Moon, with John Stanger-Leathes, brought his one home ahead of two others to win the Historic Rally.

And finally Ewan Christie and Curtis McKerlie won the the fiercely contested LandRover Rally, keeping it upright to win by a margin of 2 minutes 45 seconds.

Results

Posted: May 31, 2010 12:07 PM

International:

1 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 1:54:33.5
2 Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:55:04.6
3 Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza N15) 1:56:20.1
4 Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:57:17.7
5 Jason Pritchard/Robbie Durant (Subaru Impreza N16) 1:57:32.5
6 Adam Gould/Dave Robson (Subaru Impreza N11) 1:57:59.4
7 Daniel Sigurdoarson/Asta Siguroadottir (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 2:00:57.0
8 Dave Weston Jnr/Ieuan Thomas (Subaru Impreza N16) 2:01:37.0
9 Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Citroen C2R2 Max) 2:02:09.1
10 Alan Cookson/Julian Wilkinson (Subaru Impreza N15) 2:02:54.0

Leaders After:
SS1 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS2-5 Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza N15)
SS6-9 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS10 Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS11-14 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)

Stage Winners:
SS1 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS2 Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza N15)
SS3 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS4 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS5 Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza N15)
SS6 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS7 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS8 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
SS9 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
SS10 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
SS11 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
SS12 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
SS13 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
SS14 Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)


Jim Clark Reivers Rally

1 David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Ford Focus WRC) 57 mins 57 secs
2 Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Subaru Impreza N15) 1.00.29.3
3 Jock Armstrong/Christine Sanderson (Subaru Impreza N11) 1.00.41.7
4 Paul Benn/Richard Cooke (Ford Focus WRC) 1.01.22.6
5 David Wilson/Dave Robson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.01.40.1
6 Wayne Sisson/David MacFadyen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.01.51.1
7 Dale Robertson/Paul McGuire (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.02.07.8
8 Shaun Sinclair/Chris Hamill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.02.07.9
9 John Rintoul/Jim Rintoul (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.02.15.1
10 Mike Faulkner/Peter Foy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 1.02.24.1

Full Results for all Sections:

Craig Breen Rallying: Jim Clarke Internaional Rally Preview

Posted: May 26, 2010 11:29 AM

The Six Round MSA British Rally Championship reaches its halfway point next weekend and also makes the transition from the opening two gravel events to the tarmac of the Jim Clark International Rally. This event and the subsequent Isle of Man and Ulster International’s will form a pivotal role in the destination of the 2010 title.

Craig's opening round misfortune at the Bulldog after a mechanical fault ended his rally after only two stages, was quickly counter balanced with a confidence building third overall at round two the Pirelli International. Setting six fastest stage times over the Saturday’s stages and but for a puncture on the final stage, victory was within his grasp.

Craig then claimed his second ITC podium of the season at the Rally of the Lakes. Overcoming difficult weather conditions the Waterford driver secured third overall, catapulting him back into contention in the championship. Now after a three week break Craig looks ahead as the championship moves to Kelso, in the Scottish Borders.
“I'm really looking forward to the transition over to tarmac”, says Craig “however I feel the car may struggle on the high speed sections on day two, as the GpN cars are geared to have a higher top speed. In saying that, the stages on Friday are tight and twisty, so it should suit us there”.

How have you been preparing for this event?
“I feel my fitness and nutrition are areas that may have been holding me back in recent months so I’ve spent two days at Pro Performance, with my fitness consultants and I am really feeling fit both physically and mentally approaching this event”.

What is going to be your plan as the championship moves to asphalt?
“My aim is to push as hard as we can on Friday, as I feel this is where the time can be made in my car. I am under no illusion that I will struggle with top speed on Saturday, so time has to be made wherever possible”.

The characteristics of this rally are different to others in the Championship. Have you carried out any testing?
“We had a comprehensive test on Friday last which went really well, although it’s hard to find a piece of road in Ireland of similar quality to those in the Jim Clark. Still, the test was successful and we found some time in transmission and suspension components that I feel will benefit us this weekend”.

Swift Sport Cup’s new blood

Posted: May 26, 2010 11:28 AM

Of the four Suzukis that will compete on the Jim Clark International Rally, the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship’s Swift Sport Cup, three are either new to the series or returning after a break.

Runaway winners of the opening two rounds of the one-make series for these Rally 1 class cars are Mikko Pajunen and Janne Perälä and it is the Finnish duo that leads the field away from Duns on Friday night. Their dominance is likely to be put to the test though, as the championship moves onto asphalt for the first time, an unfamiliar surface for the twenty-five year old who only began rallying two seasons ago.

Rival driver on the opening two events David Harrison will miss the first foray onto sealed surface. But the Manxman’s co-driver John Connor will take his place alongside Chesterfield’s Richard Boot, returning after more than twelve months away from the Swift Sport Cup. More used to having his wife alongside, it will be a plunge into the unknown for Boot, although he did contest the Jim Clark Rally in 2008 and Connor took fifth overall on his way to the BRC Challenge co-driver’s title in 2009.

Brand new to the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and the Swift Sport Cup is seventeen year-old Tom Clark. Despite having only just reached the UK’s minimum driving age, the Essex youngster has already been rallying for two full seasons in Latvia. He began aged just fourteen with Autocross experience already under his belt and with Aggie Foster alongside contested eleven events, so should be one to watch straight out of the box.

Although not registered for the championship, local driver and last year’s Suzuki winner on his home event, Gordon Nichol will be out in his Swift for a one-off appearance and will no doubt be keen to prove his pace against the flying Finns.

Whatever the outcome on the Borders lanes, the Swift Sport Cup still offers great value rallying to its competitors and great entertainment for the spectators, as these are the smallest engined cars in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and the crews have to push hard to eke out every ounce of performance.

Despite giving away around 160 horsepower to the front-running turbocharged cars, the Swifts still face 130 miles over Friday and Saturday, all hoping to complete the route without mishaps in what is forecast to be showery conditions.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK Round three Preview

Posted: May 25, 2010 4:31 PM

The third round of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge takes place this weekend, when crews embark on the first asphalt surface event of the season, the Jim Clark International Rally, which also hosts the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

Starting in Duns, the birth-place of the legendary racing driver from whom the event takes its name, the rally is held entirely on closed public roads in Berwickshire. Of the 33 entries that make up the overall field, just four of the seven registered Evolution Challenge crews are making the journey to the Scottish Borders, all occupying a position in the top-ten seeds.

First of the crews to cross the starting ramp is Alistair Fisher and co-driver Rory Kennedy, who held the Evo Challenge lead for the first half of both round one and two before transmission issues intervened. They are therefore are due better fortunes and could well take their maiden Mitsubishi series victory on this event.

So far, this year could not have gone better for Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts, who have won both rounds of the Evolution Challenge on the Bulldog and Pirelli Rallies. They currently not only top the Evolution Challenge standings, but also lead the British Rally Championship as well and are hoping to maintain their early-season performance now the surface switches to asphalt.

After scoring a third place last time out, Owen Murphy and James O’Brien are looking to improve on the result this time around, as their car was down on power throughout the Pirelli Rally. Murphy will be calling on his season of tarmac experience from 2008, when he contested the Evolution Challenge in Ireland, where the series features only closed-road events.

Daniel Sigurdarson and his sister Asta Sigurdardottir will again be making the trip from Iceland to continue their British Rally Championship campaign. Sigurdarson’s main aim will be to get to the finish unscathed, as his only previous asphalt outing was on the Isle of Man two years ago, when an excellent run ended abruptly after a high-speed argument with the Manx scenery.

Having won the Reivers Rally (a national-status event which runs alongside the international rally) outright last year, David Bogie and Kevin Rae have opted to enter this event in order to score points towards the Scottish Rally Championship. They will therefore not be eligible to score Evolution Challenge points this time around.

The Jim Clark International Rally gets underway at 7.00pm on Friday, the evening featuring three stages run twice before crews head to the service area at Kelso Racecourse for the overnight halt. The event re-starts from the racecourse at 8.30 on Saturday morning and sees four stages run twice before finishing in Kelso at 5.15 that afternoon, after covering a total of 134 competitive miles.

The 2010 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK is supported by: Mitsubishi Motors UK, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JRM, Cyprus Automobile Association, Fairways Mitsubishi, Speedline Corse wheels, Murray Motorsport, CL brake pads, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights - who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.

For the first time this season the winner of the Evolution Challenge in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, will win the same prize: A supported drive in the FxPro Rally Cyprus, the final round of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge). Then, whichever of the three teams are first home on this event will be crowned European Evolution Challenge Champions. Added to this, the winning driver in the UK will be a guaranteed nomination for the Pirelli Star Driver shoot-out.

Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge UK - Round 3 entries

    3 Alastair Fisher (Trillick)/Rory Kennedy (Letterkenny)
    4 Jonny Greer (Carryduff)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen)
    9 Owen Murphy (Cork)/James O’Brien (Cork)
    10 Daniel Sigurdarson (Iceland)/Asta Sigurdardottir (Iceland)

Citroën’s six of the best in the Borders

Posted: May 24, 2010 5:41 PM

Citroën Racing Trophy UK (CRTUK) points leaders Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly lead six C2R2 Max rally cars away as the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship’s Citroën one make series moves to asphalt on the Jim Clark International Rally this weekend.

Rally North Wales and CRTIE Circuit of Ireland winners Mark Donnelly and Paddy Robinson’s victory run was ended on the Pirelli Rally by two punctures, leaving a scrap between Barrable/Connolly and Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor. Unfortunately Sykes crashed out, leaving Barrable to take his first victory in the series.

Barrable will be on a high in the run up to the Jim Clark after also winning in Killarney, but Donnelly’s year continues to go downhill after he and Robinson crashed on the third round of the CRTIE, leaving them in a race against time to repair the car for the Jim Clark.

With the Borders event new to both the leading pair, the experience of the chasing pack will make this an interesting event, although all the remaining drivers had problems here last year.

2009 Suzuki champions Luke Pinder and Peter Scott hit a house in their Swift, eventually finishing second, a position they also took on the previous Citroën round in Cumbria. They will be hoping for better luck this year on the tricky tarmac lanes and their pace on asphalt, coupled with experience of the stages should stand them in good stead.

Joe McGonigle crashed out on the very first stage in his Honda last year and his season didn’t get off to a great start in Wales, missing most of the recce. After admitting to some mistakes on the Pirelli, he and Paddy Robinson won’t be able to get away with errors on the unforgiving tarmac; a lesson hopefully learnt in 2009.

Australian Molly Taylor continues to learn in this, her second full season of rallying in Britain. She lacks experience on the tar though and after crashing on both the Jim Clark and Isle of Man rallies last year, she took the plunge and contested the Killarney Rally as a shakedown in early May, relatively pleased to finish in treacherous conditions.

Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor know all about disappointment, crashing uncharacteristically while leading on the Pirelli Rally last month. While most of Sykes’ retirements in the recent past have been through mechanical problems, he did crash here last year, rolling his Swift over a hedge.

So with a mix of quick drivers, tricky roads and the prospect of changeable weather conditions this weekend, the result of the third round of the Citroën Racing Trophy is by no means set. What is guaranteed though is a fantastic battle from the word go in Duns on Friday night.

Gwyndaf Evans gets set to compete in Jim Clark Rally driving JRM Mitsubishi Evolution X

Posted: May 24, 2010 5:39 PM

As announced earlier this month, JRM has entered Gwyndaf Evans in this weekend’s Jim Clark Rally, round three of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. The experienced Welshman will drive a JRM Group N (production class) Mitsubishi Evolution X and be co-driven by Chris Patterson.

Following victory in round two, the Kielder Forest-based Pirelli Rally, the JRM team is eager to see if it can repeat the result on an asphalt surface international status event and therefore sees the Jim Clark Rally as an ideal opportunity to achieve this. It also means that Evans has the chance to expand on his fourth position in the British Championship driver’s standings, as will JRM in the team’s category, in which it currently shares the lead.

“I am pleased to be getting the chance to compete again, as I realise that JRM’s British programme is decided on an event-by-event basis”, said Evans.
“This is the first tarmac event with the team since last year’s Northern Ireland Rally, when things went really well and we finished second. I therefore hope we can score another good result for the team this time.”

Evans will use the right-hand-drive car that was campaigned in 2009 by Evolution Challenge prize-winner David Bogie, as his Pirelli winning LHD Evo is currently on its way to Sardinia to compete in the Rally d’Italia Sardegna with leading Swedish driver Per-Gunnar Andersson behind the wheel.

“Entering the Jim Clark Rally is yet another step in our development programme for the Evolution X,” said John Barnes, JRM Rally Operations Manager.
“After winning a round of the Finnish and British Championships so far this year, we are comfortable with the performance of our cars in the forests – be it on snow or gravel - and we now want to prove they are just as competitive on tarmac.”

JRM Managing Director James Rumsey is also interested to see how his car performs this weekend:
“We have carried out a great deal of development on our cars recently and by far the best way to test the effectiveness of this work is through competition. It is therefore important to see how they perform in a variety of conditions and the Jim Clark Rally provides a good opportunity for us to gather more data and, at the same time, showcase our cars on tarmac.”

The Jim Clark International Rally takes place on closed public roads in Berwickshire on 28-29 May. Starting in Duns at 7.00pm on Friday, the evening features three stages run twice before crews head to the service area at Kelso Racecourse for the overnight halt.

The event re-starts from the racecourse at 8.30 on Saturday morning and sees four stages run twice before finishing in Kelso at 5.15 that afternoon, after covering a total of 134 competitive miles.

Scottish Rally Championship - JIM CLARK REIVERS 'KEY' TO TITLE RACE

Posted: May 24, 2010 3:33 PM

After three rounds and three different winners, the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship is wide open as crews prepare for their only tarmac event of the season.

Twenty-one-year-old Alick Kerr from Lanarkshire leads the overall drivers' standings going into next Sunday's (May 30th) Jim Clark Reivers Rally in Berwickshire.

The Subaru Impreza driver has a six point advantage over the resurgent Andy Horne who, after eight straight DNF's last season, is back to form in his re-engined DAM 4100 Gti.

Thirteen points then cover the drivers from third-placed David Hughes down to John Morrison in tenth.

As the series approaches the mid-way stage, Kerr knows the pressure is on if he is to stay in contention for the title – with the six best rounds from eight deciding the final placings at the end of the season.

So far this year, the Bothwell competitor and Elgin co-driver Neil Shanks have finished as runners-up on the Snowman, were fourth of the SRC-registered competitors on the Border Counties, and fifth overall on the Granite City.

"If we want a look at the championship then we need to be on the podium this coming weekend", said Kerr, who is seeded seventh for the Duns-based event.

He continued:
"The stage times last year were promising given that it was only my second rally in the Impreza and my first tarmac event in the car. We were running small gravel brakes last year, but this time we have a decent set of tarmac brakes, so with that, and the car set up properly, we're looking for a good clean run".

Meanwhile, top seed David Bogie – who won the Reivers in 2009 on his way to the Scottish title – has decided to hire a Ford Focus WRC for Sunday's event from Northern Ireland rally preparation specialist Derek McGeehan.

The Dumfries ace had originally entered his family's Metro 6R4, but work will now continue on the car to prepare it for next month's Donegal International.

“The Focus is the best option for Sunday”, said Bogie:
“It's the same car in which I competed on the 2008 Colin McRae Stages (when he finished 5th overall) so I'm certainly going for the win this weekend!”

Earlier, Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae had been forced to withdraw from Friday/Saturday's Jim Clark International Rally – a round of the British Championship – because of engine damage to their Mitsubishi Evo 9 sustained on last month's Pirelli International.

Current Hankook Group N leader Jock Armstrong – seeded fourth - will have Christine Sanderson of Berwick on the notes, while regular co-driver Kirsty Riddick competes on the Sol Barbados Rally alongside Paul Bird.

Following gear-box failure on the second round, Snowman winner Armstrong got his campaign back on track with a second-place finish on the Granite City.

The Castle Douglas driver is aiming for another podium finish this coming weekend, following his sixth overall last year – the first time he had contested the Reivers since 2000 ,

Armstrong starts one ahead of Mike Faulkner, who has two third place finishes to his name this season in his Mitsubishi Evo 6 – including the Granite City, where he had to cope with an oily slipping clutch, cured at service by pouring in a bag of flour.

Last year Faulkner and navigator Peter Foy were forced to retire early from the Reivers, and the Kirtlebridge-based driver concedes the event has not been kind to him over the years,

“I had a big accident on the Jim Clark while leading the Peugeot challenge, then in 2008 the engine blew up, and last year the brakes failed causing some very scary moments - not to mention wrecking the gearbox trying to use it instead of the brakes.

He continued:
“We are fired up for it though, and the car is ready to go with a new clutch with no oil on it - although the guys did comment that the gear box smelled of bread when they took it out!”

“This is the point in the championship that will determine who is going to stake their claim as a title contender for the second half of the year. We have a reasonable foundation after a couple of podiums so another top 3 is the target and then we can really push for the wins we need when we get back to the forests”.

Oban ace Shaun Sinclair has also tasted the champagne this season, taking maximum points on the Border Counties, only to follow it with a roll on the final stage of the Granite City in his Evo 9.

Sinclair, with Chris Hamill on the notes, is noted for his pace on sealed surfaces, having finished runner up in the 2009 Scottish Tarmack Championship.

“First off, I'm wanting to prove the Granite roll has not affected my nerve, and my championship chances – so here's hoping for a drama-free day and a good result, at least against the GpN cars”, said Sinclair, adding: “We will probably struggle on the fast open stages, but might hold our own in the tight stuff with the car not having the grunt of the bigger cars”.

Another Evo 9 driver keen to get his first full SRC campaign back on track is Lancashire-based rally preparation expert Wayne Sisson, co-driven by David MacFadyen of Inverness.

Said Sisson:
“I've never done the Jim Clark before so, yes, it's another new event for me this year. I enjoy tarmac though, so it's vital we have a good result to keep us in the championship fight, To have been lying third overall after two stages on the Granite and then to suffer a puncture and lose a minute was very disappointing”.

If the conditions are right, there is one driver who will undoubtedly be mixing it with the front runners, and will be gunning for outright victory.

Steve Bannister – who is seeded sixth - turned in a scintillating display at the wheel of his Escort Mk2 on the bone dry roads in 2008 to take maximum SRC points, and followed it up with a fifth place overall last year.

The Yorkshire farmer, alongside navigator Louise Sutherland from Hawick, will again be pitted against Northern Ireland Mk2 maestro Frank Kelly.

"The Malton Missile will certainly be the man to beat, but we'll be pushing as hard as possible”, said Kelly: “I had a bit of a shake down last week on a local tarmac rally which went very well. I will have yet another new co driver for the Reivers in Arthur Kierans, so hopefully we will work well together”.

Kelly will be followed off the line by Inverness-based Andy Horne and Kilmarnock navigator Jim Howie – the veteran crew keen to keep the momentum going after three top-seven finishes so far this season.

The 1600 challenge will be led by Carl and Robin Tuer from Alnwick in their MG ZR but they will face strong competition from, among others, Paisley's Alasdair Graham, who currently leads the class in his Vauxhall Corsa.

The first car will leave Duns town centre at 9am on Sunday, with the leading competitors returning just before 5pm. Crews will tackle eight special stages, totalling 67 miles.

Fiesta SportTrophy takes to the Tarmac

Posted: May 21, 2010 10:08 PM

The 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy (FST) UK and Fiesta SportChallenge (FSC) championships reach their halfway point next weekend, 28-29 May, on the Jim Clark International Rally and the Jim Clark Challenge Rally.  The Kelso Racecourse based event is the first of three consecutive all Tarmac events for the championship and is one of the only closed-road Tarmac rallies on the UK mainland. 

The weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the event, which was set up in memory of the late Formula One driver Jim Clark, one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.  The event kicks off on Friday evening with a one and a quarter mile special stage through the town centre of Clark's hometown, Duns, which see cars race through the tight, twisting streets at speeds close to 100mph.  The International competitors will then battle it out over 140 miles of Tarmac stages around the Scottish Borders and Berwickshire with each stage being tackled twice.  The competitors in the FSC also start with the Duns town centre stage and then tackle seven stages totalling 70 competitive miles.  Both events start and finish in Duns with Rally HQ and service based at Kelso Racecourse.

FST Championship leader Elfyn Evans, 21 from Machynlleth and co-driver Andrew Edwards head North of the Border knowing that no matter what they will leave the event with the championship lead intact.  That is unlikely to stop them chasing their fourth consecutive FST victory, despite not yet competing on a sealed surface rally in 2010 Evans has plenty experience to draw upon on Tarmac having won 2008 Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland championship which competes on the same events as the Irish Tarmac Championship. 

Second in the FST standings heading into the Jim Clark International Rally are the Scottish pairing of John Boyd and Craig Wallace.  Boyd, 23 from West Linton will be hoping for better luck on his home event than on Round 3, where a rear stub failure caused him roll at high speed.  Boyd competed on the Jim Clark in 2009 and will have to put that experience to good use to close the gap to Evans when he returns there next weekend. 

After suffering teething troubles on the opening two events of the season FST newcomer Peter Taylor, 18 from Jedburgh and co-driver Andy Richardson enjoyed their best result to date on the Pirelli Rally finishing second behind championship leader Evans.  That result moved them from sixth to third in the overall standings and the pair will be looking to cement that position around Taylor's local roads. 

John MacCrone, 20 from the Isle of Mull, was another to suffer a roll on the Pirelli Rally, leaving the Rally Team Scotland mechanics with more panels to replace on the Fiesta R2 after he and co-driver Stuart Louden suffered a similar fate the previous week.  The pairing will be hoping for a strong result on their and their team's home event.

Irishman Matthew Cathcart, 18 from Enniskillen made a welcome return to the series in Carlisle with new co-driver Calvin Cooledge alongside.  The challenging Kielder stages took their toll on Cathcart's Fiesta and he forced to retire after a rock dragged out by a competitor in front pierced the sump and forced them out of the event.  Cathcart will be looking for a strong result on his debut on the Jim Clark Rally to get his championship challenge back on track.

Galwayman Jonny Cunningham, 26 from Workington and co-driver Richard Millener lead the way in the Fiesta SportChallenge as the championship makes it's visit north of the border.  Having finished second in the Irish Junior championship in 2009 Cunningham has plenty of Tarmac experience to draw upon.  Cunningham holds a slender six-point advantage over John Pritchard with Richard Parry-Jones a further three points back in third.

Along with Cunningham, Pritchard, from Ruthin in North Wales and co-driver Chris Williams have been the model of consistency in the 2010 FSC, finishing on the podium in all three events so far.  The event marks the first time Pritchard will have competed in anger on Tarmac in over fifteen years and he will be looking for a good result on the event to close the gap to Cunningham.

Winner of the FSC section on the Pirelli Challenge Rally was Silsden based 28-year-old Damien Smith. He and co-driver Frazer Hutchinson capitalised on problems encountered by Cunningham to finish the event with a lead of over one minute 30seconds.   The Jim Clark marks the first Tarmac event Smith will tackle in his Fiesta and he will be looking to build on his success in Carlisle to close the gap on the series leaders.

Richard Parry-Jones and Sara Price, from Abermaw have posted some strong results on their return to competition in the Gwyndaf Evans Motors prepared Fiesta ST to hold third in the standings heading into the first all Tarmac event of the year.  The pairing will be looking for a strong result to boost that position ahead of the final points scoring event of the year.

Round 3 of the championship saw FSC newcomer Alex Laffey with new co-driver Peter Martin.  The switch helped the 18 year old from Market Harborough score his best result of the year with fourth and also raised him to fourth in the overall standings.  Although never having competed on the Jim Clark, Laffey has some experience of sealed surface stages having twice tackled the Pendragon Rally and also the Rally of the Midlands.

17-year-old Dan O'Brien from St Albans has a new co-driver beside him for the Jim Clark Rally, the experienced Paul Morris taking the passenger seat.  O'Brien recently took in the Welsh International Rally around the challenging Epynt military ranges to improve his pace on Tarmac ahead of the Jim Clark Rally.  O'Brien finished sixth in Class 3 on the event against some strong opposition.

Jamie Brown, 18 from Foulsham will make the long trip north next weekend to tackle the Jim Clark Rally for the first time.  Brown and co-driver Craig Burgess scored their best result of the 2009 season on the all Tarmac Ulster Rally and will be hoping that provides a strong basis for a good result. 

2009 Championship contender Rory Hall, 27, from Trefasser, makes a welcome return to the series in the Fiesta SportChallenge on the Jim Clark Rally.  Hall along with co-driver Lee Burgess contested four rounds of the 2009 Fiesta SportTrophy recording a best result of eighth on the Bulldog and Scottish Challenge Rallies against some strong opposition.  

Muc-Off Motorsport have sponsored a new award for Fiesta SportTrophy UK and Fiesta SportChallenge competitors.  Muc-Off will supply a range of cleaning products to the best-presented car prior to the start of the event.  The M-Sport technical representative on each event will judge the award.  The Muc-Off Best Presented Car award joins the £2700 prize fund and the Castrol Hard Charger Award on the prize package for the FST UK and FSC series.  As on all BRC rounds FST UK competitors will also be eligible for the Pirelli Star Driver Nomination for the Jim Clark International Rally an accolade already taken by Elfyn Evans so far this year.

COOKSON CONFIDENT FOR JIM CLARK DEBUT

Posted: May 21, 2010 6:25 PM

Saltash rally driver Alan Cookson and co driver Julian Wilkinson from Tunbridge Wells head into next weekend's Jim Clark International Rally in confident mood hoping for another good finish on round three of the 2010 Dulux Trade British Rally Championship.

After a solid top ten placing on last month's Pirelli International Rally, Cookson and Wilkinson revert to the asphalt stages in their Wiseman Dairies, Spar, Kick Energy and Speedline Wheels-sponsored Subaru Impreza N15 and having never competed on the closed public roads event before and not even having driven the TEG Sport-prepared car on tarmac as yet, the team from the south of England feel the car will be well suited to the fast roads around the Duns and Kelso areas.

Alan said "The TEG Sport team that run our 'cow liveried' car have got some good settings for the suspension and differentials after their recent test on the Isle of Man that we can dial into our car which should work from the off when we kick off in Duns town centre next week. Despite not having driven the car on tarmac at all since purchasing it last year, Julian and I feel we can capitalise on TEG Sport's experience on this rally and push on to try and get our second top ten result of 2010."

Cookson continued: "Our favourite event over the last few years has been the Manx National Rally, the only tarmac rally in the calendar for us, so getting the chance to do three events on the black stuff this year, kicking off with the Jim Clark is one of the big reasons we wanted to contest the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship in 2010."

Co driver Wilkinson added: "We are really looking forward to making our own pace notes again after we certainly went better in the latter parts of the Pirelli International Rally when we opted to use them to try and get ourselves into the top ten by the finish which certainly paid dividends as we managed to haul ourselves up to 8th overall by the end of the day. Over the last few weeks we have even been out in our road car together making notes, just to try and improve our style of notes, as we feel getting the notes right on tarmac events is critical to getting us that top ten finish we are aiming for."

The 40th running of the Jim Clark Rally sees a continuation of the successful Friday evening start with the first stage through the town's streets. Nearly 130 fantastic asphalt stage miles face the crews, 90 of which take place on Saturday, but the major topic of conversation in the run up to and during the event will be the weather.

DTBRC Jim Clark Rally top ten preview

Posted: May 21, 2010 3:26 PM

As the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship reaches its first asphalt event in the guise of the Jim Clark International Rally next weekend, it is a somewhat surprised Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts who lead the series.

The Northern Irish driver and Welsh co-driver scored their best ever result on last month’s Pirelli Rally after a gearbox scare on Friday night. As an added family bonus, his co-driver Dai was joined by brother Gareth on the podium, as far as anyone can remember the first co-driving brothers to share the champagne on a BRC event.

It was Gwyndaf Evans and Chris Patterson who took the victory in Cumbria though; twelve years after the Welshman’s last win on the Pirelli Rally at the wheel of a Seat Ibiza. With his vast experience and undeniable pace, the fifty year-old is more than capable of winning, but the forthcoming Jim Clark Rally has not been kind to him, failing to finish on any of his four International starts.

Greer’s fine second place came at the expense of reigning BRC champion Keith Cronin, who suffered an agonising retirement yards before the finish, when a flailing punctured tyre broke the Pirelli TEG Sport Impreza’s wiring loom. It was a puncture that prevented him from taking victory on his first attempt at the Jim Clark Rally last year, although the two minute loss on stage two set up a fantastic fight-back, coming within two seconds of the Mark Higgins’ lead at one point.

Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts had a frustrating Pirelli Rally, finding it hard to rebuild confidence after a high speed crash on home asphalt. But they come to the Borders fresh from a great result in Ireland, finishing third overall in Killarney. The young crew will want to maintain the momentum after the change to asphalt and put their 2009 Borders retirement out of their minds.

Alastair Fisher and double BRC champion Rory Kennedy have had a nightmare start to the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship season, suffering transmission failure on the first two events while lying within grasp of a win. Their Irish Rally Championship campaign is going somewhat better though, leading the series after excellent back-to back results on asphalt. It is this impetus that they will need to maintain to recover something from a disastrous start to their British campaign.

Icelandic Champion Daniel Sigurðarson with co-driver Ásta Sigurðardóttir used his previous experience of the Carlisle based event to score his career best BRC result with fourth place. The consistent drive not only moved the brother and sister partnership into second in the points table, but moved JR Motorsports into joint lead of the Dulux Trade MSA British Teams Rally Championship with reigning champions Pirelli TEG Sport.

A shock result for 2008 Pirelli Star Driver Adam Gould put him third in Wales, but it was an event done on a shoestring for the youngster, so a £10,000 MSA bursary for the Team UK member was welcome news. It will be another financial struggle to get to his favourite event in the calendar, nevertheless he shares third place in the points with Jason Pritchard, while co-driver Craig Drew shares second with Sigurðardóttir.

Driving his first full season in an Impreza is Welsh youngster Pritchard with Robbie Durant alongside for the first time. The pair has gelled well after just two BRC events and Pritchard must be pleased to be joint third in the championship, having been let off the leash following three years learning the events in a Citroën.

Pirelli TEG Sport’s second crew Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton had a cracking start to the season, helping forge a lead in the Teams Championship with a fourth place in Wales. A puncture and heavy time loss was never recoverable on the Pirelli leaving them a lowly fourteenth, but having been second in 2009 on his home Jim Clark until driveshaft failure, they will be looking forward to proving their pace on the Borders lanes.

Thorburn is one of four drivers tied on points for fifth, joined on twenty points apiece by Cronin, Gwyndaf Evans and his son Elfyn, surely the first time father and son have been so far up the leaderboard together in the British Rally Championship.

Young Evans has had a cracking first two events in his first full BRC season. He leads the Dulux Trade MSA British Junior Rally Championship, the Rally 3 category and the Fiesta SportTrophy, despite using the older specification Fiesta ST. To have a pair of top ten overall finishes to his credit in a two wheel drive car and take the Pirelli Star Driver nomination on the opening round must have made dad proud.

Hot on the heels of the young Welshman is another youngster. 24 year-old Finnish ace Jarkko Nikara was thrown in at the deep end with a brand new Twingo in Wales and will struggle here again, this time with an unfamiliar surface in the Borders. However with undeniable natural talent he will be one to watch in the distinctive little Renault.

Dave Weston Jnr and Ieuan Thomas started the season extremely well with second place on Rally North Wales. They trailed BRC Champion Cronin by just two points before the Pirelli, but failed to finish in Cumbria, rolling heavily with two stages remaining. They will therefore use the team’s second car on the Jim Clark and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself, having crashed on the Leitholm stage here last year.

Just outside the top ten are Owen Murphy and James O’Brien who are equal third in the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge despite a clutch failure on the first stage of 2010. The Irishmen should go well on their favourite surface, but against such stiff opposition it will be hard to predict anyone’s position at the finish.

The 40th running of the Jim Clark Rally sees a continuation of the successful Friday evening start, with a chance for the top twenty to meet and greet the fans in Duns before the first stage through the town’s streets.

Nearly 130 fantastic asphalt stage miles face the crews, 90 of which take place on Saturday, but the major topic of conversation in the run up to and during the event will be the weather. Not only because it is a British pastime, but because tyre choice in typically changeable May bank holiday weather could easily affect the outcome of this already challenging rally

Entry Lists availble

Posted: May 18, 2010 2:34 PM

Entry Lists available under "Regulations & Information" in the Competitors Menu on the event website:

MSA ASPHALT RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP - JIM CLARK JAMBOREE!…

Posted: May 18, 2010 2:32 PM

The provisional entry list for the third round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, the Jim Clark National Rally, has just been published and the names of 27 registered crews are included – almost 45% of the total!

The field will be led away by the Audi A3 Quattro of 2008 event winners DAVID KYNASTON/ANDY RUSSELL. Having retired from both the first two rounds of this year’s series, the 2006 & 2008 MSA Asphalt Rally Champions need a good result in the Scottish Borders to kick-start their current campaign, although there is still plenty of time to make up the lost ground.

Next to start, and fresh from their 3rd place overall and maximum points score on the recent Manx Telecom Rally, are DAMIAN COLE/CRAIG DREW. Their Ford Focus WRC finds itself in between two Jim Clark National Rally winners as, next up, ANDY FENWICK/LEE TINDALL (Subaru Impreza WRC) have also tasted the champagne at the end of the event.

SIMON MAUGER, who was 3rd on last year’s rally in his two-wheel drive Ford Escort MkII, has teamed up with Manx resident ASHLEY TRIMBLE this time in an attempt to repeat the giant-killing performance. During the winter Simon has built a ‘new’ car and, first time out, 3rd place on the Tour of Epynt in March was ample proof of its potential.

MSA Asphalt Championship leaders after the Manx, JOHN STONE/LEE CARTER (Skoda Fabia WRC) will be looking to the Jim Clark for an opportunity to consolidate their position. They were leading the rally in 2008 before their Metro 6R4 suffered mechanical failure but, in the same car, they arrived back at the Kelso Racecourse finish in 6th place last year.

Right behind them in the points, and on the road on the Jim Clark, is fellow Legend Motorsport team-mate MARK JASPER who will be out once again in his MG Metro 6R4 while a new Hyundai Accent WRC is readied for later in the season. Regular co-driver DON WHYATT is unavailable, leaving Guy Foster to step into the breach on this occasion.

Putting behind him the memory of his early exit against a very stout tree on the second stage of last year’s rally, co-driver SIMON HUNTER has teamed up with GEORGE MACKEY (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6) to take a Top 10 start. George, from Haydon Bridge, has returned to the Asphalt Championship this year, having finished 3rd overall in 2004.

So, the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship-registered crews contesting the Jim Clark National Rally are as follows:

101 David Kynaston/Andy Russell Audi A3 Quattro
102 Damian Cole/Craig Drew Ford Focus WRC
103 Andy Fenwick/Lee Tindall Subaru impreza WRC
104 Simon Mauger/Ashley Trimble Ford Escort MkII
106 John Stone/Lee Carter Skoda Fabia WRC
107 Mark Jasper/Guy Foster MG Metro 6R4
109 George Mackey/Simon Hunter Mitsubishi Lancer EVO6
112 Michael Glendinning/Andrew Roughead Subaru impreza
113 Andy Baker/TBA Peugeot 205
114 David Hardie/John McCulloch Subaru Impreza
117 Roger Donnan/Chris Davies Ford Puma S1600
121 Steve LeonardSion Humphreys Ford Escort MkII
122 Richard Clews/Barry James Ford Fiesta ST
123 Chris Rice/Nick Chapman Subaru Impreza (GpN)
124 James Martin/Dylan James Vauxhall Astra
126 Dave Price/TBA Ford Escort Mk6 RWD
127 Steve Cressey/Sam Collis Subaru Impreza STi
129 Jim Sharp/Amy MacKinnon Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9
148 Ian Copping/Dave Rowley Ford Fiesta RWD
150 Martin Newson/Peter Morris MG ZR
151 Roland Jones/Kate Gamez MG ZR
152 Tim Daltry/Paul Ohren-Bird Peugeot 205
153 Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett Peugeot 205
157 Phillip Merrills/William Kelly Honda Civic Type R
159 Chris Daykin/Dan Megannity Subaru Impreza (GpN)
160 Martin Murray/Peter Weall Peugeot 205
163 Lewis Roper/Joe Cruttenden Mazda

The rally begins on the Friday evening and lying ahead for each of them are 112 miles of special stages over the closed public roads in the Borders. On one of the toughest events in the UK calendar, whoever arrives back at the finish in Duns to be crowned winners of the event will be justly proud of their achievement!...

ENTRIES HIT MAXIMUM

Posted: May 18, 2010 2:29 PM

The entries have now closed for all six events in the 2010 Jim Clark Rally, and the maximum number of allowable cars has been reached.

A total of 140 cars will compete in the Friday and Saturday events - the International, National, Challenge, LandRover and Historic Jim Clark Rallies. And the same total of 140 cars will be out on Sunday's ever-popular Reivers Rally alone, bringing the overall number to 280.

Closure times for the various public roads to be used over the weekend dictate the maximum number of cars which can be accommodated. So once again the tremendous popularity of the Jim Clark has meant the organisers have found themselves squeezing as many cars into the weekend schedule as possible - with standby lists created for those so far unlucky.

The timing adjustments between the events running on the Friday and Saturday can now be made, and the final seedings applied to create the starting line-ups in order of precedence.

The countdown continues to another action-packed Jim Clark Rally weekend!

Gwyndaf Evans to drive in third round of British Rally Championship

Posted: May 12, 2010 10:45 PM

Following the recent announcement that Keith Cronin will drive one of its Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs in next month’s Donegal Rally, JRM has this week confirmed that it will continue its programme to promote its cars by entering two more rallies in the next few weeks.

Having recorded its first outright victory in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship on last month’s Pirelli Rally, JRM has entered Gwyndaf Evans in round three of the UK series, the Jim Clark Rally. Having scored a win on gravel, the team has admitted that it would now like to achieve the same success on asphalt in order to show that its cars are competitive on both surfaces.

Evans, who will again be partnered by co-driver Chris Patterson, is currently lying fourth in the driver’s championship, whilst JRM jointly lead the team’s championship.

“Having won last time out I am really pleased to be getting the chance to compete again”, said Evans. “I fully understand that JRM’s BRC programme is being carried out on an event-by-event basis. So to have been entered for half of the championship’s six rounds so far is a real bonus and I shall do all I can to deliver another good result for the team.”

The experienced Welshman will use the right-hand-drive car that was campaigned in 2009 by Evolution Challenge prize-winner David Bogie, as Evans’ Pirelli winning LHD Evo will be on its way to the Rally d’Italia Sardegna to be driven by top Swedish driver Per-Gunnar Andersson.

“I was delighted to be asked to drive for JRM”, said Andersson. “I drove an Evolution IX in the Swedish Championship last year and won a number of events outright. I therefore know a bit about driving Mitsubishis and Group N and it will be good to see how this car performs in an IRC round. I’m looking forward to it!”

The Sardinian event will see the first time that a JRM Evo X has taken part in a round of the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) and the team is interested to see how it’s Mitsubishi compares, not just against other Group N cars, but S2000 cars as well. Andersson will be co-driven by fellow countryman Anders Fredriksson.

“Entering these two events and the Donegal Rally is all part of our promotional campaign to showcase our cars in countries where there is potential to sell new Group N Lancers and Ralliart parts”, explains Operations Manager for JRM John Barnes. “At the moment we don't have plans for any more events, but it is a case of seeing how each one goes and then making decisions from there.”

The Jim Clark Rally starts and finishes in Kelso and takes place on closed public roads in Berwickshire on 28-29 May. The Rally d’Italia Sardegna is an all-gravel event held entirely on the Island of Sardinia from 4-6 June.

Unseeded List of Entries Received

Posted: May 10, 2010 8:17 PM

Updated Daily:

Regulations / Entry Form Available

Posted: April 7, 2010 2:33 PM

Rally Guide 1 Available

Posted: February 24, 2010 12:33 PM

In The Competitors Menu of the rally Website:

Marshal's Training Day - 11 Apr 10

Posted: February 11, 2010 2:26 PM

The marshal's training day ahead of the 2010 Jim Clark Rally will be held on Sunday 11th April at Berwickshire High School in Duns.

More Details:

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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