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Rally Sunseeker - 26 Feb 11

Posted: April 18, 2011 8:17 PM - 9269 Hits

Round 1 - 2011 British Rally Championship
Round 1 - 2011 2011 Citroen Racing Trophy UK

Second and fifth for JRM in British Rally Championship opener

Posted: April 18, 2011 8:17 PM

JRM got its 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship campaign off to a flying start this weekend in round one, the Dorset-based Rallye Sunseeker. Driving the team’s two Group N Mitsubishi Evolution Xs, Tom Cave finished an impressive second and Daniel Barry crossed the line a credible fifth.

The rally began on Friday evening with a ceremonial start on Poole Quay in front of 1000s of spectators. Thankfully, the rain held off as the rally cars were paraded alongside the Sunseeker Powerboats moored in the harbour, but the conditions changed overnight, resulting in areas of standing water on the first of Saturday’s 11 stages in the Ringwood and Wareham forests.

After a good result on the Wyedean Rally two weeks beforehand, Cave – together with co-driver Craig Parry - was on the pace from the word go, setting the second fastest time on SS1, just 2.3 seconds behind Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie. Barry and his co-driver Rory Kennedy also started well, a further three seconds down and in seventh place. But, with this being Barry's first ever event in the JRM car, he admitted that he was still getting used to its handling characteristics.

A storming run by both JRM crews through SS2 saw Cave take the lead of the rally by 2.6 seconds, with Barry moving up to fourth. However, Bogie fought back during stages three and four and reclaimed the top-spot from Cave - albeit by just 2.9 seconds - before crews stopped for the first service halt.

The next loop of stages took competitors west and into the Wareham Forest complex, where the nature of the roads changed again, competitors commenting that the ruts and puddles were making it hard to find a rhythm. One such driver was Jason Pritchard, who’s Subaru slid off the road and into a ditch at the end of SS6. Cave was next through the stage and, with spectators on the track slowing him down as he approached the scene, the incident caused him to lose around ten seconds whilst he took evasive action.

Barry found the slippery conditions even less to his liking, as he was still trying to get used to his new Evo X and was pleased to get through the Wareham stages unscathed. Therefore, when cars arrived for the second service halt after SS7, Cave was 12.2 seconds behind Bogie, with Barry fifth, a further 36 seconds adrift. Cave embarked on the event’s remaining four stages with the aim of putting pressure on Bogie and, although taking the fastest time on SS8, the Scot ahead of him remained un-phased. Therefore, the leading positions were maintained to the finish, with Bogie first, Cave second and Elfyn Evans, in a Subaru, third.

Still not completely comfortable in the car, Barry opted for a measured approach to the final loop of stages and, in doing so, consolidated his fifth place. The JRM team was delighted that its cars ran perfectly throughout the event, with both finishing in the top five.


Tom Cave
“It’s new car and a new rally, so I am delighted with second place and having been able to set the fastest time on three of the eleven stages. I pushed hard in the final loop, but not too hard, as I didn’t want to spoil a good result. The JRM car felt very good and everything worked well, so it’s a great start to the season. The next round, the Bulldog Rally of North Wales, is my home event, so I hope to keep the momentum going.”

Daniel Barry
“As this was my very first event in the JRM car I’m pleased with fifth place, but I know there is great potential for an even better result. The Evo X has loads of power and the braking is fantastic, so I’m sure that once I get more used to it and I can get the set-up right for me, I will be on the pace of the front runners. I’ve really enjoyed this event. The team have been great and done as much as they can to make me feel at home, so I’m hoping that I can continue with them for the rest of the season.”

John Barnes (Team Manager)
“I’m very happy with the way things went this weekend. To have two cars in the top five and get through the whole event with no problems is an excellent start to the season. I’m pleased with the way the team worked together and I must congratulate both drivers for doing such a good job for us. I therefore hope we can achieve an even better result in the next round of the British Championship.”


Posted: April 18, 2011 8:12 PM

Roger Duckworth and Aled Davies took their Kumho-shod Subaru Impreza WRC to an emphatic 55.3 second victory on last Saturday’s (February 26) Rallye Sunseeker National event. However, as is so often the case, the bare times reveal little of the story behind the rally.

Having stormed to victory on the first stage, the team promptly collected a 2 minute time penalty for checking into a time control early. This dropped them from 1st to 19th overall in one fell swoop and the race was on! Driving on the limit, Duckworth won every stage, regaining the lead on the 9th of the 11 tests. Despite suffering problems with his Impreza’s launch control system, he maintained first position long enough to clinch his third outright victory on this very popular event – his previous wins were in 1998 and 2004.

The Sunseeker is the biggest rally held in the South of England, and one of the most popular in the entire country. Its roots can be traced back to 1973. By 1986 it had moved from Surrey/Sussex to its current home in the Bournemouth/Poole area. Local company Sunseeker’s involvement began in the 1990s.

Said Kumho’s Motorsport Director Steve Thompson,
“To overcome a deficit of 2 minutes and still win by getting on for a minute demonstrates just how much pace Roger had over his nearest rivals on this event. With Andy Burton’s success on the Wydean Forest Rally just two weeks before, we certainly have started the year as we hope to go on!”

Rallye Sunseeker National + Historique Round up

Posted: April 18, 2011 7:44 PM

Rallye Sunseeker National

Running the same stage miles as the International event, it was the Subaru WRC crew of Roger Duckworth and Aled Davies who came home victorious on the Rallye Sunseeker National event this year. A previous winner of the event, under the guise of the Bournemouth Winter rally in 1998, Duckworth overcame launch control issues and a 2min penalty to head home Colin Britton in a Mitsubishi Evo. Roger was happy at the finish in Bournemouth and said "I like this event, its well run and really enjoyable. We had a few issues this morning but we are happy to get to the end and earn a result"

Local crew of Anthony Wilmington and Andrew White, had provided the early challenge to Duckworth, but when the wheel studs sheared after SS6 their event was over for the day.

It was left to Colin Britton and Arthur Kierans to take up the challenge, and although not over familiar with the Bournemouth and Poole forests, the pair were delighted to finish as runners up to Duckworth. Colin said at the finish
"The stages here a different to what I am used to in Northen Ireland, but as the day went on I got more confident in myself and the car, and I am very happy at where we finished up to be honest. Its been a really enjoyable event, it really has, and it was great to see so many people on the stages....I have enjoyed today"

Wug and Max Utting, came home in third place and were happy with a steady enough run on the National event.

Garry Pearson and Laura Marshall were delighted to finish in 4th, their first time out in the car. The Scottish crew had settled in, after the first loop of 4 stages and had made some adjustments at the first service which helped during the course of the day. Garry said
"The stages are different to what we are used to in Scotland, but once we got used to them our pace was good and I am really happy to finish. Its a great wee event I have to say"

Calum and Claudia Macleod brought their crowd pleasing MG S2000 home in 5th place, and spoke fondly of their day. Callum had told Rallye Sunseeker during the day "Ach sure I am having a ball out there, and the spectators seem to love the car. Somerley was great, as there was so many people there, its very good"

First 2wd car home was the local pairing of Matt Thorne and Les Harrogate in their Ford Escort MkII. Having survived a misfire issue on Shakedown they were delighted to secure such a good finish. Les who, through his company SCF Hardware sponsored several of the days stages was understandably elated at their good result. "Ay its been a good day, the rain sort of held of and the stages held up as well. Matt and I have had a good day, and this is a great result for us"

Sadly for the Metro 6R4 fans, Stuart Larbey retried on SS9 when the front diff went, Kevin Rowledge retired his Ford Focus WRC with Clutch issues at TC7.

Rod Bennets Fiat Stilo Arbarth selected two gears at once at the stop line of SS6 and his day was over, as was Robert Dillons when his Proton suffered a hole in the block on SS2.

Rallye Sunseeker Historique

At the end of the Rallye Sunseeker Historique event at Somerley Park, it was the Ford Escort crew of Richard Lane and Frank Richer that emerged victorious from the similar car of Ernie Graham and Chris Parsons. the crowds at Somerley were entertained all day by some terriffic driving but the cheers and applause were for the Historique crews. Richard said at the finish "We have really enjoyed today, great stages, loads of spectators and the weather was great"

Equally happy to finish second Ernie said
"Yeah it has been a good day, and we have really enjoyed the event to be honest. the stages were good, but Richard drove very well here all day"

Peter Egerton and Alun Cook, came home in third place in their Ford Escort MkI and expressed his delight at a good days rallying
"We have had a great time today, and really enjoyed the Escort here in the forests. There are loads of people out on the stages and that is awlays good to see"

Clive King and "Polly" were first Mini crew home in 5th place and like other Mini crews such as Jason Thompson, Andrew O Hanlon and Gordon Cameron pointed out that the cars could be tricky on the fast straights, with the tendancy wander ensuring that the drivers paid attention.

John Brooks went off on SS5, and then burned out the clutch, and this was notable as being the only retirement on the Rallye Sunseeker Historique.

Rallye Sunseeker International Round up

Posted: April 18, 2011 7:43 PM

It was a visibly elated David Bogie and Kevin Rae that crossed the finish ramp in Bournemouth to claim victory in the first round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Rallye Sunseeker International. This follows his victory on the Scottish Championship last weekend. They came home 21.8 seconds ahead of Tom Cave and Craig Parry in the JRM Mitsubishi after a day long battle between the pair all day. David said at the finish "Its been a really good day here, and although we had a few scares along the way it was a great battle with Tom.

Welshman Tom Cave along with Parry was delighted to finish as runner up to Bogie and felt that a steady approach had paid off "Its a tough rally, and you need to be on the pace from the start, but any kind of mistake would leave you struggling to catch up here, so Yeah we are happy with our day today".

Another Welshman who took a steay approach to claim 3rd o/a was Elfyn Evans, the Pirelli Star Driver increasing his pace as he gained confidence and expierience in the car during the day and felt that he had made progress throughout the day in the forests of Bournemouth and Poole. He had been locked himself in a battle with Adan Gould, also in a Subaru from the very first stage of the morning.

Gould too was content to come home 4th, and felt that it bodes well for the rest of the year in the Dulux Trade Championship.

Daniel Barry and Rory Kennedy came home 5th o/a in the JRM Mitsubishi, and felt that lack of seat time perhaps hindered his event. He said
"It was a new car for us, and we spent the first loop making small changes in the car, but this event is so intense that to give any time away at all, leaves you with a lot to do to make up".

Following Barry home, were the Skoda S2000 crews of Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts and Robert Barrable and damien Connolly respectively. The cars caused huge interest on the event and both drivers admitted to taking it easy and bringing the car home. Jonny said "Its a new car for us, and although we have been to Sunseeker before, this time it was about learning the car and not doing anything silly, so Yeha we are happy with a good solid finish"

Equally Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly were more than happy with their result, Damien saying at the finish "There is so much more to come from the car, there really is. We only picked the car up on Wednesday, so we have had no seat time what so ever. Very happy with today"

Dulux Trade MSA British Formula 2 Rally Championship

Siim Plangi took a maiden victory in the Formula 2 Championship here in Bournemouth, after a day long battle with team mate Mikko Pajunen in the Renault Twingo R2. It would have been a much closer finish between them had Pajunen not picked up a 30sec penalty earlier in the day. The crowds of spectators however were treated to some spectacular driving between the pair all day and it was one of the talking points of the rally. It was a great battle and certainly bodes well for the rest of the year.

For his exploits though on Rallye Sunseeker International, Plangi was nominated as Pirelli Star driver.

Calum Black joined them on the podium, having struggled a bit earlier in the days with conditions and tyre choice. Calum though was happy to take 3rd and said "It turned out ok in the end, because as the day progresse and we got more time in the car, our choices were better, so it really does look good for the reat of the year, and the car is home in one piece"

Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts had problems during the day, which meant that despite a promising start and some fastest stage times, they could not make up the several minutes lost early in the morning.

Nick Cristofaro and Daniel O Brien also overcame minor issues during the day to finish the event. Both the Citroens of Desi Henry and Mark Donnelly retired during the day.

Mechanical Problem Disrupts Breens R2 Return

Posted: April 18, 2011 7:41 PM

Two years ago the entry list at Rallye Sunseeker saw the name Craig Breen listed for the first time on a British Rally Championship event. Breen's rise up the rallying ranks from that time has been well documented. Two year's on and the Irish driver returned to the English South coast and on this occasion he held the honor of being seeded number one as the 2011 British Rally Championship got underway. Craig was privileged with the seeding position but there's only ONE goal on the Irish driver’s hit list this year and that's FIA WRC Academy glory by the end of the season.

The event signaled a return to front wheel drive as we got our first sight of his newly acquired Fiesta R2. The Keltech livered Fiesta got off to the perfect start over the opening three stages and Craig was holding the R2 Class lead when the temperature gauge started to rise during the fourth test. After stopping, the problem was diagnosed to be a broken water pump and the Irish/Welsh crew had to resort to filling water from a nearby puddle on the side of the stage to replenish the cars supply. This temporary fix got the car back to service, where the ailing pump was replaced and the car was back to full power. Craig was bitterly disappointed as the mechanical problem caused a loss of over two minutes. Having bedded himself in over the first and second test, Craig was very happy with his pace and a time of 11:35.2 on stage three was quick enough to overhaul the Renault Twingo of Mikko Pajunen, then the ill fated mechanical problem put pay to any class aspirations. The remainder of the day was spend regaining as many class positions as possible. After dropping down to 7th in class the Waterford driver finished the day taking third in class R2, which shows his pace and how quickly he has adapted back to front wheel drive. Craig is on duty again next weekend on home ground at the Wm. Loughman Forest Rally in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland and will be hoping for a clean run on his final preparation event before he heads to Portugal at the end of March.

Podium for Evans with Gould Fourth in BRC Opener

Posted: April 18, 2011 7:38 PM

Defending British Rally Champions TEG Sport got their 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship underway in great style with the team's two drivers, Elfyn Evans and Adam Gould, finishing Rallye Sunseeker in third and fourth places respectively.

Making his debut for the Carnforth-based team as part of his prize for winning the Pirelli Shoot Out last year, 22 year old Welshman Evans from Dolgellau, along with Aberystwyth co driver Andrew Edwards, finished less than half a minute behind the winners, David Bogie and Kevin Rae, after 11 dramatic stages which comprised the popular Bournemouth based event.

Driving the Subaru Impreza N15 for the first time in BRC competition, Evans started off steadily and was well placed inside the top five during the first half of the rally before upping the pace on SS6 as he got more used to the car whereby he leapt into third place and remained there until the finish to rack up important championship points.

Following him home was 23 year old Bristolian Adam Gould and co driver Seb Marshall from Chesterfield who brought their Subaru home in fourth place less than seven seconds behind their team mates. Gould, who only confirmed his participation the week prior to the event, was as high as third at one point but had to settle for a top four placing in the end.

The result also means that the TEG Sport team scored well in the Team's Championship going into the next round in a month's time whereby both Evans and Gould will be looking to continue their good form on the International Bulldog Rally of Wales on April 2nd.

Elfyn Evans:
"I was relatively happy with the stage times early on as I was still getting used to the car but I was braking too early for the tighter corners and having a problem with committing to them like Bogie was. We speeded up a bit in the afternoon but the lines were difficult as the stages cut up quite badly in places on the second loop of stages so I had to adapt my driving style to suit the conditions. The car was perfect and to come away with a podium is a fantastic result so thanks to the team for doing a great job and I'm hoping for another good result on the Bulldog Rally."

Adam Gould:
"Fourth place is a good result today for us given it was my first time in the car and was so much different to what I've driven in the past. I felt some vibration on stage two and discovered the wheel nuts had worked loose which was a scare but then set fastest time on SS4. We lost some time on the second loop this afternoon and because it's a relatively short event, there wasn't enough time to claw back the time I dropped but all credit to Elfyn who drove well on his first BRC event in a four wheel drive car. It's going to be an intense battle all year but I'm looking forward to the Bulldog as I think that rally will suit the Subaru better."

Stuart Newby - TEG Sport Team Principal:
"Third and fourth places is a mega result for us today, neither driver had any major problems so it was job done as far as I'm concerned. It's vitally important to get solid points on the board on the opening round so it was a case of taking things steady and making no mistakes and both Elfyn and Adam did just that. It was Elfyn's first proper outing in a four wheel drive and Adam's first time in that car too so everyone's especially delighted with the results and I'm very happy with TEG Sport's performance this weekend."

Full Results

Posted: April 18, 2011 7:34 PM

1 David Bogie/Kevin Rae - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX - 1:00:44.4
2 Tom Cave/Craig Parry - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X - 1:01:06.2
3 Elfyn Evans/Andrew Edwards - Subaru Impreza N15 - 1:01:11.8
4 Adam Gould/Seb Marshall - Subaru Impreza N15 - 1:01:18.7
5 Daniel Barry/Rory Kennedy - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X - 1:01:49.8
6 Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts - Skoda Fabia S2000 - 1:02:12.7
7 Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly - Skoda Fabia S2000 - 1:02:30.7
8 Tom Clark/Alistair Wyllie - Subaru Impreza N15 - 1:04:25.1
9 Alan Carmichael/Phil Clarke - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX - 1:05:16.3
10 Siim Plangi/Marek Sarapuu - Renault Twingo R2 - 1:06:31.0

Greer set for fabulous time in Fabia S2000

Posted: February 25, 2011 2:59 PM

2011 is sure to be an exciting year for twenty-two year old Jonny Greer from Co Down.

Marking his 4th season in the top level of British rallying and following an outstanding performance at Rally Scotland in October, Jonny’s hopes are high for the opening round of the season, where he is a likely championship contender.

Jonny, the first UK driver to take delivery of a Skoda Fabia S2000 in the UK and Ireland, will take to the stages competitively this weekend on Rally Sunseeker, the curtain raiser for this year`s championship on 25th-26th February 2011.

The offseason has been busy for the Northern Irish man,
‘The winter break was the toughest so far” reflected Jonny. “With group N cars in decline and regulation changes coming in to force, I faced a difficult decision on where to compete in 2011. I had been working on a plan to run a Skoda S2000, and at times it didn’t look like we might get the budget in place. However, fortunately when the Motorsport team at Skoda UK heard of our plan to contest the BRC, they came forward with support, for which I am very grateful.’

With a short tarmac familiarisation run under his belt, Jonny hopes to complete a further 40 mile gravel test at the Sweet Lamb testing ground, prior to this weekends rally and this will help to cement the bond between man and machine.

Speaking earlier in the week, Jonny mentioned
“Ideally, we would have liked more time in the car prior to the event. After 3 years in a turbo car, it will be a difficult transition to a naturally aspirated machine. My aim for the weekend is to put some points on the board and learn as much as I can. The Skoda S2000 feels like a great car and I`m looking forward to getting out there and challenging for victory. A strong result would be a nice way to start the campaign, but a finish is the priority”

The Simpsons Skoda crew is completed by Welsh co driver Dai Roberts who renews his partnership with Jonny for the 2011 season. You can follow Jonny’s progress on the Sunseeker rally and throughout the season on Facebook at the “Jonny Greer Rallying” page.

Craig Breen Rallying - Rallye Sunseeker Event Preview

Posted: February 20, 2011 6:02 PM

It's been a busy beginning to the year for Craig but now after his foray using his Fiesta S2000 in Sweden, the preparation for the opening round of the FIA WRC Academy in Portugal starts next weekend. The loose surface event in the Algarve takes place between the 24th and 27th of March but before the new Motorsport Ireland Ambassador sets off for Faro, he will take in two important shake-down events.

Rallye Sunseeker is the opening round of the British Rally Championship and is located in the coastal town and seaport of Poole in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The one day, 100 Km event takes place next Saturday, February 26th and will be Craig’s first taste of front wheel drive rallying for over seventeen months.

Then a week later Craig will return to Ireland for the Wm. Loughman Forest Rally on the 5th of March, the event based in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary is another one day rally gravel rally totaling 60 kms.

As both events signify a return to front wheel drive for Craig, it will be our first opportunity to see his recently acquired Fiesta R2; however it won’t be Craig’s first occasion to take the wheel of the Ford model. The Waterford driver debuted a similar car on Irish soil during 2009 and was in an R2 seat when he took the FSTi title on Rally GB also in ’09. The car will boast Craig’s new livery as debuted on his S2000 car in Sweden with Keltech Engineering as main sponsor. For the 2011 campaign Craig will continue his partnership with Castrol Edge, Pirelli, Kick Energy and Suirway Forklifts.

Craig is delighted to announce that Speedline Corse has also join the fold and will be providing assistance throughout the 2011 season. The Speedline Group was founded in 1975 and is one of the leading manufactures of alloy wheels. In partnership with leading motorsport teams and car manufacturers, Speedline has won 67 FIA sanctioned world championship titles including Formula 1, World Rally Championship, Sports Prototype and Rally Raid. On the announcement Craig stated, “Having a partner with the history of Speedline Corse onboard is another step forward for Craig Breen Rallying.”

Tom Cave searches for the Sun on BRC opener

Posted: February 18, 2011 1:07 PM

Teenage rally driver Tom Cave will be looking for sun, sea and success next weekend as he and co-driver Craig Parry tackle the opening round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Rallye Sunseeker. Buoyed by an excellent result on the BTRDA season opener, the Wyedean last weekend, Cave and Parry will be looking for a solid result to get their season off to a flying start.

They will be competing in the same Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX that they drove on the Wyedean, prepared and run by the JRM team, on the one-day event based in Bournemouth. And just like the Wyedean, an early start and full attack will be the order of the day.

While last weekend saw Tom and Craig up against a brace of World Rally Cars and open-class machinery, this year's BRC is based on Group N and Super 2000 specification cars. Therefore, the playing field should be more even but nonetheless, the competition will be just as fierce, if not more so.

The entry list contains no less than 10 GpN cars and a pair of Skoda Fabia S2000s, so it will not be an easy task yet one that Tom is relishing;
"I'm raring to go on the Sunseeker. It's a bit of a trip into the unknown again, like the Wyedean but at least this time, we already have one event in the JRM car under our belt and we can make our own notes on the recce.

"We'll also be doing the pre-event shakedown on Thursday, so hopefully that will give us a chance to learn the stage conditions a little and fine-tune the set-up on the car.

"I think that the plan for the weekend has to be the same as the Wyedean - flat out from the word go. The stages are relatively short - the longest is only 10 miles - so a spin or puncture and that could be any chance of a decent result gone, as you'd struggle to get the time back.

"I also think it will be a pretty frantic day - short stages and short services but I'm definitely looking forward to it." Tom will be running alongside Irish driver Daniel Barry, who is also at the wheel of one of the company's cars. And while Tom won't actually have a pre-event test, he has been asked by JRM to shake-down Barry's car prior to the start of the event, as well as carrying out checks on his own machine. Joining the BRC for the first time this year, the Sunseeker begins with a shakedown stage on the afternoon of Thursday 24 February followed by the ceremonial start in Poole on Friday evening, the 25th. But the rally itself runs over 11 stages on Saturday 26 February, with a total stage distance of 60 stage miles.

Rallye Sunseeker International BRC preview

Posted: February 18, 2011 9:09 AM

February 25/26 will see Rallye Sunseeker International begin the 2011 Dulux British Rally Championship, when on the Friday night the event is launched at Poole Quay. With crowds on the Friday last year of over 7,000 people, the crews on this year’s event will have a special atmosphere awaiting them when they begin their 2011 Rally campaign. Equally the thousands of expected fans are in for a real treat when the Stage action gets underway on Saturday morning and runs through the day in the Forests of Dorset and Hampshire.

Leading the crews off the ramp this year will be Number 1 seeds Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts in their Ford Fiesta R2. Craig comes to Bournemouth and Poole this year fresh from a stunning 15th overall on the Swedish Rally last weekend, itself the opening round of the World Rally Championship. Craig will start the event as favourite and has a hectic years rallying planned with 17 events in his R2 Fiesta scheduled for completion.

Following Craig off the ramp will be the two car team run by Autosport Technology with drivers Mikko Pajunen and Siim Plangi both running R2 Renault Twingos. Mikko won three of the R1 rounds on last years championship, along with an R2 round, so will be one to watch this year as he is back for another attempt. His team mate Siim, was 6th overall on Rally Scotland in 2010, so the British Forest will not be strange to him this year. Both drivers are confident of a good year in the Dulux British Rally Championship

Callum Black will follow in his Suzuki Swift S1600, partnered by Paul Wakely, and as the 2010 BRC Challenge Champion will be worth watching as well. Running a works spec car, in what is his only second year of Rallying, Callum is aiming for the F2 title this year and with the added backing of the Hankook Prize drive which he won last week will aid his Championship attempt through the year.

Highest seeded Citroen crew at Number 7 are Desi Henry and John Rowan form Northern Ireland. This is their first visit to the BRC, having competed in Ireland last year, in the Citroen Racing Trophy and Fiesta Challenge.

Following them off the ramp are fellow Citroen crew of Mark Donnelly and Barry McNulty also from Northern Ireland. Barry is the 2010 BRC Co-Driver champion having navigated Keith Cronin to success last year.

Other entries come from John MacCrone, Molly Taylor and John Boyd, while TEG Sport have entered Nick Cristofaro in a Ford Fiesta ST.

Top four wheel drive seed is the Scottish favourite David Bogie, in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX and Kevin Rae calling the notes on this event. David is no stranger to the BRC, and as 2010 Scottish Champion will certainly be seen as one of the favourites on this event, and for the title.

Running behind David, is another former BRC competitor who has caused a bit of a stir this year in that he has swapped his Mitsubishi Evo for a Skoda S2000, and that is Northern Irelands Jonny Greer. Jonny will have Dai Roberts in the Navigators seat on Sunseeker and good support from his father Davy, himself a former Irish Champion who helps run the car on events. Certainly Jonny can rightly be seen as one of the favourites following some outstanding performances last year, for this years Championship.

Another Skoda S2000 mounted driver is Robert Barrable from Swords, near Dublin with Damien Connolly calling the notes. They had a superb year last year, winning the Billy Colman awards as well the British and Irish C2R2 Championships.

Elfyn Evans joins the BRC again this year, but this time in the Pirelli backed, TEG Sport run Subaru and will run behind Greer. He tested the car at Sweet Lamb a few weeks ago, and ran as a course car on the Wyedean to familiarise himself prior to this weekend.

Tom Cave and Daniel Barry will start Rallye Sunseeker International in a pair of JR Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo X’s . Tom recently competed on the Wyedean Rally in preparation for this weekend and came home 7th overall. Barry meanwhile, is normally seen on the IRC but enters Rallye Sunseeker International with legendary Irish Co-Driver Rory Kennedy calling the notes.

Other BRC entries come form Jason Pritchard, Adam Gould, Alan Cookson and Alan Carmichael amongst others and a last minute entry from Euan Thorburn.

The action on Saturday begins for the BRC crews at 9.00am when they leave the Start at Elliott Canford Arena; the rally visiting the Service Area at this location twice during the day. The Finish ceremony will be at Bournemouth Pier at 17.30 hours.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: February 17, 2011 12:14 PM

Rallye Sunseeker National Snippets

Posted: February 10, 2011 12:20 PM

Wug and Max Utting return to Rallye Sunseeker this year. A Southern Car Club stalwart, Wug has already had some notable results in the last few months. 3rd o/a on Wales Rally GB National B section one of the most notable. Running a Prodrive built 2007 Subaru Impeza Gp N, Max is delighted to have support from Revolution Wheels for his 2011 Rally campaign. Once again Dad will be partnered by son Max, himself no mean slouch behind the wheel. Wug and Max's rallying adventures are supported and backed by the remainder of the Utting family and a large circle of friends and supporters.

From Highworth in Wiltshire we are delighted to welcome back to Rallye Sunseeker, Shelly Taunt and Julie Murphy. With Championship awards stretching back as far as 1998, the pair bring with them an enormous amount of expierience to contest Rallye Sunseeker once again. Both would love to compete on a WRC event, and will be running a 2004 Gp N Subaru Impreza.

2010 Targa Britannia winner Jerry Bailey swaps his usual Aston Martin for a Ford Escort on this years Rallye Sunseeker. He told Rallye Sunseeker that
"the decision to go with an Escort was just to go out an have some fun".
The fact that he last competed on the Rally 15 years ago in an BMW M3 holds no fears for him and is looking forward to a good run this year with co-driver Graham Lacey.

Rod Bennett is out on the event this year, in his Fiat Stilo Arbarth. The car is an ex-works car which Rod imported in 2006, and between himself and co-driver Henry Richardson they have over 60 years experience between them. Has competed on Rallye Sunseeker in its various forms over many years

Simon Heywood and Keith Moyses enter this year in a Peugeot 205Gti, on what will be their only second ever forest event. They are the 2010 South West Clubmen Champions and are running the former 205 Cup winning car in 2009.

Stuart and Simon Larbey bring their glorious sounding Mg Metro 6R4 to Sunseeker for one final fling. The car is an ex-Tony Pond / Rob Arthur version that was used on the 1986 Rally of Portugal in the glorious days of Group B. Stuart has competed over 10 times on the event and has been rallying for over 40 years.

Trevor Martin and Ray Cleghorn return to rallying this year, in an ex-Prodrive Gp A Subaru Impreza. Hoping to contest a full season Trevor is a previous winner of the 1998 Carfax Stages Rally and have won various Classes over the years in Tarmac and ACSMC Forest events.

Matt Thorne and Les Harrogate return again this year after an eventful time last year. Out once again in their Ford Escort they will be hoping for a good result. Les, through his company SCF Hardware have once again sponsored several stages on this years event, and as a local will have loads of family and friends out to cheer them on. Matts biggest claim to fame is that he was once on Jim?ll Fix It.

Jason and Sally Wyatt from Ringwood, are another entry on this years event in a Ford Escort Mk II. Jason previously finished 3rd in Class on the 2009 event, while Sally was 8th overall on the Smeathorpe Rally. It will mark the pairs first gravel rally together and are aiming to compete on the BTRDA events this year.

Daniel Barry joins JRM for Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 9, 2011 2:23 PM

It has recently been confirmed that Daniel Barry will join the JRM rally team for the opening round of this year’s MSA British Rally Championship, the Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker, which takes place on 26th February. The 26-year old from Enniskerry in Ireland has just concluded a deal with JRM to drive one of its Group N Mitsubishi Evolution Xs and hopes that this association with the team will expand into a full BRC campaign.

After becoming UK Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge Champion in 2009, Barry has contested five IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) events in the past year and gained a massive amount of experience by doing so. He now feels that the time is right to return to a championship in Britain and has opted for the country’s premier series with one of the UK’s premier teams.

“I was looking at various options for 2011 when the opportunity of driving a JRM car came up”, said Barry. “I am therefore delighted that we were able to put a deal together with the team for the Rallye Sunseeker, especially as I have fond memories of the event, having won the opening round of the Evolution Challenge there two years ago. I’m therefore hoping that if things go well I can continue with JRM for the remainder of the season.”

Barry has had a long history with many of the team’s personnel, having been a customer of the now Daventry-based rally operation well before it became part of the JRM Group. The team is therefore pleased to see him in one of their cars for the first round of the British Championship.

“After becoming British Teams’ Champions last year, it would have been a great shame not to be able to compete in the BRC again this year”, said Team Manager John Barnes. “We are therefore very happy that Daniel has decided to join us. His team-mate will be Welsh youngster Tom Cave, who is contesting the Wyedean Rally this weekend in another JRM Evo X. We will therefore have two cars out on the first round of the British Rally Championship, which is precisely what we were looking to do.”

After a highly successful season in 2010, when JRM achieved its goal of winning the British Rally Championship Teams’ title, the company is eager to maintain its profile and develop its business of hiring and selling rally cars and competition parts. As well as events in the UK, JRM is also discussing options with a number of drivers with the view of competing on a series of overseas events.

Daniel Barry to Contest Rallye Sunseeker in EvoX

Posted: February 7, 2011 8:22 PM

Irish rally driver, Daniel Barry, is contemplating a full British Rally Championship (BRC) assault in an EvoX, after being asked to drive the car for JR Motorsports, previous winners of the Teams and Drivers titles.

Barry has competed on 5 IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) events in the last year, and has been considering a BRC assault over the recent weeks.
“I was looking at various options for the BRC and other championships in Europe” explains the 26 year old “when the option of driving the EvoX for JRM came up. Rallye Sunseeker is a new event to the BRC and one I know well from my Evo Challenge days, so I am confident that I can get a good result for the team with a view to future BRC events”. Barry will only have time for a limited test session with the car prior to the southern event, although he is confident he is ‘rally fit’ after recently contesting the Centenary Rallye Monte Carlo.

JR Motorsports, owned by English entrepreneur James Rumsey, has been at the forefront of British Motorsport for the past decade. Contracted by Mitsubishi Motors UK to run their rally team in the British Rally Championship they have won the Driver and Teams titles on numerous occasions with drivers such as Gwyndaf Evans and Guy Wilks.

“JRM have had some top class drivers through their doors in the past” states Daniel, “I am looking forward to working with them and hopefully learning from their expertise and experience. As a driver I have learnt a lot in the last year while driving on the IRC, but you can always learn more”.

Danny Barry Snr states
“We have a long history with JRM, and expect to work well with them. I am really looking forward to attending the event as a father and not a Team Manager as well, it will be good to get out onto the stages and watch my son drive”.

Final Fling for the Metro 6R4 at Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 7, 2011 7:43 PM

In the coming weeks, Stuart and Simon Larbey will be competing one last time at the Rallye Sunseeker International based in the forests of Ringwood in their iconic ex-works Metro 6r4.

The MG Metro 6r4 was an iconic “Group B” rally car of the 1980’s, a period renowned for the raw power and immense speed through the gravel forest stages worldwide. After 26 years of competitive rallying, this iconic car will have one final competitive outing before retiring from national events.

The car, currently owned by Stuart Larbey was a former works car, driven by UK rally legend Tony Pond in the famous 1986 Rallye de Portugal Vinho Porto. The 4WD, 6 cylinder MG Metro 6r4 was developed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering in the early eighties to compete on the international stage, achieving 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of 130mph. Despite limited success internationally, the car was and still remains a raucous crowd pleaser, famous for the high pitched roar that echoes through the forests as the car tackles the stages.

Stuart has competed in this infamous car all over the UK for nearly fifteen years and more recently used the car at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where Stuart won driver of the day in 2006 and 2009 respectively.

Driver, Stuart and Co-driver Simon, a Father and Son team from Chichester have been rallying together for the last eight years in the 6R4 and are hugely excited to run this celebrated car competitively one last time. The Rallye Sunseeker has been the team’s local event for a number of years and the Father/Son team have mixed feeling for the event. Stuart remarked
“We are immensely excited and sad to end the cars competitive career in Bournemouth, it has been a pleasure to rally and we would like to thank all the support we have received over the years. Sadly, the car is not as quick as it once was, but does still spit flames from the exhausts! Nevertheless, we feel its right to retire the car now. We look forward to seeing you in the Ringwood forests in a few weeks”.

Škoda UK teams up with Rallye Sunseeker

Posted: February 4, 2011 8:53 PM

Škoda UK will continue its support of British rallying when it becomes the Official Vehicle Partner to Rallye Sunseeker (February 25-26), the opening round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. The highly popular Southern Car Club-organised event takes place in the forests near Bournemouth and Poole, and over the last 25 years has grown into one of the best loved and keenly contested events in the national rally calendar. The relationship between Škoda UK and Southern Car Club began at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where Southern Car Club runs the Forest Rally Stage and where Škoda UK Motorsport demonstrated its Fabia S2000, driven by Freddy Loix. Škoda UK will supply the Club with four-wheel drive vehicles – namely Yeti, Octavia Scout, Superb Hatch and Superb Estate – for officials to use during Rallye Sunseeker.

Rick Smith, Rallye Sunseeker Event Director:
“Rallye Sunseeker prides itself on forging appropriate partnerships so as we welcome Škoda as our Official Vehicle Partner we see the association of two strong and valued brand names – Sunseeker and Škoda; both renowned for innovation and design for purpose. Our senior officials look forward to show- casing a variety of 4x4 Škoda models on the special stages which make up Rallye Sunseeker 2011.”

Richard Burns Foundation joins forces with Rallye Sunseeker International

Posted: February 3, 2011 12:04 PM

The Richard Burns Foundation is delighted to announce its first event of the season, the Rallye Sunseeker International Awards dinner in association with the Richard Burns Foundation on Saturday February 26.

The organisers of Rallye Sunseeker International, one of Britain’s most illustrious motorsporting events, will donate the proceeds of the dinner to The Richard Burns Foundation. The Foundation will use the money to further its work in helping those people suffering from neurological illnesses similar to the one which claimed the life of Richard Burns in 2005. The Rallye Sunseeker International Awards dinner in association with the Richard Burns Foundation will take place at the Marriott Hotel, Bournemouth on Saturday February 26, starting at 2000.

Richard’s co-driver and fellow World Rally Champion Robert Reid will be present at the Rallye Sunseeker International Awards dinner. The pair contested the event in 1992, when it was known as the Mazda Winter Rally. They finished second in their Group N Subaru Legacy, but would go on to win the British National Championship later that year.

Rallye Sunseeker International is an event Reid remembers fondly. He said:
“The event was a very good start to a good year for us. It was – and is – a tremendously well organised and publicised rally. The year we did it, the weather was pretty mixed, with one really foggy stage. I remember Richard was fantastic in that stage, as he always was in the fog, and took a lot of time out of everybody else. It’s great to be going back down to the event – and even better to be looking forward to what will certainly be a very entertaining night at the dinner.”

Reid, who is now the vice-president of the World Rally Championship Commission, is not the only luminary from the world of motorsport who you have the opportunity to join at the Rallye Sunseeker International Awards dinner, Prodrive’s technical director David Lapworth – the man who designed and engineered the Subaru Impreza WRC2001 Burns used to win the 2001 World Rally Championship – also attends, as do Formula One commentators Tony Jardine and Louise Goodman and Richard’s father Alex.

For fans of Richard Burns, rallying and motorsport, the Rallye Sunseeker International Awards dinner is an opportunity not to be missed. And the best bit is that if you make your trip south a little earlier, you’ll get to see Britain’s premier rally stars in action on the stages, as Rallye Sunseeker International is the opening round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and you’ll be helping the Richard Burns Foundation make a real difference to the lives of those who are suffering neurological disorders.

Tickets for the dinner are available from the Richard Burns Foundation website.
Tickets for Somerley Park are also available from the Richard Burns Foundation website, £10 from every ticket sold will go directly to the charity to help raise vital funds.

In addition to the involvement with the Awards dinner, The Richard Burns Foundation is delighted to continue its association with Rallye Sunseeker International with the second running of the Richard Burns Trophy. The Trophy and a cheque for £1,000 goes to the highest placed Group N driver under the age of 25. Last year’s winner was Dave Weston Jr, who went on to become one of British rallying’s leading lights last season.

Rallye Sunseeker starts from Poole Quay on Friday February 25 at 1830 and finishes, after 60 competitive miles in 11 stages, on Saturday February 26 at 1730 Bournemouth Pier.

Cosar wants to shine in Bournemouth

Posted: February 1, 2011 2:57 PM

Serkan Co?ar (34) will make history for the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus when he becomes the first Turkish Cypriot to compete in an international motorsport event overseas. He will be piloting a Group N Subaru Impreza in next month’s Rallye Sunseeker (Feb 26) based in the southern town of Bournemouth in Dorset. Rallye Sunseeker is the first round of the British Rally Championship and therefore takes on international status.

Co-driven by North Cyprus-based Brian Hardie, Serkan’s drive forms part of the three-year sponsorship agreement by North Cyprus Tourism with Rallye Sunseeker, which sees the rally being run in association with North Cyprus, two stages of the rally being named “Visit North Cyprus” along with a promotional presence along rally route and at Motorfair in Somerley Park.

Serkan is a seasoned rally driver in the North Cyprus Rally Championship campaigning a Group A Subaru two times each to 2nd and 3rd overall in the past six years, winning Group A in 2008. An interior designer and businessman, he took a break from competition over the last two years to set up his furniture retail business. He is married to ?olen, also an interior designer and has two boys Yal?n and Derin aged five and nine.

He says
“Being chosen to represent my country by KKTOC (North Cyprus Touring & Automobile Club) has so excited me and given me a great honour. We are going to go all out for the Group N Class win!”

Brian Hardie (48), also an experienced rally man, has been co-driving for around 30 years, both in the UK and abroad. He relocated to North Cyprus with his wife Corinna some eight years ago.

He comments,
“Serkan might be going all out for the Group N win but my main concern as he has never rallied in Britain, is to make sure we overcome potential language barriers in the heat of battle and stay out of the trees!”

Extra backing has been provided by a syndicate of local businesses headed up by Altan Houssein and his Port Cyprium Marina project in Küçük Erenköy.

“This is a golden opportunity to promote my country, my business and those of my associates,” commented Mr. Houssein. “Serkan, Brian and the car will be seen by over 40,000 people on the day and potentially half a billion people through the TV syndication! Now people will realise that North Cyprus does exist.”

The pair will be testing together for the first time at Ormancik, near the jail in Lefko?a on 5th February at 8.00am.

The car is being hired from Poole-based HPM Motorsport run by Marcus Dodd, a seven-time winner of Rallye Sunseeker.


Posted: January 27, 2011 12:42 PM

Four-time Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Group Champion Neil Armstrong will contest the opening round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. His entry in Rallye Sunseeker International (February 25/26) is a further boost to the major Sol Rally Barbados 2011 promotion already announced for that weekend.

Backed by the Sol Group and the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), Armstrong will drive a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, prepared by North Yorkshire-based MSR Motorsport and fully liveried to promote Sol RB2011 (June 4/5), the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international.

It is the 29-year-old Bajan driver’s second visit to Sunseeker, based in the British south coast resorts of Bournemouth and Poole: two years ago, he and co-driver Max Ferri – winner of Rally Barbados 2005 alongside Roger Mayers (Ford Focus) - finished 17th overall and ninth in Group N . . . for both, it was their first rally outside the Caribbean.

At that time, Rallye Sunseeker was the opening round of the ANCRO National Rally Championship – the series won by Barbados regulars Steve Perez and Paul Bird in 2004 and ’05 respectively – and its elevation to the British Rally Championship will present Armstrong and Ferri with a new challenge.

Armstrong is certainly up for it:
“I can’t wait to have another crack at Sunseeker! Max and I had such a fantastic time in 2009 that, when the opportunity came up to do it again, I jumped at it without thinking twice. We should be better prepared this time, with a shakedown session planned for the Thursday, then the recce on Friday. Hopefully, I will be a bit more comfortable than I was in 2009 and can start at a decent pace.”

MSR Motorsport’s Mark Robson said: “We’re pleased to be running Neil for the second time. Although it will be a British Rally Championship event this year, I think the experience he gained last time round, along with the recce, will all go towards what we hope will be a good result for him and the team.”

Rally Barbados organiser, the BRC, has already joined forces with the London office of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) to present the winning crew in Rallye Sunseeker National with free entry and shipping to Sol RB2011, plus flights, accommodation and rental car, an award valued at around US $8,500 (£5,500).

BRC Chairman Geoff Noel will represent the Club in the UK along with vice-chairman, Mark Hamilton, who said:
“I am really excited about this. The Club’s marketing team has been working hard for some months to pull the different elements of this together; thanks to the support from our title sponsor, the Sol Group, the BTA in London, the TDC in Barbados and Neil Armstrong himself, we’ll be pulling off the biggest single promotion for a Caribbean motor sport event ever staged outside the region.”

In addition to the winner’s prize, the promotion includes a major BTA presence at the Friday night Ceremonial Start on Poole Quay and Saturday’s Somerley Speed Festival, staged alongside the keynote spectator stage at Somerley Park, home of event patron Viscount Somerton. The prize will be presented on Saturday evening during the Richard Burns Foundation Charity Dinner & Auction at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel, which serves as Rally HQ over the weekend.

Since his debut in a front-wheel-drive Toyota Starlet in 2002, Armstrong has earned the respect of Barbados fans with his press-on driving style; he won the local Modified 6 class in RB2004, but was forced out two years later – he was in the top 10 at the time - following an accident on a road section, for which he was blameless.

When he switched to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, his first experience in competition of four-wheel-drive, he quickly put his stamp on the category, with Group N wins in Rally Jamaica 2006 and RB2007 and the class title in the BRC Championship in both years. With the car upgraded to Group A spec, he won the Club’s M8-A class in 2008 & ’09, then finished fourth overall in Rally Trinidad 2010.

Returning to the Starlet last year, now rebuilt in much-modified form, Armstrong won SuperModified 9 in Sol RB2010, finishing 11th overall, along with his regular local co-driver, Barry Ward.

Sol Rally Barbados (June 4/5, 2011) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 29) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB2011 is the 22nd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the start of a second three-year term of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

Entries Received

Posted: January 20, 2011 12:33 PM

Richard Burns Trophy continues for 2011

Posted: January 19, 2011 3:15 PM

Following its inception earlier this year and the success it achieved so far, Rallye Sunseeker International are delighted that the Richard Burns Trophy and £1000 prize will continue for 2011. Put together with the backing of some of Richards close associates and the Richard Burns Foundation, it was won this year by Dave Weston Jnr following his superb drive on Rallye Sunseeker back in February. The award managed to aid a young driver making his way in the world of Rallying, but also brought news of the Richard Burns Foundation to more people on the event and the following invite to the Goodwood Festival of Speed that accompanied the prize. The good news is that once again this will also from part of the Compendium of Prizes for the highest placed driver under 25 in the Group N category on Rallye Sunseeker International 2011.

Recently however Rallye Sunseeker caught up with Dave Weston Jnr to ask him what the experience of winning Group N in February had been and he told us
“When I entered Rallye Sunseeker earlier this year with our new Subaru, I could only have dreamt that winning the production cup on the cars debut was achievable. Little did I know exactly what opportunities entering your rally would bring to me. I cannot thank you and your team and Rallye Sunseeker enough for everything you have helped me achieve this year - brilliant stages on our first day out in the car, the Richard Burns Trophy, prize money which helped me enter the Border Counties rally which I went on to win - and the amazing opportunity to attend Goodwood. I had never been to Goodwood before, but had obviously heard a lot about it. Taking part in the rally stage was everything I had hoped it would be and more, and to be asked to take part in the opening ceremony alongside ken Block and Freddy Loix was an amazing experience. Richard was always a hero of mine, so to win a trophy and attend Goodwood in his name has been a real honour”

Equally thrilled with the way that the award had gone was the Festival of Speed organizers. We caught up with Will Kinsman, who is the Motorsport Competitions Manager for Goodwood and he enthused
“We were extremely pleased with the way the Sunseeker award worked out. It’s a great opportunity for us to give a leg-up to young rally drivers, and Dave was brilliant – as well as the event, he also did our press day in March, and the Thursday night unveiling of the Central Feature. We’re very hopeful that he will be back in future, and look forward to repeating the exercise next year”

It was obvious that the award had been a success as Will also added
“The offer of a place at the Festival to the winner of the production class on this year’s Rallye Sunseeker was an opportunity for Goodwood to promote the wealth of up-and-coming talent in British rallying. The winner of this year’s prize, Dave Weston Jr, was a big hit at the Festival – as well as thrilling the crowds during the three days of the event, he also took part, alongside Gymkhana star Ken Block and Monte Carlo legend Jean Ragnotti, in a spectacular Thursday night display to mark the unveiling of the Central Feature. We very much hope that, alongside a blossoming career in rallying, he will become a Goodwood regular in years to come.”

Rallye Sunseeker International Event Director Rick Smith added
“We are delighted with the way it has worked out. It is a fitting way to honour Richard, who actually contested our event himself a few years ago, in a similar way that Dave Wseston did, both in Group N Subarus. The rally was delighted to present the award on behalf of Richards friends, the Richard Burns Foundation and the Goodwood Festival of Speed and it is great news that it will be back again for 2011”


Posted: January 19, 2011 3:14 PM

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has joined forces with the London office of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) to stage a major promotion for Sol Rally Barbados 2011 at Rallye Sunseeker International next month (February 25/26); based in the British south coast resorts of Bournemouth and Poole, it is for the first time the opening round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship.

Rallye Sunseeker has for 25 years been round one of the ANCRO National Rally Championship – the series won by Barbados regulars Steve Perez and Paul Bird in 2004 and ’05 respectively – and is the only major rally in the south of England; the gravel event offers around 60 miles through 11 stages, varying from 2.58 to 10.55 miles, and includes National, Historique (which covers only seven stages) and Military events.

The winning crew in Rallye Sunseeker National will receive free entry and shipping to Sol RB2011 from the BTA, plus flights, accommodation and rental car from the BRC, an award valued at around US $8,500 (£5,500); the National event is also the opening round of the UK’s new SuperCar Rally Challenge, which caters for those four-wheel-drive cars outside British Rally Championship regulations, including World Rally Cars.

Petra Roach, BTA vice-president, marketing & sales Europe, said:
“Sol Rally Barbados is a key element of our island’s sports-tourism product; after a limited promotion at Rallye Sunseeker 2010, we saw the potential for a bigger programme this year. There is a lot of synergy between the two events – both bring vital tourist income to their host venues at traditionally ‘slower’ times of year, winter in the UK and summer in Barbados, both are organised by extremely professional teams, and both attract huge crowds.”

Rallye Sunseeker event director Rick Smith added:
“We’re delighted to be associated with Sol Rally Barbados; many of our regular competitors, like ‘Birdy’ and Steve Perez, are well known in the island, and I hope we can build on this relationship in the future.”

In addition to the winner’s prize, the promotion includes a major BTA presence at the Friday night Ceremonial Start on Poole Quay and Saturday’s Somerley Speed Festival, staged alongside the keynote spectator stage at Somerley Park, home of event patron Viscount Somerton. Sol Rally Barbados chairman Barry Gale says:
“With footfall through the official car parks and various venues at Rallye Sunseeker of around 35,000 people, this is an ideal way to enhance our existing promotion of this year’s event.”

Sunseeker 2011 is ready to sail

Posted: January 19, 2011 3:12 PM

February 25 & 26 2011 will see the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship begin its campaign for the year, with the opening round being Rallye Sunseeker International.

The elevation of Rallye Sunseeker to the British Rally Championship means that the competing crews will begin the year with a trip to the forests in and around the Bournemouth and Poole area of Southern England for the first time in the series history. The event itself, which began as the Kleber Southern rally in 1973, has grown into one of the best loved and keenly contested events in the calendar for crews and spectators alike. This was confirmed when upwards of 7,000 people attended the Ceremonial Start earlier this year in Poole. A feature which will be repeated in 2011.

Commenting on the elevation to BRC status for next year Rallye Director Rick Smith said
“When we became the first round of the National Championship 25 years ago, Southern Car Club had a vision of what we believed a popular rally should be like; since that time we have always striven to achieve the highest ideals in everything we do, be it paperwork, promotional opportunities, visibility to wider public, spectator facilities, stage format and even good old razzamatazz. Rallye Sunseeker has delivered those objectives. It is testimony to the hard work put in by everyone of our organising team (past & present) that for 2011 we stand on the threshold of a new golden era - Round 1 of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. Our aim is to extend a welcome to competitors in Britain’s premier rally championship, while still embracing all our friends from National, Regional, Historic & Military series. Roll on the last weekend in February 2011.”

Rallye Sunseeker International 2011, will be the opening round of the BRC ( with categories for the Citroen Racing Trophy, Fiesta Sport Trophy and Swift Sport Cup) as well as a round of the SCC Supercar Rally Challenge, HCR Challenge, and ASWMC Stage Rally Championships ( this National B permit event will have two categories- for 4wd and 2wd). There will be approx 60 stage miles for the International and National entries with 42 miles for the Historics, which this year will finish their event in the magnificent setting of Somerley House. Once again this beautiful estate will host two special stages during the day, and the Somerley Speed Festival throughout the day, with attractions for all the family.

A delighted Clerk of the Course, Rob Pike when asked what becoming part of the BRC meant to him said
“It means the world to me. To have been involved with the event from my childhood and having grown up with it being such a big part of my life means many dear friendships have been made through the rally's 25 year history. To have helped agree the deal to bring Rallye Sunseeker into the UK's premier rally championship has been hugely satisfying on a personal level and is a fitting outcome for all the hard work so many people have put in to make the event such a success over the years.” And when asked what he thought that Rallye Sunseeker International would bring to the BRC he went onto add “A unique, high profile launch, close to the highly populated areas of the South and South East of England, with easy access for international competitors from mainland Europe & the Channel Islands, as well as our traditional competitors from all corners of the globe! Rallye Sunseeker has always provided the rally world with a great spectacle and a social event that appeals to hardened rally fans and casual spectators alike.”

With the move to BRC status a few changes come in, some examples are: a Shakedown stage will be available to all those who wish to participate on Thursday 24th in the afternoon at a venue to be announced.
Reconnaissance will take place on Friday morning for BRC registered crews only and will be strictly controlled, while Scrutiny will take place during Friday.

BRC figures from last year show that on average 40,000 people attend events in the championship and this can generate up to £3m to the local economy over the weekend of an event; there is also news that Rallye Sunseeker International will feature on Sky TV on the Monday after the rally in an hour long programme, the rally will also feature in Rallyzone on the Wednesday before the event

Event Website / Regulations / Rally Guide Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:00 PM

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