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Manx Forest Rally - (Sat) 10 Nov 12

Posted: February 27, 2014 2:38 PM - 3448 Hits

Dave Corris Autos Forest Rally


Posted: February 27, 2014 2:38 PM

Forest rallying returned to the Isle of Man after a 3 year absence on Saturday (10th November) when the Dave Corris Autos Forest Stages Rally made up the final round of the 2012 Manx Rally Championship. In the Junior (Under 25) Rally Drivers category local man Connor Corkhill was leading the field with another Manx driver in second place, Walter Bridson, but in third position was Cockermouth driver Richard Barnard, 24, looking to see if he could win this prestigious award in his last year as a junior. To do so would mean that Corkhill would either have to not finish the event or finish behind Richard by at least 5 places, a tall order but one worth going for thought the Cumbrian driver. Walter Bridson didn’t make it to the start of the rally as his car wasn’t ready in time following problems earlier in the year on Rally Isle of Man. The very quick Vauxhall Nova of Martyn Jones in fourth place wasn’t totally out of the equation so his result could also have a bearing on the final outcome.

Having never competed on a forest event before and with his own car being unsuitable for this type of surface Richard hired a forest specification Subaru Impreza from John Pye Motors and had Manx co-driver Seb Turner in the hot-seat to guide him around. Valuable support from Britain’s Energy Coast in West Cumbria meant this challenge could go ahead as without it them it would have been unlikely this final effort would have been possible.

10 special stages in a number of plantations on the island faced competitors as the event left the Douglas TT Grandstand start on Saturday morning and a steady run through the first two stages saw Richard start to acclimatise himself to a different car on a very different surface. The unfamiliarity with the car led to a stall at a hairpin bend on stage two but back at the first service area the team were around the top ten with no major issues. Connor Corkhill wasn’t faring so well and had some suspension problems which resulted in him dropping out from the main results and continuing for the rest of the day for fun. Martyn Jones had also had a problem on the early stages and he too dropped from the main field. This meant it had to be a steady run for the remaining 8 stages for Barnard and this very nearly didn’t happen with a big ‘moment’ at a junction on stage 3 when the Subaru crew went too quickly into a left hand corner going off the road, over some logs and between some trees before emerging unscathed and back in the fray.

There were few dramas for the Cockermouth driver over the remaining stages and when results were posted in fading light at the TT Grandstand finish they showed that Richard had finished 7th overall, 2nd in Class E and picked up the Best Newcomer Award as well. But, more importantly he had gained enough points to leapfrog the 2 drivers in front of him in the Manx Junior Rally Championship and finish up 2012 Manx Junior Rally Champion. This award has never been won before by an off island driver so a fantastic first for Richard and his team. At the rally awards ceremony at the Creg ny Baa Hotel on Saturday evening Richard said
‘I am absolutely delighted to have won the championship and know that I have a lot of people to thank for helping me achieve this. The businesses and organisations who have sponsored me this year, the guys who have prepared and run the cars for me and the co-drivers who have sat in with me. Obviously I would also to like to thank the organisers and marshals on the rallies without which we couldn’t go out and enjoy ourselves.’ He went on to add ‘ I would also like to announce my retirement from gravel rallying (after this 1 event) and look forward to returning to good old tarmac next year when I enter the REIS Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, yet another step up for me.’

The result from the Isle of Man will also help Richard in the West Cumbria Motor Sports Club Stage Rally Drivers Championship as points scored on the Isle of Man count towards it as well. Richard is well placed and in this championship and is also currently leading the Association of North West Car Clubs Junior Rally Drivers Championship He will now have to sit and wait to see if anyone can pip him at the post to these titles and if not give him a unique treble for the 2012.


Posted: July 5, 2013 11:18 AM


Posted: November 9, 2012 10:00 AM

Cockermouth’s rising rally star Richard Barnard, 24, has received a surprised and welcome boost to his push for success in three rally championships in 2012 thanks to the backing of Britain’s Energy Coast.

With Richard being in the running for the Manx Junior (Under 25) Rally Championship, the Association of North West Car Clubs Junior Stage Rally Drivers Championship and the West Cumbria Motor Sports Clubs Stage Rally Drivers Championship he will have to compete on a surface he isn’t familiar with by entering the final round of the Manx Championship, the Dave Corris Forest Rally, on the 10th November. This will necessitate Richard using a forest specification rally car as opposed to his own tarmac prepared Lily & Co backed Subaru Impreza. Richard will therefore be hiring a forest rally prepared Subaru Impreza from John Pye Motorsport in County Durham and this will incur additional expense not budgeted for by the Cockermouth based team.

Britain’s Energy Coast Cumbria, the development agency for West Cumbria has come forward with some valuable support for Richards’s attempt. The Subaru will sport the Britain’s Energy Coast livery throughout the Manx rally as the West Cumbrian agency show their backing for an ambitious young West Cumbrian sportsman. Richard said ‘ Without the help from Britain’s Energy Coast it is doubtful that I would have been able to add the Isle of Man forest event to my schedule but now I have a real chance of challenging for the Manx Junior title in my last year as a junior driver. I am so grateful for this backing and the confidence shown in me. I will certainly being trying my hardest for all concerned.’

Any points scored on the Isle of Man event will count towards both the Manx and West Cumbria championships so it is vital Richard competes on this rally and hopefully finishes well. To increase his chances on the Isle of Man he will be using the services of Manx based co-driver, Seb Turner, who has sat in the navigator’s seat with Richard already this year on the Pokerstars Rally in July, a tarmac round of the Manx Championship.

Forest special stage rallying will all present a major challenge to the Cockermouth driver and his Manx co-driver who will be competing in an unfamiliar car on an unfamiliar surface but one of the qualities of any champion is to overcome problems and quickly adapt to different situations and circumstances.

Luke Dicicco, Head of Communications & Inward Investment at Britain’s Energy Coast said:
‘We’re delighted to be supporting Richard. He embodies perfectly the ambition and drive of many young people in West Cumbria who are looking to make a mark in their chosen field. Just last month we were proud to support established local driver Matthew Wilson at the Wales Rally GB so it was natural we would get behind a new rising star in this sport. Our sponsorship will help Richard to compete for a hat trick of awards as well as spread the word about Britain’s Energy Coast and demonstrate that we are eager to support West Cumbria’s young people as much as we can. He is a great advocate for the area and we wish him all the best.’

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Posted: September 20, 2012 11:34 AM

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