Daniel Mc Kenna the Billy Coleman Award Winner, A Solid Start to his British Rally Championship Campaign
Posted: October 20, 2016 6:25 AM
After a very challenging opening round of the British Rally Championship (BRC), the Pirelli RBF International Rally, Daniel, his Co-Driver Arthur Kierans and his team took 9th Overall and 3rd place in the Rally 2 category (R2), taking home 10 precious points for the Championship.
The event started early Friday morning in Kielder Forest, North of Carlisle on the Scottish Border, with the Special Stage Recce, Daniel and Arthur were happy with their days work, making their pace notes for the ultra-fast stages. It was then onto Kershope Forest for the pre-event shakedown where it was a last chance for the team to make any set up changes to the car and gain valuable seat time. After a successful shakedown the team were in high spirits, ahead of the first stage starting Saturday morning.
After a Ceremonial start in the city centre of Carlisle, Daniel and Arthur headed for SS1. They had a steady run through the stage, making no mistakes, setting the 3rd fastest R2 time, only 6 seconds of the pace. On then to SS2, and it wasn’t as simple, the crew clipped a rock, picking up a puncture and they also had an overshoot at a junction, dropping a minute to the R2 leaders. SS3 was a clean run although confidence was a bit low after the previous stage mishaps, the crew then went for 1st service in Carlisle Racecourse lying 6th overall in the R2 category and keen to make up for last ground.
SS4 the crew had a great run, setting the fastest R2 time on the stage by 0.1 of a second showing they had the pace to compete. On to SS5, the crew unfortunately picked up another puncture along with 11 other cars in the top 15 and dropped a further 45 seconds. There were no problems to report through SS6, where the crew finished the day 6th in the R2 category and 15th overall and a lot of work to do to make the weekend a useful one.
Sunday morning and the crew set themselves the goal to make it onto the R2 podium, as 3rd place was only 39 seconds ahead. Setting fastest time in R2 on SS7 the crew moved up to 4th only 6 seconds of 3rd place. Another fastest time on SS8, and the crew found themselves just 1 second of 3rd place.
SS9 and they had their 3rd fastest R2 time in a row, which was 6th fastest overall, moving Daniel and Arthur into 3rd place in R2. The crew ended the day with another fastest R2 time pulling them up to 9th overall, a brilliant recovery drive in light of having two punctures earlier in the rally. A mixed weekend for the team, but lots of positives to take home. 5 out of 10 fastest R2 times with two punctures shows that Daniel and Arthur should be in the thick of the action for the remainder f the season.
Next for the team is the Cavan Stages Rally in two weeks, where they will hope to get a good tarmac set up for the car, ahead of the second round of the BRC, a tarmac rally, The Jim Clarke International Rally in Kelso Scotland.
Daniel would like to take this opportunity to thank all of his sponsors, especially Scanbitz.Com and Ravenol Motoroil, High Performance Lubricants Ireland/UK. He would like to thank everyone for their support and well wishes before the event, and finally Sharkey Motorsport and his dedicated service team at the event. Daniel will be doing a pre event press release before the Jim Clarke Rally to let everyone know how preparations are going for the event.
BRC BRIDGE BOUNCING AS ARMSTRONG BATTLES RALLY SEASON OPENER.
Posted: October 20, 2016 6:23 AM
Jon Armstrong the excitingly speedy teenager from Kesh Co Fermanagh began his motorsport season in earnest on the Pirelli rally in Carlisle last weekend along with the fastest and most competitive fellow drivers in the British Rally championship. Driving his family prepared Ford Fiesta he took on the challenge of other crews in identical cars from the UK & Ireland and also Scandinavia. A tall order for Jon in what was his debut at this the sports highest British level. However such novice status did not deter Jon and he took to the stages with confidence and speed which led to a second fastest time amongst the Fiesta drivers on the opening test. It was a positive indication of his ability behind the wheel and gave Jon and Martin Brady his Galway based codriver the confidence to continue to try improve the pace as the miles passed.
Then cruel luck intervened when half way through the next test the car made the most fleeting of glances against the edge of a bridge and ricocheted the car up onto two wheels, snapping the car back into control Jon minimised the peril of the moment but no such contact can go unpunished at that speed and Jon and Martin were to now find themselves hampered with a bent rear axle which would leave the car steering somewhat erratically in high speed sections for the remainder of the events eight forest stages. Then to prove the old adage of bad things come in threes the next problem was two punctures which each cost over a minute of lost time and also an injured hand for codriver Martin as he made contact with a hot brake disc in the rush to change one of the punctures. It seemed at this point that bad luck was their only luck, but a second fastest time on stage 4 just one tenth of a second off fastest Fiesta was a positive to an otherwise character building day.
Overnight the team discovered a fault with the fuel pump of the rally car and sporting help from a rival Daniel McKenna ensured the Armstrong crew could repair the fault and start day two with a renewed purpose. Third fastest Fiesta time on the opening test was a just reward for the hard work by the mechanics overnight and this benchmark was improved with second fastest on the next test. However the final act of the weekend was to prove the most difficult. Cutting a corner in a high speed section saw a heavy bang to a front wheel which bent the front steering to add mechanical insult to the already rear axle injury from the previous day. Try as he might to push on Armstrong could not be fast and remain on the road when carrying such suspension injuries and a high speed spin was the warning sign that it was time to opt for discretion as the better plan and to just get the car to the end of the rally. That is what the teenager did and still the result was 4th in the Fiesta series and 11th finisher in the overall field and first in the all important newcomer’s class.
A credible end to his debut in the competitive arena of the British Rally Championship and with that result secure the team are now concentrating on the next round of the season the Jim Clark Rally in Kelso Scotland on 31st May. This will be a new challenge as it is on tarmac roads, but it is sure to be exciting and will see Jon in at the deep end again in experience terms but still more than eager to take on the challenge.
Jon is joined and supported in his championship efforts by a number of partners and sponsors, including Monaghan Bros Ford Garage of Lisnaskea, Tyrone Truck & Trailer LTD, Jennings Fuel & Lubricants, Lakeland Tyres, Loane Transport Kesh and Battery Energy Drink.
Pirelli Historic Rally 2013
Posted: October 20, 2016 6:20 AM
Welsh youngsters Gareth James and Steffan Evans proved at last weekend’s Pirelli Historic Rally that they are the rising stars of this year’s Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship. In only their second ever forest event, and on their first competitive visit to Kielder, the Ford Escort Mk2 crew won the rally overall from the Escort Mk1s of Richard Hill / Pat Cooper and David Stokes / Guy Weaver. In championship terms, they took their second consecutive win in Category Three (1975-81 cars) and now jointly lead the series with Category One victors Rikki Proffitt / Phill Harrison (Porsche 911).
In Category Three, the battle at the front was both close and competitive. James started quickly, chased by the Mk2s of Ernie and Will Graham and Shawn Rayner / Declan Dear. Rayner in particular got into his stride early on, setting third- and then second-overall fastest times in his less powerful Pinto-engined machine to consolidate third in the Category.. Following service at Carlisle Racecourse, the field returned to Kielder for a second loop of three stages where a mature display of controlled driving kept James ahead to take maximum BHRC points. Runner-up Graham overcame persistent rear brake problems to finish ahead of Stephen Richards / Keegan Rees’s Mk2. Rayner’s storming run came to a halt when he slid into a ditch on stage five. The resultant time loss dropped him to fourth.
Category Two (1968-75 cars) witnessed a tremendous fight between the Escort Mk1s of Richard Hill / Pat Cooper and David Stokes / Guy Weaver. Stokes set a storming early pace, taking a 15-second lead after the opening stage. The two drivers ran neck and neck until Hill overhauled Stokes on the penultimate stage. Stokes hit back straightaway and set fastest overall time through the final run, only to come up short by 0.4 second. Tim Mason / Graham Wild brought their Porsche 911 home third.
Two typical Kielder challenges - deer and ditches - affected the Category One result. Eventual winners Rikki Proffitt / Phill Harrison built an early 30-second lead over main rivals Dessie Nutt / Geraldine McBride (911), but came close to disaster when they hit a deer on stage five. Nutt then slid into a ditch and lost over two minutes, eventually getting out helped by spectators. Proffitt claimed his third Category One win in a row at this rally, while Nutt’s misfortune relegated him to fifth. Graham Waite / Gill Cotton (Volvo Amazon) claimed second ahead of Derek Boyd / Peter Scott’s 911, whose safe, consistent pace paid dividends.
Category One: 1 Rikki Proffitt / Phill Harrison (Porsche 911); 2 Graham Waite / Gill Cotton (Volvo Amazon); 3 Derek Boyd / Peter Scott (911); 4 Edmund Peel/Janet Craine (911).
Category Two: 1 Richard Hill / Pat Cooper (Escort Mk2); 2 David Stokes / Guy Weaver (Mk1); 3 Tim Mason / Graham Wild (911); 4 Ian Drummond / Hu Kent (Mk1).
Category Three: 1 Gareth James / Steffan Evans (Escort Mk2); 2 Ernie Graham / Will Graham (Mk2); 3 Stephen Richards / Keegan Rees (Mk2); 4 Shawn Rayner / Declan Dear (Mk2).
Jukka Korhonen and Marko Salminen finished the final stage of the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally 42.5 seconds clear of the chasing pack, making the 29 year old the first Finn to win a round of the MSA British Rally Championship since Jari-Matti Latvala ten year ago.
The pair led from start to finish in their Citroën DS3 R3T, building a lead of around a minute before easing off on Sunday when Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble’s early challenge was curtailed by a puncture on Saturday’s fifth stage.
The victory was a smooth one; car and team working seamlessly on the eighty mile event, with Korhonen admitting that he had speed to spare if needed. With the win comes a maximum points haul towards a championship title that he had vowed to win as long ago as last year – so far, so good.
Fisher was lucky to only drop around a minute, clipping a rock that cost several others several minutes, the Ulsterman then able to climb back from fifth with five fastest stage times from the ten available.
Top seeds Tom Cave and Ieuan Thomas regained third, having also dropped to fifth after the first loop of stages on Saturday. They were unlucky to catch a trailing car from a previous event, but while John MacCrone/Phil Pugh and Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss initially benefitted, they both succumbed to punctures, allowing Cave back ahead.
BRC regular for the last few years Jonny Greer had Kirsty Riddick alongside, the pair taking a well-deserved fourth, but admitting that the pace was just too hot although he was happy with his improvement as the event progressed.
MacCrone was rarely out of the top finishers on the ten stages, but the stage five rock and subsequent puncture effectively put an end to hopes of a podium finish. However, the Scot did finish with a flourish with a fastest time on the very last run, allowing him to grab fifth place, albeit over four minutes adrift of the leader.
MSA British Manufacturers Championship
With a blanket of DS3s across the top five in the overall classification, it is inevitable that Citroën lead the British Manufacturers Rally Championship with maximum points. But it is also testament to the marque that the two older C2R2 Max models running further down the order also finished the event.
BRC RallyTwo, Pirelli Star Driver & Fiesta SportTrophy
MacCrone’s fifth was at the expense of Fiesta crew Steve Røkland and James Aldridge, who nevertheless stamped their authority on the new BRC RallyTwo category and Fiesta SportTrophy. An excellent drive to sixth overall in their Fiesta R2 was more than enough to earn Røkland the first Pirelli Star Driver nomination of the season.
Their winning RallyTwo margin of well over a minute belies the potential for extremely close competition between the R2 class runners. Jon Armstrong/Martin Brady had posted a time just four seconds behind Norwegian Røkland on the opening test, but clipped a bridge and bent the rear axle, having a miserable Sunday too, with a bent front suspension arm.
Mantis Best Presented Car Award
Reigning MSA British Junior Rally Champion Garry Pearson had Tom Hynd back alongside, taking a very creditable second place in RallyTwo on their first gravel event in the pristine Fiesta. The immaculately turned-out car attracted the attention of BRC sponsor Mantis Instant Shine, presenting them with the first Mantis Best Presented Car trophy and with it a cheque for £250.
Like Korhonen, another driver with a vow to win is Daniel McKenna who, partnered by Arthur Kierans has promised to grab himself a PSD nomination. But despite giving second best to two Fiesta rivals after a dreaded stage five puncture, he posted five fastest RallyTwo times and proved he will be a force in future.
RAVENOL BRC Newcomers Award
Armstrong may have had a suspension-bending time on his first Pirelli RBF rally, but he did at least take top points in the RAVENOL BRC Newcomers Award, the end-of season prize worth £2000 in product-support. He was followed home in the new category by Swedes Mattias Olsson and Patrik Barth who had a similarly torrid time. They struggled with an engine that refused to rev above 5000rpm, unsuccessfully spending hours on Saturday night trying to resolve the problem.
MSA British Junior Rally Championship & Twingo Trophy
Third newcomer and leading MSA British Junior driver was Harry Threlfall with experienced co-driver Andy Bull on the pacenotes. The Somerset youngster had made the long journey and huge leap to the BRC, but was not overwhelmed by the experience. Far from it, he was almost certainly the most enthusiastic driver in the field, beaming and revelling in the new experience.
Their main rivals for the Juniors and Twingo Renaultsport Trophy UK, father and son Ben and Jason Mckay, had started to close the early gap, but disappointingly retired on stage eight with a broken engine mount.
Contenders gather for BHRC ‘battle on the Borders’
Posted: May 3, 2013 10:51 AM
Mention ‘Kielder’ to most rally fans and they will usually talk about the forest’s fearsome reputation. But competitors in the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship use two different descriptions: ‘exciting’ and ‘inviting’, both of which crop up regularly when the organising team announce that once again the Pirelli Historic Rally, which this year takes place on May 4th. , is part of the series.
For contenders in both the BHRC and, for the first time, crews contesting the HRCR ‘old Stager’ Clubman’s Challenge, the sheer exhilaration of driving at high speed on narrow roads lined by deep ditches makes this one of the best rallies on the calendar and, for serious title chasers, a good finish guarantees a host of championship points.
This year’s Pirelli Historic Rally is the second round of the 2013 Mintex MSA series and takes place over six stages and 50 miles in the southern part of Kielder. The unfortunate cancellation - due to snow and ice - of the original second round, the Rally North Wales has, in reality, given several competitors extra time to repair damage and fix mechanical problems, and their presence will further strengthen an already varied entry. The championship as a whole is shaping up to be hard-fought in all three age-related Categories as well as in individual classes. All the leading BHRC contenders have entered, supplemented by several new crews, confirming that the eight-round series is growing in popularity with every event.
One of the 2013 BHRC’s major strengths is the resurgence of interest in Category One, for pre-1968 cars. Most machines are nearly 50 years old but they are driven with verve and a competitive edge that belies their age. What draws them to enter the Pirelli is a combination of classic stages in top-notch condition, and the advantage of running first on the road.
As at the season opening Mid Wales Stages, Rikki Proffitt / Phill Harrison and Dessie Nutt / Geraldine McBride, both in Porsche 911s are expected to be front-runners. Proffitt, particularly, has a chequered record on this rally, and is aiming for a third consecutive win. But Nutt is a wily and experienced campaigner; with both machines giving roughly the same power, victory or defeat could come down to which of the two drivers is prepared to hold their nerve through the flat-out sections. Additionally, the Porsche ranks will be swelled by Edmund Peel / Janet Craine, who make their season’s debut, and Derek Boyd / Peter Scott, whose engine woes that caused retirement from Mid Wales have, hopefully, been rectified.
But the ‘Battle on the Borders’ is not just about overall Category victory: there are tussles in every class. Seasoned campaigners, Graham Waite / Gill Cotton (Volvo Amazon) go up against Paul Mankin / Desmond Bell’s Ford Lotus Cortina and Callum Barney / Ron Channon’s Cortina GT. ‘Barney’s Barn Find’ is rapidly becoming the car that epitomises the BHRC’s never-say-die spirit and with its broken diff repaired after Mid Wales, expect this pairing to be on the pace.
In the smaller capacity classes, the Hillman Imp and its variants are well represented. Class leaders Geoff Taylor / Steve Greenhill renew their rivalry with Nigel and Henry Webster and they are joined by forest first-timer Geraint Thomas, with the experienced John Stanger-Leathes alongside. Mike Barratt has rallying newcomer Alex Facy in his co-driver’s seat and they will be vying for points in the Imp 50 Cup series. Mini stalwarts Clive King / Bob Ward bring their spectacular brand of flat-out driving to Kielder. King, who competes in the HRCR ‘old Stager’ Clubman’s Challenge, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as he throws his diminutive machine around with astonishing levels of car control.
Category Two (1968-75 cars) is also experiencing an encouraging upturn in numbers. David Stokes / Guy Weaver currently lead the standings after a well-crafted win at the Mid Wales Stages. Their Ford Escort Mk1 suffered from a sticking throttle all day, which has since been traced to a broken shaft in the pedal box. “It was all being held together by the throttle cable,” reports Stokes. As at Mid Wales, Stokes will have to perform at his best to beat main rivals Richard Hill / Pat Cooper (Escort Mk1). This pairing led the rally early on, but a leaking oil cooler sidelined them at service. Hill has competed in a non-championship rally to warm up for Kielder, so this will be a contest to savour.
There is a top quality field contesting the classes, with a strong chance of taking overall Cat Two victory should either of the leaders falter. 1600cc front runners Nick Danks / Martin Corbett hope to open their points account, having crashed their Escort Mk1 out of the Mid Wales Stages, while the 2-litre contingent consists of leaders Wayne Bonser / Richard Aston (Escort Mk1), Ian Drummond / Hu Kent in their immaculate ‘big arch’ Mk1 and Hugh / Debby Myers’s bright yellow and green ‘psychedelic’ Saab 96.
In the classes for over 2-litre and Twin Cam-powered machines Scott Smith, who bravely co-drove the Mid Wales event despite dreadful car-sickness, makes his seasonal driving debut in a BDA-powered Mk1, while Peter McDowell teams up again with Derek Davies in their powerful 3-litre Porsche 911RS. Mark Holmes has Craig Simkiss in the co-driver’s seat of his Escort and makes his first appearance since last year’s final round at the Colin McRae Stages.
If the closeness between the Category Three (1975-81) runners at Mid Wales was anything to go by, the chance of a repeat performance at the Pirelli Historic Rally is very much on the cards. Welsh youngsters Gareth James and Steffan Evans completely belied their lack of gravel experience on gravel to win the Category with a superb display of aggressive sideways driving in their Escort Mk2. This will be their first-ever visit to Kielder, but the prospect does not faze them in the least.
Among their rivals, Stephen Richards installs a very promising youngster, Keegan Rees, alongside him in his Mk2 RS2000 to replace Scott Smith. However, attention will surely be focussed on the impending rematch between Ernie and Will Graham’s BDG-powered Mk2 and Shawn Rayner / Declan Dear’s Pinto-powered version. In a last-stage all-out charge, Rayner tore through the forest and tore up the formbook to pip Graham by 2.8 seconds. In Kielder both the terrain and power advantage are with Graham, but will Rayner’s undoubted determination and bravery be the deciding factor?
With classic cars driving over classic stages and a classic battle for supremacy in prospect, this year’s Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship is really warming to the task of providing competitors, organisers and supporters alike with a peerless combination of high-octane action, top class competition and superb value for money.
Armstrong poised for British Rally attack.
Posted: May 1, 2013 1:00 PM
Eighteen year old student Jon Armstrong from Kesh Co Fermanagh is poised this weekend to take an exciting step into his first full season of rallying in the competitive environment of the British Rally Championship. The Pirelli Rally is based in Carlisle but has its stages in the Kielder forest area which is an iconic and difficult challenge for even the most experienced rally drivers. Jon however will tackle the rally with cautious optimism despite high expectations given his performances in his first year of rallying in 2012. Recently his family run team purchased a Ford Fiesta R2 which is a competitive 1.6 car in the R2 class and from their base in Kesh they prepared the car as Jon tested it on rallies in Limerick and the more local Fivemiletown where Jon set an astonishing pace on his way to 6th overall amongst heavy opposition and won his class by over two minutes.
However even with this positive litmus test on local stages the challenge of crossing the water to the big leagues is not underestimated. Jon with his family team has been working on the car and fine tuning and checking everything in the weeks ahead of the first round of the championship after snow and ice forced the scheduled first event to be cancelled because of the blizzards.
Work behind the scenes has included testing and refining pacenotes with co driver Martin Brady from Galway. Martin has some prior experience of rallying on the British stages having won national titles in the UK Mitsubishi series in 2008 & 2009 and with his experience and Jon’s youthful exuberance and ability it is the aim of the partnership to use all the elements of teamwork inside the car to aim for a good result and most importantly a finish to start the season off on a strong footing.
The Pirelli Rally starts on Sunday morning 4th May and continues over ten gravel stages to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon. Jon is joined an supported in his championship efforts by a number of partners and sponsors, including Monaghan Bros Ford Garage of Lisnaskea, Tyrone Truck & Trailer LTD, Jennings Fuel & Lubricants Lakeland Tyres and Battery Energy Drink. Find Jon Armstrong Rallying on facebook or visit www.jonarmstrong.co.uk for up to date results and stories.
Daniel Mc Kenna's Pre Event Press Release Pirelli International Rally
Posted: April 30, 2013 12:33 PM
For the second time of asking this year, preparations for Daniel and Co-Driver Arthur Kierans on their approach to the 1st round of the British Rally Championship (BRC) has all been completed and the duo are pumped up and raring to get tackling the massive challenge that is the BRC. The unusual weather that Ireland and the UK have been experiencing in recent weeks, led the organisers of the Bulldog International Rally of North Wales no other option but to cancel the event due to hard packed ice and snow making the stages impassable.
Therefore one month later than scheduled, all the crews are again in the final stages of preparation for the forthcoming 1st round of the BRC, the Pirelli RBF International Rally, based in Carlisle on the 4th/5th of May. After this unusual late start to the championship all of the competing crews found themselves ready to mount their attack on the championship, with months of hard work completed behind the scenes but nowhere to rally.
As a result, most of the competing crews have taken advantage of the extra preparation time, by competing in a smaller local or national event in an effort to be more competitive for the new beginning to the championship. Daniel was no different in this case and managed to secure 0 car duties in the Willie Loughman Carrick on Suir Forest Rally on the 14th of April to shake down the newly prepared car and get some valuable stage miles under his belt. The event was a valuable experience to Daniel and his crew as they incurred some minor problems that may have been enough to retire them from their first event in the UK. He was also able to develop his technique for driving the car on the gravel roads, as well as making some vital set up changes to the car itself. As a result this leaves himself and his crew in an even stronger position now approaching the opening round of the BRC. Daniel received more good news during this period, as Ravenol Motoroil, High Performance Lubricants Ireland/UK, have decided to support the young up and coming driver with some vital sponsorship that will help with his endeavours this year.
All goals remain the same for the entire crew and they are hopeful of securing a good haul of points while also trying hard to impress the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout judges, to gain a coveted nomination for the competition held at the end of the year.
ELEVEN CREWS READY FOR AN EPIC CITROËN RACING TROPHY UK 2013
Posted: April 30, 2013 11:37 AM
Following the cancellation of the opening British Rally Championship event in Wales, due to inclement weather, the Citroën Racing Trophy UK will finally get underway this weekend on the forestry special stages of the Pirelli Rally.
Thanks to the generous support of Citroën Racing, Total, Pirelli and Citroën UK, the Trophy boasts a serious prize fund with the aim to help the stars of the future in rallying. For each of the seven rounds €4000 in parts vouchers will be handed out for a BRC round win, €2500 for second and €1500 for third. An additional €1000 will be awarded on each round for the first junior driver (under 23) home.
If last season’s CRT UK series was anything to go by it’s going to be a frenetic championship and there is much excitement, with a batch of new drivers in the series to pilot the 1600cc turbo-charged rockets.
Amongst them is this year’s Pirelli Star Driver, Mark Donnelly. The young Northern Irish driver won the end of year shoot-out, granting him a fully funded drive in the BRC, courtesy of Pirelli. Making the switch from a Clio R3, he will be behind the wheel of a DGM-run DS3 R3 for 2013. Initial results have been positive for Donnelly, who, despite still adapting to his Citroën machinery, finished the Granite City Rally as the third quickest DS3 racer.
Another driver who makes the move away from a Clio to a DS3 R3 is Carlisle’s Peter Taylor. Taylor is now part of an exciting two-car team with young Scot, John MacCrone, who enjoyed some impressive showings last season in the FIA WRC Academy and is keen to make the step up to an R3 car with the new Culina Palletforce racing team.
The cars will be prepared by CA1 Sport.
Meanwhile, last year’s Pirelli Star driver, 28-year-old Juka Korhonen from Finland, will also run in the series for 2013. Korhonen’s DS3 will be run by the Autosport Technology team, which took Keith Cronin to title victory back in 2012.
One new driver who has already made a sensational DS3 R3 debut is Alastair Fisher from Northern Ireland. Competing in the WRC Rally Portugal, he led the field early on in his first event in the car and is going to be another serious contender for the CRT UK title.
Former Irish Evo Challenge winner, Brendan Cumiskey from Dundalk is also a newcomer to the Trophy, and has driven the DS3 on a local forestry event, and indeed on the Granite City, where he slid off the road on the final stage.
Returning to Trophy competition for another season is James Grint who ended last season sixth in the CRT UK standings.
Also contesting the Trophy for another season is the Welsh contingent of Tom Cave and Osian Pryce. Both drivers enjoyed strong seasons in 2012 and were very evenly matched, finishing the final Trackrod round tied to the split second on time. The win ultimately went to 21-year-old Cave, courtesy of a tie-break.
Beginning his rallying career back when he was just 14, Cave raced in Latvia in his formative rallying years, becoming the youngest ever driver to hold an international rally licence aged 16. Boasting a new team sponsor in the form of Morris Lubricants for 2013, the hotel manager from west Wales is highly motivated for the forthcoming season.
Cave’s fellow countryman Pryce has begun his 2013 rally campaign well, finishing the Granite City Rally as the lead DS3 driver. Pryce is looking forward to getting his Trophy campaign underway this weekend, after overcoming funding issues to secure a drive for the season.
Trailing Pryce at the Granite City Rally was Northern Irish racer, Desi Henry, who is likely to be a strong contender with the help of new sponsors, SJC Hutchinson Engineering.
Another Ulster driver is Jonny Greer, whose family business DGM Sport will also be running Alastair Fisher in the series. Jonny was also testing his DS3 on the Granite City event, but booking into a time control early cost him any chance of a good result.
The stage is set for one of the most exciting one make series in British rallying history, the crews fighting it out for overall rally honours as well as the superb CRT UK prize fund. Keep up to date with all the news on www.citroenracingtrophy.com. Also on Facebook- www.facebook.com/citroenracingtrophy and on Twitter @CRTrophy
Pirelli Rally to Enshrine Richard’s Name in British Championship Event
Posted: April 30, 2013 11:15 AM
A few short days after what would have been Richard Burn’s 42nd birthday, Pirelli and the Cumberland Sporting Car Club confirmed that one of the most established and enduring rounds of the MSA British Rally Championship would adopt Richard’s name in its event title, enshrining the 2001 World Champion’s identity in a key event in his native national rally series.
The event, which Richard won in 1993 on his way to becoming the youngest ever British Rally Champion, will be renamed the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally, and as the second round of the BRC, will run under its new identity for the first time on 4th/5th May this year.
The rally, which grew out of the Tour of Cumbria that commenced in 1975, is headquartered at the Carlisle Racecourse and features some of Britain’s most renowned gravel stages in the Kielder Forest complex. The Kielder stages formed the backbone of Richard’s home WRC event during his competitive zenith and the rally has played host to a rolecall of home and international stars over four decades, with the winner’s honours being claimed by drivers from Ari Vatanen to Jimmy, Alister and Colin McRae, from David Llewellin & Gywndaf Evans to Russell Brooks, Robbie Head, Malcolm Wilson, the Higgins Brothers and in more recent times, Guy Wilks and Kieth Cronin.
Instrumental in ensuring that the name of England’s only World Rally Champion is prominently visible in his home championship, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director and Richard Burns Foundation Trustee, Paul Hembery, said, “The Richard Burns Foundation is currently focusing on raising funds to provide a travelling ‘Brain Bus’ which will open up to a wider audience the issues and treatment needed for brain and spinal disorder. Pirelli are delighted to lend our support to this fantastic cause by ensuring Richard’s name remains usefully visible to help the Foundation with its fund-raising efforts for the Brain Bus.”