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Severn Valley Stages - (Sat) 31 May 14

Posted: June 27, 2017 7:32 AM - 4462 Hits

Round 4 - 2014 RAC Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2014 Welsh Rally Championship

Elliott/Price win WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship round four

Posted: June 27, 2017 7:32 AM

Nick Elliott and Dave Price took their second championship win of the season on the Severn Valley Historic Stages (Saturday 31 May), the fourth round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.

From a field packed with quality, Elliott and Price (Ford Escort Mk2) revelled in stages in Crychan, Cefn and Halfway but had to keep pushing hard to see off a concerted challenge from the similar car of Richard Hill/Steffan Evans. However, one of the drives of the rally came from young Ben Llewellin and co-driver Paul Williams on their first full historic outing. They took third overall in their Ford Escort Mk2, just nine seconds adrift of Hill.

Ray Cunningham and Andrew Bushe were mighty in their Mini Cooper S to win Category 1, but only by 14 seconds from the Lotus Cortina of Simon Wallis and Graham Wride. Cunningham also took maximum points in the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup.

Championship newcomers and father and son crew Ernie and Will Graham (Ford Escort Mk1) took a fine victory in Category 2. Meanwhile, other category winners included Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2) in Category K and brothers Simon Crook and Alister Crook (Opel Manta) in Category O.

With 70 registered contenders starting the rally, the Builth Wells-based event maintained the high level of entries for the 2014 WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship and also marked the third round of the Geoff Jones Motorsport Welsh Challenge.

Fresh from his trip to Morocco to service for his brother Frank, Ray Cunningham had a new co-driver in Andrew Bushe alongside and, after Bob Gibbons put his Ford Cortina Mk2 off on stage three, Cunningham led the Walker Diecastings Category 1 for the rest of the day.
“It was okay until the last three stages when we lost second gear. So we just held on and kept it safe,” said Cunningham.

Peter Stimson and Mark Butler had been flying in their Ford Anglia.
“We spun on stage two, but have more speed and confidence,” said Stimson. They remained Cunningham’s closest challenger, but Simon Wallis and Graham Wride (Lotus Cortina) were gaining on them too. Stimson and Wallis started stage four one second apart but by the end Wallis was ahead by ten and into a secure second place.

Stimson’s push continued but now Ian Beveridge and Paul Price (Volvo PV544) were closing in. The Anglia was still six seconds up as they started the penultimate stage through Crychan, where sadly Stimson rolled into retirement.

Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill (Sunbeam Imp Sport) lost three minutes in Halfway when they had to stop.
“We had a rock jammed between the carburettor and manifold and it left the throttle stuck wide open. So we had to stop and chip it out,” Taylor explained. They still won class B1 but with only 14 seconds in hand over the Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Don Bramfoot.

Stimson’s Anglia dominated B3 after Gibbons had put his Cortina off the road on stage three. But the late demise of the Anglia handed the class win back to the recovering Gibbons while Callum Barney and Ron Channon picked up four minutes road penalty in their return with a re-shelled Ford Cortina GT.

Wallis led class B4 all day, with Beveridge consolidating second despite overheating worries after Graham Waite/Gill Cotton (Volvo Amazon) retired at service. “The gearbox mount broke, so it was leaning on the engine and before that we had a rear brake problem and had to use the handbrake,” said Waite.

Ernie and Will Graham collected the Capital Construction Category 2 spoils with a tremendous performance in their Escort Mk1 but had trailed David Stokes/Guy Weaver similar until stage five.
“It was a normal day at the office until then,” said Stokes. Victory for Graham was a great start to their R.A.C. Championship campaign.

Warren Philliskirk/Nigel Hutchinson had led the chase to the Stokes versus Graham duel, but found Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne closing. Going into the penultimate stage they were tied, but Philliskirk hit a rock and rolled, handing the place to Browne.
“I just had to get a finish this time, so I’m really pleased with the result,” said Browne.

Stuart and Linda Cariss (Ford Escort Mk1) topped class C2 and did a great job without any service crew, with rivals Robin Shuttleworth/Mark Midgley out after the opening stage with clutch failure. Championship newcomers Nick Danks and Martin Corbett (Escort Mk1) showed impressive pace and headed Peter Smith/Paul Spooner (Opel Ascona) in C3. Hamsterley winners Dave Kirby/Chris Rixon also went out with an off on stage four when lying second, bringing Kirby’s impressive R.A.C. finishing record to a temporary halt.

There were dramas from the start in the Rob Smith Rallying Category 3 when Tour of Hamsterley winner Matt Edwards, with Sam Collis back alongside, went OTL after water was found in his Escort Mk2’s fuel. A contaminated supply at a filling station was the likely cause.

Elliott and Price went straight into a three-second lead over Hill on the opening stage.
“I didn’t want to push too hard but just keep a balance,” said Elliott. But Hill found the Halfway stage a different challenge. “I just couldn’t get into it,” he said, which was reflected in the times as he lost second place to Llewellin.

But it was Llewellin’s turn to make a mistake in stage four.
“I was too fast into a right hander and stalled,” he admitted. Not only did Hill go back ahead, but Meirion Evans/Iwan Jones did too and it became a tie for second place. Hill was just managing to keep Evans at bay, while Elliott survived a couple of minor excursions on the last stage to take a second win of the year. With Evans off in the penultimate stage, Llewellin took a most impressive third in Category 3 and overall.

Terry Brown and Den Golding brought their Escort Mk2 home in a strong fourth despite damaging the steering rack during the morning stages while Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies were a creditable fifth in D5 after changing cars on the morning of the event after hitting engines dramas on Friday in their own car.

The Hillman Avengers of Graham Thatcher/Robert James and Keith Davison/Henry Richardson battled it out for class D2 honours.
“We had water leaking onto the clutch pedal from the heater matrix, which was fun at hairpins,” said Thatcher after taking the win. “We had a new engine and we have got power now,” said Davison.

There was a close finish in D3 among the Pinto-powered Escort Mk2s with Adrian Young/Gwynfor Jones taking the win by only three seconds from Ben Friend/Sean Kennedy after an enthralling day-long duel. Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Talbot Sunbeam Lotus) comfortably led home the similar car of James Stait/Mike Harris in class D4.

Pritchard and Clarke were never headed in the Holton Homes Category K, but had their share of early problems. “We almost ran out of fuel on stage three, even though we had filled it to the brim,” said Pritchard. Tom Coughtrie/Calvin Cooledge were next up after Darren Moon/Tim Sayer stopped in the opening stage and retired after three stages with coil failure.

In the Open Category Simon and Alister Crook had a cracking day in their Opel Manta and led all the way to finish almost a minute up on the Toyota Starlet of Layton Waters and Kevin Bowcott. Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance (Escort Mk2) closed on Waters towards the end as Neal Dwyer/Simon Dwyer (Escort Mk2) and Alan Carfrae/Liam Carfrae (Escort Mk1) were next up.

Video Clips

Posted: June 27, 2017 7:31 AM

Results

Posted: June 27, 2017 7:30 AM

Fiat 131 Abarth will not be at Severn Valley

Posted: May 30, 2014 12:14 PM

Following an engine problem during testing this week, the MSD Fiat 131 Abarth will not be competing in the Severn Valley Stages.

Video: Fiat 131 Abarth Sweet Lamb test

Posted: May 27, 2014 9:31 PM

Seeded Entry List

Posted: May 27, 2014 9:22 PM

WWRS R.A.C. Championship heads for the Severn Valley

Posted: May 24, 2014 9:34 PM

The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship heads back to Wales for round four on the Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May). The classic stages in the Crychan region will deliver another great event for 70 championship contenders on a rally that is one of the most popular on the schedule.

The event will mark the third event in the Geoff Jones Motorsport Welsh Challenge as well as the next round of the highly successful Kumho Clubmans Challenge for crews competing on a maximum of six tyres for the event.

Once again, there is a tremendous line-up of 19 pre ’68 cars in the Walker Diecastings Category 1, which includes contenders in the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup. Heading the field away, thanks to two victories in Wales already this season, is the Mini Cooper of Ray Cunningham and Gary McElhinney and the Irish crew will fly on these stages. However, Tour of Hamsterley winners Graham Waite/Gill Cotton will be hurling the Volvo Amazon around in fine style and a trio of Lotus Cortinas will be right in the mix in the hands of Gwilym Roberts/Don James, Simon Wallis/Graham Wride and Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell. Ranged against the Cortinas in class B4 will be the Volvo PV544 of Ian Beveridge/Paul Price and the Alfa Romeo Junior GT of John Everard/Mark Sharpley.

Class B3 should be a battle of three classic Fords: the Cortina Mk2 of Bob and Dale Gibbons, the Ford Anglia of Peter Stimson/Mark Butler and the Cortina Mk1 of Callum Barney and Ron Channon, who make a welcome return after rolling out of the opening event of the season.

Adding tremendous depth to the Mini and Imp Cup are the Minis of Ross and Arron Forde and Clive King/Bob Ward as well as the Sunbeam Imp Sport of Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill. With the Porsche 911 of Edmund Peel/Jane Edgington and the Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Don Bramfoot, it is another glorious Category 1 entry for the R.A.C. Championship.

In the Capital Construction Category 2, David Stokes and Guy Weaver are in fine form in their Ford Escort Mk1 and head to an event they know well on the back of two victories. Offering opposition in the category and class C5 are similar cars for Warren Philliskirk/Nigel Hutchinson, Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne, Roger Matthews/Paul Morris and welcome championship newcomers Ernie and Will Graham.

Class C3 is enjoying a great season of varied competition and the entry is topped by the Opel Ascona A of Peter Smith/Paul Spooner, who will expect a tough challenge from the Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk1s of David Kirby/Chris Rixon, Peter Egerton/Alun Cook, Simon Pickering/Colin Jenkins and championship newcomers Nick Danks/Martin Corbett and Ian Drummond/Hu Kent.

Class C2 is home to the 1600cc cars in Category 2 and the benchmark is the Escort Mk1 of Robin Shuttleworth/Mark Midgley. But the Leeds crew can expect a big challenge from similar cars of Paul and Daniel May and Stuart and Linda Cariss as well as the fresh Hillman Avenger in the very capable hands of Barry Jordan/James Gratton-Smith.

The very fastest cars are spilt across class D5 in Category 3 and Category K for FIA specification cars and the event has drawn a stunning entry of most of the leading contenders in this type of car.

From the Holton Homes Category K comes the very rapid Ford Escort Mk2 of Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke, who will be fresh from victory on the Isle of Man in their Ford Focus WRC. Other Category K Escorts include those of Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies and Darren Moon/Tim Sayer and all three crews are capable of a top overall result.

Nick Elliott and Dave Price head another superb entry for the Rob Smith Rallying Category 3 in their Ford Escort Mk2 and will be keen to repeat their victory on round two, the Mid Wales Stages. Tour of Hamsterley winner Matt Edwards, with Sam Collis back in the co-driver’s seat, will head the chase of Elliott along with Richard Hill/Steffan Evans, Meirion Evans/Iwan Jones and Talbot Sunbeam Lotus crew Owen Murphy/James O’Brien, who head the class D4 runners. Add in accomplished Escort pilots like Terry Brown, Tim Freeman, James Potter, Gareth Lloyd and Richard Lane and it all makes for a sensational entry.

Class D3 for the Pinto-engined Escort Mk2s is enjoying a great season of competition and is wide open going into the Severn Valley. Gareth Lewis/Dan Holley, Mike Reed/Joe Sturdy, Adrian Young/Gwynfor Jones, Ben Friend/Sean Kennedy and Paul Fry/Mike Steele are all in the mix is this very open and competitive class.

Meanwhile, class D2 for the 1600cc cars in Category 3 is set to be a contest between the Hillman Avengers of Keith Davison/Henry Richardson, Graham Thatcher/Robert James and the Sunbeam Talbot of David Hopkins/Tony Vart.

Running alongside the historics are the cars in R.A.C. Category O for open two-wheel drive cars and the entry includes the lovely Opel Manta of Simon and Alister Crook. They face the rapid Toyota Starlet of Layton Waters/Kevin Bowcott and the Escorts of Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance, Alan and Liam Carfrae and Neil and Simon Dwyer.

The rally will be based at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. The first historic car will start at 8.30am and return to the finish shortly before 3pm.

Fiat 131 to make debut on WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship

Posted: May 24, 2014 9:24 PM

The Fiat 131 built by Rally Sport Developments is expected to make an eagerly-anticipated debut on round four of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, the Severn Valley Stages (31 May).

An entry has been placed for former British Historic Rally champion Julian Reynolds and co-driver Ian Oakey and, subject to a shakedown test in the run up to the rally, the car will start the rally from Builth Wells on Saturday morning.

The Fiat, which replicates the late 1970s works cars, is the result of more than two years of graft by Kevin Theaker at RSD in Malton and was first unveiled to widespread acclaim at Autosport International in January. Theaker’s outstanding engineering ability has been used to faithfully recreate the best-loved rallying Fiat and includes re-manufacturing many key components, including engine block, cylinder head and suspension.

Reynolds says it is an honour to be invited to drive the car, on what will be his first rally for 18 months, but says it will be a journey into the unknown. “What Kevin has done is amazing,” said Reynolds. “It’s a fantastic project. I actually looked at buying a 131 a few years ago, so to now get the chance to drive one is amazing.”

Reynolds has so far only seen photographs of the car and says that he is keeping expectations in check for the Severn Valley. “I’m keeping a very open mind on it,” he said. “It is so new and Kevin has built it from nothing, so I have no big expectations at this stage. But I have no doubt that it will be competitive in due course.

“I have a passion for Escorts but it will be nice to see something out there challenging them, just like Owen Murphy is doing with the Sunbeam Lotus. I can’t wait to see what the Fiat is like!”

Reynolds’ last rally was the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally, which only lasted around four miles, so he will also be playing himself back in to competitive driving.

Bumper entry for Severn Valley Stages

Posted: May 23, 2014 10:53 AM

A fantastic field of over 115 cars will contest the 2014 Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May), which is the 41st running of this famous event. The organisers have been thrilled to receive an entry that has both quality and quantity across the modern and historic sections.

Three different crews in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship have taken maximum points on the opening three rounds, but it is the consistent pace of Paul Davy and Roger Allen that has taken then to the head of the championship in their Subaru Impreza. Leading the chase should Luke Francis/John Roberts (Mitsubishi Evo 9) and Alex Allingham/Chris Williams (Subaru Impreza).

A sensational entry for the historic event includes all the front runners in the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship and a gaggle of very quick Ford Escort Mk2s will battle for victory. The cars of Nick Elliott, Matt Edwards, Jason Pritchard, Richard Hill, Meirion Evans and Tomas Davies head a stunning top 20. Category 2 is headed by the Ford Escort Mk1 of David Stokes, while Ray Cunningham tops a 19-strong field of Category 1 (pre ’68) cars in his Mini Cooper.

The event is also a round of the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship. The rally will once again be based at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. The first historic car will start at 8.30am and return to the finish shortly before 3pm.

Spectators are welcome at two locations: one in Crychan Forest (first car due at 09.57 and 13.47) and one in Halfway Forest (first car due at 09.36 and 13.26). The Crychan spectator area should only be approached by leaving the A483 at Cynghordy and travelling east for approximately four miles. The Halfway spectator area is directly off the A40 approximately six miles east of Llandovery.

The event running order will be:

    First group: Category 1 historics (approx 20 cars)
    10-minute gap
    Second group: Category 2 and 3 historics (approx 60 cars)
    10-minute gap
    Third group: Modern cars (approx 40 cars)

All systems go for Severn Valley Stages

Posted: May 16, 2014 2:28 PM

It is a case of all systems go for the 2014 Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May), which has already bucked the general trend in 2014 of lower entry numbers on gravel rallies.

With a week to go until entries close on 23 May the event has already taken 90 entries with around another 20 expected next week. The 2013 event received 87 entries in total and the event organisers are thrilled with the response to the 41st running of the rally.

Meanwhile, the forest stages in Cefn, Crychan and Halfway forests are reported to be in prime condition, and both Cefn and Halfway will not have been used for 10 months by the time of the 31 May rally.

The event is a round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, the Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship and the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship. The rally will once again be based at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the way entries have come and we’d like to thank each and every crew for supporting our rally,” said Secretary of the Meeting Steven Tibbetts.

The event’s closing date for entries of Friday 23 May has been set to allow Pirelli MSA Welsh contenders competing on this weekend’s Plains Rally to wait until after the event before entering the Severn Valley. However those requiring route notes will need to order them by 19 May to allow for printing and posting.

Midland Manor Motor Club has refreshed and re-branded the Severn Valley Stages for 2014 and will deliver a competitor-focused event offering 44 stage miles for £475.

The Regulations and Entry Form can be downloaded from the event website - link below:

Entries Received

Posted: April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

Available at:

Irish crews encouraged to enter 2014 Severn Valley Stages

Posted: March 26, 2014 9:17 AM

The organisers of the 2014 Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May) have issued an invitation to crews from Ireland and the Isle of Man to come and sample some of the finest gravel stages in the UK.

The event comes at a perfect time of the season to attract crews from across the water and the organisers have arranged special ferry deals with Fairfield Motorsport. Any visiting crews will be able to scrutineer on Saturday morning if required and the organisers will do everything possible to ensure that crews can get away promptly on Saturday afternoon for return ferries.

“Ireland and the Isle of Man unquestionably have some of the finest asphalt stages, but we think we’ve got some of the best gravel stages,” said Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley. “We’d love to see more Irish and Isle of Man crews on our event. We know we will have several crews coming over with the R.A.C. Championship, but we’re keen to welcome more.”

A special award will be presented for the best performance for a crew travelling across the Irish Sea to get to the Severn Valley Stages.
Details of the ferry deals are available from Judith Morgan at Fairfield Motorsport: judith@fairfieldmotorsport.com Tel: within UK, 01656 725 000 Outside the UK, 00 44 1656 725 000. Discount deals are also available to spectators travelling to the rally.

The Severn Valley Stages Rally is a competitor-focused event offering 44 stage miles for £475. The route will take in special stages in Cefn, Crychan and Halfway forests, and both Cefn and Halfway will not have been used for 10 months by the time of the 31 May rally.

The Severn Valley Stages is round four of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, round five of the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship and round five of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship. The rally will once again be based at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells.

The Regulations and Entry Form can be downloaded from the event website, details below.

Great response to launch of 2014 Severn Valley Stages

Posted: March 7, 2014 3:11 PM

The organisers of the 2014 Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May) are delighted with the early response to the rally after meeting many crews at last weekend’s Mid Wales Stages.

“We had extremely positive feedback about our plans for the 2014 event,” said Secretary of the Meeting Steven Tibbetts. “Going to the Mid Wales to meet our customers proved to be very worthwhile.”

With nearly three months to go to the event, the first entry is already in and marks a new record for the earliest entry in the 40-year history of the rally.

Twenty-three years after he last rallied, Northampton motor sport accountant Phil Harris will make a comeback to the sport in his Mini Cooper. “I bought my Mini when I was 19 in 1976,” said Phil. “We built it into a rally car and had a whale of a time. I re-shelled it in 1989 and then I started a business and had to stop rallying.”

“I gave the car to Rob Smith Rallying to sort out and it has now had a bare shell rebuild. I hadn’t thought about rallying it for 23 years but now I can’t wait!” He will contest the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup within the WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship and will be co-driven by his niece Jenny Bradshaw.

Midland Manor Motor Club has refreshed and re-branded the Severn Valley Stages for 2014 and will deliver a competitor-focused event offering 44 stage miles for £475. The route will take in special stages in Cefn, Crychan and Halfway forests, and both Cefn and Crychan will not have been used for 10 months by the time of the 31 May rally.

The Severn Valley Stages is round four of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, round five of the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship and round five of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship. The rally will once again be based at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. The Regulations and Entry Form can be downloaded from

2014 Severn Valley Stages is launched

Posted: February 27, 2014 11:32 AM

The wraps have come off plans for the 2014 Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May), which will be a competitor-focused event offering 44 stage miles for £475.

The team at Midland Manor Motor Club have worked to refresh the event for 2014 and will build on the success of last season’s 40th anniversary. The rally has been re-branded and new members have joined the hugely experienced core team of rally organisers.

The route will take in special stages in Cefn, Crychan and Halfway forests, offering crews the chance to compete over some of the finest gravel roads in British rallying. With 44 stage miles and 93 road miles, the compact event will start at 8.30am and have the first car back at the finish before 3pm.

The Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells will once more provide an unrivalled venue for rally HQ, scrutineering, attended overnight parking, camping facilities, start, finish, service and refuel area as well as the setting for the end-of-rally awards’ ceremony. Scrutineering and documentation will be held primarily on Friday afternoon but, by prior arrangement, there will be the chance to complete scrutineering and signing-on during Saturday morning, so avoiding overnight accommodation costs.

The refresh for 2014 includes the inclusion of the event as round four of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, while the organisers are delighted to retain the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship and the Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship.

“Our new branding and fresh approach, together with a high-profile new championship, are aimed at revitalising this firm favourite in the rally calendar,” said Secretary of the Meeting Steven Tibbetts. “Over the years we have endeavoured to offer some of the best rally stages that Wales has to offer. We aim to provide a value for money rally whilst maintaining the quality of organisation that crews have come to expect from this event. At a cost of £10.80 a stage mile and with payment by instalments, we believe we have achieved just that.”

Regulations / On Line Entry / Event Website

Posted: February 27, 2014 11:31 AM






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