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Nicky Grist Stages (Quinton) - 8-9 Jul 17

Posted: July 7, 2017 8:13 AM - 3151 Hits

Round 5 - 2017 British Rally Championship
Round 6 - 2017 BTRDA Rally Series (Saturday)
Round 6 - 2017 Welsh Rally Championship (Saturday)
Rounds 3 & 4 - 2017 MSA English Rally Championship

MH Motorsport back to full strength for the Grist

Posted: July 4, 2017 8:07 AM

British Rally Championship team MH Motorsport will be back to a two-car squad for their Junior BRC assault on the Nicky Grist Stages this weekend as Josh McErlean joins Oscar Solberg for the two-day event in Wales.

After scoring fifth Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Junior in the Ypres Rally just a few days ago in Belgium, Norwegian Oscar Solberg and co-driver Patrik Barth will be heading to the mixed surface event with hopes of climbing back up the leaderboard and into the podium positions once again after winning the opening round of the series in March.

Driving the Ford Fiesta 1.0litre EcoBoost R2T, Solberg will have a new team-mate for the rally in 17-year-old Irishman Josh McErlean with co-driver Aaron Johnston alongside. The Nicky Grist Stages marks McErlean’s inaugural foray into a top-line R2 car, having battled with a self-run Citroen C2 for the opening rounds of the season. Despite his own car being outdated, the youngster put in a series of impressive stage times, prompting Team Principal Mike Harris to sign him up for the Grist.

With the upcoming event offering a unique feature of both gravel and asphalt surfaces to contend with, both MH Motorsport Junior drivers are looking forward to the challenge ahead and for Solberg, the opportunity to get back towards the front of the standings in his inaugural year of the British Championship.

“The Ypres Rally was so hard and we found too many ditches in Belgium,” said Solberg. “But we had good speed when everything was working OK and I think we could have had a good result. For sure this weekend will be tough, moving from gravel to tar is always difficult but I am confident in the car and me so we will try and be at the front”.

McErlean was due to join the MH Motorsport Junior team in Belgium but a local law prevented him from taking the start. He will now get his first taste of the R2T Fiesta in Wales and is looking forward to the opportunity a front-running car will offer him.

“We will have to enter the event with a level head and look to gain confidence with every mile,” says McErlean. “As the event progresses then I`m hoping the speed will come although we won’t have much time to settle in with the change from gravel on Saturday to tar on Sunday. I probably won’t get to drive the Fiesta before shakedown so it will certainly be a challenge, however it is one that I am truly looking forward to!”

The Nicky Grist Stages contains around 44 miles of gravel competition across the forest stages near to its Builth Wells base on Saturday 8th July. Teams will then face a race against time to ready the cars for asphalt trim ahead of over 70 miles of sealed surface action on the Epynt Military Ranges on Sunday.

Local hero Osian Pryce leads British Rally Championship as title race speeds into Wales

Posted: July 3, 2017 8:22 AM

The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship races into the second half of the season with Wales the next stop on the action-packed calendar. Next weekend the demanding Nicky Grist Stages (8/9 July) will play host to round five of Britain’s premier rallying series.

Where are we going? – Round 5 – Nicky Grist Stages

The Builth Wells-based event will welcome the fastest rallying crews in the country to some of the finest stages in British rallying. The action commences with a Ceremonial Start in Builth Wells town centre on Saturday morning before a day-long battle on eight gravel tests previously used on Wales Rally GB.

An overnight service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground will then see teams’ engineers and mechanics have just two and a half hours to transform their state-of-the-art rallying machines from gravel spitting monsters to Tarmac-hugging race cars for the second day of action.

Having had their cars switched from gravel to asphalt specifications, crews will then speed over the Epynt Military Ranges. The famous ribbon of Tarmac will favour the brave as the rally could be won or lost on the legendary stages. After 117 grueling miles across the two days, the victors will spray the champagne back at Groe Park with the picturesque 18th-century bridge running over the River Wye providing the Ceremonial Finish backdrop on Sunday afternoon.

A strong crowd is expected across the weekend with highlights from the rally being broadcast around the world via Channel 4, BT Sport and Motorsport TV network shortly afterwards.

Last time out – Round 4 – Ypres Rally

The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship visited Ypres in northern Belgium for the first overseas round in the championship’s 59-year history and the event certainly didn’t disappoint.

Multiple BRC champion Keith Cronin took his first win of the season for M-Sport with fellow Irishman Mikie Galvin in the co-driver’s seat. The M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 pairing became the third different crew to win a round this season, thus putting their championship assault back on track.

Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod (Fiesta R5) kept their noses clean all weekend to become the seventh different crew on the rostrum this season, claiming second – their best ever result in the BRC, adding them to the title race. Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss had a difficult weekend as they struggled to find the set-up sweet spot with their Fiesta R5. Even so, Pryce and Furniss finished third on the Belgian event, shifting the balance of power to lead the championship heading to their home rally.

Fredrik Ahlin and Torstien Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5) who won the first two rounds, retired on the opening day in Ypres. The Scandinavian pair restarted the second day and worked their way up to the order to take sixth in the BRC and with it a handful of points to keep their title tilt on track. Scottish Rally winner David Bogie with new co-driver Andrew Roughead crashed out of the event on the second stage and could sit out the next round while the Fabia R5 is repaired and returned to its former glory.

In the Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC, Callum Devine and Keith Moriarty became the fourth different winners in the class for drivers under the age of 26 driving front-wheel-drive pocket-rockets. The Irish crew in their Opel ADAM R2 finished ahead of championship leaders William Creighton and Liam Regan while podium debutants James Williams and Dai Roberts took the final step and became the eighth different Junior crew to taste champagne in 2017.

In the other classes, Josh Cornwell/Richard Bliss (Ford Fiesta R2) dominated the Cadet Cup taking their fourth straight victory while John Morrison/Peter Carstairs (Mitsubishi Evo 6) stretched their Championship lead in the National Rally Cup. David and Matthew White (Fiesta R2) grabbed the lead in BRC4 after two days of grueling competition.

Local heroes – Drivers hoping to impress on home soil

Osian Pryce comes to his home event, the Nicky Grist Stages, as the overall championship leader. Pryce, who is dovetailing his BRC campaign with World Championship outings, sits pretty at the top of the championship table. The man from Machynlleth took his fourth consecutive podium and will be gunning for the top spot in front of his home fans. Continuing the local theme, Pryce’s team Spencer Sport from Ceredigion would love its man to better the outfit’s second place on last year’s event.

Matt Edwards from Colwyn Bay wrapped up the BRC2 category on the event in 2016 in his Mitsubishi Evo9. A year on, Edwards returns to his home round with a top-flight four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta R5 and will be eager to move up the championship order from his current position of fifth and stand on the podium once again.

Although not from Wales, two drivers to watch out for on the Nicky Grist Stages are Jamie Anderson and Rhys Yates driving Ford Fiesta R5’s. Anderson from Leicestershire goes well on the Welsh stages and a former Mid Wales Stages and Severn Valley Rally winner took a BRC career best fourth in Ypres and will be hunting his maiden podium in Britain’s premier rallying series.

Yates is also man on a mission after a fine fifth in Belgium. The driver from Derbyshire is eager to progress and better his seventh overall on last years event. The young-gun is accomplished on both surfaces and could spring a surprise to help move him from eighth in the series standings.

In the Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC two young Welsh charges will be seeking success on their home patch. James Williams from Newcastle Emlyn in his Ford Fiesta R2T rides on a crest of a wave after his Belgian class podium –hopefully the first of many for the Spencer Sport driver. Fighting tooth and nail for Welsh supremacy will be Meirion Evans in his Peugeot 208 R2. The Lampeter-based driver has two podiums under his belt already this season and will throw everything at the event to secure his first win.

World Mountain Bike Champion Gee Atherton returns to Britain’s premier rallying series after a three round absence due to an injury experienced in his two-wheeled day job. The man from north Wales campaigns his Ford Fiesta R2T in BRC4 and will want to wrestle the championship lead back from rival David White.

British Championship leader Osian ready for home run

Posted: July 3, 2017 6:42 AM

Machynlleth driver Osian Pryce leads the best of British to Builth Wells for his home round of the UK’s premier rally series next weekend.

Points from a sensational third place on Belgium’s Ypres Rally were enough to move Osian and his Alphera/Hills Ford Fiesta R5 to the top of the British Rally Championship table ahead of the Nicky Grist Stages.

Backed by one of Britain’s most famous co-drivers ever – Abergavenny’s Nicky Grist – the event starts from the centre of Builth Wells on Saturday morning and finishes at the Royal Welsh Showground, just outside Builth, after 20 stages on Sunday afternoon.

Run through the beautiful Elan Valley and across the stunning Brecon Beacons, this weekend’s fifth round of the British Rally Championship will showcase Wales perfectly and offer Osian the opportunity to star in – almost – his own backyard.

“There’s always something special about coming to the home round of the championship,” said Osian. “We’ve been in Scotland twice, the north of England once, Belgium once and now we’re coming home. Wales. Fantastic.”

Osian and co-driver Dale have already competed in Wales once this season, scoring a dominant win on April’s Rally North Wales. But next weekend is vital in Osian’s attempt to go one better than 2013 and 2014 when he finished runner-up in the British Rally Championship.

“I really want the title this year,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted it in ’13 and ’14, but this year it’s a pretty special one – especially with this being my first season in a four-wheel drive car. To take the title with so little experience of this car would be a real achievement for Dale and I.

“The approach through the whole season is geared to the title. We’re working on consistency all the time, it’s about taking the points wherever we can. That was what we did in Belgium. I’d never done the Ypres Rally before and, to be honest, I was a bit lost with the set-up of the car to start with, but then it came good and we took valuable points – and the championship lead.

“Coming home in the lead of the British Rally Championship is a great feeling. But as much as competing in Wales means so much to Dale and I, we won’t get caught up in that. This weekend is one of seven rounds and our approach remains exactly the same.”

The Nicky Grist Stages 100 is, however, unique in the British Rally Championship in that it offers both gravel and asphalt competition in the same weekend. When the cars leave the famous forests of Crychan and Halfway on Saturday night, the Spencer Sport team will work flat out to switch the Fiesta R5 from gravel to asphalt specification for a day on the infamous Epynt ranges on Sunday.

Fortunately, Osian has experience of this style of event – he won the World Rally Championship-based Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title on the duel-surface Catalunya Rally last October.

“It is quite tricky to switch from one surface to the next,” said Osian, “but you just have to make sure your head’s in the right place. The style of driving is very different; you slide the car much less on the Tarmac, it’s about being neater, tidier and more direct with the car. Competing in Spain last year will definitely help, it gives a real feeling for what’s to come, even if the stages are quite different in nature here in Wales.”

Seeded Entry List

Posted: July 3, 2017 6:41 AM

No Driver/Co-Driver (Car) [Class]
1 Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
2 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5) [BRC1]
3 Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5) [BRC1]
4 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
5 Stephen Petch/michael wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) [B14]
6 Connor McCloskey/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta WRC) [B14]
7 Matt Edwards/Darren (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
8 Callum Black/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta R5+) [B14]
9 Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta WRC) [B14]
10 Rhys Yates/Carl Williamson (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
11 Jamie Anderson/Ross Whittock (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
12 Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Fiesta R5) [B14]
14 Martyn England/Dawn England (Ford Fiesta R5+) [B14]
15 Dylan Davies/Llion Williams (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
16 Andy Davies/Max Freeman (Subaru Impreza) [NR4]
17 Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [NR4]
18 Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [NR4]
19 Richard Hill/Steffan Evans (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV) [NR4]
20 Sacha Kakad/James Aldridge (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) [NR4]
21 Peter M Stephenson/Will Rogers (Ford Focus WRC 06) [B14]
22 Thomas Preston/Stuart Loudon (Skoda Fabia R5) [BRC1]
23 Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Subaru Impreza N12b) [NR4]
24 Daniel Moss/Sam Allen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [NR4]
25 Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta) [BRC1]
26 Toni Carannante/Simon Coates (Subaru Impreza Sti) [B13]
27 Peter Smith/Alun Cook (Subaru STI) [B13]
28 James Slaughter/Niall Burns (Ford Fiesta R5) [BRC1]
29 Peter Baylis/Anthony Blyth (Mitsuibushi Evo 9) [B13]
30 Scott Faulkner/Dom Adams (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [NR4]
31 Simon Rogers/Wyn Davies (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [B13]
32 Keith parry/Eryl Evans (Subaru Imprezza) [B13]
33 Jonathan Caen/Mark Morris (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3) [B13]
34 Paul Walker/Geraint Thomas (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
35 Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty ( ) [BRCJ]
36 Oscar Solberg/Patrik Barth (Ford Fiesta R2T) [BRCJ]
37 Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson (Peugeot 208 R2) [BRCJ]
38 William Creighton/Liam Regan (peugeot 208 R2) [BRCJ]
39 Marty Gallagher/Dean O'Sullivan (Peugeot 208 R2) [BRCJ]
40 James Williams/Dai Roberts (Ford Fiesta R2T) [BRCJ]
41 Josh McErlean/Aaron Johnston (Fiesta R2T) [BRCJ]
42 Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Citroen DS3 R3T) [B12]
43 Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham (Ford Escort RS) [B12]
44 Alun Roberts/Aled Edwards (Ford Ka) [B10]
45 Thomas Terry Brown/Den Golding (Ford Escort MK11) [H3]
46 rob dennis/PAUL WAKLEY (FORD ESCORT) [H3]
47 Dave Brick/Toby Brick (Vauxhall Nova) [1400S]
48 Josh Cornwell/Richard Bliss (Ford Fiesta) [BRCC]
49 Chris Powell/Jim Lewis (Talbot Sunbeam) [1400S]
50 Tony Williams/Karen Phelps (Ford Escort RS) [B11]
51 Ross Leach/Hannah McKillop (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
52 George Lepley/Alex kihurani (Ford Escort) [B12]
53 Steve Hopewell/Clive (Selwyn) Jones (Ford Escort) [B11]
54 Hywel Davies/Simon Jones (Ford Escort) [RF1.4]
55 Gary Smith/Paul Spooner (Ford Escort Mk 1) [H3]
56 Colin Griffiths/Sobhian Pugh (BMW Compact) [B12]
57 Jonathan Brace/Tim (The Sump) Samuel (Ford Escort RS) [H3]
58 David Dobson/Osian Owen (Ford Escort Mk2) [H2]
59 Barry Jordan/James Gratton-Smith (Hillman Avenger Brm) [B10]
60 Andy davison/Tom Murphy (Talbot Sunbeam VXR) [B11]
61 Paul Street/Ian Jones ( ) [H3]
62 Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox (BMW 325i) [B12]
63 Tim Phelps/Elwyn Manuel (Ford Escort MK2) [B12]
64 Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [NatC6]
65 Gary Bollands/Russell Joseph (Subaru Impreza Wagon) [B13]
66 Nick Dobson/Steve Pugh (Ford Escort RS) [RF1.4]
67 Bob Vardy/Caron Tomlinson (Ford Fiesta R2) [B10]
68 Sam Bilham/Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta ST) [N3]
69 Tom Williams/Bryan Hull (Ford Fiesta) [BRCC]
70 Alasdair Currie/Steven Brown (Ford Fiesta ST) [N3]
71 Jon Ambler/Doug Chivers (Ford Fiesta ST) [N3]
72 Tony Simpson/Ian bevan ( ) [RF1.4]
73 Gee Atherton/Keaton Williams (Ford Fiesta R2) [BRC4]
74 Paul Bonas/Arwel Jenkins (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
75 Owen Mc Mackin/Lee Tyalor (Ford Escort MK2) [B11]
76 Joe Evett/Matt Fowle ( ) [1400C]
77 Ed Fossey/Chris Sharpe-Simkiss (Vauxhall Corsa) [1400S]
78 Robin Eyre-Maunsell/Peter Scott (Subaru Imprezza) [B13]
79 David Ashburn/Jonny Tad Evans (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) [B13]
80 Graham Thatcher/Paul Williams (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
81 Tim Bevan/Gareth parry (Bmw 328i) [B12]
82 Paul Gunter/Jack Walby (ford escort rs) [H3]
83 Josh Browne/Jane Edgington (Ford Escort mk2) [H2]
84 Graham Waite/Gill Cotton (Toyota Corolla) [B10]
85 Rene Torcato/Emma Morrison (Citroen C2 R2 Max) [B10]
86 Christopher Lloyd/Rhys Jones ( ) [H2]
87 David Jones/Glyn Price (BMW E30) [B12]
88 Daniel Beckham/Howard Pridmore (Ford Fiesta RWD) [B11]
89 Jordan Reynolds/Richard Pashley (Ford Fiesta R2) [B10]
90 Tommi Meadows/Ian Oakey (Ford KA) [1400S]
91 Julian Barnett/Sasha Heriot (Subaru Impreza) [NR4]
92 Roger Platt/Jordan Wilkinson (Toyota GT86) [NatC4]
93 Ryan Blandford/Chris Dove (Citroen C2R2) [B10]
94 Steve Ward/Mike Crawford (Ford Escort MK2) [H2]
95 Geoff Phelps/Richard Suter (Ford Escort) [B11]
96 Martin Laverty/Phill Kenny (Ford Fiesta) [N3]
97 Finley Retson/Tom Hynd (Ford Fiesta ST) [B11]
98 David White/Mathew White (Ford Fiesta R2) [BRC1]
99 Carl Davies/Richard Jones (Nissan Micra) [1400C]
100 Garry Mannion/Rhys Stoneman (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
101 Jeremy Wells/David Gregory (Ford Escort MK1) [H3]
102 William Hill/Richard Crozier (Ford Fiesta R2) [NatC2]
103 Alan Desbois/Peter Littlefield (Peugeot 306RWD) [B10]
104 Bernie McLean/Garth Howell (Lotus Elise) [B11]
105 Pete Barlow/Mark Dillon (Ford Escort Mk2) [B11]
107 Douglas Utting/TBC (Volkswagen Polo GTI) [B10]
108 Chris Hickman/Alex Stanbury (MG ZR) [RF1.4]
109 Geoff Cottrill/Nathan Crewe (Mitsubishi Lancer Lancer Evo 9) [B13]
110 Rhydian Price/Peredur wyn Davies (Ford Fiesta) [N3]
111 Pete Gorst/Phil King (Citroen Saxo) [1400C]
112 Glynne Jones/Daniel May (FORD Fiesta R200) [B10]
113 James McDiarmid/Max Haines - Messenger (Ford Fiesta R2 N) [BRCC]
114 Alex Waterman/Harry Thomas (Ford Fiesta) [BRCC]
115 Steve Deeley/Alan Proudman (Peugeot 205 1.6 Gti) [B10]
116 George Morrison/Jon Quintrell (MG ZR) [1400C]
117 Guy Butler/Jamie Mactavish (Ford Fiesta ST) [N3]
118 Robert Aslett/Ashley Aslett (Subaru Impreza) [RF1.4]
119 Rich cole/Matthew nicholas (Ford Escort mk2) [1400S]
120 Richard Gemmell/Matt Beebe (MG ZR) [1400C]
121 James Dunkley/TBA (Vauxhall Corsa) [B10]
122 Andrew Hebron/Darren Macdonald (Ford Puma) [B10]
124 Saleh Hijazi/Abi Haycock (MG ZR) [B11]
125 Bart Lang/Sinclair Young (Nissan Micra) [RF1.4]
126 Ross Clements/Christopher Lear (MG ZR) [1400C]
127 Jonathan Pickering/Simon Broom (nissan micra) [RF1.4]
128 Peter Hedges/Alan Jones (Vauxhall Nova) [1400C]
129 Craig King/Paul Kendrick (Peugeot 106 XSI) [1400C]
130 David Perkins/Jordan Joines (Nissan Micra) [RF1.4]
131 Ken Davies/Alan Jones (Volvo Amazon) [H1]
132 Richard Phillipson/Stefan Arndt (Opel Kadett Coupe C) [H2]
133 Alan King/Sion Cunniff (suzuki Grand Vitara) [B13]
134 Nabila Tejpar/Steven McPhee (Ford Fiesta R2) [BRCC]
135 Damion Thomas/Paul Bevan (PEUGOET 206) [B10]
136 Adam Ripper/Paul Gallagher (Ford Fiesta) [B11]
137 Miles Chamberlain/Nick Wilkins (Ford Cortina) [H2]
138 Elspeth Rodgers/Jordan Murphy (Ford Fiesta ST) [N3]
139 Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan (Ford fiesta) [BRC1]
140 Federico Polese/Lucia Scognamiglio (Porsche 911) [NatC5]
141 Richard Barrow/Andrew Richards (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
142 David Ginn/Mark Hughes (Nissan Micra) [RF1.4]
Sunday - Nicky Grist/Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally 2017 201 Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) [8]
202 Callum Black/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta R5+) [8]
203 Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta WRC) [8]
204 Damian Cole/Den Golding (Ford Escort) [5]
205 Peter M Stephenson/Will Rogers  (Subaru P2000 WRC) [8]
206 Andy Davies/Max Freeman (Subaru Impreza) [6]
207 Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [6]
208 Mark Worley6/Hamish Campbell (Skoda Fabia S2000) [8]
209 Mark Gamble/Stephen Link (Subaru Impreza) [6]
210 Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Citroen DS3 R3T) [5]
211 Paul James/Derek Davies (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4) [7]
212 Tim Phelps/Elwyn Manuel (Ford Escort MK2) [5]
213 Andy Woodward/Tom Bowen (Renault Clio) [4]
214 David Dockree/Neil Harrison (Talbot Sunbeam Ti) [3]
215 Julian Barnett/Sasha Heriot (Subaru Impreza) [6]
216 ron morgan/simon jones (nissan micra) [2]
217 Richard Gemmell/Matt Beebe (MG ZR) [2]
218 Kalvin Green/Tony Fisher (Nissan Micra) [2]
219 Bart Lang/Sinclair Young (Nissan Micra) [1]

McErlean joins MH Motorsport

Posted: June 13, 2017 3:47 AM

Former British Junior F1000 rally champion Josh McErlean will step up to a MH Motorsport Fiesta R2T at next month’s Nicky Grist Stages, round five of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship.

Showing an impressive turn of pace during the opening rounds of the series behind the wheel of an outdated Citroen C2 R2 MAX, McErlean and co-driver Aaron Johnston will occupy the seat vacated by the outgoing Callum Devine who switches to a Vauxhall Adam for the remainder of the season.

At just 17, McErlean will be the youngest of the MH Motorsport squad and will become team mate to the opening round Junior BRC victor Oscar Solberg. Despite contesting all three rounds of the series, the youngster has been plagued by mechanical woes in the aging Citroen, but his pace did not go unnoticed by team principle Mike Harris.

“We always have our eye on the stage times throughout the BRC field to see who is putting in a performance that is perhaps head and shoulders above the rest” says Harris. “As a team, we are always looking to expand our line up or explore other opportunities when priorities change.”

“That’s exactly what happened with Josh” he continues. “We wanted to get someone in the car that was showing promise and that would benefit from a seat in a top flight R2 car. It’s great to be able to give a youngster an opportunity like this and it will be great to see his pace progress”.

Whilst Harris may have had his finger on the phone to call McErlean for some time, it came as a big shock to the Northern Irishman.

“The last few days for me have been very exciting” he says. “Everything has just clicked and fallen into place. I certainly wasn’t expecting that phone call from Mike (Harris) but when it actually sunk in, the feeling was immense. It’s a real privilege to be behind the wheel of the one of the most successful R2 cars out there at the moment.”

McErlean was destined to make his debut in the team on the Ypres Rally in Belgium later this month, but a regulation issue has prevented the youngster from making the start. He will now look to the Builth Wells event for his opportunity in the second MH Motorsport Junior BRC team car.

The Nicky Grist Stages provides a challenging two-day format with the gravel forests of Crychan being followed by a sealed surface blast across the Epynt Military Ranges. Despite being forced to miss Ypres, McErlean is looking forward to the challenge that a mixed surface event brings.

“It’s going to be a huge learning curve as it’s my first time on the event and in an unfamiliar car. But I will head to Wales with a level head and I`m looking forward to the challenge. I’d like to say thank you to MH Motorsport for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get going”.

MH Motorsport will once again field five cars on the event as part of the Junior BRC and Cadet Cup. McErlean and Solberg will pilot the Ford Fiesta 1.0litre EcoBoost R2T variants whilst Josh Cornwell, Nabila Tejpar and Alex Waterman will drive the 1600cc R2 version in the Cadet category.

The Nicky Grist Stages takes place on 8th and 9th July and is based in Builth Wells.

Entries Received

Posted: May 30, 2017 4:34 AM

Available at:

Entries Open / Rally Guide Available

Posted: May 16, 2017 8:41 AM

Nicky Grist Stages confirms 8-9 July 2017 for two-day mixed surface BRC spectacular

Posted: December 9, 2016 3:16 AM

Next year's Nicky Grist Stages (8-9 July) will host round five of the 2017 MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) - and whilst that will be a two-day mixed surface event, there will also be one-day rounds of other major championships, including the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, run on both the Saturday and Sunday next summer.

Organised by Quinton Motor Club, the date of the 2017 Nicky Grist Stages had been published as 15-16 July, but owing to MOD activities on the Epynt military range, the event will take place one week earlier on 8-9 July - the corresponding weekend to 2016, which saw 162 cars start from the Royal Welsh Showground.

Next year's event will follow a similar format to 2016, with a mixed-surface two-day rally for the BRC crews. Saturday's forestry gravel stages, run in the spectacular Carmarthenshire and Powys border region, will also host a round of the BTRDA Rally Series and include the MSA Welsh Rally Championship and the FMP Rally Challenge. Sunday's stages will be held over the challenging asphalts road of Epynt for the BRC crews, plus at least one other National B event.

Builth Wells will play host to the ceremonial start and finish, the main service area will be in the nearby Royal Welsh Showground and there will be a new remote service area on Epynt on the Sunday.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: "Whilst the popular two-day gravel on Saturday and Tarmac on Sunday format of next year's Nicky Grist Stages will be similar to 2016, the event has acted on the excellent and positive feedback received from competitors and will have a slightly different feel to it. We've worked closely with Natural Resources Wales and Rally4Wales to introduce some fresh gravel stages, whilst we're looking at extending the Tarmac stage mileage on day two and also run a National B event on the Sunday as well."

Nicky Grist said:
"The gravel route of next year's Nicky Grist Stages is pretty much all confirmed, and we are truly blessed to have some of the very best forestry stages in Wales right on our doorstep. We'll have a different route layout for the Sunday's asphalt stages, which will allow the event to breathe. We'll have a later start and a later finish, and we hope to run as much as seventy stage miles on the Sunday. Cars will still start at thirty-second intervals on the Tarmac - this makes it action-packed for the spectators, and has proven to keep the roaming sheep off the road, which is an important safety consideration."

Iain Campbell, BRC Championship Manager, said:
"The Nicky Grist Stages proves once and for all that rallying is a team sport. The driver and co-driver may be the stars out on the stages, but the mixed-surface challenge from this rally means that the mechanics are the stars on Saturday night when they only have 180 minutes to change the complete suspension parts, brakes and roll bars on the cars. This year there were a lot of anxious faces around the service park as the end of day service began that were exchanged for high-fives and applause all around each competitor's area as they all completed the set up change in time. A unique challenge on an event that offers stages with the unique terrain of Eypnt - the Nicky Grist Stages is somewhere the BRC is looking forward to going back to in 2017."

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Posted: December 9, 2016 3:16 AM






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