Non Irish Rally Championships
Irish Rally Championships
World Rally Championship
Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC)
Border Counties Rally - 21 Mar 09
Posted: July 17, 2009 3:53 PM - 7339 Hits
Round 2 - 2009 MSA ANCRO Gravel Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2009 Scottish Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2009 UK Evolution Challenge
- Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery take 5.7 Second Win!
Revised Results for the Brick and Steel Border Counties National Rally following the exclusion of Car 10
Posted: July 17, 2009 3:53 PM
Posted: March 26, 2009 10:31 PM
Daniel does it again!
Posted: March 23, 2009 1:22 PM
Continuing his 100% record in this years Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge, Daniel Barry from Eniskerry, together with his co-driver Martin Brady from Navan, recorded his second victory in as many events at this weekends round two of the Mitsubishi series, the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.
The result sees Daniel and Martin increase their lead in the highly competitive Evolution Challenge, plus fourth place in the rally overall puts them at the top of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship standings, ahead of crews campaigning more-powerful WRC cars.
The Jedburgh-based rally utilised the eastern side of the infamous Kielder Forest, regarded in the rally-world as one of the toughest places to compete. Proceedings kicked-off with two stages on Friday evening, organisers spicing things up by including a night-time leg for the very first time on this event.
Daniel was fastest of the Evo Challenge crews on the first stage, setting a time quick enough to take second place overall. Main Mitsubishi rivals Simon Hughes/Craig Parry were second, just 3.7 seconds behind, but they shot into the Evo Challenge lead by 2.9 seconds after the second stage, the Irish 24-year old admitting his driving was a bit ragged and he had lost time going sideways too often on the loose gravel.
Saturday dawned dry, cool and bright perfect rallying conditions - for the five stages that lay ahead. Hi rival maintained his slim advantage on the first stage of the morning but then momentarily visited a ditch in SS4 and Daniel regained the lead.
After the first service halt crews tackled the longest stage of the rally: 15 miles in Harwood Forest. Daniel was now flying even with no clutch for the last 3.7 miles due to a broken joint on the master cylinder. But for Simon Hughes it was a different story, when he out-braked himself going into a chicane and, with a 10-second penalty for hitting the cones marking the man-made obstacle, he came away with a 40-second deficit for collecting all four of them.
Daniel now was almost a minute ahead but it nearly all went wrong on the road section to SS6 when the cars fuel pump cut-out. Luckily, he and Martin were able to switch to the spare and they got going again, but not before a few worrying moments.
Albeit a little flustered by the delay which did not affect their all-important stage times Daniel drove well through the final two stages, taking the fastest production class times in the process. His performance not only rewarded him with his second Evolution Challenge victory of the season, but also a win in Group N and an overall position of fourth. This result sees him now lead the Mitsubishi series by four points and puts him at the top of the table for the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship.
At the finish Daniel said: Its never easy! We had a few problems so Im relieved to get to the finish and especially pleased to take my second victory in the Evo Challenge. I feel that we needed to win this weekend, as we may not be so lucky on other events as things can get tougher from here on. I must therefore thank the team for making sure the car was fixed without a problem and that it performed so well.
The next event in Daniels calendar sees a return to Kielder Forest - but this time the western side when he contests round three of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge and the second round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria, which takes place on 17th & 18th April.
Daniels 2009 campaign is supported by: Tech-Plus, Irish Shipping and Transport, BPI Telecom and SC Signs.
UK Evolution Challenge - Barry & Brady take second victory of the season
Posted: March 23, 2009 1:21 PM
Daniel Barry and his co-driver Martin Brady recorded their second Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge victory in as many events, when they won round two of the Championship for production-class Lancers on this weekend’s Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally.
Based in Jedburgh, the event featured seven stages on the eastern side of the infamous Kielder Forest, renowned to contain some of the most demanding rally stages in the world. For the first time in the event’s history – and to spice things up – organisers ran the first two stages in the dark on Friday evening.
Fastest of the Evolution Challenge crews through the first stage were the eventual winners Barry/Brady, who stopped the clock 3.7 seconds ahead of Simon Hughes/Craig Parry. Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew were third and not happy with their pace, whilst Owen Murphy/Dai Roberts and Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont were both caught out by the fog that had rapidly appeared for the first two miles of SS1 and both went straight on at a junction due to the poor visibility.
Hughes was the only driver who reported getting into any rhythm in SS2 and shot into the Evo Challenge lead ahead of Barry by 2.9 seconds, who admitted he was a bit ragged and had lost time by going sideways too often. Elsmore had a better stage and maintained third, whilst Murphy, although hanging onto fourth, had lost third gear due to a selector problem, which was consequently fixed during the overnight halt.
Hughes maintained his advantage on SS3 the next morning but then momentarily visited a ditch in stage four and dropped to second. Elsmore caught another car in SS4 which slowed him a little and, with Murphy’s gearbox fixed he was now catching up the time he lost during the two night-time stages. Carmichael admitted he was now cruising, having lost too much time in the dark to make an impression on the leaders.
After the first service halt crews tackled the longest stage of the rally: 15 miles in Harwood Forest. Barry was now flying – even with no clutch for the last 3.7 miles due to a broken joint on the master cylinder. But for Hughes it was a different story when he out-braked himself going into a chicane and, with a 10-second penalty for hitting the cones marking the man-made obstacle, he came away with a 40-second deficit for collecting four of them.
Elsmore also lost time when he had to stop and change a puncture and dropped to fifth. Murphy then inherited third, but was lucky to do so, as his engine was running on three cylinders throughout the stage – the problem traced to a faulty spark plug at the following service halt.
Barry now was almost a minute ahead of Hughes, but it nearly all went wrong for the young Irishman on the road section to stage six, when the car’s fuel pump cut-out. Luckily, he had a spare and was able to get going again, but not before a few worrying moments.
Hughes knew he could now only win if Barry had a problem and consolidated his second place, whilst Murphy had a good final pair of stages and finished third. Carmichael took fourth, whilst Elsmore was just relieved to make it home in fifth place.
At the finish Barry said: “It’s never easy! We had a few problems and so I’m pleased to get to the finish, especially as this is my second victory in the Evo Challenge and means we’ve had a 100% success rate so far this season. I feel that we needed to win this weekend, as we may not be so lucky on future events and things could get tougher from here on.”
As well as winning the Mitsubishi series, Barry also won Group N and finished fourth overall, which means he now has a four point lead in the Evolution Challenge and tops the tables in MSA National Gravel Rally Championship, with Hughes second.
The third round of both Championships takes place on 18th April, when competitors return to Kielder Forest – this time the western side – for the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is supported by Mitsubishi Motors UK, Ralliart, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JR Motorsports, Speedline Corse wheels, Carbone Lorraine brakes, Walkinshaw Performance, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights - who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.
Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge
Round Two Results
1 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Martin Brady (Navan) 59:09.9
2 Simon Hughes (Abergle)/Craig Parry (Llanymynech) 59:56.4
3 Owen Murphy (Cork)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen) 1:03:22.4
4 Alan Carmichael(Ballymena)/Ivor Lamont (Ballymena) 1:05:08.4
5 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Craig Drew (Bream) 1:05:53.0
Posted: March 23, 2009 1:17 PM
DODD TAKES VICTORY IN BORDER BATTLE
Posted: March 22, 2009 12:32 AM
Defending champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery claimed the honours for a second time as they won this weekend's Brick & Steel Border Counties National Rally.
After non-scoring in the opening round on Rallye Sunseeker, the pair, in their Hyundai Accent WRC, took maximum points in the second round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship as they finished a narrow five seconds ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of former champion Steve Perez and co-driver Paul Spooner on the Jedburgh-based event.
"I'm pleased with the win. The rally's been good and the stages were the smoothest I've seen them in a while. I've enjoyed it," Dodd said.
Perez and Spooner had carved out a 28 second lead by stage four but an overshoot in the fifth test cost them around 30 seconds and Dodd/Bargery took advantage and never looked back, despite a ten second penalty for a cone infringement on stage five.
Dodd and Bargery had a couple of other issues also when they lost time after they left the road in stage four and had a problem with a water pump on the run out to the last two tests.
Another pair of former champions, Paul Bird and co-driver Ian Windress, finished third in their Ford Focus WRC despite a puncture on the final stage after Bird gained in confidence following on from their accident two weeks ago on the Cumbria-based Malcolm Wilson Rally.
Irish crew Dan Barry and Martin Brady took victory in the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge and the Production Cup as they finished fourth overall. The pair had a few problems throughout the event, including a puncture in stage four and a clutch problem in stage five.
They beat Welshman Simon Hughes and co-driver Craig Parry in their Evo whilst Scottish duo Willie Bonniwell and Neil Ewing were sixth in their Subaru Impreza. Alan Cookson and Julian Wilkinson took seventh in their Subaru Impreza WRC followed by Irishmen Owen Murphy and co-driver Dai Roberts in their Evo.
Murphy and Roberts had an eventful time with an overshoot in stage two losing them 20 seconds and they also lost third gear. They also had to contend with a misfire on stage five but Roberts took the junior co-driver award.
Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont claimed ninth in their Evo after a relatively trouble-free run. They did, however, struggle with overheated brakes through the fifth test. Nik Elsmore and Craig Drew rounded-up the top ten but they lost time on stage four when they got stuck behind Charlie Payne and Craig Thorley before a puncture lost them four minutes in stage five.
The only ANCRO crew not to make it home was Payne and Thorley. They rolled on the fourth stage in their Mitsubishi Evo WRC and, despite not appearing to have sustained more damage than cracked windows; a vibration in the following stage brought a premature end to their event.
The 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship will return with the Carlisle-based Pirelli Tour of Cumbria Rally on Saturday 17th April.
BIRD BATTLES TO THIRD ON BORDER COUNTIES RALLY
Posted: March 22, 2009 12:30 AM
2005 ANCRO Champion Paul Bird got his 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship bid underway with a solid third place finish on the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally this weekend.
Driving the www.supercasino.com , Vent Axia and Kick Energy-backed Ford Focus WRC07, the Penrith driver along with co driver Ian Windress from Northallerton were hoping to put the disappointments of a non-score on the opening ANCRO round in Bournemouth and an off in the following weekend's Malcolm Wilson Rally behind them.
However, Bird failed to find his rhythm on the opening two stages held in darkness on Friday night as he struggled to come to terms with the Kielder stages following a big spin, but Saturday was a different matter and he soon had the car up to speed and challenging main rivals Marcus Dodd and Steve Perez.
Charging back into contention after Dodd had incurred a small penalty and Perez had endured a time-consuming spin, Bird was in with a sniff of victory but his hopes were dashed when he suffered a front puncture on the final stage meaning he was 24 seconds behind eventual winner Dodd and just 19 behind his friend and rival Perez at the Jedburgh finish.
"I seemed to really struggle with my confidence after the Malcolm Wilson crash, especially on Friday night, but as the rally progressed, it soon came back. I was firing the car into corners in the end like I should have been at the start but once we had the right tyres, it was a lot easier. I had both Steve and Marcus in my sights but the puncture put paid to any chance I had of catching them but all things considered, after two DNFs, I'm happy enough with third place."
Bird will be in action back in his native Cumbria for the next round of the series which takes place on April 17/18 with the Carlisle-based Pirelli Tour of Cumbria where he'll be looking to get his title campaign back on course.
SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR COOKSON
Posted: March 22, 2009 12:24 AM
Saltash driver Alan Cookson and London co-driver Julian Wilkinson made the long trip north to Jedburgh in Scotland worthwhile when they recorded a superb seventh place finish overall on the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally.
The crew were contesting the second round of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship in their Robert Wiseman Dairies, Kick Energy, GillettsSpar.com, Kumho Tyres, Riverside Property Services and Olverelectrical.com supported Subaru Impreza World Rally Car and after a solid top ten placing on the opening round, were hoping for another decent points haul.
Placed 11th overall after Friday night's two stages in darkness, the pairing gradually upped the pace throughout the day in the fast and dusty tracks of Kielder Forest, despite a puncture on SS4, to end up in seventh place after the seventy stage miles.
What's more, the pair have elevated themselves into third place in the championship standings going into the next round, again in Kielder Forest when the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria takes place on April 17/18th.
"I've enjoyed it; the rally has been very good. We had dust in the car on Friday night and I was worried it was smoke, plus we were using different notes. Before the second to last stage we went to check the tyres and the front left valve was leaking, we had a problem with the jack too so we couldn't get it changed but it was good and we got through. I'm pleased with the result."
PEREZ PIPPED FOR VICTORY ON BORDER COUNTIES RALLY
Posted: March 22, 2009 12:23 AM
Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez was denied his second win of the month by the smallest of margins when he just missed out on victory on today's Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally which comprised round two of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship.
Driving the ex Marcus Grönholm Ford Focus RS WRC 07, the Chesterfield businessman, along with Welsh co driver Paul Spooner, held the overnight lead by over half a minute after the two Friday night stages in Wauchope Forest and was continuing his charge in the fast and dusty stages of Kielder Forest to lead after SS4 by 28 seconds over defending ANCRO Champions Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC).
But it was on the event's fifth stage that saw Perez lose the lead when he overshot a junction and dropped over half a minute which saw Dodd claim the lead.
Thereafter, a titanic battle between the two former National Champions ensued over the final couple of tests but at the Jedburgh finish, Perez just missed out on repeating his Malcolm Wilson Rally win a fortnight ago, by a mere 5.7 seconds after nearly an hour of competition.
"My experience of night driving on the Roger Albert Clark Rally paid dividends and we had a good lead overnight but we lost time to Marcus on stage three before we took some back on stage four. I wish the whole rally was in the dark!
"On SS5, the tyres seemed to go off and after a square right, we just went off with an overshoot and lost about thirty seconds which ultimately cost us the rally.
"We had a problem with the handbrake in the last two stages, it was loose, but I'm pleased to have beaten Paul Bird so he owes me some champagne now! I'm glad to be back up there but I'm a bit disappointed to lose the rally by such a small margin."
Perez's next outing is next weekend when he tackles the opening round of the British Historic Rally Championship in the venerable Lancia Stratos on the Bulldog Rally in mid-Wales.
Posted: March 22, 2009 12:22 AM
1 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC) 57:33.7
2 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC 07) 57:39.4
3 Paul Bird/Ian Windress (Ford Focus WRC 07) 57:58.2
4 Daniel Barry/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 59:09.9
5 Simon Hughes/Craig Parry (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 59:56.4
6 Willie Bonniwell/Neil Ewing (Subaru Impreza) 1:00:16.0
7 Alan Cookson/Julian Wilkinson (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:02:16.2
8 Owen Murphy/Dai Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:03:22.4
9 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:05:08.4
Full Results & Times - National Rally (MSA ANCRO & EVOS) - See Revised Results above
Evo Challenge heads to Kielder Forest for the second of its eight rounds.
Posted: March 18, 2009 9:57 AM
Round two of the 2009 UK Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge takes competitors to Northumberland and the infamous Kielder Forest for this weekend’s Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally. And, if round one is anything to go by, it’s going to be difficult to predict a winner in the Mitsubishi Championship.
Although entry numbers are reduced from those usually enjoyed by the official series for Group N Lancers, with just five of the ten registered crews making the trip to the Borders, the competition is destined to be as fierce as ever.
First of the Evo Challenge runners to leave the start in Jedburgh will be round one victors Daniel Barry and co-driver Marttn Brady, doubtlessly looking to carry on from where they left off three weeks beforehand in Bournemouth.
Following them into the forests will be runner-up last time out Simon Hughes, who will be partnered for the first time this season by experienced co-driver Craig Parry. Hughes made a good impression on his first Evo Challenge outing last month and almost won, finishing just 2.8 seconds behind Barry/Brady.
Third off the start-line will be Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew, who are always seen at the front of the Evo Challenge field. They initially led the opening round and will therefore be out to prove that this time, they can maintain their pace throughout the day.
Having had to contend with handling problems during the Rallye Sunseeker, Owen Murphy/Dai Roberts are aiming to make amends this time round. They will certainly be a crew to watch and may well spring a surprise on the others.
Last year’s Irish Evo Challenge front-runners Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont are next in line. Having contested mainly asphalt events in 2008, the Ulster-based pair admit that they are still building on their gravel pace and will be aiming for a good haul of points this weekend.
Notable by their absence are the foreign competitors who provided the Mitsubishi Championship with an international flavour in round one. However, all have promised to return during the season: clashing events, car preparation and business commitments cited as the restricting factors for making the trip to the UK this time.
The format of the Border Counties Rally changes this year, with the organisers introducing for the first time two night-time stages on Friday evening. Following the overnight halt, crews will then embark on a further five stages on Saturday to give a total stage distance of 60 miles before returning to Jedburgh for the finish in the afternoon.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge is supported by Mitsubishi Motors UK, Ralliart, Pirelli tyres, Sunoco fuels, JR Motorsports, Speedline Corse wheels, Carbone Lorraine brakes, Walkinshaw Performance, Sparco racewear and PIAA lights - who sponsor the junior award for under 25-year old drivers.
Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge entries (in start number order)
4 Daniel Barry (Enniskerry)/Martin Brady (Navan)
7 Simon Hughes (Abergle)/Craig Parry (Llanymynech)
10 Nik Elsmore (Coleford)/Craig Drew (Bream)
20 Owen Murphy (Cork)/Dai Roberts (Carmarthen)
27 Alan Carmichael(Ballymena)/Ivor Lamont (Ballymena)
BORDER COUNTIES FORESTS SET TO POSE TOUGH CHALLENGE FOR CREWS
Posted: March 16, 2009 1:46 PM
The best of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship combines with the elite in the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship when the 2009 Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally gets underway next weekend.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the co-promotion of the Border Counties by Whickham & District Motor Club and Hawick & Borders Car Club and over 100 crews will converge on Jedburgh for the event.
After struggling with snow and ice on the opening round of the Scottish Championship last month, several leading competitors will be looking to kick start their campaigns in Kielder Forest as the event will again provide a tough test for SRC crews.
The same can be said of the ANCRO Championship, whereby none of the leading three saw the Bournemouth finish just a couple of weeks ago so all really is to play for in the fast and daunting tracks of Europe's largest man-made forest.
SRC points leader Reay Mackay and co-driver Robert Macdonald both know it will be difficult to repeat the success of last month's Snowman victory, where starting position and tyre choice were both critical factors in their MG Metro 6R4. The Fort Augustine driver will be up against it in the shape of Castle Douglas driver Jock Armstrong who leads Hankook Group N after the first round, and with co-driver Kirsty Riddick, the pair will debut a newly-built Subaru Impreza N11 on the Border Counties.
In the Pirelli-backed National Championship, the top three seeds will take up battle stations after disappointment on Rallye Sunseeker for Marcus Dodd (Poole), Steve Perez (Chesterfield) and Paul Bird (Penrith), all of whom retired due to various problems on the season opener. All have good form in Kielder and with series leader Sean Devine not entered, it is bound to throw the series wide open.
David Bogie rolled out of last year's event and the young Dumfries driver is hoping to make amends and fellow Dumfries competitor Rory Young was among those who coped well in the treacherous conditions up in Inverness in his Mitsubishi Evo 5.
Last year's SRC championship runners-up Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy are looking for a big points haul in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 and in the two-wheel drive category, there is the prospect once again of a battle with Yorkshireman Steve Bannister, Aberdeenshire's Calum Mackenzie and Borderer Mike Horne among those vying for honours in their respective Mk 2 Escorts.
The event forms the second round of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evo Challenge whereby Irishman Daniel Barry leads Welshman Simon Hughes and they'll come under pressure from the likes of Nik Elsmore and Owen Murphy. The event is also the first round of the 2009 Brick & Steel Ecosse 205 Challenge.
The SRC competitors will tackle the five Saturday stages, but in the ANCRO class, crews will also attempt two night stages in Wauchope Forest on the Friday evening.
Posted: March 15, 2009 10:26 AM
1 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC)
2 Marcus Dodd/Andrew Bargery (Hyundai Accent WRC)
3 Paul Bird/Ian Windress (Ford Focus WRC)
4 Daniel Barry/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
5 Jock Armstrong/Kirsty Riddick (Subaru Impreza N11)
6 David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
7 Simon Hughes/Craig Parry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
8 Mike Faulkner/Peter Foy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6)
9 Charlie Payne/Craig Thorley (Mitsubishi Lancer WRC)
10 Nik Elsmore/Craig Drew (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
Full Entry List on:
ANCRO BIG GUNS LOOK FOR POINTS IN KIELDER
Posted: March 15, 2009 10:25 AM
That's the demographic that makes uneasy reading for the top three in the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship after the opening salvo in Bournemouth last month.
Defending champion Marcus Dodd, as well as former champs Paul Bird and Steve Perez all failed to see the finish ramp on Rallye Sunseeker so as they head north to Kielder forest, they know a good score is imperative on the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally if they are to mount a successful bid for the 2009 crown.
Perez, along with co driver Paul Spooner, beached his ex Marcus Gronholm Ford Focus WRC 07 early on in Dorset and a stage later, Dodd and co driver Andrew Bargery, went out with engine problems in the Hyundai Accent WRC. That left Bird and co driver Ian Windress to take advantage but their bid for glory fell three stages short when an electrical fault when leading sidelined the recently acquired Ford Focus WRC 07.
But the omens aren't good as Dodd doesn't have fond memories after rolling there last year and Bird and Perez, neither of whom contested the Whickham & District Motor Club and Hawick & Borders Car Club-organised event last year, have had their share of problems on the event in the past. Perez won last weekend's Malcolm Wilson Rally whereas arch-rival Bird crashed out meaning a hasty repair job to get the severely damaged Focus fixed in time for the two-day event based in Jedburgh.
ANCRO series leader Sean Devine is not on the current entry list so it could well be one of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evo Challenge and ANCRO Group N runners who emerge top of the leaderboard come next Saturday evening as Irishman Daniel Barry leads Welshman Simon Hughes but they'll come under pressure from the likes of Nik Elsmore, Alan Carmichael and Owen Murphy.
Yorkshireman Charlie Payne will tackle his fourth rally in as many weekends following an amazing feat by his MSR Motorsport team who have re-shelled the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC in just four days following his Malcolm Wilson crash and he's hoping this weekend's run on the Riponian is kinder to him, and West Country driver Alan Cookson grabbed a smart points haul in round one and the Subaru driver will be looking for more of the same up in Scotland,
Crews tackle two night stages in Wauchope Forest on Friday evening before the remaining five stages take place on the classic Kielder tracks on Saturday.
BORDER FORESTS POSE TOUGH CHALLENGE FOR SRC CREWS
Posted: March 12, 2009 9:45 AM
After struggling with snow and ice on the opening round of the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship, several leading competitors will be looking to kick-start their campaigns in the Border forests next weekend (Saturday March 21st)
The Jedburgh-based Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally will again provide a tough test for SRC crews as they take on five stages totalling 45 miles.
Two are on the Scottish side of the border at Wauchope Forest, while the other three stages are further down the A68 at Ogre Hill and Redesdale plus a fifteen-mile run through Harwood Forest.
Points leader Reay Mackay and co-driver Robert Macdonald both know it will be difficult to repeat the success of last month's Snowman victory, where starting position and tyre-choice were both critical factors..
„It's definitely not going to be easy this time. I think everybody has expectations of us now after winning, but we'll just go with our usual relaxed attitude and have a crack at it, said Mackay.
The Fort Augustus driver took time out last year while his MG Metro 6R4 was re-engined, along with other improvements.
„I think the extra tweaks have made the car faster, although it perhaps doesn't feel it, said Mackay: „We have geared it down and fitted a new centre diff, which seems to add traction, and the upgrade to modern 3-way Proflex suspension also seems to be a good combination ˆ so here's hoping.
Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas leads Hankook Group N after the first round, and, with navigator Kirsty Riddick, will debut a newly-built Subaru Impreza N11 on the Border Counties.
„The N11 is lighter than my previous N12 that we had a year ago in the national championship, said Armstrong.
He went on: „The gearbox, mapping and engine-management of the car are all Prodrive-based and we're using a new suspension package which has more travel and will absorb the bumps better. It has roller-bearings to keep the car from flexing on corners which in turn keeps all the rubber on the surface of the tyre on the road. So we should, hopefully, have a quicker car!.
David Bogie ˆ who lies second in GpN ˆ finished well down the order on last year's Border Counties when his Mitsubishi Evo 9 rolled while negotiating a tricky bend on the Ogre Hill stage.
The 22-year-old, who will again have Kevin Rae on the notes, is determined that there'll be no repeat of the mishap..
„The hope is to come away with maximum Scottish championship points said Bogie: „I think it's well within my grasp. I've done the Border Counties twice before and they are fast stages which I enjoy.
Fellow Dumfries competitor Rory Young and co-driver Allan Cathers were among those who coped well in the treacherous conditions on the season-opener.
However, Young reckons his Mitsubishi Evo 5 will be at a disadvantage this time out.
„It will be a very different event for us, said Young: „The snow was a great leveller, allowing us with the older cars to have a good crack at it. However on the Border Counties the fast gravel stages will make it difficult for us to compete with the faster newer cars. So we will have to be more realistic, but we will be trying!
Last year's championship runners-up Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy are looking for a big points haul in their GpA Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.
„The Snowman was enjoyable but was a poor points start to the year for us‰ said Gretna-based Faulkner. „It was down to luck of the draw with tyre choice and position on the road so we're trying to put that to the back of our minds and hopefully get some good conditions for maximum attack on the Borders.
Another competitor who struggled with tyre choice and grip on the Snowman was young Borders star Euan Thorburn, who finished 16th overall at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza
The 22-year-old who has just been accepted for a place in the MSA British Rally Academy - says apart from trying out different suspension springs, the car remains unchanged from round one.
Thorburn, who is again paired with co-driver Claire Mole, said: „We really need to get a good result after what happened on the Snowman and as long as there is no snow then I'm sure we will be OK!
In the 2-wheel drive category, there is the prospect once again of a ding-dong battle with Yorkshireman Steve Bannister, Aberdeenshire's Calum Mackenzie, Borderer Mike Horne and Irishman Adrian Hetherington among those vying for honours in their respective Mk 2 Escorts.
As well as the Hankook Scottish series, the Border Counties counts as the second round of the Pirelli MSA National Gravel Championship, where, in addition to the five Saturday stages, competitors will tackle two night stages in Wauchope Forest on the Friday.
The event is also a counter in the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evo Challenge, and is the first round of the 2009 Brick & Steel Ecosse 205 Challenge.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the co-promotion of the Border Counties by Whickham & District Motor Club and Hawick & Borders Car Club.
The Rally HQ in Jedburgh is also moving this year from the Royal British Legion Club to the refurbished Town Hall.
Said Clerk of the Course Paul Hughes: „We've had a fantastic rally HQ in the Royal British Legion Club over the last eight years or so - but we've outgrown it a bit. The re-furbished town hall on Abbey Place will be ideal. It's right next to the start ramp and will be a much better venue for the public.
And he added „We're going to have a rally cafe, which will be run by the ladies from the Royal British Legion, so we think it will be very successful!
Unseeded list of Entries to date
Posted: March 9, 2009 2:51 PM
LAST CHANCE TO ENTER THE BORDER COUNTIES!
Posted: March 9, 2009 11:45 AM
With most of the leading protagonists in the various championships, including the Hankook Scottish and Pirelli National Gravel Rally Championships already listed for the event, any remaining competitors are reminded that the closing date for the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally 2009 is this forthcoming Wednesday 11th March.
This year's route for the National 'B' crews includes two stages in Wauchope as well as stages in Ogre Hill and Redesdale and a 15 mile run through Harwood giving a total of five stages & 45 miles. In addition to that the National 'A' event will include two stages on Friday night through Wauchope in the dark.
"It's a great challenge whichever event you enter!" said Clerk of the Course Paul Hughes. "Entries close this Wednesday so don't delay, if you haven't already done so, get your entry in to be sure of a run!"
ENTRIES ROLLING IN FOR BORDER COUNTIES RALLY
Posted: March 2, 2009 4:58 PM
With just under three weeks to go, entries are steadily rolling in for the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally which takes place on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March 2009.
The organisers have worked hard to secure stages in the Kielder, Wauchope and Harwood complexes, some of which have not been used by the event for many years. The National 'B' event will have some 45 stage miles in 5 stages with a road mileage of 95 miles. The National 'A' event will have 7 stages totalling 60 miles with a total road mileage of 129. The difference between the two events will be the opportunity to compete on two stages in Wauchope Forest on Friday night.
Whichever event competitors choose, they will both present an excellent test of both car and crew and the central service park is also once again located just off the A68 on Otterburn Military Ranges.
This year with the running of all of the cars in classes 1 to 6 at the front of the field on the National 'B' event and classes A1, A5 and A6 on the National 'A' event on the Saturday, along with the fantastic challenge of night stages and the entry fee being kept at the same level as 2008, will hopefully make the event even more popular.
Clerk of the Course Paul Hughes said: "Please make sure you get your entries in early to be sure of a run! And don't forget registered contenders in the National 'B' event can still enter the National 'A' event and score points in their relevant Championships on the Saturday."
The National 'A' event costs £695 with the National 'B' costing £435 and seeded entries close on Wednesday 11th March with entries finally closing on Tuesday 17th.
Regulations and entry forms are available at the event's website
All Change for the 2009 Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally
Posted: January 27, 2009 12:31 PM
The traditional England versus Scotland rally challenge will have a host of changes in 2009 when the Pirelli MSA National Gravel Championship goes head to head with the competitors from the Scottish Rally Championship on the 21st March 2009.
The first major change will be the running of further stages in Scotland within the Wauchope forest complex. The National A event will tackle 4 tests here, 2 of those on the Friday night offering competitors the opportunity to tackle Kielder in darkness, reviving memories of classic RAC stages of old. The remainder of route will take place in the vast Kielder and the ever popular Harwood complexes.
Secondly, is the change of Rally HQ, after 9 years of been hosted by the Royal British Legion in Jedburgh, the event is moving to the newly refurbished Town Hall on Abbey Place, right next to the start ramp. This will allow the event to be more centralised in the heart of the town and will also allow better access for both competitors and spectators alike. Don’t worry though, the ladies from the “Legion” will still be providing their legendary catering and bar facilities at the new venue.
The 2009 event is also something of a landmark for the two organising clubs as it marks the tenth anniversary of the successful co-promotion of the event by Hawick & Border Car Club and Whickham & District Motor Club.
Clerk of the Course, Paul Hughes, said “2009 marks a major achievement for both clubs with the tenth anniversary of the co-promotion and it has been a pleasure to work with the team since 1999. The event has gone from strength to strength over the past ten years and this year will be no exception with the exciting changes we have in store, especially with the running of the Friday night stages. Of course we have also been fortunate to have fantastic support from John McClory of Brick & Steel Construction for eight of those ten years and his contribution has been invaluable.”