2009 ANCRO MSA Gravel Rally Championship

Posted: July 8, 2009 5:59 PM - 6554 Hits


Posted: July 8, 2009 5:59 PM

ANCRO, the organisers of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, are delighted to announce that they have struck a deal which will see the National Rally Championship back on television screens this season.

Traditionally always well covered by television, sadly, due to budgetary restrictions as a result of the current economic climate, it wasn't possible to provide full coverage of all events this season but following a deal with rallying specialists Acceleration Television, they will cover this month's Pro-Art Signs Swansea Bay Rally which takes place on Saturday 18th July.

Rick Smith, Marketing Director of the Association of National Championship Rally Organisers (ANCRO) commented:
"It is good to see the Championship back on TV, as rally fans have missed seeing the action since Rallye Sunseeker. WRC action seems remote these days, so to see similar cars in the UK forests is a bonus indeed. ANCRO thanks all the commercial partners who have made this happen."

David Winstanley, Managing Director of Acceleration Television said:
"We're delighted to be filming the Pro-Art Signs Swansea Bay Rally on behalf of ANCRO, and are really pleased that this venture has been supported by the both the competitors in the Pirelli MSA Gravel Championship series as well as the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge and the Peugeot/BMW Championship organisers.

"For us the ANCRO series should provide some of the most spectacular and entertaining rally television with its mixture of WRC cars and interesting characters competing over some of the UK's best rally stages and hopefully our one-hour stand alone coverage of the Swansea Bay Rally will reflect this.

"On a personal note, the ANCRO series has always been one of my favourites and back in the mid-nineties we regularly included rounds of the championship in our monthly rally video, Acceleration, when Chris Mellors was dominant, so it will be good to be out filming the events again and meeting old friends like Marcus Dodd and seeing newer characters like Paul Bird and Steve Perez whose private battles in their Ford Focuses are becoming such a strong feature of this championship."

Acceleration Television is best known for its coverage of long distance rallying on events such as the London to Sydney Marathon and classic events such as the Classic Marathon and the Winter Trail, but their coverage of individual events like the Roger Albert Clark Rally and SOL Rally Barbados has been particularly praiseworthy.

Actual television dates and times will be finalised shortly but it is hoped that there will be terrestrial as well as satellite coverage and organisers are hopeful the deal can be extended to cover future events in the 2009 championship.

Championship Points after Round 5

Posted: July 8, 2009 5:57 PM


Posted: February 12, 2009 10:46 AM

Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez is intent on winning this year's Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship having taken delivery of the last rally car that double world champion Marcus Grönholm drove in competition.

The Chesterfield businessman has bought the Ford Focus RS WRC 07 that the Finn used on Rally GB in 2007. Grönholm also drove it to beat Sébastien Loeb by 0.3 seconds in New Zealand that year, the closest finish in WRC history.

"I heard that my title rival, Paul Bird, had been to M-Sport to buy one, so I thought I'd better get in first!" said Perez who currently has a 2005-spec Focus.

"I recently tested a different 2007 car in Greystoke Forest, and it's an awesome machine to drive. Although it hasn't got active differentials, the developments on the car mean the traction and weight distribution are really impressive. Mark Higgins is going to help me set the car up and give me some tuition on how to drive it."

The car was used by drivers in M-Sport's second string Stobart VK and Munchi's teams last season, including François Duval and Matthew Wilson. Its last competitive outing was on Rally GB last year, when Henning Solberg retired with broken suspension.

The Focus will be liveried in the colours of Perez's Kick Energy brand and he will keep his 2005 car as a back-up and plans to use it on Rally Barbados at the end of May. Although he has put his other 2003-spec Focus up for sale, he is still planning to field his Lancia Stratos on several British Historic championship events, and has vowed to continue developing the Ferrari-powered supercar throughout the season.

Perez's season kicks off with the ANCRO season opener and the Bournemouth-based Rallye Sunseeker on February 27/28 and plans to contest around two dozen events in total during the year.


Posted: February 10, 2009 12:39 PM

Further to the recent announcement that every competitor registering for the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, and contesting at least half the rounds, would be eligible for a free set of Pirelli tyres, comes news of even more free rubber courtesy of the series sponsors.

Following the restructuring of the classes for 2009 by the Association of National Championship Rally Organisers (ANCRO), it has been agreed that the leading registered driver in each class after round four of the eight round series, the RBS International Manx Rally on May 8th & 9th, will be awarded a further six tyres each, entirely free of charge, which can be claimed at the start of round five, the Severn Valley Stages Rally on May 30th.

Full details of classes are listed in the Championship Regulations which are available to download from www.gravelrally.co.uk

What it potentially means is that any driver can obtain tyres to the value of £1,400, plus any end of season awards, and in the event of a successful driver in a two-wheel drive car, in addition, they can get free entries in the Mintex Two-Wheel Drive Championship to the value of around £4,000 as well as an end of season cash prize of £1,000.

Championship Manager Lyn Jenkins said: "We are listening to the comments of our customers and we are working with our sponsors Pirelli to achieve our aims of getting as many people as possible to contest this fantastic championship. Both ANCRO and Pirelli are determined to make this a success and the fact that these incentives are now possible demonstrates our combined commitment to this series. No other rally championships in the UK offer such benefits whereby a driver can win what is effectively a £6,000 plus prize for a minimal investment."


Posted: January 25, 2009 5:25 PM

Further to the announcement of details last week regarding the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, ANCRO, in conjunction with Pirelli, is delighted to announce that all registered competitors will be eligible for four brand new Pirelli tyres, entirely free of charge.

Unlike other championships who have a control tyre ruling, the initiative is a ground-breaking first for the Association of National Championship Rally Organisers in a bid to tempt competitors to contest the eight round National series.

The only stipulation is that in order to qualify for the free tyres, a driver has to compete in at least four rounds of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship using branded Pirelli tyres as stipulated in the regulations.

In addition to the original list of tyres and compounds, upon consultation with competitors, Pirelli will make available different types including a 14" version (165/70-14 T6) as well as the K4 version for 15" rims to complement the K6 which was originally specified.

Details will shortly be available from www.atl-events.co.uk as well as the championship website www.gravelrally.co.uk , and an order form for all Pirelli tyres to be used on ANCRO events is downloadable from there. This form can then be emailed to the specific email address for MSA Gravel Rally Championship competitors which is ancro@atl-events.co.uk. This should be done at least one week prior to the event; ATL Events will then ensure that the required tyres are on the trucks for the competitor.

There will be no cost for fitting the control tyres and any competitors with further questions or requiring technical information in the meantime should contact ATL Events on 01283 585000.

In effect, competitors will be required to pay for all tyres until such time as their fourth event has been completed whereby they will be credited to the cost of four tyres retrospectively.

Martin Pallot, Pirelli's Motorsports and Events Manager said: "We wanted to support ANCRO and their drive to help their competitors, helping to build the strength of the championship and at the same time giving the competitors something to smile about in what are tough times.
Therefore, anyone who is planning on doing the championship gets a set of tyres free on us, providing they contest four rounds."

Responding to requests from competitors, Pallot confirmed:
"As was agreed some weeks ago after discussion with teams and the Championship, we are happy to include the K4 harder compound tyres for all four wheel drive cars and would be happy to answer any questions that competitors may have as Pirelli is totally committed to the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship and will do all we can to help."

Championship Co-ordinator Lyn Jenkins said: "ANCRO has always operated in the competitor's best interests and by doing this; we are hoping that competitors will choose our series over perhaps one or two others. We have some wonderful events lined up and if this initiative is a success, we'll look at seeing how we can expand such offers in future."

More Details


Posted: January 15, 2009 9:14 PM

Further to the announcement of dates in October last year regarding the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship, regulations are now available for the eight round series.

The Association of National Championship Rally Organisers (ANCRO) is delighted to announce a second successive year of sponsorship from Pirelli Tyres and along with a number of exciting innovations planned for 2009, it is hoped that competitors new and old will contest the series.

As well as incorporating rounds of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge and the introduction of the recently announced Mintex Two-Wheel Drive Championship, the various car manufacturers are being encouraged back with the re-introduction of the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Manufacturers Award for both Group N and Group A cars. There will be no registration fees applicable to manufacturers in a bid to encourage as many as possible to compete.

In addition, the class structure has been radically rationalised from thirteen down to nine in order to enhance the competition and out of the eight rounds, competitors' best five scores count towards the championship.

Competitors in all classes must use Pirelli tyres for the 2009 Championship in both wet and dry patterns and these must only be purchased from Pirelli via their designated outlet, ATL Events. Each competitor must have their tyres branded by Pirelli before starting any event and any competitor who uses unbranded tyres will not be eligible to score championship points.

Martin Pallot, Pirelli's Motorsports and Events Manager said: "We're delighted to be associated with ANCRO and that they have chosen to use our control tyre. It underlines our commitment and allows everyone a level playing field whilst allowing Pirelli to move the championship forward. It is very important to support the sport and allow the younger drivers to emerge and we're pushing hard in that direction. Our support will hopefully allow the championship to grow through 2009 and well into the future."

Four times National Rally Champion Marcus Dodd, who has won the ANCRO Championship for the past two years said: "I've got a good track record on Pirelli tyres with some excellent results and the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship really is one of the best there is what with the superb events and great cars and drivers. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the 2009 season."

ANCRO's Rick Smith and Director of Rallye Sunseeker, which comprises the opening round of the 2009 Championship said: "2009 really is going to be an interesting year, with several innovations, new events, revised classes and a control tyre, only five from eight events to count, plus the fantastic 2WD offer, we truly believe that it is offering competitors good value for money."

More Details:


Posted: January 12, 2009 11:57 AM

The 2009 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship gets underway with Rallye Sunseeker in Bournemouth next month and already interest is high for the ANCRO-organised series.

A number of former champions including Paul Bird and Steve Perez are planning a return to the series in 2009 and with the championship classes being restructured and the series increased to eight rounds, the scene is set for one of the best championships in the UK.

The latest incentive is the announcement of The Mintex Two-Wheel Drive Championship whereby the winners of each round will receive a totally free entry into the next ANCRO event of their choosing.

Open to any 2WD car, front or rear-wheel drive, as well as the prize value of around £500 per event, there is a £1000 cash award to the winner at the end of the season.

All eight events will be included in the championship of which a competitor's best five results will count and each competitor must be registered for the 2009 MSA Pirelli Gravel Rally Championship.

What it all means is that mathematically, a crew would not have to pay an entry fee for a whole year if they were successful on each event as the winner of the final round on the Trackrod would receive a free entry in next year's Rallye Sunseeker.

Indeed, such a beneficiary already are the winners of the 2008 Two-Wheel Drive Challenge, Nathan Crewe and John Connor, who will receive a free entry onto Rallye Sunseeker 2009 as part of their prize from last year, should they so wish.

Championship Manager Lyn Jenkins said: "The two-wheel drive competitors are just as important to us as everyone else so we want to encourage them as much as possible. There are not many prizes out there where the driver of a Ford Escort or Vauxhall Astra could benefit to the tune of around £5,000 this season so we're hoping that a good number of crews will take up this challenge, thanks to our sponsors Mintex. We have some classic and exclusive stages on some of the country's best events so it really is a great opportunity."


Posted: October 28, 2008 4:16 PM

Two new events have come into the series, those being the Carlisle-based Pirelli Rally and the popular Woodpecker Rally.

The traditional season opener will once again be the glitzy Rallye Sunseeker followed by successive visits to Kielder Forest with both the Border Counties and Pirelli events using the northern, central and western tracks of the vast complex. Then it's a trip over the Irish Sea for the unique tarmac of the Manx lanes before the classic forests of mid, central and southern Wales which are incorporated into the Severn Valley, and Swansea Bay. The tests of the Welsh/English borders comprise the Woodpecker Rally and the season finale takes place in the ultra-fast tracks of the Yorkshire forests with the Trackrod Rally.

An ANCRO spokesman said: "This represents our most comprehensive package geographically and we are delighted to welcome such prestigious events as the Pirelli and Woodpecker rallies into the series. We believe the championship will provide one of the biggest challenges in British rallying and we hope to welcome many new competitors, as well as our existing ones in what is going to be a truly memorable year."

Further details regarding sponsorship, regulations and registration details will be available and distributed in due course and also keep a regular eye on the official website

2009 Dates

Posted: October 28, 2008 4:14 PM

  1. Rallye Sunseeker,Bournemouth
  2. Border Counties Rally,Jedburgh
  3. Pirelli Rally, Carlisle
  4. RBS International Manx Rally,Douglas
  5. Severn Valley Rally, BuilthWells
  6. Swansea Bay Rally,Swansea
  7. Woodpecker Rally,Ludlow
  8. Trackrod Rally,Pickering

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