Severn Valley Stages - (Sat) 30 May 15

Posted: November 29, 2017 9:25 AM - 4238 Hits

Round 4 - 2015 RAC Historic Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2015 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2015 Welsh Rally Championship

Potter take WWRS R.A.C. win on Severn Valley

Posted: November 29, 2017 9:25 AM

James Potter and Bob Duck were the top finishers in the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship during round four, the Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 30 May).

Potter and Duck moved ahead in the overall R.A.C. standings in their Ford Escort Mk2 when Open Category runners Phil Burton and Mal Capstick smashed a wheel on their Escort MK2 and handed victory in the Open section to the Toyota Corolla of Graham Waite and Mike Reynolds.

Most of the leading crews made the visit to Wales for a compact eight-stage event based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, although the Opel Manta of Simon and Alister Crook was absent after its accident on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally.

Despite overnight rain the stages in the Crychan region were still very dry and abrasive. Burton’s Escort Mk2 was soon in charge at the head of the Open Category and was over a minute clear of second placed Layton Waters/Tudor Jenkins (Toyota Starlet) when they arrived at service after the first four stages. “We were overheating at the start, but it was soon okay. Just tyre wear to think about really,” said Burton.

Waters had moved into second on stage three in Halfway after Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance (Ford Escort Mk2) overshot a hairpin and then punctured on stage four. Although Waters left service he soon returned without completing another stage. “The rear end handling wasn’t right, so we stopped, maybe it’s the diff. Then it had a misfire so we retired,” said Waters.

Burton had further increased his lead on stage five when disaster struck in stage six in Crychan. “We smashed a front wheel on a compression and had to stop to change it,” he explained. Stevenson-Wheeler found himself in the lead, but he was in trouble again on the penultimate stage. “We had to stop as we got a rear puncture early into the stage,” he said.

So it was Waite and Reynolds who took the Open Category spoils in their Toyota Corolla by just three seconds from Burton. “If we do any more events this year, we might change the tarmac suspension; it was bumpy,” said Waite. Burton still won his class, however, following Stevenson-Wheeler’s second puncture.

Potter was comfortably the pick of the historic crews, turning his one second lead on the opening stage to a 1m16s victory over Gary Cooper/Jon Riley, who finally debuted their Talbot Sunbeam Lotus on the event.

“During the first half I was just trying to manage my tyres, not to slow down to manage them,” said Potter at service. But he had his own drama on stage six, when a small boulder pierced the bulkhead and left a hole just under his Escort’s pedals. For Cooper just finishing the event was cause for celebration. “We had a lot of small problems but overcame them. We hadn’t finished a rally in the car yet, so we are really pleased and will probably do the Carlisle Stages now,” he said.

Vince Bristow/Tim Sayer (Ford Escort Mk1) had one aim, which was to finish after a torrid season to date. Bristow not only achieved that but was also the Category 2 winner, well clear of the Escorts of Stuart Cariss/Linda Cariss, Matthew Honeyborne/James Curtis and Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh.

The Escort Mk2 of Grahame Standen/Jane Edgington won class D2 and was third historic crew as well as the best 1600cc car among the R.A.C. contenders. However, out the rally with a worsening misfire went the Talbot Sunbeam of David Hopkins/Tony Vart, the car’s first retirement in two seasons.

The Severn Valley Stages was organised by the Midland Manor Motor Club.

Hill emerges for BHRC win on Severn Valley

Posted: November 29, 2017 9:23 AM

Richard Hill and Iwan Jones were surprise winners on the Severn Valley Historic Stages (Saturday 30 May), round four of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, when both Nick Elliott and Matthew Robinson retired on the last stage.

Despite overnight rain and some dampness as the field left the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells, the stages were soon dry and dusty again. Elliott and Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2) had the edge over Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis on the opening Cefn stage, stopping the clocks four seconds apart, with Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Escort Mk2) a further second back in third. Meirion Evans/Steffan Evans, Hill/Jones and Ben Llewellin/Ross Whittock completed a tightly-bunched top six.

Robinson responded in the longer Crychan stage, halving the gap to Elliott. “I knew it was going to be tight, but it was slippery and we had a slight ditch moment,” Elliott admitted as he headed the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

Pritchard also had some dramas: “We spun and got launched over a fresh air drop, but I still kept my foot in,” he explained. The moment dropped him behind Llewellin, Hill and Evans however and brought Paul Barrett/Dai Roberts and Steve Bennett/Paul Wakely into contention, despite Barrett having a big spin too.

Evans was the first major casualty, pulling off on stage three in Halfway with a minor battery connection failure and Bennett went out with engine problems. But Barrett’s pace increased and moved him into fifth ahead of Pritchard, level on time with Hill. “We spun on stages two and three. I was warned but it still caught me out, then we thought we had a puncture but it was just slippery,” said Hill.

One more stage through Gwibedog followed before service with Elliott and Robinson sharing identical times to arrive back at Builth Wells five seconds apart. “I was just trying to be neat and tidy and stay in touch with Nick, I am desperate to win this one,” said Robinson.

Llewellin was 11 seconds down in third and surprised by his own pace. “I just didn’t expect it, but we seemed to be in a nice rhythm with the top boys,” he said. Barrett managed to go a second clear of Hill for fourth and Pritchard started his recovery from sixth.

It was the second half of the rally, however, where the drama really began to unfold. The repeat run in Cefn left the overall leader board unchanged, but Crychan brought an end to Llewellin’s run after he bent a steering arm. However, Hill was flying and relished the longer stage as both he and Pritchard shot back ahead of Barrett into third and fourth, while Rudi Lancaster/George Gwynn moved into the top six.

The sting in the tail came in the last two stages. Elliot had his clutch let him down in Halfway but re-started and then crashed out, while Robinson’s engine let go only three miles from the end of the rally and suddenly Hill was ahead. “We were okay but thought we had been slowed by the others being off. We didn’t know if they re-started either,” said Hill, unaware that he had won when he arrived at the finish.

It was more regret than celebration for second placed Pritchard.
“We were down ditches and just had to manage on worn tyres. If we hadn’t gone off on SS2 we could have won though,” he said after trailing Hill by only 10 seconds. Pritchard took victory in the Holton Homes Category K for cars running to Appendix K specification.

Barrett clinched third and another spectacular win in class D3 but was struggling towards the end. “We didn’t have a sumpguard and damaged the steering rack. It was hard to drive and my arms ache,” he admitted.

Lancaster was much happier with his afternoon performance too as he secured fourth. “We ran harder tyres and were much tidier, but had been over exuberant earlier and drifted into a bank,” he said. Meanwhile Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies felt they could have gone quicker. “We had a good afternoon, but not tight enough on the earlier stages,” said Tomas, who ran second in Category K.

Barrett/Roberts comfortably led Class D3 all day with Ben Friend/Sean Kennedy having a trouble-free run in second. Chris Skill and Colin Thompson (Ford Escort Mk2) were unopposed in class D2. “We found it went much better with the handbrake off, as the cable was caught in the first half,” said Skill.

It was another close finish in the Capital Construction Category 2. Although David Stokes/Guy Weaver (Escort Mk1) set the pace in the early stages, they were all too aware of the pressure from the similar car of John Perrott/Keaton Williams. They were five seconds apart when they arrived at service. “Everything was okay apart from Perrott going too fast,” said Stokes. “We were just trying to stay out of ditches, but had a near miss and an overshoot on stage four,” Perrott replied.

Having matched each other on stage five, Stokes emerged from the second Crychan five seconds down on his rival. “We had a puncture, but second is okay,” said Stokes. “We ruined our tyres and it was a bit hairy, but worth it,” added category winner Perrott after a breakthrough victory in the category. Ernie Graham gave his 16-year-old daughter Lois her first rally outing and after heading Perrott for second place on the opening stage they held third all day.

James Slaughter/Keegan Rees (Escort Mk1) had to struggle with damaged steering from stage three onwards, but still won class C3. “We were pitched over a bump and broke a track rod end,” he said. Terry Cree/Richard Shores (BMW 2002 Ti) was second in C3, surviving a spin over a cattle grid on stage three and a penultimate stage puncture.

Class C2 featured another battle between the Mk1 Escorts of David Watkins/Tom Jordan and Robin Shuttleworth/Ronnie Roughead from the start. Watkins had the edge initially but had to make a temporary repair to make it home. “The throttle spring broke and it jammed open on stage five,” he said. “My only damage was to my wallet,” Shuttleworth replied after he claimed the victory by 18s.

The Walker Diecastings Category 1 featured just six cars as they ran towards the tail of the field, and five of them made it to the finish. Sadly, terminal engine failure claimed the Ford Cortina Mk2 of Bob and Dale Gibbons. Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (Lotus Cortina) led the way but had destroyed their rear tyres by the time they reached service.

On the penultimate stage the tyres were worn again and with a noisy diff Mankin slowed his pace and lost the category win to a delighted Malcolm Rich and Jonathan Hawkins in their Ford Anglia. “We have won the class before but not the Category. We pushed a top mount through the bonnet on stage three, but was okay otherwise,” said Rich, who also helped his sons to a Gold Award at the recent Chelsea Flower show.

Mankin still held on to second, with Phil Harris/Paul Price (Mini Cooper) third. “The deep ruts on stage five pulled a front tyre off the rim,” reported Harris after a fourth straight class B2 victory. Mike Barratt/Elliott Retallick (Ford Cortina GT) survived all day on one set of tyres to take fourth, with Bob Seager/Simon Hannam (MG Midget) completing the finishers on their seasonal debut.

The Severn Valley Stages was organised by the Midland Manor Motor Club.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: May 29, 2015 2:57 PM

Regulations / On Line Entry

Posted: April 9, 2015 5:38 PM

Plans for the Severn Valley Stages gather pace

Posted: February 20, 2015 8:37 AM

Over 100 crews are expected to contest some of the best stages in the country during May as the Severn Valley Stages welcomes crews from a wide mix of nationwide rally championships to its Powys base in Builth Wells. The 30th May event is the 42nd running of this popular multi-venue forest rally and is proud to be a round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship; the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship; and the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.

Members of the Severn Valley Stages organising team will head to the Mid Wales Stages at the end of February to meet and chat to competitors ahead of launching the Regulations in early March.
The friendly and experienced team have worked hard to ensure the event appeals to a wide range of competitors. With incentives such as a full refund if competitors withdraw their entry by 18th May, three easy entry payment solutions and Saturday scrutineering available to ease travelling costs, the team believe they have created a cost effective and popular format.

The unrivalled facilities of the Royal Welsh Showground will provide a central hub for the event, with Rally HQ; pre-event scrutineering and documentation; start and finish; and centralised service area all taking place at the Builth Wells arena. Competitors will head out from the Showground to tackle 45 competitive miles in the forests of Cefn; Crychan; Halfway and Gwibedog. These classic Welsh stages will be linked by just 83 road miles ensuring the event remains a cost effective proposition for all competitors.

Joint Clerks of the Course Chris & Keith Ashley have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that competitors have some of the best stages that any event can offer this year.
“We have been working closely with the engineers from Natural Resources Wales and the MOD to make sure the stages are in pristine condition ahead of our visit in May. We know competitors love these stages and our aim is to provide them with a great day of competitive motorsport that marshals and fans love to watch” said Chris.

Event regulations will be available in early March and information will be published closer to the event

Event Website

Posted: February 20, 2015 8:36 AM

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