Rally Isle of Man - 14-16 Sep 17

Posted: November 21, 2017 6:34 AM - 6983 Hits

Round 7 - 2017 British Rally Championship
Counting Round - 2017 Tarmac Championship (Historics)
Round 7 - 2017 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Rounds 5 & 6 - 2017 R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Championship
Counting Rounds - 2017 Manx Rally Championship

Fab Four British Rally Championship Titles For Cronin

Posted: November 21, 2017 6:34 AM

Irishman Keith Cronin and co-driver Mikie Galvin were crowned Prestone MSA British Rally Champions after a gruelling three days of action on the 138.com Rally Isle of Man (14-16 September). Cronin and Galvin in their DMACK-shod Ford Fiesta R5, clinched the championship for M-Sport outside the famous TT Grandstand after taking both round 7 and round 8 victories on the island classic. Cronin won four rounds in 2017 on his way to the title and has now clinched Britain’s premier rallying series for a fourth time – more incredibly in four different cars.

Three crews came to the Isle of Man with a mathematical chance of claiming the prestigious British Rally Championship crown. Fredrik Ahlin (Skoda Fabia R5), Keith Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5) and Matt Edwards (Ford Fiesta R5) would fight for supremacy on the famous island roads.

It was Cronin who drew first blood on the first timed test, the picturesque run across the Marine Drive as he and co-driver Mikie Galvin sprinted away to the first round victory, notching up seven fastest stage times from the ten challenging tests. It wasn’t to be plain sailing for the Irish crew as on Stage 7 (Kella) the pair nearly threw it away, riding the Fiesta R5 across a large hedge and grass bank before landing back on the Tarmac.

Pushing him all the way was Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod in their Hankook-backed Fiesta R5, who had to win both legs to have any chance of becoming champion. The Welsh crew’s championship ambitions were extinguished after Cronin’s victory but a fine second place gave them their third podium of the year and the championship deciding power going into the final round.

Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen entered the championship showdown as the crew to beat as the Scandinavians needed a third and a second to claim the title. The Skoda Fabia R5 crew had a difficult first round as they nursed gearbox and differential gremlins. Limping their way to the finish line, the Swedish-Norwegian outfit claimed an all-important third behind Edwards – keeping their title fight well and truly alive.

Cronin had to do the double on Rally Isle of Man to stand any chance of the title and the Irishman attacked from the off but couldn’t live with the initial pace of Edwards. Edwards, who had the same Evo2 upgrade as his Fiesta rival for the first time this season was enjoying his fight at the front and a ding-dong battle enthralled throughout the second leg. Cronin led by 9.1 seconds going into the nail-biting final stage, but Edwards in the Swift Rally Team Fiesta gave it everything to haul in Cronin, but is wasn’t enough as the Welshman lost out on his first BRC win by 0.1 seconds.

Ahlin needed a second place to secure the title but a spin on cold tyres on the penultimate night stage on Friday evening put paid to his title chances and no matter how quick he drove. The Swedish star was always going to play catch-up and couldn’t close the gap to the front two and lost out on becoming champion by one championship point.

Outside the title fight, two young guns were mixing it at the sharp-end. Rhys Yates and co-diver Andrew Roughead recorded two fourth place finishes – a fantastic end to their second season in the BRC. The Michelin-supported crew in their striking Fiesta R5 put on a fantastic display for the large crowds who lined the stages as they elevated themselves up to fourth in the BRC standings. Scottish star Alex Laffey and Welsh navigator Patrick Walsh chalked up their first stage win on the spectacular Villa Marina spectator stage in their Pirelli-backed Fiesta R5 on their way to a solid fifth overall on the first round. A puncture and mechanical damage put Laffey out on the final day of the event denying him another fine fifth overall.

Simply Devine as Callum clinches Junior Championship

The Irish success continued into the Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC as Callum Devine and Keith Morirty clinched the championship and the £30,000 cash prize – one the biggest prizes in British motorsport.

After a blistering drive on the opening leg to win the first round, Devine shifted the balance of power from rival William Creighton into his own hands ahead of the second round. The Opel ADAM R2 driver had to finish in front of his rival to secure the Junior prize.

Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan (Peugeot 208 R2) had been consistent all season and had never been out of the top four on each round. A fourth place on the opening round then put the pressure on the Irish crew as they had to beat Devine in a straight fight on the final round of the championship. A puncture on the third night stage on Saturday evening resulted in a two and half minute deficit. The fans were sadly denied a front-wheel-drive shootout as Creighton’s eventual fifth was sadly not enough as Devine finished in a comfortable second on the final round of the season.

Norwegian Oscar Solberg, like Matt Edwards in the main category, had to win both legs and hope his rivals faulted for any chance of success. Solberg in a Ford Fiesta R2T with new co-driver Dale Furniss treated the spectators to some flamboyant driving on their way to a third and fourth to put Oscar third in the Junior BRC standings.

As the title fight raged on, Marty Gallagher and Dean O’ Sullivan were out to break their victory duck. A third in Scotland earlier in the year was then backed up with a second on the first Isle of Man round, before Gallagher flew the 208 R2 through the lanes to complete his 2017 podium sweep by claiming the final Junior BRC round victory – the fifth different driver to do so this year.

Elsewhere Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson (Peugeot 208 R2) scored a hard earned third place on the final round while fellow countrymen James Williams and Dai Roberts showed blistering front running pace in their new Vauxhall ADAM R2, but unfortunately two retirements prevented them from climbing the championship table on the season finale.

Cadet Cup provides two new winners

Tom Williams and Phil Hall returned to the Cadet Cup after selected rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship. The English pairing adapted quickly to the Manx asphalt and after the first round on the island they claimed their first category win. The Harper Adams University team had been working away all season to spray the champagne. Led by James McDiarmid and Max Haines Messenger, the team kept clear of trouble as others faltered to become the fourth different Cadet Cup winner in 2017 in their Ford Fiesta National.

World Champion does the double on Isle of Man

Gee Atherton made a welcome return to the British Rally Championship on the Isle of Man. The Downhill Mountain Bike Champion got his first taste of the Tarmac with his new Ford Fiesta R2T in the BRC4 category and settled into a strong pace from the start, fending off recently crowned BRC4 champions David and Matthew White into second on the opening round. The second was to see the two crews do battle once again but a mechanical retirement from the Whites’ allowed Atherton and co-driver Keaton Williams to take the class double on the island and their third of the season.

Morrison makes the National headlines

John Morrison and Peter Carstairs were the final class winners as their guided their big Mitsubishi Evo 9 through the lanes to take the National Rally Cup wins – the icing on their championship winning cake.

Quotes from the BRC Finale – 138.com Rally Isle of Man

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Champion – Keith Cronin – Ford Fiesta R5
“It’s been a tough year. It didn’t start so well, everything has been thrown at us. This was the toughest event I have ever done and the hardest title to win. Matt and Fredrik drove brilliantly and we didn’t think it was possible. Mikie [Galvin] has done a great job and we have a great team behind us and we kept fighting and fighting and to win the championship by one tenth of second is just unbelievable.”

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Second Overall – Fredrik Ahlin – Skoda Fabia R5
“Disappointed, very disappointed. It’s been a great battle all year, Congratulations to Keith, he did a great job. It was a tough event for us as the differential and gearbox caused some problems so it wasn’t a clean run. To be beaten by one point is hard.”

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Third Overall – Matt Edwards – Ford Fiesta R5
“There are no two ways about it. This is my best weekend of my career but its so gutting to miss that win. It’s disappointing as we were close to the pace, if not setting it. On the final stage the car kept cutting in and out, we lost power at the start and right at the finish when we came onto the TT course, it’s a shame we couldn’t pull that last little bit off.”

Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC - Champion – Callum Devine – Opel ADAM R2
“It’s unbelievable. It’s something we have been aiming to do and wanted to win for the last few years and its just brilliant, brilliant! The car made every knocking and rubbing sound possible but I held it all together and took it easy on the last stage to bring it home, just can’t believe it.”

Pritchard takes BHRC double on Isle of Man

Posted: November 21, 2017 6:33 AM

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke were the stars of the historic section of Rally Isle of Man during rounds 7 and 8 of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship (September 14-16).

Pritchard and Clarke were faultless as they dominated the historics and took a maximum score to set up a winner-takes-all final on the Trackrod Rally at the end of September.

Former championship leaders Nick Elliott and Dave Price achieved their target of a third place score (in round 7) on their first experience of the challenging island roads while Rob Smith and Alun Cook took second overall across the event. Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver finished the event third overall in the BHRC ranks after a strong performance.

The annual voyage to the Isle of Man delivered a typically tough test for crews and cars on the closed roads of the island. This year’s stages were notably tight and twisty and heavy rain showers, particularly on Thursday evening, added to the challenge. Tyre choice was always difficult and those who crossed the finish line in front of the TT grandstands on Saturday afternoon deserve great credit.

Pritchard and Clarke set the pace on the opening stage on Marine Drive and ended Thursday’s five stages with a 17-second lead over Smith Alun Cook. Out when heavy rain struck stage two was island newcomer Neil Williams and his co-driver Ashley Trimble who clouted a bank and retired their Escort Mk2. There was also trouble for Ryan Barrett and Paul McCann who stopped to change a puncture on the evening’s final stage and lost over four minutes. They later retired with a misfire issue.

Pritchard was caught on the wrong tyres on the opening stages of Friday but Smith was not able to capitalise as he was twice held up in the first stage by stricken modern crews and lost around 20 seconds.

Smith continued to attack, but Pritchard reached the half-way point on Friday afternoon with a 35s margin to claim the first set of BHRC points. Meanwhile Elliott achieved his target of third place in the first part of the double-header. However, he had bent the steering on the Sand Quarry stage and later retired from part two rather than take risks in a car that wasn’t quite right.

Pritchard continued his faultless performance as part two started and any chance of Smith going with him ended on Marine Drive when he slid into a kerb, bounced through some posts and damaged the spot lights. A hand injury from the wheel kick-back compounded his woes.

Saturday brought further tricky tyre choices but nothing could unsettle Pritchard and he calmly drove to one of the most important victories of his career to date. Smith held station in second and third among the BHRC crews was a very good result for Lancaster and Weaver after a consistently strong rally.

Others were not destined to reach the finish, including Stanley Orr and Andrew Bushe who set a cracking pace until Stanley’s Escort Mk1 was sidelined by alternator failure, while Eliot Retallick and Tim Tugwell crashed their Hillman Avenger out of the rally late on Friday.

A clutch of fine performances packed out the next places among the BHRC contenders, who were headed by Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance after a tremendous run in their Escort Mk2. Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons duly took top points in Class D3 after a mature rally on Ben’s first rally on the island. He started steadily and built pace all weekend for a great result. Friend finished just ahead of Phil and Mick Squires who turned in a typically consistent performance, with Tim Freeman/Paul Williams not far behind.

In the Capital Construction Category 2, it was a mixed weekend for Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins. They did enough in the first part of the double-header to secure the category title but were sidelined on Saturday by a minor gearbox problem for their Escort Mk1. That left the second Category 2 victory to Ken Graham and Rory McCann in their first rally in an ex-Barry Jordan Hillman Avenger. Graham is usually part of the service crew for Paul and Ryan Barrett but showed a good turn of speed in the 1600cc Avenger.

This was a tough event for Andrew Stokes and Adrian McNally but they achieved Stokes’ ambition of finishing the rally in their Ford Escort Mk1. They were innocent parties in a head-on collision involving Belgian driver Peter Tsjoen during the pre-event recce but were determined to start the rally in the car that Andrew’s late brother David took to many successes on the island. Despite losing four minutes to a fuel pump problem, they finished 16th in the historic field.

Finally, the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 went, once more, to the Mini Cooper S of Phil Harris and Richard Suter after another exemplary performance. Harris was quick to praise both his co-driver and the car preparation from RSR Historic Engineering and reckoned that the concluding Classic stage was the absolute highlight of the rally.

Smith on top of Fuchs R.A.C. contenders

Posted: November 21, 2017 6:32 AM

Rob Smith and Alun Cook were the top scorers during rounds five and six of the Fuchs Lubricants R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Championship on Rally Isle of Man (14-16 September).

The Fuchs Lubricants R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Rally Championship is organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club and is a dedicated asphalt championship for all categories of historic stage rally cars.

Rounds five and six of the asphalt championship ran to a double-header format over the famous closed roads of the Isle of Man as the event delivered as big a challenge as it has for over half a century. Smith and Cook overcame a series of problems, including the loss of their spotlights after a trip through some posts on Friday evening, but ran at a typically strong pace to take two maximum scores.

However island experts Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) matched that performance by taking two maximum scores in Category 1 to achieve a perfect score for the season. Neat, tidy and quick throughout, they used good knowledge of the island to record a fine result. They could yet be matched at the top of the final standings by Roger Moran (BMW M3) if he can take a maximum on the Jersey Rally next month. Moran and Paul Morris took one maximum score on the Isle of Man but retired from part two with a broken diff carrier.

Second home among the Fuchs contenders was the Escort Mk2 of Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance who turned in a great performance on only their second visit to the island. Nutt and McBride were third while Lyndon Barton and Simon Hunter were next up after a good run in their Escort Mk2.

The challenging Manx lanes took a heavy toll of retirements and Simon and Alister Crook were eliminated when a kick back through the steering wheel left Simon unable to continue due to a hand injury. Meanwhile, torrential rain on stage two on Thursday afternoon put expected leading contender Neil Williams and Ashley Trimble out when their Escort Mk2 clouted a bank.

Other non-finishers included Paul Smith and Tudor Jenkins, who posted a late retirement with a damaged wheel on their BMW M3, while Nick Pinkett and Hugh Myers retired the Saab 96 after dramas that included losing the electrics in the dark of Thursday evening. Ian Robertson and Andrew Scott (Avenger Tiger) also went out on Friday evening but the new pairing of Bob Seager and Jamie Sparks battled on valiantly to bring their MG Midget to a well deserved finish on their first time on the Isle of Man.


Posted: November 21, 2017 6:24 AM

1 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:51:17
2 Matthew Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:51:35
3 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5) 1:52:37
4 Rhys Yates/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:55:59
5 Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:58:59
6 Callum Devine/Kieth Moriarty (Opel Adam R2) 2:02:31
7 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort RS1800) 2:02:37
8 Marty Gallagher/Dean O'Sullivan (Peugeot 208 R2) 2:02:44
9 Rob Smith/Alun Cook (Ford Escort RS1800) 2:04:40
10 Oscar Solberg/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R2) 2:05:11

Round 7 BRC
1. Keith Cronin (IRL) / Mikie Galvin (IRL) Ford Fiesta R5  50:49.9
2. Matt Edwards (GBR) / Darren Garrod (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +18.5
3. Fredrik Ahlin (SWE) / Torstien Erikson (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5 +55.6
4. Rhys Yates (GBR) / Andrew Roughead (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +1:54.7
5. Alex Laffey (GBR) / Patrick Walsh (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +2:57.6
6. Callum Devine (IRL) / Keith Moriarty (IRL) Opel ADAM R2 +5:03.0
7. Marty Gallagher (IRL) / Dean O’ Sullivan (IRL) Peugeot 208 R2 +5:30.7
8. Oscar Solberg (NOR) / Dale Furniss (GBR) Ford Fiesta R2T +6.17.4
9. William Creighton (GBR) / Liam Regan (IRL) Peugeot 208 R2 +6:17.7
10. Meirion Evans (GBR) / Jonathan Jackson (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2 +6:57.8

Round 8 BRC
1. Keith Cronin (IRL) / Mikie Galvin (IRL) Ford Fiesta R5 1:00.27
2. Matt Edwards (GBR) / Darren Garrod (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +0.1
3. Fredrik Ahlin (SWE) / Torstien Erikson (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5 +24.8
4. Rhys Yates (GBR) / Andrew Roughead (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +2:47.9
5. Marty Gallagher (IRL) / Dean O’ Sullivan (IRL) Peugeot 208 R2 +5:56.0
6. Callum Devine (IRL) / Keith Moriarty (IRL) Opel ADAM R2 +6:11.4
7. Meirion Evans (GBR) / Jonathan Jackson (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2 +7:22.3
8. Oscar Solberg (NOR) / Dale Furniss (GBR) Ford Fiesta R2T +7:36.4
9. William Creighton (GBR) / Liam Regan (IRL) Peugeot 208 R2 +7:41.6
10. Gee Atherton (GBR) / Keaton Williams (GBR) Ford Fiesta R2T +13:00.9

SS1-21 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)

Stage Winners
SS1 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS2 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS3 Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS4 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS5 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS6 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS7 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS8 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5)
SS9 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS10 Cancelled
SS11 Matthew Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS12 Matthew Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS13 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS14 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5)
SS15 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS16 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS17 Matthew Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS18 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS19 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5)
SS20 Cancelled
SS21 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5)

SS1 Thu - 15:18
SS6 Fri - 09:48
SS17 Sat - 09:18

Mintex MSA BHRC title race heads to Isle of Man

Posted: September 12, 2017 3:08 AM

The 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship continues on asphalt for rounds seven and eight, the annual mighty challenge presented by the fantastic closed-road event on the Isle of Man (14-16 September).

Rally Isle of Man is a landmark event on the rallying calendar and the event’s popularity among the historic crews is stronger than ever. With 150 competitive miles, the event will again form a double-header round of the BHRC with one set of points awarded for the first half (up to the Friday afternoon break after SS11) and a further set of points for the second half of the rally.

The Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club promotes the MSA BHRC under a five-year contract and 2017 will be the third year of that agreement. The calendar covers five gravel and three asphalt rallies, with a double-header on the Isle of Man in September to make nine rounds. The team at Special Stage will film all eight events to give the BHRC some of the best TV exposure in British rallying.

The battle for the overall BHRC crown is now a two-way contest between defending champions Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke and contenders Nick Elliott/David Price and it is gravel ace Elliott who has the upper hand after a run of four straight wins on the opening four forest rallies. However, the Cheltenham crew has minimal asphalt experience and will be competing on the Isle of Man for the very first time. Conversely, Pritchard has an impressive record on the island, both in his historic Ford Escort Mk2 and a modern Ford Focus WRC, and knows he needs to take maximum points this weekend. For Elliott, this is a literally a voyage into the unknown.

Yet this weekend’s action is far from being only about Pritchard and Elliott and the recent Harry Flatters Rally on Epynt showed that two more crews are entirely capable of being right in the mix for overall BHRC points. Rob Smith/Alun Cook and Neil Williams/Ashley Trimble have the pace to win and Smith has a very strong record on the island. Williams, however, is new to these stages but has lots of experience from closed road stages in Ireland and has local ace co-driver Trimble alongside. What is certain is that the pace of Smith and Williams could have a big impact on BHRC title contest.

Heading the Capital Construction Category 2 is the Ford Escort Mk1 of Northern Ireland’s Stanley Orr and Stephen McAuley and they will be challenging the leading Category 3 cars. Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins will chase Orr in their Escort Mk1 and will be aiming to erase memories of a rally-ending off last year, while Andrew Stokes and Adrian McNally will also be strong contenders in the car that took Andrew’s late brother David to some big results on the island.

In the classes, the D3 pack will surely be headed by Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons as Ben makes his island debut in his Pinto-powered Escort Mk2 while Eliot Retallick and Tim Tugwell, now an island resident, will be very rapid in their class C2 Hillman Avenger in a rare foray onto asphalt. In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, for the pre ’68 cars, Phil Harris and Richard Suter are already confirmed as 2017 category champions but will be aiming to extend their run of victories in the immaculate Mini Cooper S.

After this event, the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship concludes on the Trackrod Historic Cup in Yorkshire at the end of the month.

Rally Isle of Man will be based at the TT grandstands in Douglas. The first car will start at 3pm on Thursday (15 September) and arrive at the finish at around 2pm on Saturday after around 150 miles of competitive action.

R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Rally Championship - Porsche versus BMW versus Ford Escort

Posted: September 12, 2017 3:07 AM

For the second time this season, the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the Fuchs Lubricants R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Championship come together on the same event; this week’s Rally Isle of Man (14-16 September).

The Fuchs Lubricants R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Rally Championship is organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club and is a dedicated asphalt championship for all categories of historic stage rally cars.

Rounds five and six of the asphalt championship will run to the same double-header format as the BHRC on the famous Isle of Man event and the overall title could be decided if island experts Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) take one more maximum score to add to the four they have taken across the opening four rounds. However, an event maximum on this event for Roger Moran (BMW M3) would also give him a perfect score, so it is possible that there will be joint champions at the end of the season.

Aiming for overall R.A.C. victory on the rally will be three crews in very rapid Ford Escort Mk2s. Neil Williams from West Wales in his Escort Mk2 is also registered for the BHRC, as is Rob Smith/Alun Cook and it was Smith who narrowly took top points last time out on Epynt. Meanwhile, Guy Woodcock is always rapid on the island and will want to make up for last year’s non-finish when major engine dramas sidelined him late in the rally.

More rapid Ford Escort Mk2 crews are Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance and brothers Simon and Alister Crook, while a second of the magnificent BMW M3s will be in hands of Paul Smith/Tudor Jenkins. This will be Smith’s first taste of closed road rallying after tackling two Epynt rallies earlier this summer.

Lyndon Barton and Simon Hunter are out in their Ford Escort while some wonderful variety is found in Category 1 as Nutt’s Porsche 911 is joined by the MG Midget of Bob Seager and the Saab 96 of Nick Pinkett/Hugh Myers. After this event, the Fuchs R.A.C. season concludes on the Jersey Rally in mid-October.

Rally Isle of Man will be based at the TT grandstands in Douglas. The first car will start at 3pm on Thursday (15 September) and arrive at the finish at around 2pm on Saturday after around 150 miles of competitive action.

RUMBLE ON THE ROCK Isle of Man showdown for Prestone MSA British Rally Championship

Posted: September 11, 2017 3:10 AM

The 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship title fight will go down to wire at the end-of-season finale on the 138.com Rally Isle of Man (14-16 September). After six rounds across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and an overseas event in Belgium, Britain’s premier rally championship will be decided on the Isle of Man with three days on the famous motor sport roads. With two sets of championship points on offer for the double-header, a battle royale is set to rage across the picturesque island.

Sweden’s Fredrik Ahlin, Irishman Keith Cronin and Welshman Matt Edwards all have a mathematical chance of lifting the coveted overall crown while William Creighton, Callum Devine and Oscar Solberg will do battle for the Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC title, with the winner scooping a substantial £30,000 cash prize – one of the biggest in British motor sport.

The Championship Contenders

Fredrik Ahlin – The Championship Leader

Sweden’s Fredrik Ahlin will arrive on the island as championship leader – having taken three wins already this season. The Skoda Fabia R5 driver tackled his first Rally Isle of Man last year and since then he and Norwegian co-driver Torstein Eriksen have found a mature, consistent and smooth approach on the sealed-surface to back up their electrifying pace on gravel. The CA1 Sport driver is fired-up ahead of the championship showdown as he hopes to become the first Swede to lift the BRC title since Stig Blomqvist in 1983.

“We have had a really consistent year and I have taken a measured approach compared to last year. I have pushed hard on the gravel and three wins have set up the championship nicely for me. I have really improved my Tarmac pace to back up the speed on gravel, and that was clear in Ypres and on the Ulster, so coming to the Isle of Man I am confident I will have the pace to fight for the championship. I know what is needed – a clean, calculated and solid performance. May the best man win.”

Keith Cronin – The Tarmac Titan

Three-time BRC champion Keith Cronin is a man coming to form in this year’s contest and has been the driver to beat on Tarmac in 2017. The M-Sport star took the first overseas round victory with a sensational win in Ypres, which was then reinforced by a clinical triumph on the recent Ulster Rally. Along with co-driver Mikie Galvin, the reigning Irish Tarmac Champion needs to win both legs of the event to be in with a chance of claiming a dramatic fourth BRC title.

“We had a difficult start to the year – we got a few punctures on the first event and seemed to get more on the next few rallies and we nearly threw the championship away, but the wins in Ypres and Ulster improved the year and it has put us in a better position to fight for the title. We have to go and win both legs and we will do everything we can to win the championship. It’s going to be hard but anything can happen in rallying, especially on the Isle of Man.”

Matt Edwards – The Dark Horse

Matt Edwards has enjoyed a breakthrough year in the BRC. The Welshman has already secured two podiums and several other strong results in his first full season in a four-wheel-drive R5 car. Edwards and navigator Darren Garrod will need to win both legs on the Isle of Man with the other championship runners falling at the wayside. It’s a tall order, but stranger things have happened in a BRC championship showdown.

“I have good knowledge of the island and my confidence is high on Tarmac, as throughout the year I have been getting quicker and would love another podium or two on the Manx. Fredrik [Ahlin] and Keith [Cronin] have more control over their destiny as regards the championship, but I am going to do my own event and if the opportunity comes to sneak my first BRC win, I am going to take it.”

As well as the fight to be top dog, a host of other star drivers will be out to move up the championship leaderboard. Rhys Yates will return to the Isle of Man in his Ford Fiesta R5. Having already visited the rostrum once this season, the young gun will be eager to add another to his tally. Look out, too, for Alex Laffey (Fiesta R5), who will be chasing his first podium on his preferred sealed-surface.

Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC Title Race
Dash for the Cash

William Creighton

William Creighton took everyone by storm on the opening round of the season, fighting for the lead on the gravel of the Borders despite having never driven on the loose surface before. Creighton eventually lost out to Oscar Solberg, but the young Northern Irishman broke his victory duck a round later as he won the Pirelli International. Two further podiums in Belgium and Wales were backed up by a home victory on the Ulster. A strong season for William has left him in the pound seat ahead of the finale.

“We did Rally Isle of Man for the first time last year, and it’s a great event to end the season and championship fight. We really didn’t expect to be in this position at the start, but after the Pirelli Rally we realised we could actually go for it. Callum [Devine] will be tough competition on the roads, but I will give it my best shot as winning the title would be amazing. I am going to treat it like any event, enjoy the week, give it my all and let the championship sort itself out.”

Callum Devine

Callum Devine has enjoyed a ding-dong battle with Creighton all season and comes to the Manx event just 13 points adrift of his countryman. The nearly man on the Pirelli International Rally bounced back to take two wins mid-season in his Opel ADAM R2 and will provide a spectacular bout with Creighton for the title on the island’s roads.

“We came to do the BRC this year to try and win it. We have had a mixed season; two wins have put us in the title fight, and while a few retirements have taken things out of our hands, it’s all to play for this weekend. It all comes down to the Isle of Man, there are no more rounds after this. Everything matters now and I can’t wait to get into battle once again.”

Oscar Solberg

Oscar Solberg left the first round as championship leader, after claiming a scorching win on the Border Counties Rally. A few retirements and mechanical failures pegged the Norwegian back in the middle part of the season, but a second place on the Ulster has re-fired his title aspirations. Solberg needs two wins and retirements from the other two to claim the prize – a tall order, but the Scandinavian is up for the challenge.

“I need to win on the Isle of Man and I will be going flat-out from the start. I think I can do it, and then we will have to see what everyone else does. William [Creighton] and Callum [Devine] will be quick, but I need to be quicker! The event looks really cool and I am looking forward to the competition – everyone will be going 110% to try and win the final rounds.”

As well as the championship contenders, the Junior BRC will be fraught with competition as Marty Gallagher and Meirion Evans – both in Peugeot 208 R2s – and James Williams (Ford Fiesta R2T) will hope to ruffle the feathers of the title protagonists. Josh Cornwell bagged the Cadet Cup with a round to spare and has elected to step up into a potent Peugeot 208 R2 on the island event to mix it with the Junior BRC runners.

Look out, too, for the rapid drivers in the Cadet Cup. With Champion Josh Cornwell graduating out of the class, Tom Williams, Nabila Tejpar and James McDiarmid will all be hunting their first category win. Alex Waterman has already tasted champagne this year and will do everything he can to finish runner-up to Cornwell in the series standings.

National Rally Cup Champion John Morrison was crowned last time out on the Ulster and will look to add the icing to his championship cake on the Isle of Man. BRC4 Champion David White will hope to follow suit, but will have to fend off series returnee, Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion Gee Atherton.

The stage is set…

The Isle of Man is well-known around the world as a motorsport mecca, with its fast-flowing roads home to the TT and its narrow lanes tailor-made for rallying. These famous lanes have helped springboard the World Rally Championship careers of the likes of Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Elfyn Evans and James Bond stuntman and Manxman Mark Higgins.

To join the elite club, crews must first face 160 miles of the island’s finest roads which are made up of countryside escapades, street fighting town centre tests and a spectacular side-by-side promenade course through the capital, Douglas.

All of this adds up to an exciting weekend of motor sport action, with a large crowd expected to line the stages. Highlights from the rally will be broadcast around the world via Channel 4, BT Sport and Motorsport TV network shortly afterwards.

For more information on Rally Isle Man visit, www.rally.im

Keep tabs on all the latest BRC developments by visiting www.msabrc.com or following us on social media: Prestone MSA British Rally Championship on Facebook and Twitter using #BRC

Welsh rally star Osian focuses on the future

Posted: September 8, 2017 5:06 AM

Machynlleth driver Osian Pryce will not compete on the Rally Isle of Man (September 14-16), the final round of this year’s British Rally Championship.

The 24-year-old has decided to save the budget he would have spent crossing the Irish Sea to the classic Manx roads and put it towards his programme for next season.

“This was not an easy decision to take,” said Osian. “Everybody knows about the calibre of the stages on the Isle of Man and everybody knows just how good that rally is – but we have to be realistic.

“There’s an outside chance we could have taken the British Rally Championship title, mathematically we’re still in with a shot and I’m sure there will be people who say I should always go when the title race is still alive, no matter how much of a long shot it is. But I’ve achieved a huge amount from the BRC this year. Yes, of course it would have been nice to win the title, but that would have been the icing on the cake.

“We’ve still had the cake!

“Don’t forget, at the start of this year, we were the newbies in these four-wheel drive cars at the highest level of the sport in Britain. We had never even started a BRC round in an R5 car before, so to come and fight right at the front of the championship from the very start and then lead the title race, is a big win for me.

“If things had gone slightly more in our favour, I’m sure we would have been getting ready for a title decider in Douglas and I’m sure we would have won some rallies. It hasn’t fallen that way, so we’ll take the experience we’ve gained from a brilliant year in a great championship and use it as a springboard for next season.”

Seeded Entry List

Posted: August 30, 2017 9:58 AM

1 Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia R5) [RC2 - International]
2 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
3 Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
4 Pieter Tsjoen/Eddy Chevaillier (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
5 Matthew Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
6 Rhys Yates/Andrew Roughead (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
7 Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
8 Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2 - International]
9 William Creighton/Liam Regan (Peugeot 208 R2) [RC4 - International]
10 Callum Devine/Kieth Moriarty (Opel Adam R2) [RC4 - International]
11 Marty Gallagher/Dean O'Sullivan (Peugeot 208 R2) [RC4 - International]
12 Oscar Solberg/Patrick Barth (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4 - International]
14 James Williams/Dai Roberts (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4 - International]
15 Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson (Peugeot 208 R2) [RC4 - International]
16 William Mavitty/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [RC4 - International]
17 Josh Cornwell/Cliona Collins (Peugeot 208 R2) [RC4 - International]
18 Ryan Barrett/Paul Mc Cann (Ford Escort MkII) [H3 - National A]
19 Jason Tauber Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort RS 1800) [H6 - National A]
20 Rob Smith/Alun Cook (Ford Escort RS1800) [H3 - National A]
21 Guy Woodcock/TBA (Ford Escort) [H3 - National A]
22 Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort) [H6 - National A]
23 Neil Williams/Ashley Trimble (Ford Escort RS1800) [H3 - National A]
24 Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (MINI JCW WRC) [N6 - National B]
25 Barry Groundwater/Michael Hendry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [N6 - National B]
26 Jamie Jukes/Dave Williams (Mitsubishi Mirage) [N7 - National B]
27 Wayne Sisson/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [RC2 - National A]
28 Nigel Cannell/Kayleigh Cannell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [N7 - National B]
29 Stu Bainborough/Jane Nicol (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [N6 - National B]
30 Philip Hopkins/TBA (Mitsubishi Mirage R5) [N6 - National B]
31 Timmy Collins/Cliona Collins (Subaru Impreza) [N6 - National B]
32 Meirion Evans/Iestyn Williams (Ford Escort Mk2) [N5 - National B]
33 George Collister/Martin Burns (BMW E30 325i) [N5 - National B]
34 Andrew Dudgeon/Joseph Dooley (Mitsibushi Lancer Evo 6.5) [N6 - National B]
35 dan Colley/Charlotte Shimmin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) [N6 - National B]
36 Sean Kelly/Matt Daniels (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N6 - National B]
37 Martyn Jones/Llion Williams (Vauxhall Nova) [N3 - National B]
38 Stanley Orr/Stephen Mcauley (Ford Escort Mk1) [H2 - National A]
39 Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort RS1800) [H6 - National A]
40 Barry Jones/Iwan Griffiths (Ford Escort) [H6 - National A]
41 Ernie Graham/TBA (BMW M3) [H6 - National A]
42 Nick Whale/Ian Windress (BMW M3 E30) [H6 - National A]
43 Carine (Kex) Walker/Dannii Matthews (BMW 325) [H6 - National B]
44 Roger Moran/Paul Morris (BMW M3) [H6 - National B]
45 Shawn Rayner/Declan Dear (Ford Escort) [H3 - National A]
46 Martin Toner/Raymond Knox (Talbot Sunbeam) [N4 - National B]
47 Kevin Horgan/Stephen Horgan (Honda Civic) [N2 - National B]
48 Oliver Hopkins/Ian Taylor (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N6 - National B]
49 John Richardson/Eric Wilcockson (Ford Escort Mk2) [N4 - National B]
50 Ross Hunter/Josh Davison (Peugeot 205) [N3 - National B]
51 David Corris/Rachael Corris (Ford Escort WRC) [N7 - National B]
52 Declan Jackson/J Barry Mc Carney (Ford Escort) [H3 - National A]
53 Tim Freeman/Paul Williams (Ford RS1800) [H3 - National A]
54 Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) [H3 - National A]
55 Andrew Fox/Jaime-Lee Fox (BMW 325) [H5 - National B]
56 Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance (Ford Escort RS1800) [H3 - National A]
57 Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort) [H2 - National A]
58 Chris Heyes/Howard Allinson (BMW E30) [H6 - National B]
59 Simon Crook/Alister Crook (Ford Escort RS1800) [H3 - National A]
60 Bob Gibbons/Dale Gibbons (Ford Escort RS) [H2 - National A]
61 Phil Squires/Mick Squires (Ford Escort RS1800) [H3 - National A]
62 David White/Mathew White (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4 - National A]
63 Gee Atherton/Keaton Williams (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4 - National A]
64 Fred Field/TBA (Vauxhall Adam) [RC4 - National A]
65 Tom Williams/Phil Hall (Ford Fiesta) [RC4 - International]
66 Alex Waterman/Harry Thomas (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4 - National A]
67 James McDiarmid/Max Haines - Messenger (Ford Fiesta R2N) [RC4 - International]
68 Will Graham/Robin Kellard (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4 - National A]
69 Mark Barnes/Terri Crowther (Abarth 500 R3T ,,,, FIA A 57) [RC3 - National A]
70 Liam egan/Raymond coppinger (Subaru Sti) [RC4 - National A]
71 Nabila Tejpar/Richard Bliss (Ford Fiesta) [RC4 - International]
72 Brian Watson/Caroline Will (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) [N6 - National B]
73 Neil Morgan/Shaun Hughes (Ford Escort) [N4 - National B]
74 Jim McDowall/Charlotte McDowall (Subaru Impreza) [N6 - National B]
75 Stewart Morrison/Alexander Corrigan (Ford Escort mk2) [N4 - National B]
76 Martin Freestone/Misha Freestone (BMW M3) [N5 - National B]
77 John Morrison/Peter Carstairs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N6 - National B]
78 Stanley McKeown/Nigel Gourley (Ford Escort MK2) [N4 - National B]
79 John Clayton/Steve Booth ( ) [N6 - National B]
80 Ian Chadwick/ (Skoda Fabia) [N2 - National B]
81 Barry Jordan/James Gratton-Smith (Hillman Avenger) [H2 - National A]
82 Guy Anderson/Steve Link (Mitsubishi Galant VR4) [H6 - National A]
83 Paul Smith/Tudor Jenkins (BMW M3) [H6 - National B]
84 Lyndon Barton/Simon Hunter (Ford Escort Mk2) [H3 - National A]
85 Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally (Ford Escort RS1600) [H2 - National A]
86 Ray Cunningham/Jared Gill (Austin Mini Cooper S) [H1 - National B]
87 Stuart Anderson/Jack Anderson (Vauxhall Chevette GP4) [H3 - National B]
88 Keith McIvor/David Burns ( ) [H6 - National A]
89 Eliot Retalick/Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger) [H2 - National A]
90 Rikki Proffitt/Graham Wild (Porsche 911) [H1 - National A]
91 Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride (Porsche 911) [H1 - National A]
92 Peter Lythell/Gill Cotton (Porsche 911) [H2 - National A]
93 Lee Hastings/Alaistair Wyllie (Tba ) [N6 - National B]
94 Steven Ormond-Smith/Kirsty Duke (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII) [N6 - National B]
95 David Taylor/Brian Cammack (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [N6 - National B]
96 Dan Fenlon/Nick Hughes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution) [N6 - National B]
97 Luke Tunney/Mike Quayle (BMW E36 Compact) [N5 - National B]
98 Allan McDowall/Gavin Heseltine (Opel Kadett) [N5 - National B]
99 Colin Hope/Nick Patrick (Ford Focus ST170) [N3 - National B]
100 Julian Gravestock/Aisling Ridout (BMW E30) [N5 - National B]
101 John Morris/Rhys Stoneman (Ford Escort Cosworth) [N6 - National B]
102 Colin Watson/Tom Wood (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5) [N6 - National B]
103 Stuart Smith/Warren Bryn (Ford Escort mk2) [H3 - National B]
104 Colin Mc Dowell/Micheal Spence (Morris Mini) [H1 - National B]
105 Clive King/Anton Bird (Austin Cooper S) [H7 - National B]
106 Niall O Connell/John Liston (Morris Mini Cooper S) [H7 - National B]
107 Peter Horsburgh/Graham Carter (Morris Mini Cooper S) [H7 - National B]
108 David Mylchreest/TBA (MG MGB) [H1 - National A]
109 Ken Graham/Rory Mc Cann (Hillman Avenger) [H2 - National A]
110 Colin Quirk/Will Brown (Ford Fiesta R5) [N7 - National B]
111 David Jones/Glyn Price (BMW E30) [N5 - National B]
112 Carl Gower/Mark Perryman (Ford Escort) [N4 - National B]
113 Tony Shields/Neil Bye (Opel Astra) [N3 - National B]
114 Craig Lemaire/Alan lemaire (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3) [N6 - National B]
115 Philip Hamilton/Joe Comerford (Citroen C2) [N2 - National B]
116 Adrian Kermode/Richard Crozier (Vauxhall Nova) [N2 - National B]
117 Graham Davies/Matthew Crowe (Talbot Sunbeam) [N5 - National B]
118 Malcolm Mawdsley/Mark Rodman (Subaru Impreza) [N6 - National B]
119 Andrew Yates/Sinclair Young (Peugeot 205 GTI) [N3 - National B]
120 Peter Ellerby/Ben Anderson (Morris Mini) [H7 - National B]
121 Dave Higgs/Tim Hobbs (Triumph TR7 V8) [H3 - National B]
122 Andrew James O'Hanlon/Ryan Taylor (Austin Mini Cooper S) [H7 - National B]
123 John McCullough/John Devlin (Ford Escort) [H6 - National B]
124 Eric Davis/Russell Joseph (Mini Clubman) [H7 - National B]
125 Shinobu Kitani/Hiroko Kitani (Austin Mini Cooper 'S' Mk1 1) [H7 - National A]
126 Ian Clare/Antony Elkes (Austin Mini) [H7 - National B]
127 Phillip Harris/Richard Suter (Morris Mini Cooper) [H1 - National A]
128 Nick Pinkett/Hugh Myers (SAAB 96) [H1 - National B]
129 Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill (Sunbeam Imp Sport) [H1 - National B]
130 Russell Mason/Wendy Mason (Ford MKII Escort) [N4 - National B]
131 John MacNiven/Alexander Kermode (Subaru Impreza) [N6 - National B]
132 Greg Pye/Ken Cottee (Seat Ibiza) [N3 - National B]
133 Andrew Benson/Kevin Parkinson (Peugeot 106) [N2 - National B]
134 Brian Watson/Joanne Watson (Morris Cooper) [N1 - National B]
135 Louise Thomas/Emily Easton Page (Rover Mini) [N1 - National B]
136 Terry Phillips/Jessica Quirk (Volkswagen Golf) [N3 - National B]
137 David Clucas/Leonie Marchbank (Nissan Micra) [N1 - National B]
138 Jody Bowcott/David Millard (Ford Escort) [N5 - National B]
139 Paul Taylor/Jemma Taylor (Morris Mini) [H7 - National B]
140 Yoshinao Tsuchiya/Ritsuro Okano (Morris Mini Cooper Mk1) [H7 - National A]
141 Les Allfrey/Keith Fellowes (Austin Mini Cooper S) [H7 - National A]
142 Shane Gamble/Bob Ward (Morris Mini Cooper S) [H7 - National B]
143 David Dee/Rita Dee (Austin Mini Cooper) [H7 - National B]
144 Ian Robertson/Andrew Scott ( Avenger Tiger) [H2 - National B]
145 Osamu Sumida/Asako Sumida (British Leyland Mini Cooper 'S') [H7 - National A]
146 Robert (BOB) Michael Seager/T.B.A (MG 1967 Midget) [H1 - National B]
147 Larla Carty/Joe Whyte (Morris Mini) [H2 - National A]
148 Doug Harrison/Mike Harrison (Lancia Fulvia HF) [H2 - National B]
149 Rhodri Roberts/Alun Hayward (Morris Mini) [H7 - National B]
151 Walter Bridson/Stephen Christian (Honda Civic) [N2 - Trophy]
152 Scott Bradshaw/Maxx Bradshaw (Honda Civic ef9) [ - Trophy]
153 Will Heavey/Barrie Ford (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4) [N6 - Trophy]
154 Patrick Bettridge/Ian Postlethwaite (Volkswagen Golf GTI) [N3 - Trophy]
155 Micky Mc Kenna/TBA (Vauxhall Astra) [N2 - Trophy]
156 Nigel Martin Cordwell/Byron Mercer (Rover Mini 35) [N1 - Trophy]

Entries Received

Posted: June 22, 2017 1:39 PM

Available at:

On Line Entry / Regulations / Event Website

Posted: June 20, 2017 6:49 AM

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