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Pirelli International Rally - (Sat) 28 Apr 18

Posted: October 10, 2018 6:30 AM - 5703 Hits

Round 2 - 2018 British Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2018 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2018 Rally2 Championship

Rallying Success for James Wilson!

Posted: October 10, 2018 6:30 AM

April 2018 was a memorable month for twenty-three year old James Wilson from Keady,as his progression in rallying has once again rapidly escalated. Firstly James was nominated for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver Award for his performance on the opening round of the Valvoline National Forestry Rally Championship, in Carrick-on-Suir, were won the Junior category on his foray into the forests with the Peugeot 208 R2. The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2019, so James is in now in contention for one of the sports premier scholarships. “I was shocked when it was announced, I couldn’t quite believe it ! It was certainly an aim to get a nomination for this award but for it to actually happened was amazing. Hopefully we keep up the performances through-out the year and be in with a good shout of winning this prestigious prize.”

It was a busy month for James as last weekend he teamed up with regular co-driver Gavin Doherty, and the ever enthusiastic County Armagh service crew, as the team headed for their MSA British Rally Championship debut in Carlisle on the Pirelli International Rally. The fast, and unforgiving Kielder forests provided a new challenge for James and Gavin, but amongst the cream of the R2 category from Britain and across Europe they pulled off a fine fourth place finish. “It was an eye-opener alright at the weekend, as it was all very new to us, even the road surface, but mainly the sheer speed in these forests. I don’t remember ever being as fast in a rally car, especially on gravel. The famous Kielder ditches were waiting of you made a mistake, and with the crowned roads, and big cuts that you had to take it required intense concentration.”

The Road Tankers Armagh, Philip White Tyres and TEC Industrial supported Peugeot 208 R2 ran faultlessly however as the pair adapted to the tough stages, and learnt a few tricks along the way. “We had no issues, and it’s a rally known for punctures but we had no such issues with our Kumho Tyres which worked superbly all day. We learnt on the second loop to rotate the fronts and rears before the long stage, and that worked better for us. In general it was a clean, steady day, on what was a very well organised event. We were very happy with the result on what is primarily a learning year for us in the BRC, and against the opposition which had up to three years of experience of the event.”

There is no doubt that the team turned a few heads last weekend and the team plan to launch a serious assault on the British Junior title in 2019, but for now James is set to continue his learning curve. “We intend to contest the Mid Wales Rally to gain experience of the forests such as Hafren and Sweet Lamb before the final round of the BRC- Wales Rally GB. In late June we head to Belgium for round two of this year’s championship, the Ypres Rally on tarmac, which is another completely new experience.” A new experience maybe but the mechanical engineer has proven that he can adapt and turn in some impressive stage times on any surface, and there will be many twists and turns ahead in the 2018 British Rally Championship.

Barrett/Roberts top BHRC in Kielder

Posted: October 10, 2018 6:24 AM

A glorious battle between Paul Barrett and Matthew Robinson marked round two of the FUCHS LUBRICANTS MSA British Historic Rally Championship on the Pirelli Rally (Saturday 28 April).

After a fierce but entirely sporting contest, Barrett and Dai Roberts took victory by just 8.6s over the similar Ford Escort Mk2 of Robinson and Dave Robson. The deciding stage was the epic 15.39-mile test in The Forks where a blistering attack by Barrett turned the rally in his favour.

As well as being the second of eight BHRC rounds, the Pirelli Rally was also the second round of the BHRC Forest Challenge, supported by Rally and Competition Equipment, and the second event for the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines.

A tremendous field lined up to tackle four big stages in the main block of the mighty Kielder forest complex and there was universal praise for the quality of the roads as the 2WD field ran ahead of contenders in the MSA British Rally Championship. As ever, the punishing Kielder ditches claimed cars and the top two crews could easily have joined the list of victims, such was their pace.

Robinson was immediately on the attack in the opening Pundershaw stage and took an early 10s lead. He added a further second in Roughside but after service at Kielder Greenside came the big test, 15 miles in The Forks, and Barrett went on the attack. His strategy paid dividends and he took 14s back from Robinson to take a slender lead into the final stage. With five more seconds added over 10 miles in Whitesike, Barrett arrived back in Carlisle for an eight-second victory. Barrett headed the FIA Category K cars while Robinson won the Rally and Competition Equipment Category 3.

Third place could have gone to at least three other crews, but they were all out during stages three and four. The Forks caught out both Joe Price/Chris Brooks and Alan Walker/John Connor and Walker’s day got even worse when his stricken Escort was t-boned half an hour later by the Avenger of Eliot Retallick. Simon Webster/Jez Rogers moved into third but a sheered track control arm sent them up a bank and into a roll in Whitesike.

Instead, it was Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall who took third in the BRM-powered Hillman Avenger. This was a journey into the unknown for Rowlands on his first rally in Kielder and 14 years on from his last event outside Wales. But his pace was good and third was a very encouraging result for both car and driver.

Stuart Egglestone and Brian Hodgson were next in the historics with another impressive performance in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2, which earned them class D3 by nearly a minute over the similar car of Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons.

Overall spoils in the Skipton Ford Category 2 went to a tremendous performance from Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss (Ford Escort Mk1). Holmes had just two seconds in hand over class C5 rivals Warren Philliskirk and Garry Green after Philliskirk clawed back a lot of time in The Forks, while Chris Skill/Tom Murphy were not far back in third. Class C3 netted a deserved win for the Escort Mk1 of Mike Simpson/Dale Gibbons on the driver’s first visit to Kielder.

BHRC2 supported by Sherwood Engines

The Pirelli Rally was the second round of the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines, which has been created to turn the spotlight on the REIS Category 1 (pre-1968) and all other up to 1600cc cars in the championship.

From class C2, it was Robin Shuttleworth and Ronnie Roughead (Ford Escort Mk1) who won BHRC2 but only after fending off a strong challenge from the Hillman Avenger of Ken Graham/Rory McCann. The final margin was only 3.1s after Graham was just four-tenths of a second faster in the last stage. Prior to that, in over 15 miles in The Forks, Shuttleworth had been four-tenths faster. “The stages were brilliant and the car was faultless,” said Graham who completed a good rally for the Northern Irish contingent.

It was not a good day, however, for BHRC2 pacesetters Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis who were well clear after two stages. Unfortunately, a big off on SS3 left their Escort Mk1 badly damaged and could mark the end of their season.

Category 1 delivered a handsome victory for Rikki Proffitt and Graham Wild (Porsche 911) who had just over half a minute in hand over Class B4 winners Bob Bean and Miles Cartwright (Lotus Cortina). “The stages were excellent,” said Proffitt after a trouble-free rally. Class B3 went to the charging Ford Anglia of Malcolm Rich and Arwel Blainey, but the Kielder stages were just too fast for the Anglia to chase the more powerful cars.

Video Clips

Posted: October 10, 2018 6:18 AM

In Car

Posted: October 10, 2018 6:18 AM

Alex Laffey & Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) SS6

Paul Barrett/Dai Roberts (Ford Escort MkII) SS3

Alan Walker & John Connor (Ford Escort MkII) SS3


Posted: October 10, 2018 6:10 AM

Matt Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod won their first ever Prestone MSA British Rally Championship round at the recent Pirelli International Rally (Saturday 28 April). Driving the latest Ford Fiesta R5 for Cumbrian firm M-Sport, the pair from Wales netted their dream result by just 8.5 seconds to launch their championship campaign.

The Welsh duo didn’t have it all their own way as young gun Rhys Yates and navigator Elliott Edmondson in a Skoda Fabia R5 stormed to their best BRC result with second. Reigning champions Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin made it a three-way fight for victory in a new Hyundai i20 R5 with the Irish crew eventually finishing third – making it three different marques of cars on the first podium of the year.

The opening round of the eagerly anticipated 60th anniversary year got underway with 80 fast and furious gravel miles through the legendary Kielder Forest. Starting from the Pirelli factory in Carlisle, the BRC crews were cheered into the eight-stage event by the Mayor of Carlisle, Trish Vasey, local MP John Stevenson and thousands of spectators.

The English round of the series always provides drama aplenty and this instalment was no different as the first stage claimed its first victims – David Bogie and John Rowan. Driving for Carlisle-based firm CA1 Sport, Bogie rolled his DMACK-supported Skoda Fabia R5 out of contention. Thankfully both crew members were left unscathed but this paved a way for their rallying rivals.

Reigning champions Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin put their new Hyundai i20 R5 through its paces on the Cumbrian gravel. Cronin began his quest for a fifth title - to match series history maker Jimmy McRae - in fine fashion. The Michelin-supported star initially held the lead before an on-form Edwards mounted his charge. Suffering with a lack of competitive miles in the new car, Cronin struggled with pace in the afternoon loop and went too tight to a chicane bale and had to reverse to get going again – haemorrhaging time to the top two.

Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod lost out on their first BRC win by one tenth of a second last season, and the Welsh pair were out to set the record straight in 2018. Reeling in Cronin throughout the morning, Edwards fired into the lead and never looked back, punching in five out of eight fastest times in the Swift Group Fiesta to clinch an emotional first win in Britain’s premier rallying series. Edwards’ win also provided Pirelli a much coveted home win in the process

After a strong run on the European championship round in the Azores, Rhys Yates continued his excellent form in his brand new Skoda Fabia R5. Showing speed and consistency throughout the day, the Derbyshire-based driver hunted down Cronin in the closing stages, overhauling the Irishman with a fastest time on stage eight to clinch second by just 3.3 seconds – and in the process his BRC result to date.

Fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Marty McCormack and co-driver David Moynihan came out of the blocks on the opening stage to sit second but soon after discovered gearbox gremlins. With no spare, and limited time to rectify any problems the Irishman adopted a mechanically sympathetic approach to bring his Kumho-shod Skoda Fabia R5 into a well earned fourth.

Rounding out the top five was Jonny Greer, contesting his tenth Pirelli Rally – this time in his recently-acquired Ford Fiesta R5. The Pirelli-supported driver with Kirsty Riddick calling the notes gathered momentum with every stage mile to secure fifth at the end of their first loose surface event in the car – a solid start to their championship campaign.

Super Steve Røkland dominates Junior series

Norwegian Steve Røkland and British co-driver Tom Woodburn performed a front-wheel drive masterclass in the Prestone Motorsport News MSA Junior BRC to take their first win in the series by a comfortable 1 minute 13.3 second victory in a Peugeot 208 R2. Chalking up all but one fastest stage time on the fast and flowing gravel, the pairing didn’t put a foot wrong as they lead the championship after the first round.

Welshman James Williams and co-driver Ross Whittock were a new partnership in a Vauxhall ADAM R2. The Network Q team started off slowly in fifth but played a patient day-long game as they chipped their way up the field through blistering pace and took advantage of faulting rivals to seal their best BRC finish yet. William Creighton and Liam Regan won the Pirelli Rally in 2017 and after a slow start on the rally the Irish duo clawed their way onto the podium to put their Peugeot 208 R2 into the final rostrum position.

Early podium pace setters Josh McErlean (Ford Fiesta R2T) and Marty Gallagher (Peugeot 208 R2) both had their event cut short on the penultimate stage allowing series newcomer James Wilson (Peugeot 208 R2) and the flamboyant Norwegian Oscar Solberg (Ford Fiesta R2T) into fourth and fifth respectively.

Reynolds reaps the rewards in Cadet Cup

In the Cadet Cup for drivers aged 25 and under - a new class for 2018 - were to tackle the infamous Kielder forest. It was Englishman Jordan Reynolds and Welsh co-driver Peredur Wyn Davies who made it first past the post in their Ford Fiesta R2.

Scottish driver Finlay Retson held the advantage early on before the gearbox on his Ford Fiesta cried enough. Swooping onto the first podium of the year was Gunnar Karl Jóhannesson from Iceland (Ford Fiesta R2) and Bart Lang and the Myerscough University team who brought its Ford Fiesta R2 into third place.

Quotes from round one – Pirelli International Rally

Pirelli International Rally – Matt Edwards – First Overall – Ford Fiesta R5

“It’s been a long time coming and I cannot thank everyone at Swift and M-Sport who helped get us to this position. The Manx last year was an initial disappointment but it has given us the confidence to fight at the very front. I knew we wouldn’t be far away this weekend and car felt good, I was relaxed and it did everything I needed it to do. This sets us up nicely for the rest of the year but we aren’t going to get too carried way as it is early days in the championship but I am quite happy to go away with my first international win –it’s a feeling nobody can take away from me.”

Pirelli International Rally – Rhys Yates – Second Overall – Skoda Fabia R5

“Second is mega and we are really pleased to have taken a fastest stage time as well. It was our first BRC stage win, so I am chuffed with how the whole weekend went. I saw the time coming down to Keith and I thought we could have a real push as second was for the taking. Second feels like a win as I would have taken third at the start of the event! We look forward to the Tarmac now. The car is great on it and I think I go better on it so hopefully we can keep building to greater things.”

Pirelli International Rally – Keith Cronin – Third Overall – Hyundai i20 R5

“It was a really late deal to get us here and we didn’t have much time to test the car before coming here which left us on the back foot slightly. Naturally, I was a bit disappointed to lose out on the last stage but everything on the car was great, maybe I was a little rusty. Compared to the first three events last year when we were in no mans land, I feel we have a better start to build on this year. Hopefully before Ypres we can fine tune things and get us ready for the Tarmac and go forward.”


Posted: October 10, 2018 6:07 AM

1. Matt Edwards (GBR) / Darren Garrod (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 – 1:13:53.8
2. Rhys Yates (GBR) / Elliott Edmondson (GBR) Skoda Fabia R5 +20.5s
3. Keith Cronin (IRL) / Mikie Galvin (IRL) Hyundai i20 R5 +21.8s
4. Marty McCormack (GBR) / David Moynihan (IRL) Skoda Fabia R5 +1:02.8s
5. Jonny Greer (GBR) / Kirsty Riddick (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +1:29.8s
6. Alex Laffey (GBR) / Patrick Walsh (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +5:18.7s
7. Lawrence Whyte (GBR) / Stuart Louden (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +5:58.7s
8. Thomas Preston (GBR) / Max Freeman (GBR) Skoda Fabia R5 +6:06.8s
9. Sasha Kakad (GBR) / James Aldridge (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +6:12.6s
10. Steve Røkland (NOR) / Tom Woodburn (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2 +8:28.3s

Leaders After:
SS1-2 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Hyundai i20 R5)
SS3-8 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)

Stage Winners:
SS1 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Hyundai i20 R5)
SS2 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS3 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS4 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Hyundai i20 R5)
SS5 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS6 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS7 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS8 Rhys Yates/Elliott Edmondson (Skoda Fabia R5)


Posted: March 22, 2018 4:08 PM

The organisors of the Pirelli International Rally have come up with a unique and very inviting offer to contestants doing the British Historic Rally Championship, Motoscope Northern Historic Championship and the Rally2 Series all of whom run in the first part of the Carlisle based event and will finish around mid day.

The Pirelli organisors are offering all the above crews the chance to stay on, after their main event has concluded and sample another blast through Kielder, either in the NatB 5 event, which offers 56 miles of stages, or the NatB2 which comprises 26 miles. These run after the main BRC event which gives crews ample time to leave the Carlisle finish and get back up to Kielder in time to start either event and potentially enjoy up to 100 miles of classic Kielder stages.................all in just one day.

And if that wasn't an offer to whet the appetite, the Pirelli organisors have another juicy offer, the first 10 entries received for the Pirelli 100 Challenge ( Historic + NatB5 ) will go into the hat with a lucky winner receive their NatB5 entry fee back, that's right, the opportunity is there to do 56 stage miles absolutely free !!!!

Entries Received

Posted: March 22, 2018 4:06 PM

On Line Entry / Regulations / Rally Guide / Event Website / Details

Posted: December 4, 2017 11:31 AM

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