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Rally North Wales - (Sat) 30 Mar 19

Posted: March 27, 2019 12:35 PM - 2373 Hits

Round 1 - 2019 Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship
Counting Round - 2019 Rally2 Championship
Round 2 - 2019 Welsh Rally Championship

Stellar entry lines up for Rally North Wales

Posted: March 27, 2019 12:35 PM

The North Wales Rally Services - Rally North Wales has attracted yet another bumper entry for the 30th March event, as 120 crews from across the UK will assemble in Dolgellau on Saturday.

Attracting top line championships to the popular forest stage rally in the heart of Wales, the Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire Car Club organised event takes place in stages made famous by the World Rally Championship qualifier, Wales Rally GB.

The Dyfi and Gartheiniog forest complexes will house the eight stages during the day, with competitors from the Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship, Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship, Race and Rally - Rally2 Championship and ANWCC Forest Rally Championship all bidding for glory in the iconic rallying stages. The event will also be home to the David Stokes Historic Challenge, remembering the likeable driver who passed away in 2016.

In a shift to the format from 2018, the two-wheel-drive crews will run in a reverse seeded format and will be followed by the four-wheel-drive brigade with effectively one field passing through the stages. Whilst the National A section of the rally will cater mainly for the Historic contingent, the National B category will be fought between the turbocharged heavy hitters and remaining two-wheel-drive contenders.

Starting from Gwyndaf Evans Motors in the town on Saturday morning with number one on the door will be 2018 Historic winners Nick Elliott and Dave Price in their Ford Escort Mk2. Looking to repeat their success of last year, they will also be aiming for a perfect start to their British Historic Rally Championship campaign.

Hoping to uproot them however, will be local ace Osian Pryce who once again makes a one-off outing in a Ford Escort to bid for glory in his own backyard. The Dolgellau man, co-driven by Dale Furniss was on track for a rally win last year before a puncture set him back. They will start second on the road.

Northern Irishman Marty McCormack heads across the water fresh from his British Championship success in West Cork. Dovetailing his historic season with his Skoda Fabia R5 outings, McCormack and Shropshire man Phil Clarke will be looking for a win in Wales in their Escort MK2 and start at car three.

Ludlow men Joe Price and Chris Brooks start with four on the door in their MK2 Escort, followed by North-Wales duo Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall who make the switch from a historic Hillman Avenger to their modified Ford Escort Mk2 in 2019, rounding off the top five. Rob Smith, Alan Walker, Steve Bennett, Simon Webster and event supporter Rudi Lancaster round out the top ten, all driving Ford Escorts.

In fact, such is the popularity of the format for this year’s event, you have to look outside of the top thirty to find a non-Ford Escort

Breaking the mould will be the four-wheel-drive event where 15 crews will aim for National B honours. Last years winners Dylan Davies and Llion Williams return at the head of the field but behind the wheel of a brand-new Skoda Fabia, built by the Teg Sport outfit in Cumbria. A new “proto” style machine will see its maiden outing on gravel with the Lampeter man in charge. Matt Hirst and Declan Dear will be aiming for another podium result on the event to repeat last year’s success in their Mitsubishi Evo IX.

Scottish Rally Championship regular Freddie Milne with current British Rally Championship leading co-driver Patrick Walsh alongside will make the trip to Dolgellau in their new Mitsubishi Evo IX. Although seeded outside of the top three, Marty McKenna makes the trip over from Omagh in his Ford Fiesta WRC to sample the Welsh forests with Martin Brady alongside.

There will be plenty of chances for eager fans to catch the action with the first car leaving the ceremonial start in Dolgellau at 08:00 on Saturday morning.

Spectator areas in the Geoff Jones Motorsport Big Ray stage offer two chances to see the action at 09:15 and 13:10, with the G&M Pryce Gartheiniog stage, also running twice at 10:00 and 13:50. Service will take place from 10:45 at the Farmers Market in the town with the ceremonial finish and champagne celebrations getting underway at around 14:40 back at Gwyndaf Evans Motors.

North Wales start for 2019 BHRC

Posted: March 27, 2019 12:27 PM

The 2019 FUCHS LUBRICANTS Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship will get off to a spectacular start on Rally North Wales on Saturday, March 30.

A stellar entry of historic cars spanning the 1960s and 1970s will tackle classic Welsh forest stages in the first of the seven-round calendar, which includes five gravel rallies and two asphalt events. As well as an on-going TV package, the championship will make extensive use of social media channels with a particular focus on Facebook and YouTube, including live Facebook coverage.

All edits will be published through the championship and Special Stage Facebook pages. In addition, the championship will feature regularly on Special Stage Weekly, the TV programme available on Front Runner, Sky Channel 468 and Freesat Channel 250.

As well as being the first of seven BHRC rounds, Rally North Wales is also the first round of BHRC2 supported by Sherwood Engines, which puts the emphasis on the Category 1 (pre-1968) and up to 1600cc cars in the championship, and the first round of the BHRC Forest Challenge, supported by Rally and Competition Equipment.

The last car on the road of the two-wheel-drive section of the rally will be the Ford Escort Mk2 of Nick Elliott and Dave Price and they will fly over stages they know well. A BHRC crown is a notable gap in Elliott’s rallying achievements and a strong result this weekend could set him up for a serious title challenge. His chief rivals include local star Osian Pryce, though the WRC hopeful is unlikely to be a BHRC contender in this one-off outing, Irish ace Marty McCormack and Ludlow star Joe Price. Of course, all of them will be in Ford Escort Mk2s and they head a field that is packed with quality.

Drivers like Alan Walker, Simon Webster, Rudi Lancaster will be chasing for a top three finish and watch out, too, for the returning Rob Smith as well as Ben Friend who steps up to BDG power and should be very rapid. With Friend moving up, the Pinto-powered Escorts in Class D3 should be headed by Josh Browne, while the Talbot Sunbeam of David Hopkins will set the mark in class D2.

Category 2 is for the cars produced between 1968 and 1974 and is headed by welcome returnee Stanley Orr in his very quick Escort Mk1. After a couple of seasons away, the Northern Irishman is back for another crack at the BHRC and will be tough to beat in the Category as he also chases a strong overall result. Leading the pursuit of Orr will be John Perrott, who is back with his Escort Mk1 after a couple of seasons out of rallying. Warren Philliskirk, Chris Skill, BHRC newcomer Gary Smith and Andrew Stokes are more strong Category 2 contenders. Simon Pickering (Escort Mk1) should set the mark in class C3 for the Pinto-engined cars, while the 1600cc ranks are topped by the new pairing of Rory McCann and Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger).

Finally, the incredible Bob Bean tops Category 1 in his Lotus Cortina with Malcolm Smithson back from a brief retirement to read the route notes. Bob marked his 81st birthday earlier this month and the number on the side of the Cortina will celebrate that fact!

Seeded Entry List

Posted: March 25, 2019 7:23 AM

Entries Received / On Line Entry / Regulations / Event Website

Posted: February 7, 2019 4:10 PM

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