Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship  News


2017


12th September 2017: Rally Isle of Man preview.

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 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 their 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.


2nd August 2017: Pritchard wins on Epynt.

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke took an important victory in round six of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Harry Flatters Rally on Epynt (Sunday 30 July).

The result gives Pritchard and Clarke a shot at a third title if they can take maximum points from the remaining three rounds. Championship leaders Nick Elliott and Dave Price were edged back to fourth on the asphalt event by Rob Smith/Alun Cook and Neil Williams/Sion Jones after a tremendous four-way battle of Ford Escort Mk2s. Read the full report here.

The annual charge over the demanding Epynt ranges was a very well-received event and the crews enjoyed five long stages, each of around 14 miles. The Brecon Motor Club rally ran slickly all day and the serious rain held off until crews were back in Brecon for the finish.

Pritchard was on the wrong tyres for the opening stage and dropped 17s as a result. Meanwhile, Elliott took the lead from Williams and Smith but a spin on the second stage cost Elliott a few seconds and it was Smith who went narrowly ahead of Williams. However a heavy landing near the start of the stage left Smith contending with a bent steering rack. After a precautionary gearbox change following SS2, Pritchard really attacked on the third test and went nine seconds faster than anyone to take a three-second lead.

The fourth stage was a repeat of SS3 running from east to west across the ranges and Pritchard took another eight seconds from his rivals and, even though Smith topped the final test by three seconds, Pritchard had done enough to secure his first BHRC win of the season. Second place was only settled on the final stage when Smith’s attack turned a one-second advantage for Williams into a five-second deficit, while Elliott was close behind in fourth.

Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver were a minute further back as the best of the rest, while Tim Freeman/Paul Williams beat Simon Webster/Jez Rogers by just a second in a close contest further down the overall top 10.

Into eighth in the BHRC ranks went Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance after a trying opening stage when a brand new rev limiter refused to allow their Escort Mk2 to run at more than 6000rpm. Phil and Mick Squires had a good run to ninth while first in the Capital Construction Category 2 was the Escort Mk1 of Andrew Stokes and Adrian McNally. The final stage of the rally was named in honour of Andrew’s late brother David, as the 2015 Harry Flatters was his final rally.

Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins ran out of suitable tyres for their Escort Mk1 on SS4 and dropped time, to finish a frustrating 13s down on Category 2 rival Stokes, while Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons struggled through the first two stages with a chronic misfire and lost around five minutes as a result. Leading the 1600cc cars in Category 2 was the Escort Mk1 of John Williams/Gethin Sollis while the Vintage Car Radiator Co Category 1 was again won by the Mini Cooper of Phil Harris and Richard Suter. A fifth category win from five starts means that Harris and Suter are now secure as Category 2 champions.

Provisional championship points after round 6 of 9:                          

1 Nick Elliott/Dave Price             161

2 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke      151

3 Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver     105

Follow this link here to see the images from the weekend.


3rd July 2017:  Smith tops Mintex MSA BHRC in Ireland 

Rob Smith and Alun Cook took top honours in round five of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Trim-based ALMC Stages in Ireland (Sunday 2 July). Also the award winners have been announced for the ALMC stages. 

The championship’s first visit to the Republic of Ireland for at least 15 years marked the start a run of four asphalt rallies as the schedule heads into the second half of the season. Smith, now an established asphalt ace, joined the regular contenders for the first time this season in his immaculate RSR-prepared Ford Escort Mk2 and the Towcester-based driver came away with maximum points.

 However, for leading season-long championship contenders Nick Elliott/Dave Price and Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke it was an unfruitful trip across the water. Neither crew finished the rally and there was particular disappointment for Pritchard when distributor failure put him out when leading. The result means no change at the top of the championship leader board, with Elliott retaining a 20-point margin. Pritchard had hoped to pull back some points on the asphalt event, but will now try and do that on round six, the Harry Flatters Rally on Epynt (Sunday 30 July).

“It was a great event with some amazing stages”,  said Pritchard. "The Viking Motorsport car was a pleasure to drive and we were setting top times against the modern cars.”

Leading the chase of Smith in the final result was Northern Irish crew Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1), after beating Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Escort Mk2) by less than four seconds. Orr was only a minute down on Smith after more than an hour of rallying and had to keep pushing hard to fend off the charging Lancaster. Tim Freeman and Paul Williams were not far adrift in fourth place in their Ford Escort Mk2, while Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins were classified fifth despite a lengthy delay. 

Provisional championship points after round 5 of 9:                  

1 Nick Elliott/Dave Price             130

2 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke       110

3 Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons       70    

Award Winners for ALMC Stages.

The special award winners from the fifth round of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the ALMC Stages (Sunday 2 July) have also now been announced; and they are as follows...

Rob Smith and Alun Cook, the top BHRC finishers on the event, collected the award for the "Best Improvement on Seeding", which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex.

The "Spirit of the Rally" product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Stanley Orr, who came back into the championship strongly after some early season car problems. The Northern Irish driver was the leading challenger to BHRC winner Rob Smith by the end of the rally.

Finally, Rudi Lancaster won the "Hard Charger" award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. With co-driver Guy Weaver, the Devon driver had another attacking drive to finish third among the BHRC contenders and within four seconds of the runner-up position.
The short preview film can be watched by clicking on the image.


6th June 2017: Elliott's four tops in Mintex MSA BHRC

Nick Elliott and Dave Price made it four wins from four rallies in the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship on Saturday's Severn Valley Stages (3 June).

6th June 2017: BHRC Severn Valley award winners announced

 The special award winners from the fourth round of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 3 June) have been announced. 6th June 2017: Elliott makes it four in a row, continued...

The Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished with a winning margin of just five seconds over defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke after a fierce battle on dry and fast Welsh forest stages. Once again, other BHRC category wins went to Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper) and Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort Mk1). The event was very well-received by crews with much positive feedback on stage conditions.

Just as on the preceding Pirelli Historic Rally, it was incredibly close between Elliott and Pritchard right from the start. Over the first three stages in Cefn, Crychan and Gwibedog, Pritchard went ahead by just two seconds. Then in Radnor, Elliott made a really big push on the fast and flowing stage to earn an eight-second lead for the second run of Cefn, Crychan and Gwibedog. Pritchard pushed again on the final loop to reduce the gap to only five seconds, but Elliott completed a quartet of 2017 wins.

Steve Bennett and Osian Owen had a good, clear run to take the final step on the podium, while Simon Webster and Jez Rogers scored a fine fourth, but Webster was still gobsmacked by Elliott's pace in Radnor. Another strong run netted fifth overall for Tim Freeman and Paul Williams, while Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons were stars with sixth place using only Pinto power as they won Class D3 over an attacking performance by Rex Ireland and Adrian Scadding.

 Top points in the Capital Construction Category 2 went to Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins but it was a troubled end to the rally for Jobson with a carburettor-induced misfire and a trip into a ditch on the final loop. Class C2 winners were Eliot Retallick and Tim Tugwell with another mighty charge in their Hillman Avenger as Stuart Cariss/Linda Cariss and Mal Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh led the chase. Like several crews, Cariss and Bayliss were held up by an accident in Radnor for one of the modern cars and took a notional time for the stage.

 More notable performances inside the overall top 10 included a really good run for Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance, while rallying returnee Roger Chilman showed very good pace on his historic Escort Mk2 debut with Iestyn Williams alongside and but for a one-minute road penalty would have been fifth.

 Phil Harris/Richard Suter overcame the loss of first gear and early oil pressure worries to win the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 again in their Mini Cooper, while the unluckiest crew of the day were Aziz Tejpar and Steve Davey who suffered head-gasket failure on their Escort Mk1 on the run out to the first stage.


2nd May 2017: - Elliott makes it three from three 

Nick Elliott and Dave Price continued their impressive form in the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship with a third win in a row on the Pirelli Historic Rally (29 April).

The Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished with a winning margin of just 6.5 seconds over defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke after a day-long tussle in dry and dusty conditions in Kielder forest. Other category wins went to Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper) and Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort Mk1).

The fast and flowing Kielder stages were in fine condition and the rally format of running the historic and two-wheel drive cars first on the road for single usage of the stages drew widespread acclaim from the competitors.

Just four long stages were needed to cover the competitive distance and Elliott, despite running first on the road, put down a marker on the opening 10.47-mile Whitesike test. Elliott took an immediate 5s lead over Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley, with Pritchard/Clarke a further 5s down.

Next came more than 15 miles in Black Fell and Pritchard showed tremendous form to be just 0.8s down on Elliott after more than 15 minutes of competition. After service came the 14.69-mile Clintburn stage and once again there was very little between the top two as Elliott added only 1.5s to his advantage. Going into the deciding nine miles of Claver Hill Elliott's lead was just over 12 seconds and it was all to play for. Pritchard really attached and pulled back 5.9s but it was not quite enough and Elliott was confirmed as winner with a winning margin of just 6.5s at the conclusion of a fine contest between two drivers at the top of their game. Elliott/Price won Category 3 while Pritchard/Clarke headed Category K.

Little more than a minute down on the leading pair was a great result for Simon Webster/Jez Rogers, while Steve Bennett and Osian Owen took fourth on their first rally together. Other Category 3 class winners included Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) who again won D3 as well as finishing fifth in the category.

Orr/McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1) set the early pace in the Capital Construction Category 2 but went out with broken steering on stage 2 and so it was local driver Phil Jobson and his Welsh co-driver Arwel Jenkins who won the category after rivals Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson took a stage maximum in Clintburn.

In Class C2 Elliot Retallick and Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger) took another class win, while in the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, the Mini Cooper of Phil Harris and Richard Suter maintained a perfect record for 2017 with their only concern being a puncture towards the end of the opening stage.


3rd April 2017: Elliott takes second win. 

Nick Elliott and Dave Price made it two wins from two rounds in the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship with a resounding victory on the historic section of Rally North Wales (Saturday 1 April).

The Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished with a winning margin of 1 minute 21 seconds over defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke after 45 miles of prime Welsh forest stages. Other category wins went to Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper) and Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1). Fast, flowing stages in excellent conditions made this a very popular event with all the historic crews, although it was wet, slippery and misty at times the opening 11-miler in Gartheiniog. But that didn't bother Elliott who attacked the stage in style to open an immediate and decisive lead.

Pritchard struggled to find a rhythm and dropped to third behind Joe Price/Chris Brooks. With a 29s deficit to Elliott at main service, Price led the chase but had a moment on the second Gartheiniog stage and parked his Escort on its side and out of the rally.

Pritchard/Clarke re-took second place but were so nearly caught on the final Dyfi stage when Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver trimmed the gap to a single second in the fight for the runner-up position. Elliott/Price won Category 3 while Pritchard/Clarke headed Category K.

Other Category 3 class winners, following strong performances, were Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) in D3 and David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot) in D2.

Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley set the pace in the Capital Construction Category 2 as Orr gained useful seat time in his BDA-powered Escort Mk1. They emerged clear winners ahead of good runs for Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins and Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson.

In Class C2 it was another battle of the Hillman Avengers as Elliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell headed Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally in the BHRC order. Simon Pickering and Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1) claimed class C3, just as they did on the Red Kite. 

In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, the Mini Cooper of Phil Harris/Richard Suter headed the Ford Cortina GT of Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick. Both crews enjoyed the road conditions, although Harris had a big scare when he nearly put the Mini off the road.

Leading positions:

Category 1

1 Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper)

2 Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick (Ford Cortina GT)

 Category 2

1 Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley (Ford Escort Mk1)

2 Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort Mk1)

3 Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson (Ford Escort Mk1)

4 Eliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger)

5 Jeremy Easson/Mike Reynolds (Datsun 240Z)

 Category K and Category 3

1 Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)

2 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)

3 Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk2)

4 Tim Freeman/Paul Williams (Ford Escort Mk2)

5 Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2)

 Category 4

1 Jake Scannell/Adrian Stevens (Toyota Corolla)

 Class winners:

Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper); Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick (Ford Cortina GT); Retallick/Tugwell; Simon Pickering/Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1); Orr/McAuley; David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot); Friend/Simmons; Elliott/Price; Pritchard/Clarke; Jake Scannell/Adrian Stevens (Toyota Corolla).

Stage winners:

Elliott (SS1 & SS6)

 Rally North Wales, which was backed by North Wales Rally Services, was organised by the Wolverhampton and South Staffs Car Club. Full results are here: Visit the event photo gallery here.


6th April 2017: Award winners for Rally North wales announced.

For the second event running, David Hopkins and Tony Vart collected the award for the "Best Improvement on Seeding", which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. They started 31st among the historic crews but made tremendous progress to finish a class-winning 18th in the historic field.

 The "Spirit of the Rally" product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Jake Scannell and Adrian Stevens, who made their BHRC debut in their Category 4 Toyota Corolla. Despite losing a lot of time in SS4 and SS5 following a roll, they got going again and set a representative time in the final stage on their way to a class victory. The car was a little battered, but still running strongly at the finish.

 Finally, Nick Elliott won the "Hard Charger" award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. His attack on the opening stage in Gartheiniog drew rave reviews from onlookers and only the modern R5 cars of Osian Pryce and Euan Thorburn were quicker than Elliott through the stage, such was his pace. A brief film report of the historic action from the Red Kite Stages is now available, here.


24th February 2017: Red Kite award winners announced.

David Hopkins and Tony Vart collected the award for the "Best Improvement on Seeding", which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. They had a great run in their 1600cc Sunbeam Talbot to win class D2 as they finally overcame engine dramas that have dogged their progress for 18 months. 

The "Spirit of the Rally" product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Ben Friend, Cliffy Simmons and their team after a tremendous effort to get their new car ready for its debut rally. They had a scare when the throttle stuck open as they prepared to leave first service, but the Frank Richer team soon had the problem sorted and the car ran faultlessly otherwise. 

Finally, Eliot Retallick won the "Hard Charger" award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. He took his Hillman Avenger to overall Category 2 victory after a day-long battle with the similar car of Andrew Stokes.

A brief film report of the historic action from the Red Kite Stages is now available here.


20th February 2017 Elliott takes opening round continued...

Nick Elliott and Dave Price opened their bid for the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship in the best possible style on the opening round, Sunday's Red Kite Stages.  

The Cheltenham Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished the day with a winning margin of 35 seconds over the defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke, after 45-miles of classic Welsh stages on the Llandovery-based event.

As the BHRC started its third season under the management of the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club, a top quality entry delivered a tremendous spectacle over six stages, five on the gravel roads in the Epynt region and one in Caeo forest.

Elliott/Price won Category 3 while Pritchard/Clarke headed Category K at the start of what is likely to a fierce championship battle. Joe Price/Chris Brooks should have made it a three-way lead contest, but were forced out by diff failure in the second stage. Other Category 3 class winners were Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) in D3 and David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot) in D2.

Stanley Orr/Stephen McAuley set the early pace in the Capital Construction Category 2 as Orr stepped up to BDA power in his Escort Mk1, but rear suspension problems that had dogged their progress finally put them out in Crychan. Instead, the category was a battle of the Hillman Avengers as Elliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell headed Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally after a day-long contest. Simon Pickering and Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1) were third and claimed class C3.

In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, the Mini Cooper of Phil Harris/Richard Suter saw off the Ford Cortina GT of Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick. Like most of the crews, Harris reported excellent stages on an event that was extremely well organised by the team from Amman and District Motor Club.

Leading positions:

Category 1

1 Phil Harris/Richard Suter (Mini Cooper)

2 Mike Barratt/Emily Retallick (Ford Cortina GT)

Category 2

1. Eliot Retallick/Tim Tugwell (Hillman Avenger)

2. Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally (Hillman Avenger)

3. Simon Pickering/Paul Barbet (Ford Escort Mk1)

4. Aziz Tejpar/Steve Davey (Ford Escort Mk1)

5. Ian Beveridge/Paul Price (Toyota Corolla)

Category K and Category 3

1. Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)

2. Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)

3. Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk2)

4. Simon Webster/Jez Rogers (Ford Escort Mk2)

5. Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2)

Class winners:

Harris/Suter (B2); Barratt/Retallick (B3); Retallick/Tugwell (C2); Pickering/Barbet (C3); David Hopkins/Tony Vart (Sunbeam Talbot - D2); Friend/Simmons (D3); Elliott/Price (D5); Pritchard/Clarke (K2).

Stage winners:

Elliott (SS1, SS2, SS3 and SS4)

Pritchard (SS4 and SS6)

Visit the gallery here.



13th February 2017: Pirelli announces BHRC prize fund

 Pirelli has announced an £8000 prize package for this year’s Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

 Pirelli will present vouchers for £500, £300 and £200 for the first three overall registered contenders on each of the eight rounds of the championship. The vouchers will be redeemable against Pirelli tyres.

 The award scheme will be open to registered BHRC contenders who commit to running Pirelli tyres on all rounds of the 2017 championship and display Pirelli logos on all four corners of the car. Crews will also be required to wear Pirelli podium caps and Pirelli bobble hats when appropriate.

Championship manager Colin Heppenstall had this to say about the prize;

 “This is a tremendous boost for the BHRC and we are very grateful to Pirelli for making this award scheme possible”.



2016


16th November 2016:Changes to under-body protection for historic cars

Important changes have been made to MSA regulations for under-body protection on historic rally cars following representation from the organisers of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

With effect from 1 January 2017, the limitation on material permitted to be used to protect the underside of historic cars on special stage rallies has been eased. The revised regulation allows for the use of any material of period specification, which removes the previous limitation of fibreglass and opens up the option to use composite material.

The proposal came from discussions within the BHRC management team from the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club and is seen as a move to help keep historic cars competing on gravel rallies.

The ruling from the MSA Historic Committee is as follows:

49.11.4. Any underbody protection must be of period specification. Additionally a guard, moulded closely to the vehicle floor pan, fixed by bolting and/or adhesive may be fitted. It must not extend beyond the front and rear axle centre lines and the outer 100mm on each side must not cover the vertical section of the outer sills.

Reason: To remove the restriction on materials used for underbody protection to allow Historic Stage Rally vehicles to use protection that will be effective.


24th October 2016: BHRC and RAC winners celebrated

The award winners for the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the Fuchs Lubricants R.A.C. Historic Asphalt Rally Championship were celebrated at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield on Saturday (22 October).

Around 140 competitors and their guests were on hand to cheer the major winners at the end of a fine season of historic rallying. It was the second year that the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club has promoted the MSA BHRC under a five-year contract.

The overall champions for the BHRC were Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke and they received their awards from Simon Blunt, General Secretary of the MSA. Meanwhile, Roger Matthews picked up the major R.A.C. Championship award.

Clarke also collected the BHRC ‘over 55 co-driver’ award, while Bob Gibbons took the ‘over 55 driver’ award. Ben Friend won the ‘under 25 driver award’ and Siobhan Pugh won the ‘under 25 co-driver’ award. Nick Elliott won the Welsh Challenge, Shawn Rayner clinched the Northern Challenge and Warren Philliskirk won the Holton Homes Clubmans Challenge.

The award for the most entertaining driver went to Paul Barrett who, along with co-driver Dai Roberts, also won the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3. Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris won the Capital Construction Category 2 and Bob and Dale Gibbons won the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 title.


4th October 2016: BHRC Trackrod award winners announced

The special award winners from the ninth and final round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Trackrod Historic Cup (30 September/1 October) have been announced.

Shawn Rayner and Declan Dear collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. They started 16th historic on the road and finished sixth on their way to clinching class D3 in the championship.

The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Bob Bean and Captain Thompson, winners of Category 1 in Bean’s Lotus Cortina. The 78-year-old driver has been rallying in the Yorkshire forests for more than half a century and is already planning his 2017 BHRC campaign.

Finally, Adam Milner won the ‘Hard Charger’ award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. He finished an incredible second overall BHRC and first in Category 2 in his 1600cc Ford Escort Mk1.



27th September 2016: Season finale all set for a nail biting finish!

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke won the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship with a steady run through the Yorkshire forests on the Trackrod Historic Cup (30 September/1 October).

While Steve Bennett and Paul Spooner were top BHRC finishers after 55 fast stage miles in warm sunshine, Pritchard and Clarke did more than enough to become only the second crew to retain the BHRC crown.

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke head to Yorkshire this weekend for the Trackrod Historic Cup (30 September/1 October) with a strong chance of retaining the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship title.

Following a perfect score on the Isle of Man, Pritchard and Clarke only have to finish in order to secure back-to-back titles in their Ford Escort Mk2. Major rival Paul Barrett will sit at home in Northern Ireland waiting to see if Pritchard hits problems. If the defending champion fails to finish, Barrett will be champion. After three non-finishes in a row mid-season, Pritchard battled back into contention for the title with a double victory on the Isle of Man and is now in a strong position heading for the Yorkshire forests. With class and category points, as well as bonus start points, Pritchard and Clarke will be champions simply by finishing the rally. However, Pritchard knows only too well that rallying can be full of surprises and a year ago, with the title secure, he rolled out of the Trackrod in the Dalby stage.

Pritchard and Clarke, running their Ford Escort Mk2 in the Holton Homes Category K, need to resist getting involved in a battle for victory on the rally and that could boost the chances of a landmark BHRC victory for the Fiat 131 of Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis. This is very much home ground for the project and a first win at this level is clearly within reach.

Lining up against the Fiat in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3 are the rapid Escort Mk2s of Steve Bennett/Paul Spooner and Simon Webster/Jez Rogers. Both crews showed exceptional pace on the famous Yorkshire stages a year ago. Leading the chase of the BDG-powered cars will be the top Pinto-engined Escorts of Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons and Shawn Rayner/Declan Dear from class D3. Chris Skill and Tom Jordan will set a cracking pace in class D2 in their giant-killing 1600cc Escort Mk2.

However, the 1600cc car best placed to cause a major stir is the Escort Mk1 of Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis, back in action after crashing out of the Severn Valley Stages in June. They will be first on the road among the contenders in the Capital Construction Category 2 and will set a stunning pace on home ground despite the car’s lack of power for the fast Yorkshire stages.

Another local crew, Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson, top the class C5 entry on their home event with category opposition from Jeremy Easson/Mike Reynolds (Datsun 240Z), Mark Tugwell/Steve Pugh (Escort Mk1), Aziz Tejpar/Alister Crook (Escort Mk1) and Terry Cree/Richard Shores (BMW 2002).

Finally, Bob Bean and Captain Thompson (Ford Lotus Cortina) and Phil Harris/Paul Kendrick (Mini Cooper) contest the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1. Sadly, the number of pre-1968 cars competing on gravel has now hit an all-time low due to the changes to event running order.

The Trackrod Historic Cup is based at Scampston Hall near Malton with scrutineering on Friday afternoon followed by the rally start at 7pm and one 10-mile special stage. The rally resumes at 9.30am on Saturday and the crews will return to Scampston from around 3.15pm.

The Trackrod Historic Cup is organised by the Trackrod Motor Club. For more details about the event please visit www.trackrodmotorclub.co.uk.


19th September 2016: Pritchard Win ensures Championship goes to the wire

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke scored a vital double win in the Isle of Man Historic Rally (15-17 September), the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

During the fabulous event run in warm sunshine over the island’s sensational closed roads, Pritchard and Clarke scooped a perfect score to ensure that the overall title will only be decided at the final round, the Trackrod Historic Cup (30 September/1 October). After two and a half days of flat-out asphalt rallying, Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris were confirmed as champions in the Capital Construction Category 2 and Bob and Dale Gibbons secured the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 title after a tremendous performance in their Ford Cortina Mk2

This was never an easy result for Pritchard’s Ford Escort Mk2 as a concerted attack from Ryan Barrett and Paul McCann left the margin at just 10 seconds with two stages to run as Barrett clawed back into contention after collecting 40s of road penalties with ignition dramas. Sadly, a loss of oil pressure ended their rally with only a handful of miles to run. “It’s been a perfect weekend,” said Pritchard who had to claim two good points’ scores to keep his hopes alive of retaining the BHRC crown.

Another star performance came from Paul Barrett, elder brother of Ryan, and co-driver Dai Roberts in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2 to finish second BHRC contenders. “It’s a brilliant rally and the Pinto won’t go any harder,” said Barrett, who is now the main rival for Pritchard heading for the Yorkshire showdown. Barrett also headed the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3, while Pritchard/Clarke topped the Holton Homes Category K.

Third BHRC finisher with a fine performance was the Escort Mk2 of Shawn Rayner/Declan Dear and it was a rewarding first Manx finish at the third attempt. Despite losing more than 10 minutes with a late trip into a ditch, Tysoe and Morris sealed the Capital Construction BHRC Category 2 victory in their Ford Escort Mk1, but title contenders Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver were a Friday casualty with two broken rockers in their Pinto engine.

Deserving Category 2 winners on the rally were Barry Jordan and James Gratton-Smith (Hillman Avenger) after a very strong run for the BRM-engined car. “The car has been mint,” reported Jordan. However, out of luck were Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins who went out with an accident on the final day.

The Gibbons father and son team had a great rally to take Category 1 in both the rally and the BHRC standings. The father and son team overcame a strong Category 1 field and ended the Cortina’s stage rallying career in fine style. Mike Barrett and Fiona Scarrett did well to record a good finish with second in Category 1 for their Ford Cortina Mk1 GT.

In Category 3, there were mixed fortunes among the Ford Escort Mk2 ranks and a cruel blow for the 1600cc car of Chris Skill/Tom Jordan when a broken rocker forced a late retirement after a dominant performance. Also destined not to reach the finish with engine dramas were Malcolm Rich/Ryland James and Daniel Jones/Gerwyn Barry.

Rudi Lancaster and George Gwynn got their rather battered Escort Mk2 to the finish, but lost a lot of time after hitting a chicane on Thursday evening. Similarly, Phil and Mick Squires drove an attacking rally in their freshly-built Escort Mk2 but dropped a lot of time on the final stage when the engine cut out.

Sixth BHRC crew home was a great result for Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance on their island debut despite some car problems including a cracked fuel tank. They finished just ahead of a three-way battle between the Vauxhall Chevette of Stuart and Jack Anderson and the Escort Mk2s of Mike Tomkinson/Shaun Whitehurst and Simon and Alister Crook. For the two Escort crews, a strong finish on their first attempt at the event was just reward in this most challenging rally on the calendar.


23rd August 2016: Elliott takes last stage BHRC victory

Nick Elliott and Dave Price took a final stage victory on the Red Dragon Historic Rally (Saturday 20 August), the sixth round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

On a day of heavy rain and incredibly slippery conditions in Walters Arena, Elliott fought back from a time-consuming puncture on stage three and dived ahead when leaders Joe Price and Chris Brooks slid out of the rally on the final stage. However, it was very close for Elliott as Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke finished only three seconds behind.

The event ran over a shortened 35-stage mile route in the Walters Arena complex event due to the on-going issues over the cost of access to the forests managed by Natural Resource Wales. Heavy rain on Friday night and through Saturday ensured crews faced the toughest conditions many of them had ever competed in.

Elliott set a fierce pace over the opening stage, reading the road conditions superbly to take an instant nine-second lead over Price. That margin doubled on the shorter stage two. When the opening stage was repeated as SS3, Elliott hit trouble with a front puncture early on and they battled through the stage, losing over a minute. They clawed a little time back on SS4, but were still 28s down on Price heading into the last stage, which linked the two stages together to make a 12-mile decider.

However, it was far from over and a particularly tricky corner caught out Price and he slid off the road and out of the rally. Damage was limited to one corner of the Escort, but they were out of the rally and a surprised Elliott took an unexpected victory as well as maximum points in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

However, it was very close for Elliott as Pritchard pulled back six seconds on the last stage to finish only three seconds behind. “The first two stages were absolutely awful,” said Pritchard. “We were just passengers and a finish was our main target.” Importantly, after three non-finishes, it was a result that keeps their title hopes alive.

Third overall was a very good result for Steve Bennett and Paul Spooner after a trouble-free run in the Dave Jenkins-prepared Escort. “I certainly found out how to drive an Escort sideways,” said Bennett. Meanwhile Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons scooped a D3 class-winning fourth overall as the first Pinto-powered finisher in their Escort Mk2. “It’s rewarding to be at the finish with no damage,” said Friend.

Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris (Ford Escort Mk1) took another Capital Construction Category 2 victory after a tremendous performance, though Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson were only 22s down at the finish. “That’s one of the most challenging events I’ve ever done,” said Tysoe. Philliskirk agreed about the conditions: “I had to work hard for that,” said the Yorkshireman. A commendable performance from Mike Tomkinson and Shaun Whitehurst pushed their Escort Mk2 up to seventh overall and one of their best BHRC results to date. 

Bob and Dale Gibbons won the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 after a strong run in their Ford Cortina Mk2 while Pritchard/Clarke took maximum points in the Holton Homes Category K. Notable class winners on a very challenging day included Peter Smith/Alun Cook (Opel Ascona) and Guy Anderson/Steven Davey (Sunbeam Lotus). However, it was a difficult day for Anderson as the top of a spark plug took out a piston and they reached the finish with the oil warning light on.

Husband and wife Stuart and Linda Cariss took class C2 in their 1600cc Escort Mk1 despite a last stage spin and stall. They were still ahead of the similar car of Mal Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh, which was struggling as the muddy condition sapped power from the engine.


14th August 2016: Red Dragon next for BHRC contenders

The 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship heads to South Wales for round six, the Red Dragon Rally on Saturday 20 August.

After five rounds, Irish ace Paul Barrett heads the overall points’ table after a fabulous campaign in his Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk2. However, Barrett is not entered at the time of writing and may be using this as one of his dropped scores as the championship will be decided on the best six scores from nine scoring rounds.

This is the first time that the Port Talbot Motor Club event has been a BHRC round and it has drawn a modest but strong entry. The recent issues over forestry charges have forced the organisers to base the event wholly within the Walters Arena complex and forests and the reduced special stage mileage means that some of the farther-travelled competitors have elected not to enter. However, the entry remains strong on quality.

For Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke, this really is a crunch event for their Ford Escort Mk2. They have failed to finish the last three events and know that, above all else, they must finish this rally if they are to get scores in six rounds for their title defence. They head the Holton Homes Category K for cars prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations

Nick Elliott and Dave Price are back in action after missing the recent Harry Flatters and head the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3 from fellow Escort Mk2 crew Joe Price and Chris Brooks. The pace of these two crews will be fierce and they will battle with Pritchard for overall historic victory.

However, Steve Bennett/Paul Spooner and Simon Webster/Jez Rogers are showing ever-increasing pace and could well be challenging the big three. Meanwhile, Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons have been mighty this season in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2 and will be battling with the more powerful cars. Category 3 variety includes the Sunbeam Lotus of Guy Anderson/Steven Davey and the Triumph TR7 V8 of David Kynaston/Andy Russell.

Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver are having a mighty season to head the Capital Construction Category 2 with their Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk1, but may miss this event and leave it open for a Yorkshire battle. Warren Philliskirk/Nigel Hutchinson (Ford Escort Mk1) and Peter Smith/Alun Cook (Opel Ascona) are the leading contenders, while in class C2 for the 1600cc cars there should be a contest between the Escort Mk1s of Stuart and Linda Cariss and Mal Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh.

In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, for the pre-1968 cars, the standard should be set by father and son Bob and Dale Gibbons in their Ford Cortina GT.


2nd August 2016: Harry Flatters Williams takes win..

Tyres seemed to be an issue on the opening stage over the Epynt ranges. Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke may have taken a 14 seconds lead over Williams in a similar Appendix K Escort Mk2, but Pritchard felt it could have been better. “It was okay but the tyres were too soft,” he said. Williams agreed: “The rear end was getting loose,” he said, despite having 13 seconds in hand over championship leaders and Severn Valley winners Paul Barrett and Dai Roberts (Ford Escort Mk2 Pinto). It was Barrett’s first time at Epynt: “It was all a bit new, I have some asphalt experience but not a lot,” he explained. Pirelli Historic Rally winners Joe Price and Chris Brooks struggled however. “We had a gear selection problem and couldn’t solve it,” said Price.

Pritchard had started the second stage with added confidence in the Holton Homes Category K for cars running to FIA regulations. “The harder tyres made it much better, we were going really well and then the engine let go,” he explained. Pritchard’s third retirement on the run left Williams with over a minute’s lead from Category 2 leaders Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris (Ford Escort Mk1). “I needed to be braver, but became smoother and didn’t give the car such a hard time,” said Tysoe on what would prove to be another very impressive performance.

Williams continued to build on his lead during the rest of the day to win by well over two minutes. But it was Barrett who upped his pace and clinched second overall and another class D3 victory in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3. “Pinto power wasn’t enough here, but it feels good that I have actually done it now. I would have been happy in the top five, so second is a bonus and I will be back here next year with more power,” said the BHRC points’ leader.

Third overall was Tysoe who had been disappointed not to have a duel with Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver (Escort Mk1 Pinto) for the Category 2 honours, after Orr’s Escort Mk1 went out with an electrical problem on the first stage. “I did push harder towards the end, but Epynt is such an awesome place,” said Tysoe.

After a spin on the opening stage Daniel Jones/Gerwyn Barry (Ford Escort Mk2) gradually worked up fourth overall and won class D5 on their return to competition, while Terry Brown and Den Golding retired their Escort. “We lost the rear brakes on stage two and then fifth gear,” Brown said shortly before leaving the fray. Rudi Lancaster and Kenny Owen spent most of the day ‘red lining it’, after the wrong diff left them running out of revs on their way to fifth.

Malcom Rich/Ryland James completed the top six and took second in class behind Williams in Category K. “It was my first time with the Escort on asphalt and my first time with a car on racers for 24 years,” Rich explained.

Having started the day as a possible winner Price finally finished third in class. “First the gears and then we had to stop and replace a plug lead on stage two, so it was third stage before we had a clear run,” he said. Chris Skill and Tom Jordan were also class winners with their class D2 Escort Mk2 after another giant-killing performance pushed the 1600cc car up into the top 10 overall.

In the Capital Construction Category 2 Tysoe went clear and with Orr and Phil Jobson/Arwel Jenkins out early on, from Ian Drummond/Hu Kent (Class C3) headed Malcolm Bayliss/Siobhan Pugh ( Class C2). “It was nice to be back but we had a nasty two wheeled moment over a hump bridge, which may not have turned out well,” said Drummond.

Paul Mankin and Desmond Bell were the top seeds in the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 but spent all day coping with fumes in their Porsche 911, which was back out on the stages after a lengthy sabbatical. “I don’t know if it was fuel or oil but we had to stop for a breather,” said Mankin.

Bob Bean and Malcolm Smithson (Lotus Cortina) went out on the first stage which left local experts Bob and Dale Gibbons (Cortina MK2 GT) with a day-long lead. “Apart from the front tyres on the first stage we never had a problem,” said Gibbons senior.

Philip Harris and Graham Wild (Mini Cooper) arrived at the finish of stage one in a cloud of oil smoke and went no further, which left Mankin second and Bob Seager/Simon Hannam (MG Midget) third in Category 1 on their first visit to Epynt.

The SGC Printing Harry Flatters Rally was organised by Brecon Motor Club.


25th July 2016: BHRC returns

Heading into the rally, defending champions Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke are badly in need of a strong result after sliding off the road on each of the two previous gravel rallies. They cannot afford another non-score as they bid to retain their title. However, in the Holton Homes Category K for cars prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations Pritchard faces a very big challenge in the form of Rob Smith and Alun Cook on their first championship event of the season.

Making a rare foray onto asphalt to continue a superb run of form in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3 are Joe Price and Chris Brooks in their Ford Escort Mk2. However, missing the event due to family commitments will be title contenders Nick Elliott and Dave Price.

Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver are having a mighty season in the Capital Construction Category 2 with their Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk1 and have already competed over Epynt this season. Key rivals to Orr include Simon Tysoe and Cliffy Simmons (Escort Mk1), who are right on the category pace.

In the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1, for the pre-1968 cars, the standard should be set by experienced Epynt competitor Bob Gibbons who has his son Dale co-driving in their Ford Cortina  GT. Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (Porsche 911)  and Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson (Lotus Cortina) will lead the chase of Gibbons.


9th June 2016: Award winners Announced Severn Valley Stages

BHRC Severn Valley award winners announced

The special award winners from the fourth round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 4 June) have been announced following the rally that also featured the fourth round of the Holton Homes Clubman’s Challenge.

9th June 2016:

The Holton Homes Clubman’s Challenge is for crews using a maximum of six tyres per rally. The top overall finishers from the Clubman’s Challenge field were Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons, who finished seventh overall in their Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk2. It was another tremendous performance from one of the youngest drivers in the championship. However, it was a close contest as only one place behind were James Potter and Bob Duck after their best result of the season so far.

Owain Lloyd and Peter Scott collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. This was by far and away their best performance to date as Lloyd builds his experience of rallying on gravel.

The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver who battled home in tenth place overall despite suffering three punctures during the day. They estimated that they had driven around 12 stages miles on punctures.

Finally, Rudi Lancaster won the ‘Hard Charger’ award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. He took his Escort Mk2 to a fine third overall and one of his best BHRC results to date, only 23s behind the winners.


6th June 2016: Barrett takes dramatic BHRC victory, continued

On a day of ever-changing fortunes in dry and dusty stages in the Epynt region, Barrett and Roberts swept ahead on the final stage of the rally to win in their Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk2. Rarely has a Pinto-powered car won overall in the BHRC and it was a fantastic performance from both crew members in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

However, for much of the day it was round three winners Joe Price and Chris Brooks who led the field with a mighty charge in their Escort Mk2 as they underlined their arrival among the BHRC elite. They were 26s up after four stages but it all went wrong for them in the penultimate stage when a clutch problem left their Escort Mk2 stuck in gear and they lost over three and a half minutes.

Instead, Nick Elliott and Dave Price took the lead by just five seconds going into the final Cefn stage but as Elliott finished the stage with a puncture Barrett set a searing pace to go five seconds faster than any other historic crew and win by five seconds. Only 23s back in third were Rudi Lancaster and George Gwynn. Despite aggravating a hand injury when the steering wheel kicked back, Lancaster had one of his best BHRC performances to date.

Fourth overall showed that Steve Bennett and Iain Tullie are close to joining the very top historic crews even though they battled brake problems all day and struggled through Radnor with only front brakes on their Escort Mk2.

The battle for the Capital Construction Category 2 was just as intense as the overall contest and finally resulted in a hard-earned victory for Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris (Ford Escort Mk1) after Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver had a torrid day in their Pinto-engined car and suffered three punctures and drove around 12 miles on flat tyres in total.

Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons, James Potter/Bob Duck and Shawn Rayner/Declan Dear all had strong rallies to take top 10 overall finishes, while the late retirement of Milner left the way open for Chris Skill and Tom Jordan to finish best of the 1600 crews in their Escort Mk2.

Among the other category winners were Bob Bean and Captain Thompson (Lotus Cortina) in the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 as father and son Bob and Dale Gibbons had a catalogue of dramas, notably over a very poorly gearbox. Terry Cree and Richard Shores made a late change of car to their Mini Cooper and won class B2 with second in the category.

Tom Coughtrie and Michael Gilbey won the Holton Homes Category K in their Ford Escort Mk2 to seal the co-driver’s birthday weekend celebrations. However, there was no time for celebration as he headed straight from the finish of the Severn Valley to contest a road rally that night.

Some fine performances went unrewarded on a day when the dust was a major factor. Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis set a stunning pace in their 1600cc cross-flow Escort Mk1 and set overall fastest time on the Gwibedog opener. Sadly, a probable top five finish went awry when the Escort slid off the road on the final stage when they were unsighted in dust.

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke, meanwhile, suffered their second character-building rally on the trot. The defending champion went out at the end of the Radnor stage where a notorious downhill right caught them out and the Escort was beached and out of the rally. Already out was the Fiat 131 of Matt Robinson/Sam Collis, which dropped off the road in the dust of Crychan.



26th May 2016: Severn Valley Next

Pritchard and Phil Clarke had a superb start to the season with wins on the two opening rallies, but slid off on an icy patch when they led the field into Kielder five weeks ago. This really is home ground for Jason, who can see the Royal Welsh Showground from his house, and another win on familiar stages would put them right back into the title race. They will head the Holton Homes Category K for cars prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations.

Elliott and Dave Price looked good to clock up victory in Kielder until they also went off and inflicted considerable damage on their Escort Mk2. A big score on the Severn Valley is vital for their title bid. Right in the mix after winning on the Pirelli are Joe Price and Chris Brooks and they are another crew expected to be strong on these familiar stages. They will battle with Elliott, and a raft of other rapid contenders, in the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

Leading the chase of the leading pack should be the Fiat 131 of Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis, which gets quicker with every outing, and the rapid Escort Mk2s of Steve Bennett/Iain Tullie, Rudi Lancaster/George Gwynn and Simon Webster/Jez Rogers.

In class D3, for the Pinto-powered Escort Mk2s, Barrett and Dai Roberts are setting a fearsome pace but Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons are giving valiant chase. Meanwhile, in class D4, Guy Anderson and Stephen Davey are getting quicker and quicker in their Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Class D2, for the 1600cc cars, is home to the giant-killing Escort Mk2 of Chris Skill and Tom Jordan.

The Capital Construction Category 2 is being dominated by Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver (Escort Mk1), who have won three times on the trot to be right in the hunt for the overall BHRC title. In class C5, for the BDA-engined Escort Mk1s, the battle is currently between Simon Tysoe/Paul Morris and Warren Philliskirk/Nigel Hutchinson, while Phil Jobson and Arwel Jenkins are closing the gap to the class contenders.

Class C2 is all about the remarkable Adam Milner and co-driver Roy Jarvis in their 1600cc Escort Mk1. Despite minimal experience, Milner has set an incredible pace and recorded top six stage times against the more powerful cars. He has yet to have a clear run this season, but when he does the result will be outstanding.

Back out in the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 are rounds 1 and 2 winners Bob and Dale Gibbons in their Ford Cortina MK2 GT and they will again go up against the Lotus Cortinas of Bob Bean/Captain Thompson and Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell. Meanwhile, in class B2 Phil Harris will try and take his unbroken win sequence into double figures in his Mini Cooper S.

The rally will be based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. The first car will start at 8.30am on Saturday and return to the finish at around 3.40pm.

The Severn Valley Stages Rally, which is backed by Rallynuts Motorsport, is organised by the Midland Manor Motor Club. For more details about the event please visit the official event website here.


3rd May 2016:

BHRC Pirelli Rally award winners announced

The special award winners from the third round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally (Saturday 30 April) have been announced following the rally that also featured the second round of the Holton Homes Clubman's Challenge. Read the full article here

The Holton Homes Clubman’s Challenge is for crews using a maximum of six tyres per rally. The top overall finishers from the Clubman’s Challenge field were Chris Skill and Tom Jordan. They had a superb run in their 1600cc Ford Escort Mk2 to finish ninth overall and win their class. It is rare for a 1600cc car to claim a top 10 finish in such a competitive championship.

Skill and Jordan collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex.

The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Joe Price and Chris Brooks who were elated to score their first overall BHRC victory. The Ludlow driver has been getting ever closer to the absolute pace and drove a fine rally despite limited prior experience of the Kielder stages.



1st May 2016:

Price takes first BHRC victory

Joe Price and Chris Brooks scored their first historic victory on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally (Saturday 30 April), the third round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship .

The Ludlow driver moved ahead when the notorious challenge of Kielder claimed championship pacesetters Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke and Nick Elliott/Dave Price. Pritchard slid off on an icy patch in a very slippery opening stage and Elliott moved ahead until he was caught out on stage 3.

Paul Barrett and Max Freeman took an outstanding second place on their first rally together while Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis took third overall and Category K in their Fiat 131. Other category winners were Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1), who duly made it three wins from three events, and Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson (Ford Lotus Cortina).

Four stages in the main block of Kielder made up the historic section of the event and the format and quality of stages drew universal praise from competitors as the historics ran first on the road on single-used stages.

However, snow and rain in the run-up to the event left conditions very slippery for the opening pair of stages and Pritchard, running first on the road, slid off on the first stage, The Shanks. Elliott went 18s up on Price and added a further 11s on stage two, The Forks, to go half a minute clear as crews arrived at service adjacent to Kielder Water.

With an important maximum score in sight and title-rival Pritchard out of the rally, it all looked good for Elliott heading into the second pair of stages. Unfortunately, it went wrong very soon into SS3, Roughside, when his Ford Escort Mk2 went off the road pretty heavily into a stream and out of the rally.

Instead, Price and Brooks moved up to lead the finishers back to Carlisle for Price’s first win at this level. “I wasn’t on Nick’s pace this morning, but we wanted a podium and so a win is a massive bonus, said Price who also won the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3.

Barrett and Freeman had a tremendous run in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2 to finish second overall, despite struggling to find a good pace over the slippery opening leg. Another fine result fell to Robinson/Collis who gave the Fiat one of its best results to date and won the Holton Homes Category K. We’ve halved the time gap to the leaders so that was a lot better, said Robinson after a very encouraging performance.

Next up were Orr and Weaver to maintain their perfect record in the Capital Construction Category 2 in their Escort Mk1. I lost about 10 seconds in the last stage when I out-braked myself into a chicane, but otherwise it has been very good, said Orr. Leading the chase of Orr in Category 2 was the similar car of Simon Tysoe/Paul Morris, who picked up their pace in the second loop to finish sixth among the BHRC contenders. Only 14s down on Tysoe were Warren Philliskirk and Nigel Hutchinson.

After a fire extinguisher drama at scrutineering, Bean/Smithson had a fine rally to win the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 from Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell (Lotus Cortina) and Phil Harris/Graham Wild (Mini Cooper). Brilliant; the stages were fabulous, said Bean, while Mankin had a good run on his first rally of 2016 and Harris bagged yet another class B2 win.

While Barrett again won class D3, his nearest challengers were Rex Ireland/Adrian Scadding (Escort Mk2) who had a tremendous run on only the driver’s second visit to Kielder. Out early with engine issues went Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons. Guy Anderson/Steven Davey (Talbot Sunbeam Lotus) had a superb run to class D4 victory while one of the drives of the rally came from Chris Skill/Tom Jordan who took class D2 by forging their 1600cc Escort Mk2 into seventh overall among the BHRC runners.

Back in Category 2, Elliot Retallick and Tim Tugwell had a very good day in their Hillman Avenger to win class C2 from Stuart and Linda Cariss (Escort Mk1). Class pacesetters Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis (Escort Mk1) lost 15 minutes on stage one when the gear lever snapped offbut then proved a point by setting several top six overall times on Milner’s first visit to Kielder.



22nd April 2016

David Stokes award for BHRC

The rallying career and character of David Stokes will be remembered with a new end-of-season award within the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

This special award, supported by Castrol, will celebrate the life of the four-time BHRC champion who was challenging for a fifth crown when taken ill last summer. After a short battle with cancer, David died in February.

The annual award will be presented to the individual who displays 'spirit and enthusiasm for the BHRC in the style of David Stokes'. The winner could be a driver, a co-driver, a mechanic, an official or a marshal and will receive a generous package of Castrol products as well as a trophy.

The award will be judged at the end of the season by a panel of judges including David’s co-driver Guy Weaver, David’s younger brother Andrew, Donald Smith from Castrol and BHRC manager Colin Heppenstall.

Guy Weaver said: “This award is designed to encapsulate David's philosophy of inclusion for everyone in historic rallying. He would offer help and advice to anyone, no matter where they were in the field and he was always keen to encourage newcomers. I hope the winner is proud to receive this new award and to follow in the wheeltracks of the legend that was David Stokes.”



8th April 2016

BHRC Rally North Wales award winners announced

The special award winners from the second round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Rally North Wales (Saturday 2 April) have been announced following the rally that also featured the second rounds of the Holton Homes Clubmans Challenge and the Welsh Challenge.

The Holton Homes Clubmans Challenge is for crews using a maximum of six tyres per rally. The top overall finishers from the Clubmans Challenge field were Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) who took a superb ninth overall in their Pinto-powered car against many more powerful cars. 

The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Yorkshireman Adam Milner who set a blistering pace on the early stages in his 1600cc Ford Escort Mk1. He was joint second fastest historic on the opening Dyfi stage despite this being his first time competing in the area. Sadly he retired after a gentle roll in SS3 but once again underlined his tremendous natural ability.
 Phil Harris and Graham Wild collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. Despite some tough conditions for their Mini Cooper S, they battled to the finish to make it eight class wins in a row.
 



2nd April 2016

Pritchard makes it two from two in the BHRC

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke took their second win of the season on today’s Rally North Wales (Saturday 2 April), the second round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

Once again, Pritchard and Clarke traded times with Nick Elliott and Dave Price and it was a chicane in the opening stage that proved central to the final result.

2nd April 2016

Elliott hit the bales and his engine stalled, taking around 20 seconds to restart,

while Pritchard was also delayed. After that, the two leading crews traded times and Pritchard went into the final Gartheiniog stage just eight seconds ahead but extended his margin to 21 seconds for a hard-won victory.

Joe Price and Chris Brooks were only half a minute down on the lead with one stage to go, but ran wide on a hairpin near the finish of the final stage and dropped two minutes. Instead, Matt Edwards and Will Rogers took third in the Opel Kadette of Peter Smith.

Other category winners were Bob and Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina GT) and Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1). Orr won Category 2 by just six seconds after a fabulous battle with Simon Tysoe/Paul Morris.

Competitor reaction to Rally North Wales was excellent, despite a very wet day in the Welsh forests. The classic stages in Dyfi and Gartheiniog once again delivered a superb challenge.

Category winners were:

Category 1: Bob Gibbons/Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2)

Category 2: Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1)

Category 3: Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)

Category K: Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)



1st March 2016:

Season Update

The recent Red Kite Stages ran very well indeed despite some tough conditions and it was good to see the historic crews enjoying the rally. Congratulations to historic winners Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke for a great start to what is shaping up to be a very competitive season.

We would also like to record our thanks to the team at Amman and DMC for working so hard to run the rally under the latest MSA safety guidelines. And, of course, to the many marshals work braved the awful weather to keep the event running smoothly.

For more information about TV coverage of the season click here



Round 1: - Red Kite February 2016

Pritchard wins in Wales, continued;

Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke got their season off to a perfect start with victory on the Red Kite Historic Stages (Sunday 21 February), the opening round of the 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

The ice and snow of the 2015 Red Kite was replaced by strong winds, persistent rain and, at times, thick fog to deliver another tough start to the season but Pritchard and Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2) never put a wheel wrong and took maximum points to open their title defence in style.

However, this was no easy win as Nick Elliott and Dave Price ran neck-and-neck for the lead despite their Escort Mk2 stalling on the opening stage. It was still very close for the lead until it happened again on the second run through Crychan and the engine refused to restart for around 15 seconds. While Pritchard could afford a measured approach in the final Caio stage, Elliott attacked to grab second place back from the impressive Joe Price and Chris Brooks (Escort Mk2).

A final stage gearbox drama that cost two minutes for John Perrott and Keaton Williams (Ford Escort Mk1) left the way open for Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver to win a Category 2 battle that had raged all day. Category 1 was also settled on the final stage as Bob and Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2) emerged for victory when the chasing Bob Bean and Malcolm Smithson had an electrical failure stop their Lotus Cortina.

“No dramas at all; we tried to avoid punctures and kept it nice and tidy,” said Pritchard after spraying the champagne in Llandovery. Meanwhile, Elliott was frustrated to drop a total of more than half a minute when the engine would not restart, but was relieved to score a good result on the Red Kite after two troubled runs in previous years. He was also feeling decidedly groggy, so second overall was a good start to his season. The on-board footage shows them drop around 20 seconds on the opening stage.

While Pritchard/Clarke won the Holton Homes Category K, Elliott/Price won the RSR Historic Engineering Category 3 and immediately marked themselves as the two crews to beat for this year’s BHRC crown.

Joe Price suspected that Elliott would push him back to third on the final stage but nevertheless turned in a cracking performance to show this he is now one of the BHRC pacesetters. Equally impressive was Irish ace Paul Barrett with Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts who drove their Pinto-powered Escort with big commitment to finish a tremendous fourth overall, well in touch with the top three.

Steve Bennett is getting ever closer to the head of the pack and, with M-Sport’s Ian Tullie on the notes, he took fifth overall on the final stage when a steering problem cost the Fiat 131 of Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis half a minute. Despite the late issue, the pace of the Fiat on its first BHRC event was impressive. “That’s a good start, said Robinson at the finish. “Even in the Escort I’d probably not have matched Jason and Nick down here, he added.

Only 20 seconds split the next four crews on a day when poor visibility was a major challenge for the second run over the fast sweeps on the top of Epynt on the Route 60 stage. Simon Webster and Jez Rogers just beat Rudi Lancaster and George Gwynn, while Orr/Weaver took the Capital Construction Category 2 with ninth overall. “We had a bit of a steady start but were going better in the afternoon, said Orr. Neil Williams and Peter James wrapped up the top 10 overall in their Escort Mk2.

The Gibbons father and son took the Vintage Car Radiator Company Category 1 but it was set for a tight finish as heading for the second run through Caio, the gap to Bean/Smithson was only 11s. Gibbons senior arrived at the finish concerned that he might have eased back too much.

However, Bean never made it to the finish after a complete electrical failure stopped the car mid-stage. “I was giving it a good go,” said Bean who was later able to short circuit the system and drive the car back to Llandovery.

In class C2, a stand-out performance came from Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis who put their 1600cc Escort Mk1 into 13th overall on the driver’s first rally in Wales. Incredibly, they only had one stage free of a persistent misfire and duly set seventh fastest overall on the second run through Caio. Milner finished one place down on class C5 winners Simon Tysoe and Paul Morris who had a good day in their Escort Mk1.

In Category 3, Chris Skill and Tom Jordan (Ford Escort Mk2) topped the 1600cc division despite suffering punctures on each visit to Crychan. “I’ve never had two punctures in one day before,” said Skill after one front and one rear puncture. Class D4 fell to Guy Anderson and new co-driver Steven Davey (Talbot Sunbeam Lotus) who had a good day as they got used to the new partnership.

The new pairing of Phil Harris and Graham Wild (Mini Cooper) added to Harris’ remarkable run of class B2 wins with another victory despite some incredibly tough conditions for the Mini.

Category winners were:

Category 1: Bob Gibbons/Dale Gibbons (Ford Cortina Mk2)

Category 2: Stanley Orr/Guy Weaver (Ford Escort Mk1)

Category 3: Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2)

Category K: Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2)




Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.