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The Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship makes a welcome return after the summer break as it heads to the Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally for the first time next weekend [3rd September].

The Ludlow based event will offer crews some of the best forest stages on both sides of the Welsh and English border as fan favourites such as Radnor and Haye Park lie ahead for the one-day gravel blast.

With three events down on the BHRC calendar so far in 2022 it’s a fitting event to re-start the season after a three-month break, as Ludlow resident Henri Grehan heads to his home rally in the lead of the hotly contested series.

With unrivalled knowledge of the stages used on the Woodpecker, Grehan and co-driver Dan Petrie will be well placed to capitalise on their eight-point advantage in the standings and could well hammer home a maiden BHRC victory on home soil.

Taking fourth in the opening two rounds, Grehan knuckled down to take second place at the Plains Rally in May, hauling his Ford Escort Mk2 to his maiden BHRC podium in the process. But the Shropshire man has plenty of work to do if he is to keep the chasing pack at bay.

And that pack of over 40 registered contenders is led by three-time British Rally Champion Matt Edwards, who has turned the BHRC upside down thanks to his performance behind the wheel of the FIAT 131 Abarth. With Hamish Campbell alongside, Edwards has taken wins at Rally North Wales and the Plains Rally, with the latter being secured by over a minute.

Edwards has been helping develop the Italian machinery this season which has seen an uprising thanks to his effort, leading to Nick Elliott and Dave Price also wheeling out their example for the last two rounds. Sadly, Elliott’s engine cried enough on the Plains so will be looking for a strong run at the Woodpecker to improve on his third place in the championship.

Hereford’s Roger Chilman skipped the Plains but returns in his Ford Escort MK2 at the weekend. Consistent runs to third place on both rounds he has contested in 2022 put him in a solid position with three points scoring events to go and could well have the pace on home turf to upset the leaders.

We haven’t seen Joe Price and Chris Brooks since the Riponian but as an all-Ludlow crew, it was too much to resist to bring their Ford Escort MK2 back to the series and are another crew that could accrue hefty points.

Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons are facing an uphill struggle to retain their 2021 BHRC crown with one retirement and a non-start to contend with. They resume their championship defence in their Ford Escort MK2.

Ludlow is already well represented but will also see local ace Robert Gough team up with Sam Collis for his home rally in their Ford Escort MK2.

Chris Skill and Brian Hodgson head the Category Two [cars between 1968-1975] charge in their Escort MK1 and will have their second place at the Plains Rally fresh in their minds. With current leader Adam Milner staying away, it opens the challenge right up, with Warren Philliskirk/Garry Green and Phil Jobson/Ali Procter throwing their hat into the ring. Rory & Paul McCann add variety with their Hillman Avenger in the category.

After a ceremonial start on Saturday morning inside the rally base at Ludlow Racecourse, crews head out to tackle the opening Haye Park test near Ludlow, before two stages in the Radnor Forest in the Welsh Marches. Service splits the day before a repeat loop in the afternoon ahead of the champagne celebrations back at the Racecourse.

For more information on any of the Championships promoted by the RACMRC, please visit:

Top Five Points Standings After Round 3 – The Plains Rally

Henri Grehan 71
Matt Edwards 63
Nick Elliott 56
Roger Chilman 47
Rudi Lancaster 43

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