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Tag Archives: BTRDA Rally First Challenge

After the disappointment of not starting the Somerset Stages, it was do or die for Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC) on the Plains. They took the lead on stage one from Dave Wright & Michael Wilkinson (Evo IX) by 2 seconds and built on that through the event to win by 12 seconds, in the end. Wright held on to 2nd place too with Euan Thorburn & Paul Beaton (Focus WRC) making the rare trip down South to pick up third, 5 seconds further back. On paper the rally looked routine but the battle had been intense all day and absorbing to watch. Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) retired mid event with gearbox issues whilst Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC) effectively ended their championship chances with an excursion on the first stage, even though they did finish down in 20th overall. Read More »

SONY DSCBefore a wheel was turned in anger the Somerset Stages had drama at the top of the field. Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC) were non-starters earlier in the week but Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC) got down to scrutineering and after working through the night were unable to start due to gearbox maladies. This left 2011 winners Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) with two major rivals missing. The retirements then hit in full effect from stage one with Mick O’Brien & Patrick Walsh (Focus WRC) failing to complete the first stage. Hunter had very little in the way of opposition and contrary to recent battles on the Somerset he eased to victory by over a minute. Read More »

Round 2 of the REIS Get Connected BTRDA Rally Series saw the crews head up to the Lake District for the Malcolm Wilson Rally. Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) righted the wrongs of the past two seasons as they took a deserved win, leading from start to finish. It was no certainty though as local ace Paul Bird & Kirsty Riddick (Focus WRC) made a rare gravel outing and ended up only 3 seconds shy of the victory. It was a fantastic fightback but the damage was done on stage 1 by Hunter who was 11 seconds faster. Completed the podium just over a minute further back were Euan Thorburn & Paul Beaton in their Focus WRC.

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The 2012 BTRDA season kicked off in Chepstow with the Wyedean Forest Rally. The threat of snow hung over the event and in the end there was very little but the overnight low temperatures turned all the stages into sheets of ice, with running early on the road a distinct advantage.  In the main field Steve Perez & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC) had an early excursion and ultimately retired due to running out of spare tyres. This issue decided the fate of the event for Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) as they had been leading going into the penultimate stage but a total of 3 punctures and only 2 spares saw them retire from the event. Read More »

The 2011 BTRDA championship finale turned out to be a battle of two very different Mitsubishi Lancers. Pre-event attention was focused on the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton & Robin Kellard making its final appearance on a BTRDA rally but stage 2 saw the car succumb to an engine failure, whilst holding the joint lead of the event. Coming out of stage 2 it was co-leaders on stage 1 Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) who took a one second lead from Tom Cave & Craig Parry (Lancer WRC). Stage 3 saw Cave take the lead from Gardener with Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) going fastest and coming back into the reckoning. The next stage, Alwen, proved to be the pivotal one as Cave dropped 14 seconds to Gardener and Hunter hit a gate post retiring on the spot. Gardener & Cave exchanged times through the remaining 4 stages but Gardener kept the advantage stable to take a well deserved win. Completing the podium were Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC). Read More »

It just had to be on the final Woodpecker for the legendary Peugeot Cosworth of Andy Burton & Robin Kellard. They took an emotional victory in the end winning by 40 seconds, but early on they had been pushed hard by Roger Chilman & Andrew Sankey (Impreza WRC). Radnor proved to be the turning point as Burton pushed hard and opened up an advantage through the two stages. The battle for third was closer and no less intensely fought as Roger Duckworth & Shaun O’Gorman (Impreza WRC) edged out Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) by just 9 seconds. Read More »

Round 6 of the BTRDA championship brought the crews to Builth Wells for the Quinton Stages. Andy Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) were highly fancied to clinch the title and the event, but as it turned out they were off the ultimate pace all day finishing 3rd overall. Instead Charlie Payne & Craig Thorley (Focus WRC) slugged it out with Roger Chilman & Andrew Sankey (Impreza WRC). The pair were joint fastest on stage 1 before Chilman took the 2nd stage but Payne was then fastest or joint fastest on the next 6 stages to win by 8 seconds. Chilman was clear in 2nd and as previously mentioned Burton was 3rd, which was enough to become the 2011 BTRDA Gold Star champion in the final year for his iconic car.

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The BTRDA championship moved into the 2nd half of the season with the Dukeries Rally as it welcomed back 2010 Gold Star Champions Steve Perez & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC). Looking to emulate the great Roger Clark, Perez was attempting to be only the 2nd driver to take a hat trick of consecutive wins and be the first driver to record 4 wins on the event. This would prove to be no mean feat with a quality field assembled behind him. It was Andrew Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) who struck first to lead after stage 1 and with the top 6 crews beating the bogey on stage 2 nothing changed. Burton then continued to extend his lead second by second, but with 4 stages where the bogey was beaten the rally was a case of what if for the other crews. Read More »

Another thrilling climax to a BTRDA rally with the overall victory coming down to a stall at the start of the final stage. Andrew Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) had been leading all event until the final stage where they clipped a bank and fell back to 2nd place, just 4 seconds behind Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC). With one stage of less than two miles to go it was Hunter who stalled at startline and Burton knew victory could be his with a clean run. He duly took 9 seconds out of Hunter to win by 5 seconds. Charlie Payne & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC) completed the podium places with a good solid run, just over 30 seconds back. Read More »

Another fantastic day down in Somerset for the 3rd round of the 2011 BTRDA rally championship. Starting first in the main field were Andrew Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) who took an initial lead only for Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) to push past them by 1 second overall into first service. Porlock followed and Burton lost time on his less favoured surface and fell behind Roger Chilman & Andrew Sankey (Impreza WRC) also. Hunter held an 8 second lead over Chilman and 11 seconds over Burton after Porlock but then came the push. Chilman halved the gap in two stages and Burton was only a second further back, then on Croydon both Burton & Chilman clawed back the margin so all 3 crews went into the final two stages level. Read More »