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Tag Archives: Miller Oils BTRDA 1400 Championship

It was a dramatic conclusion to the 2012 BTRDA rally series with three crews going into the final round with a shot at the title. The equation was simple for Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) along with Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC), win the rally and they were champions, Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) needed the calculators out if either Chilman or Hunter finished behind them. Stage one provided the first twist in this drama. Chilman was just over halfway through Clocaenog Main 1 when he made a dramatic exit at high speed. The car was totaled and blocked the stage, but the crew were okay. All Hunter had to do was finish, effectively, as Gardener was well off the pace. Coming out of 2nd service Hunter held almost a minutes advantage overall but on stage 5, Clocaenog East 2, everything went wrong. As he approached our position his car was out of sorts and as he left the car was struggling to engage any drive at all. Hunter did not make the start of the penultimate stage, so Gardener & Innes were 2012 champions irrespective of where they finished. They came in 5th overall. Read More »

It was win or bust on the Woodpecker for Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC), if they wanted any chance of winning the REIS Get Connected Rally Series title. They duly delivered going fastest on the first 5 stages to build up a 14 second buffer over Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC). Hunter was finest on the final stage and happy to let the title be decided on the final round, the Cambrian Stages, on his home ground. Completing the podium were Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) after a late charge to pass Matt Edwards & Sam Collis (Evo IX) on the penultimate stage. Read More »

After a break from motorsport for a few weeks we got straight back into the Nicky Grist Stages Rally, held on the gravel stages around the Epynt military ranges. The BTRDA championship is lining up to be a titanic battle with Shaun Gardener & Ben Innes (Evo 5.9) being the consistent scorers but taking the overall event wins are Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) and Roger Chilman & Bryan Thomas (Impreza WRC). Hunter and Chilman can no longer afford a DNF but it did not reduce the intensity of their battle. It was decided early on though as Hunter was in road mode for most of the 1st stage and then punctured on stage 2. Chilman had the win in hand and still set some fastest stage times through the rest of the event, winning by 17 seconds. Read More »

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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