Thursday, 17 May 2018

Plains Rally by Paul Willetts

Last weekends Plains National Rally saw some local crews walk away with silverware, while others were not quite so successful.

The long standing BTRDA and Welsh championship encounter had experienced serious problems obtaining enough mileage to make the event viable due to poor state of forestry roads, with Dyfi forest totally unusable.
However Knutsford & and District Motor Club had been able to use two stages in the now little used Dyfnant forest with two stages in Gartheniog repeated in the afternoon, interspersed with a midday service halt Dolgellau cattle mart.
117 crews left the picturesque market town of Welshpool for the 40 miles of competitive action on some of the UK's best stages.

It was rallying veterans Bob Morgan & and Ade Williams who came away with top local honour's further developing the new Winner Garage Skoda Fabia finishing 20th overall & and 5th in class, there only issue was loosing the clutch for a few stages, meaning stage starts were difficult.

"More useful mileage today, still bit of work to do on diffs and dampers, and we still need bit more top end speed but its coming together". Said Williams     
For Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons it was a change of car from the usual Escort to a Fiesta R2,the drive kindly donated by Swift Group MD and well known competitor Peter Smith.
But they didn't get off to a good start, with a bottom arm coming loose on the way to stage one, but from then on the duo had great fun to finish 44th & and 3rd in class
"The suspension on this car is awesome it rides the rough stuff so well, and we had a great time, thanks to Pete Smith for the opportunity" said Simmons   
A new combination of youngsters James Watkins and Dan Sayce in the Rally Marketing Escort, hired from Geoff Jones Motorsport, the new duo had a great day to finish 56th & and 3rd in class.
There was a great battle for local pride and silverware between husband & wife of Nigel & and Karen Jenkins in the NJ Autos Vauxhall Nova, and Richard Cole & and Matt Nicolas in the Cole Contracting 1400 Escort just one second separated them at the finish, the former finishing 64th & and 3rd in class with Cole 65th & and 4th, Jenkins fighting back after a slow start with no 5th gear and selection issues most of the day, admitting to one or two moments to keep Mrs Jenkins on her toes, and being somewhat rusty on the gravel, not having done anything in the forests since November last year, but the afternoon saw him push harder to climb the leader board to finish in the silverware.
Scott Partridge and Bev Mace in the Bullit Polish Subaru Impreza  finished 74th & and 12 in class.
Graham Waite with Gill Cotton calling the notes finished 76th & and 7th in the Toyota Corolla, with the new 2wd regulations coming in from July 1st, we will hopefully see Waite back in a category one historic car,has he was a huge spectators favourite in his old Volvo Amazon which he threw at impossible angles.
Sadly for Group N front runners Tom Naughton & and Will Rogers they had made a good start in the Lancer Evo 9 but sadly a big accident in stage 5 brought there rally to a sudden and dramatic end, sadly Tom broke 2 ribs and Will was left rather sore and car in a bit of a mess.
Matt Edwards & and Darron Garrod continued there recent domination of British rallying with a third victory on the spin in the Swift Group Fiesta R5.
Despite some long delays due to some unforeseen incidents most competitors enjoyed the day.  


Paul Willetts Motorsport Media        

Monday, 30 April 2018

Pirelli International Rally April 2018

This weekend saw 80 crews line up in Carlisle, for round 2 of the FUCHS Lubricants  British Historic Rally championship with a further 46 crews doing the opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship.
The historic event were offered first usage of the narrow fast tracks of the notorious Kielder Forest, just 4 daunting tests offering 42 miles with the British   championship runners doing a second loop to give them 84 competitive miles.
Ross garage owner Steve Bennett in the Bennett Tyres RS1800 was hoping to put the disappointment of a last stage puncture on the opening round behind him, together with Osian Owen on the notes.
The duo got off to a rather slow start with only 11th fastest on the opening 8 mile test in Pundershaw, next up was 7 miles in Roughside a much better run in here, saw them 5th fastest and they were 8th overall going into the days only service.
Next up was the demanding 16 miles of the Forks stage, it was here that it all went wrong for Bennett when he slide off the road, thankfully a log pile prevented the car dropping down a bank, but 10 minutes were lost extracting the Escort and any hope of a result was gone.
The final stage was 10 miles in Whitesike and Bennett ended the day with 5th quickest time.
But sadly he arrived back at the Finish 36th overall & 16th overall. There was better news for Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons in the Allglass backed Escort RS1800,the duo who had a ding dong battle with Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson in a similar car on round one.
But after the former lost 20 seconds on the opening test with an altercation with a chicane, and more time with gearbox issues on stage 2 they trailed Egglestone by 14 seconds at service.
However the local crew upped the anti in the afternoon to finish 54 seconds ahead, and score a second class win on the bounce, for Friend and Simmons 7th overall & 2nd in class was still a good result given the persistent gearbox problems.
Andrew Stokes with Adrian McNally on the notes had a trouble free run to finish 20th overall & 4th in class in their Escort RS1600, putting behind them the disappointment of their first stage retirement on the championships opening round.
In the British Rally Championship event, Chepstow based Sacha Kakad moved up from two successful years in the BTRDA series in his Lancer Evo 10,to a new Westbase backed Ford Fiesta R5 Together with co-driver James Aldridge he set consistent top 10 times and held 8th overall going into the last stage where he lost time to rival Laurence Whyte in another Fiesta R5 dropping back to 9th, but a promising start to his campaign.
The Historic rally was won by Paul Barrett/Dai Roberts in an Escort RS1800 with International honours to Matt Edwards/Darron Garrod in the Swift Group/M- Sport backed Fiesta R5 after a three way battle that went to the wire with just 11 seconds covering the top 3 after 84 miles.
Paul Willetts 

Dixies Challenge Rally 29th April 2018

The Forest of Dean Motor Club and Forresters Car Club co promoted last weekends Architexture Architects Dixies Challenge Rally on the daunting Epynt tarmac ranges last Sunday.
The event which was a round of both HRCR Stage Masters and Old Stager series, Welsh Historic and King of Epynt championships also a round of the Minisport Mini Cup, and attracted not only a full but also high quality entry.
80 cars lined up for what turned out to be 10 tests totaling some 43 miles in dry but cold conditions.
The undoubted modern day "King of Epynt" Damian Cole with Jamie Edwards alongside, the Abergavenny driver totally dominated the event with fastest on every stage in the Get Connected Fiesta WRC, and stormed to a convincing victory by 1 minute 20 seconds.
Mini veterans Eric Davis with Russ Joseph on the notes had a difficult day but still came away with 29th overall & 2nd in class in the Dennis Motorsport Mini, on stage 2 he thought his day was done, with no oil pressure, but it turned out to be a split oil cooler which was sorted in service, then issues with rear suspension problems, left the rear end a bit wild over the fast stages.
For Joseph it was a busy weekend co-driving Phil Skipp to 23rd on Saturdays Mira Stages in his Astra.
Alan Marriage/Colin Jenkins in the Dave Jenkins Motorsport run Escort RS, had a trouble free run to 31st overall & 6th in class Ross on Wye duo Jason / Elspeth Watkins finished 43rd & 7th in class in their Peugeot 106 Lisa Chappelle had Ross Motor clubs Mike Jode alongside for the first time, it's was also her first time on both the tarmac ranges, and pace notes, the Brecon youngster had a trouble free day and got quicker has the day went on to finish 50th overall & 5th class in her Citroen Saxo.
It was a somewhat fraught day for Mini Cup front runner Ryan Taylor, with co-driver Hollie Churchill, mechanical issues saw him take 2 stage maximums, but his perseverance paid off with 54th overall & 3rd in class.
Sadly for Cinderford plumber Jason Gardner who had young Dan Petrie on the notes, the Brecon View Plumbing Escort RS1800, engine failure on stage two brought his event to a premature end.
Of the 80 starters, 54 made to the end on what proved an extremely popular event.
Paul Willetts



Photographs copyright - Chris Huish 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018


Architexture Dixies Challenge Sunday 29th April - On Epynt ranges

Not long to go now to this event we organise with Forresters Car Club

We could still do with a few extra marshals to cover all aspects of safety, if you would like to come along please contact:

Kevin Haven kevinhaven@hotmail.com and give him your details 

Or if you help with set up on the Saturday send an email and we will contact you fodmotorclub@gmail.com 

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Half Marathon - Saturday 7th April

Ladies & Gentlemen on behalf of the Forest of Dean Motor Club, many thanks for your assistance on the Half Marathon at such short notice, very much appreciated.

Graham Goode 


Friday, 16 March 2018

Tour of Caerwent - Sunday March 25th

Two people required to help as change-over crew on the stages during the event.

A good chance to get right in the action and you will have various points to watch whilst the stages are live.

You will be mentored and not on your own during the day

email - fodmotorclub@gmail.com if your interested 



Motorsport Film Night

There will be an open meeting of the HRCR Dean and Marches on Monday 19th of March that starts at 8pm prompt. Please arrive from 7.30pm.

Venue :- The Palace Theatre in Cinderford - Post Code GL14 2AA

The films being shown are :-

Meet Jack Brabham

Tale of Three rallies - The 1978 Rally of the Danube in Romania, 1979 San Remo Rally and the 1979 RAC Rally in Britain.

This is a great opportunity to see these films on the big screen

All are welcome

Thank you to Paul Loveridge for the club invite.