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Friday, 28 April 2017

TCR World & life

the new issue is online !
“TCR World & life”
the e-magazine dedicated to all the TCR series and championships worldwide.

Issue #2/2017 is now online.
In this issue:

Spotlight: Huyndai i30 TCR on track

Int. Series: Rustavi and Bahrain

Reports: TCR Asia and TCR Benelux

Preview: Five TCR series ready to start

Endurance: Long distance runners

Standings and next events

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Speyside Stages Classes Review

Neil Coalter & Hannah Cessford took their third class win from as many starts
Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Speyside Stages Classes Review

All the latest news from the classes within the Scottish Rally Championship after round three in Elgin

The McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages hosted round three of the 2017 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, with Dumfries ace David Bogie taking the outright win at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia R5.

But the five-time Scottish Champion wasn’t the only victor in the Moray and Aberdeenshire forests outside the host town of Elgin, with action up and down the classes in the series.

Sauchen pairing Neil Coalter and Hannah Cessford continued their perfect start to the season with their third win from three starts in class one, piloting their ex-James Wozencroft Suzuki Ignis. Aberdeen driver Steven Crockett brought his Peugeot 205 home in second with Newmacher’s Martin Henderson calling the notes.

Class two was all about Dundee driver Robbie Beattie and Blairgowrie co-driver David Findlay who took their second consecutive class win in their Peugeot 205. It was a close run contest though with Andy Chalmers (Turriff) and Martin MacCabe (Glasgow) finishing just 13 seconds back in second ahead of Donald and Scott Peacock who completed the Peugeot dominated podium.

Class three saw arguably the best battle of the weekend with a healthy entry littered with quality. Inverness pilot Scott MacBeth and Elgin co-driver Daniel Forsyth took the spoils on MacBeth’s forest debut in his Citroen C2 R2 Max. A mere two seconds back, Angus Lawrie (Castle Douglas) and Paul Gribben (Annan) stole second in their Vauxhall Corsa from the grasp of Irish crew Marty Gallagher and Dean O’Sullivan’s Peugeot 208 R2 finishing just one second ahead. The Letterkenny crew did however take advantage of the SRC Overseas Support Scheme, receiving £100 towards the cost of shipping their car across the North Channel.

Scott MacBeth and Daniel Forsyth impressed on the C2's forest debut - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Ullapool duo Fraser MacNicol and Keith Boa made it a hat trick of class four wins in 2017 at the wheel of their 8 valve Ford Escort Mk2. After missing the Border Counties, Kyle of Lochalsh driver Paddy Munro scored second with Portree’s Chris Munro in the navigators’ seat. Scott McQueen (Daviot) and Andrew MacKinnon (Dores) completed the podium in their Peugeot 205.

Brechin crew Alex and Sandy Milne once again took the class five win in their historic specification Ford Escort Mk2, entertaining fans on their way to 72nd overall.

Luke McLaren from Blanefield and his South Hylton co-driver Phil Kenny took a dominant class six win in their Ford Fiesta ST to complete the hat trick of class wins. Inverurie pairing Scott Burness and Jodi Devine brought their similar car home second in class with Michael Renton (Bonar Bridge) and Kenny Foggo (Inverness) rounding out the class podium in third after a difficult day in their Peugeot 306.

Luke McLaren and Phil Kenny lead class seven after three rounds - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Local crew Quintin Milne (Banchory) and Sean Donnelly (Elgin) stormed to the class seven victory in their Ford Escort Mk2, battling Forres’ Dougal Brown and Alford’s Lewis Rochford hard in a similar Escort resuming their 2016 tussle. The contest was just as close but disappointingly for Brown and Rochford the result was the same for the second year in a row, taking second spot once again. Another local driver, Alford’s Michael Stuart put in a great performance to complete the Escort Mk2 dominated podium with Sinclair Young (Lairg) calling the notes.

Insch driver Ken Wood and Huntly co-driver Gordon Wood took their striking Triumph Dolomite Sprint to the class eight win on their home event, becoming the fourth crew this season to win the opening three rallies in their respective class.

Fraser Wilson (Portree) and Craig Wallace (Kirriemuir) brought their Mitsubishi Evo IX home in 23rd overall, taking the class nine and Group N win in the process.

The class ten battle went right down to the wire, with local Huntly driver John Wink stealing the win by a slender two seconds in his Mitsubishi Evo IX with Rothienorman’s John Forrest sat alongside. The pair’s late charge was at Michael Binnie (Cornhill) and Claire Mole’s (Duns) expense with the Evo V crew settling for second. However Binnie received the SRC John Horton Star Driver nomination for the event which offered plenty of consolidation for his efforts. Aberdeen pilot Simon Hay and Torphins navigator Calum Jaffray took third in an Evo VI.

John Wink made the best of local knowledge to win class 10 - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Class 11 belonged to Aspatria man Mike Faulkner with Bingley’s Peter Foy calling the notes. The Mitsubishi Evo IX crew took their first class win of the year ahead of Banchory pilot Bruce McCombie and Torphins co-driver Michael Coutts. Greg McKnight (Thornhill) and Laura Marshall (Tarbolton) completed the class podium in another Evo IX.

David Bogie took the class 12 win courtesy of winning the overall event by over 40 seconds in his Skoda Fabia R5. Euan Thorburn took second in his Ford Fiesta R5 to retain the class lead and in the process overhaul Jock Armstrong at the top of the overall championship. Shaun Sinclair claimed third in class in his Subaru Impreza S14 WRC.

The ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport, Coltel Communications and Reis Motorsport Insurance.
Scotland’s premier rallying championship takes in over 300 competitive stage miles across seven events along the width and breadth of the country.

The next round of the series is the RSAC Scottish Rally on Saturday 20 May.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the website, Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #SRC17.

Previous Scottish champion Ken Wood entertained on his way to the class eight win - Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Belgium podium for Brown despite car drama

Steve Brown in action at the wheel of his old Nissan Micra which he used in Belgium last weekend. 
Steve Brown takes Rallye Salamandre class podium in loaned Nissan Micra

Rochdale rally driver Steve Brown took third in the two-wheel-drive category of the Belgium based Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) last weekend, a feat made much more impressive by the fact it was achieved with his old, borrowed car.

With his usual Nissan Micra Kit Car out of action for opening few rounds of the season, Brown had secured a deal to contest the overseas championship in a loaned Honda Civic which would give him the opportunity to challenge for the class 3F and two-wheel-drive honours. But disaster struck whilst on a pre-season test in Wales when the Honda was side-lined by transmission issues at the beginning of April.

When it became apparent that the parts required to fix the transmission would not be available in time, it was looking likely that Brown would have to withdraw from the opening round of the season at Rallye Salamandre.

Just days before the event in Belgium, Brown had exhausted all possibilities and was ready to pull the plug on his campaign, when the opportunity of using his old Nissan Micra came about. Brown last used the car in 2015 and whilst it wasn’t as powerful as his Kit Car or Honda, was an ideal solution to enable him to contest the event.

“It was pretty much a last ditch effort to be able to still go to Belgium” said Brown. “It was a no-brainer for us as we really just needed to get some points on the board and as it was a much lower power Nissan than I`m used to, it actually fitted perfectly into our plans”.

Brown soon settled into the Micra again and with regular co-driver Paul Stringer alongside, the duo did their best to stay out of trouble on the arduous closed public roads of Hainaut.  Crossing the finish ramp on Sunday (22nd April) evening after over 100km of action, Brown brought the humble Nissan back in a worthy 3rd spot in the 2WD section of the event.

“Well that was certainly an experience” beamed Brown at the finish. “To think a few days ago we weren’t event coming over it’s pretty fantastic to think we now have our first points on the board for the season.  It’s great to be back behind the wheel of the old faithful again and despite being a little down on power, performed faultlessly. I must say a huge thanks to Andy for the loan of the car to do the event. Not sure he will get it back now!”

Brown will now look towards the second round of the championship, the ORC Canal Rally at the end of May where he will use the Honda in a bid to get his season back on track.

MH Motorsport seek Cadet double at Pirelli Rally

Josh Cornwell took the Border Counties BRC Cadet Cup
MH Motorsport's Josh Cornwell (Right) & Richard Bliss (left) took the BRC Cadet Cup victory at the Border Counties Rally. Image credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography - Click to download high resolution version -

After a successful opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC), MH Motorsport will head to Carlisle this weekend with high hopes of taking more glory at the Pirelli International Rally (29th/30th April).

The five-car Ford Fiesta team will look to take the honours in both the Junior BRC and Cadet Cup, having topped the tables of both categories after the Border Counties in March.

The Cadet Cup plays host to contenders in older specification front wheel drive models that are perhaps looking to sample the BRC for the first time.

MH Motorsport bolstered the series with three crews all eager to make an impression on the British Championship stage and each will head to the Kielder forest complex for the two-day, 100 mile event in the Scottish Borders.

Josh Cornwell and co-driver Richard Bliss were in command of the series from the off, taking a start to finish victory in their Fiesta R2 to lead the standings after round one.  Cornwell put his previous experience of the Fiesta to good use in the tricky Border forests, winning by almost three minutes from his nearest rival.

Once we got through the Friday night stages intact we could really push on in the daylight of Saturdays stages” said Cornwell.  “It was pretty much a trouble free run and we just did our best to stay out of trouble and keep the car in the middle of the road as much as possible. I was really pleased to have won by such a margin. It would of course be great to do it all again on the Pirelli and that’s the plan, but I know Kielder forest can bite you back hard so we will just look to do our own thing and see how we get on”.

Nabila Tejpar returns to the British Championship for a second year this season and is joined by Charley Sayer-Payne to form the only all-girl crew in the series.  Tejpar would endure a tough opening round in her Fiesta R2, suffering a brace of punctures throughout the event which hampered progress but she recovered to bag fifth spot in the Cadet Cup.

“I definitely can’t wait for the Pirelli Rally as I actually have experience of this event which will be key to improving our pace” Tejpar says.  “The Border Counties was hard work. The night stages were really hard going and Charley and I have only done two events together but I could see an improvement over last year.  I hope to increase the pace again on the Pirelli and it will be nice to have a direct comparison to see how I`m fairing. It’s a long season so the goal will be to get quicker as it goes on”.

In only his second season of rallying, Alex Waterman made his BRC debut at the Border Counties Rally at the wheel of his Fiesta R2. In an event of firsts for the youngster, Waterman and co-driver Harry Thomas would sample writing their own pace notes for the first time, as well as night driving and the tough Tweed Valley forests.

A trouble free run through the opening tests under the cover of darkness were undone by a rally ending off on Saturday morning and Waterman is looking to bag some valuable points to get his season back on track at the Pirelli.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end my first BRC outing” says Waterman.  “But there are lots of positive to take away from the opening round. I was really happy with the recce and our notes were great considering it was my first time writing my own. Friday night in the dark was the real test and again I was pleased with the pace on my first ever night stage and ending the leg third in class was a good sign. We have been out on an event recently to get back into the swing of things and it went well, so getting some points on the board is the main priority this weekend.”

The Pirelli International Rally kicks off mid-morning on Saturday in Carlisle and finishes at lunchtime on Sunday in Brampton.

- Ends

For more information on MH Motorsport please visit

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Images below: Nabila Tejpar (left) and Alex Waterman (right) in action - click to download a high resolution version
Nabila Tejpar
Alex Waterman
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