Fuchs Lubricants MSA British Historic Rally Championship

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Barrett tops BHRC in Kielder
A glorious battle between Paul Barrett and Matthew Robinson marked round two of the FUCHS LUBRICANTS MSA British Historic Rally Championship on the Pirelli Rally (Saturday 28 April).
After a fierce but entirely sporting contest, Barrett and Dai Roberts took victory by just 8.6s over the similar Ford Escort Mk2 of Robinson and Dave Robson. The deciding stage was the epic 15.39-mile test in The Forks where a blistering attack by Barrett turned the rally in his favour.
As well as being the second of eight BHRC rounds, the Pirelli Rally was also the second round of the BHRC Forest Challenge, supported by Rally and Competition Equipment, and the second event for the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines.
A tremendous field lined up to tackle four big stages in the main block of the mighty Kielder forest complex and there was universal praise for the quality of the roads as the 2WD field ran ahead of contenders in the MSA British Rally Championship. As ever, the punishing Kielder ditches claimed cars and the top two crews could easily have joined the list of victims, such was their pace.
Robinson was immediately on the attack in the opening Pundershaw stage and took an early 10s lead. He added a further second in Roughside but after service at Kielder Greenside came the big test, 15 miles in The Forks, and Barrett went on the attack. His strategy paid dividends and he took 14s back from Robinson to take a slender lead into the final stage. With five more seconds added over 10 miles in Whitesike, Barrett arrived back in Carlisle for an eight-second victory. Barrett headed the FIA Category K cars while Robinson won the Rally and Competition Equipment Category 3.
Third place could have gone to at least three other crews, but they were all out during stages three and four. The Forks caught out both Joe Price/Chris Brooks and Alan Walker/John Connor and Walker’s day got even worse when his stricken Escort was t-boned half an hour later by the Avenger of Eliot Retallick. Simon Webster/Jez Rogers moved into third but a sheered track control arm sent them up a bank and into a roll in Whitesike.
Instead, it was Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall who took third in the BRM-powered Hillman Avenger. This was a journey into the unknown for Rowlands on his first rally in Kielder and 14 years on from his last event outside Wales. But his pace was good and third was a very encouraging result for both car and driver.
Stuart Egglestone and Brian Hodgson were next in the historics with another impressive performance in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2, which earned them class D3 by nearly a minute over the similar car of Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons.
Overall spoils in the Skipton Ford Category 2 went to a tremendous performance from Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss (Ford Escort Mk1). Holmes had just two seconds in hand over class C5 rivals Warren Philliskirk and Garry Green after Philliskirk clawed back a lot of time in The Forks, while Chris Skill/Tom Murphy were not far back in third. Class C3 netted a deserved win for the Escort Mk1 of Mike Simpson/Dale Gibbons on the driver’s first visit to Kielder.
 
BHRC2 supported by Sherwood Engines
The Pirelli Rally was the second round of the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines, which has been created to turn the spotlight on the REIS Category 1 (pre-1968) and all other up to 1600cc cars in the championship.
From class C2, it was Robin Shuttleworth and Ronnie Roughead (Ford Escort Mk1) who won BHRC2 but only after fending off a strong challenge from the Hillman Avenger of Ken Graham/Rory McCann. The final margin was only 3.1s after Graham was just four-tenths of a second faster in the last stage. Prior to that, in over 15 miles in The Forks, Shuttleworth had been four-tenths faster. “The stages were brilliant and the car was faultless,” said Graham who completed a good rally for the Northern Irish contingent.
It was not a good day, however, for BHRC2 pacesetters Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis who were well clear after two stages. Unfortunately, a big off on SS3 left their Escort Mk1 badly damaged and could mark the end of their season.
Category 1 delivered a handsome victory for Rikki Proffitt and Graham Wild (Porsche 911) who had just over half a minute in hand over Class B4 winners Bob Bean and Miles Cartwright (Lotus Cortina). “The stages were excellent,” said Proffitt after a trouble-free rally. Class B3 went to the charging Ford Anglia of Malcolm Rich and Arwel Blainey, but the Kielder stages were just too fast for the Anglia to chase the more powerful cars.

BHRC Rally North Wales award winners announced 
The special award winners from the opening round of the 2018 FUCHS LUBRICANTS MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Rally North Wales (Saturday 24 March), have been announced.
 Ken Davies and Alan Jones collected the award for the ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, which is a set of axle brake pads from Mintex. They had a good run in their Volvo Amazon to finish 43rd among the historic finishers.
 The ‘Spirit of the Rally’ product award from Fuchs Lubricants went to Paul Barrett and Dai Roberts who finished third overall despite a frantic rush to get their freshly built Ford Escort Mk2 to the rally. The car was just ready in time to be driven onto the Dublin-Holyhead ferry on Thursday night and then suffered clutch problems during a shakedown test on Friday morning.
 Finally, Adam Milner won the ‘Hard Charger’ award of a 20-litre jerry can from Green Valley Industrial Supplies. Milner and co-driver Roy Jarvis turned in a spectacular performance to win Category 2 in their 1600cc Ford Escort Mk1 and finish in the top 10 overall against far more powerful cars.

Awesome opener for BHRC on Rally North Wales
Nick Elliott and Dave Price got the FUCHS LUBRICANTS MSA British Historic Rally Championship off to a fantastic start on Rally North Wales (Saturday 24 March) with a mighty historic victory at the head of a tremendous field.
 As well as being the first of eight BHRC rounds, Rally North Wales was also the first round of the BHRC Forest Challenge, supported by Rally and Competition Equipment, and the opening event for the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines. A sensational field lined up for the BHRC opener and there was tremendous competition across all classes.

 Elliott and Price (Ford Escort Mk2) threw a marker down on the opening test of six top quality stages in the Dyfi complex and took a lead they would never lose. However, they had a big rival on that opening stage as the BRM-powered Hillman Avenger of Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall was believed to have finished the stage within four seconds of Elliott. Sadly Rowlands went out on stage two with distributor problems.
 However, Elliott could never relax as Marty McCormack/Phil Clarke and Paul Barrett/Dai Roberts kept up the chase. At the halfway point, Ryan Barrett and Paul McCann were even closer to Elliott but a broken diff ended their rally on stage four. Instead, Ryan’s elder brother Paul was getting quicker and quicker in his fresh car and ended the rally just two seconds down on McCormack. But another overall historic victory and a win in the Rally and Competition Equipment Category 3 went to Elliott.
 A good day for Steve Bennett and Osian Owen netted fifth behind the non-registered Osian Pryce, despite losing a place back to Pryce when they knocked a tyre off the rim on the final stage. Alan Walker and John Connor battled all day with a misfire, but rounded out the top six after a friendly battle with Simon Webster/Jez Rogers, while James Slaughter/James Whitaker had a good day in eighth overall despite a steering rack issue before service.
 An amazing performance from Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis (1600cc Ford Escort Mk1) claimed overall spoils in the Skipton Ford Category 2 (see below). Meanwhile Barry Jordan and Paul Wakely had a good day to win class C3 in their Hillman Avenger while Chris Skill and Tom Murphy (Ford Escort Mk1) topped class C5 with Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss and Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne chasing hard.
 Class D3 produced another of the drives of the rally as Stuart Egglestone and Brian Hodgson claimed a superb victory in their Pinto-powered Escort Mk2. Over the first three stages Egglestone had to push hard to fend off Josh Browne/Jane Edgington and Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons. Egglestone headed the young chargers by 10 seconds at service but then had an easier afternoon as Browne retired at service with an oil leak and Friend suffered a final stage engine failure.
 
BHRC2 supported by Sherwood Engines
 Rally North Wales was the first round of the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines, which has been created to turn the spotlight on the REIS Category 1 (pre-1968) and all other up to 1600cc cars in the championship.
 Well over 20 cars lined up for the inaugural round of BHRC2 and it was the class C2 Escort Mk1 of Milner/Jarvis that set an outrageous pace to take a place in the overall top 10. However, they had a late worry when a loose oil union was found going into the second run of Gartheiniog. It all held together and Milner went seventh fastest through the nine-mile stage.
 The amazing Bob Bean headed the strong Category 1 field. Fresh from his 80th birthday, Bob and new co-driver Miles Cartwright were mighty in their Ford Lotus Cortina and showed hallmark pace to win the category overall.
 Other class winners in Category 1 were Malcolm Rich/Arwel Blainey (Ford Anglia) and Rikki Proffitt/Graham Wild (Porsche 911). The Porsche crew struggled with a misfire but went clear once 911 rival Dessie Nutt left his car teetering on the edge of a big drop at the flying finish of the first stage.


Stunning BHRC entry for Rally North Wales

 The FUCHS LUBRICANTS MSA British Historic Rally Championship will get off to a flying start on Rally North Wales (Saturday 24 March) with around 60 registered contenders in a two-wheel drive entry that has outstanding quality to match quantity.

 As well as being the first of eight BHRC rounds, Rally North Wales is also the first round of the BHRC Forest Challenge, supported by Rally and Competition Equipment.

 The BHRC field is packed with quality and is headed by the crew that came so close to taking the overall title in 2017. Nick Elliott and Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2) will return to the event they won the historic section of in 2017 in a bid to get a fresh title challenge off to a flying start.

 In what is the best BHRC field for at least three seasons, Elliott and Price have a raft of rivals including similar Mk2s for Joe Price/Chris Brooks, Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis, Paul Barrett/Dai Roberts and Ryan Barrett/Paul McCann. The battle at the head of the historic rally is also sure to feature two more Escorts in the expert hands of Osian Pryce and Marty McCormack, but they may not be registered for the BHRC due to other commitments this season.

 Another pack of very quick Escorts could well be in the mix including the cars of Rudi Lancaster/Guy Weaver, Alan Walker/John Connor, Steve Bennett/Osian Owen and Simon Webster/Jez Rogers. Rivalling the Escorts will be two spectacular cars from Barry Jordan’s stable and the Hillman Avenger BRM of Ieuan Rowlands/Emyr Hall could really mix it with the top Escorts. Jordan and Paul Wakely will wow the crowds with their Fiat 131.

 Class D3, for the Pinto-engined Escort Mk2s in Category 3, has one of its strongest entries for some time as class pacesetters Ben Friend and Cliffy Simmons plan to carry on where they left off last season. However, they’ve got some serious opposition in the form of similar cars for Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson and Josh Browne/Jane Edgington.

 An excellent Category 2 entry is topped by BDA-powered Escort Mk1s for Chris Browne/Ali Cornwell-Browne, Chris Skill/Tom Murphy, Andrew Stokes/Adrian McNally and Mark Holmes/Craig Simkiss, while the glorious Datsun 240Z of Graham Patten/Pauline Hale makes a first foray onto gravel.

 Finally, a cracking entry in class C3 promises yet another fierce class contest as BMW 2002 pilot Terry Cree takes on the quick Escort Mk1s of Josh Carr/Ben Hall and Mike Simpson/Dale Gibbons.

  

BHRC2 supported by Sherwood Engines

 Significantly, the event’s new format has caught the imagination of those contesting the new BHRC2, supported by Sherwood Engines, which has been created to turn the spotlight on the Category 1 (pre-1968) and up to 1600cc cars in the championship.

 Well over 20 cars will line-up for the inaugural round of BHRC2 and it is the class C2 Escort Mk1 of Adam Milner and Roy Jarvis that will be expected to set the pace. Yorkshireman Milner is a prodigious talent and despite limited experience in Wales, he will be tough to beat.

 Ranged against Milner in C2 are similar Escorts for John Williams/Gethin Sollis, racers David Gathercole and Martyn Donn and Stuart and Linda Cariss. Back on gravel in his Escort after a lengthy gap is Matt Fowle and he will be quick, as will BHRC returnee Robin Shuttleworth and Ronnie Roughead. Irishman Ken Graham is another swift Avenger pilot in one of the most hotly-contested classes of all.

 A glorious Category 1 entry has clearly shown that these cars are ready to rally if given a fair deal on running order and road condition. Topping the field are the Porsche 911s of Rikki Proffitt/Graham Wild and Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride, but flying Lotus Cortinas will chase them hard. Notably Bob Bean, who is tackling his first rally since his 80th birthday, and Paul Mankin will head the Cortina charge while Ian Beveridge is back in his Volvo PV544. From class B3 are two very potent Fords: the Cortina Mk2 GT of Bob Gibbons/David Nicholson and the Ford Anglia of Malcolm Rich/Arwel Blainey.

 Class B1/B2 for the up to 1300cc Category 1 cars features wonderful variety as Mark Ferreday/Jordan Joines (VW Beetle) take on Bob Seager’s MG Midget and the Sunbeam Stiletto of Mike Barratt/Fiona Scarrett.

 The final element of BHRC2 is the 1600cc cars from Category 3 and they will be chasing a slice of BHRC2 glory, with the Talbot Sunbeam of David Hopkins and Tony Vart to the fore.

 Rally North Wales, which is sponsored by North Wales Rally Services, is the first rally to run to the new Rally 2WD format, which means that all of the 2WD cars will complete all of the 45 stage miles before the 4WD entries.

 More details are at the event website: www.rallynorthwales.co.uk.


FUCHS LUBRICANTS to partner 2018 British Historic Rally Championship 

FUCHS LUBRICANTS will be the title sponsor of the 2018 MSA British Historic Rally Championship in a partnership that further strengthens the links between FUCHS and the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club.


FUCHS LUBRICANTS will now be the headline sponsor for both the MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the established FUCHS LUBRICANTS RACRMC Historic Asphalt Rally Championship.

 

The popularity of both championships, aimed at historic two-wheel drive cars primarily from the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, will give FUCHS a strong platform to showcase its range of high performance lubricants, including the soon to be launched improved CLASSIC range of four-wheel engine and gear oils. All competing cars will feature FUCHS branding, which will carry across into the TV, social media and print media footprint of the twin championships. The RACRMC now has a total Facebook following of more than 20,000.

 

The new BHRC partnership comes at a time when gravel rallying for historic cars is poised for a strong season as events move towards formats that offer greater appeal for the historic crews. Meanwhile, the Historic Asphalt Rally Championship is continually building support from those who prefer to compete on sealed surfaces.

 

Colin Heppenstall from the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club said: “We’re delighted to build on our already strong links with FUCHS LUBRICANTS. I think the BHRC is set for a very strong season in 2018 and the Historic Asphalt Championship continues to attract new competitors. We would like to thank the team at FUCHS for its extended support.”

 

Sally Travis from FUCHS LUBRICANTS said: “We have been lucky enough to work with Colin and the team at the RACRMC for a few years now, and so I am excited about the chance to have the FUCHS name in partnership with both the UK’s top two historic championships. We have a long history in motor sport and our proven products are demanded by track day enthusiast to professional racer.”

 

The BHRC schedule is:

Saturday 24 March: North Wales Stages (Dolgellau)

Saturday 28 April: Pirelli Rally (Carlisle)

Friday/Saturday 8/9 June: Carlisle Stages (Carlisle)

Sunday 24 June: Red Kite Stages (Neath)

Sunday 29 July: Harry Flatters Rally (Brecon)

Thursday-Saturday 13-15 September: Rally Isle of Man (Douglas)

Friday/Saturday 28/29 September: Trackrod Historic Cup (Filey)

 

The Historic Asphalt schedule is:

Saturday/Sunday 3/4 March: Bovington Stages (Dorset)

Sunday 22 April: Rallye Salamandre (Belgium)

Sunday 3 June: Mini Epynt Stages (Brecon)

Sunday 29 July: Harry Flatters Rally (Brecon)

Thursday-Saturday 13-15 September: Rally Isle of Man (Douglas)

Friday/Saturday 12/13 October: Jersey Rally (St Helier)


Subject to MSA Approval


3rd January 2018: Change of date for Red Kite Stages.

The organisers of the Red Kite Stages, Amman and District Motor Club, have announced that due to circumstances beyond their control, the 2018 Red Kite Stages will now be running on Sunday 24th June 2018 and not as was previously announced on the Saturday.
Please update your calendars as appropriate.

17th December 2017: BHRC2 announced for Category 1 and 1600cc cars

A new division within the MSA British Historic Rally Championship, called BHRC2, will turn the spotlight on the Category 1 (pre-1968) and 1600cc cars in the championship. 

BHRC2 has been developed in response to the upsurge in interest from those looking to compete in Category 1 cars and 1600cc cars from across the historic age groups, which now run up to 1990. The new Rally 2WD event format, and revised running order on gravel events, has rebuilt interest in gravel rallying for these cars. 

“We have created BHRC2 to give these competitors their own identity within the overall championship,” said Colin Heppenstall from the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club. “ The overall BHRC is, of course, topped by the pace-setting cars and BHRC2 will be the ideal championship for clubmen, younger drivers and those moving to historic rallying for the first time.” 

The scoring within BHRC2 will be based on category and class points only, unlike the main BHRC which factors in overall points as well. BHRC2 will mirror the full BHRC schedule but the best five scores from eight rounds will count, thus allowing crews to select the events they most want to contest. 

As well as a separate points' table and end of season awards, BHRC2 will have dedicated media coverage and its own champagne sprays at the end of each rally. 

“The very encouraging response to the new Rally 2WD initiative includes a significant number of drivers from Category 1 and those with 1600cc cars”,  said Heppenstall. “We believe that the launch of BHRC2 will help to encourage these cars back out onto the stages”


12th December 2017: BHRC and RACRMC Asphalt Championships to launch at NEC
The 2018 MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the 2018 RACRMC Historic Asphalt Rally Championship will be unveiled to the public at Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC (11-14 January). Read more here.


11th October 2017: Provisional dates for 2018 season announced
It's only just over a week since the end of the 2017 season, but the organisers of the Mintex MSA BHRC have announced the provisional dates for the 2018 Championship. The series organisers have moved to ensure that the historic crews get the best possible road conditions on the five gravel rallies. 

The 2018 calendar will feature a number of significant changes, most notable being a commitment that the historic crews will run ahead of the four-wheel-drive cars on all five gravel events. Read the full story here


 


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