The 45th running of the Rallynuts Stages Rally heralds a significant change to the event formally known as the Severn Valley Stages, as entries open this week for the re-named event on the 14th April 2018.
Established racewear and accessory firm Rallynuts Motorsport became title sponsor of the rally in 2016 and thanks to the success of the past two years, have further enhanced the partnership by signing a long-term agreement to become title sponsors until 2023.
Located in its now traditional rally base at in Builth Wells, organisers of the popular event have devised a new-for-2018 route, which offers 45 miles of classic rallying in the Cefn, Crychan, Gwibedog and Radnor forests, spread across seven stages.
To ensure the conditions of the Welsh forests are in optimum condition for all crews in the field, 31 miles will be single use, ensuring smooth roads for all competitors on the Midland Manor Motor Club organised rally.
The all-gravel event will also welcome back the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Championship which returns after 27 years away. The rally was a round of the Gold Star Championship between 1983 and 1990 and the national rally series will undoubtedly bring a new feel to the event and along with it, a wide range of cars and crews from across the UK to the county of Powys in April.
It will once again be a qualifying round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship, who will be joined by the West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters and the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship.
The event will retain many of its popular characteristics from the last few years, offering competitors a cost effective, compact and friendly rally in the heart of Wales.
The rally base at the Royal Welsh Showground offers a perfect location for the event thanks to its unrivalled facilities, playing host to Rally HQ, Scrutineering, attended overnight parking, service and the start and finish ceremonies.
Joint Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley believes the format of this year’s event is one of the best yet and is looking forward to welcoming both championship and non-championship crews to the event.
“Year on year we have worked really hard to ensure our event has a great route across stages that are in their prime and I think we have that just right again in 2018, especially with the significant amount of single usage on offer” he says.
“This will really help the crews further back in the field and as it’s the first time these stages will have been used this year, they will be in top condition. We are also of course delighted to welcome Rallynuts as long-term title sponsors and the despite the date, name and championship change, we are still the same great rally everyone has enjoyed in the past. It has all the ingredients of a great weekend of rallying”.
The all-gravel event will enter its 45th year in 2018 and after being renamed the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages in 2016, will adopt a new title after signing a long-term agreement with leading motorsport firm, Rallynuts.
The popular rally will once again be based in Builth Wells and welcomes the BTRDA Rally Series for the first time since 1990 to the event. Moving from its traditional June date, the Rallynuts Stages has made the shift to a spring slot and will see it form round three of the national gravel championship.
It will also form round four of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship and will be joined by the West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters and the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship.
Becoming title sponsor of the rally in 2016, established racewear and accessory firm Rallynuts Motorsport had continued their support for the event into 2017 and thanks to the success of the past two years, will further enhance the partnership
Managing Director of Rallynuts Paul Bonas is excited at the agreement as the firm enters a phase of expansion at its premises in the Midlands.
“Rallynuts celebrates its 27th birthday next year and what a great way to celebrate by helping to host a round of the fantastic BTRDA Rally Championship and the new name which will see the event being called the Rallynuts Stages Rally “ says Bonas.
“Rallynuts is committed to supporting this event until at least 2023 and we look forward to welcoming many of you to this event so you can share in this fantastic rally experience. Our new Showroom opens soon in Redditch and we would be delighted to welcome everyone to our new facility in the near future.”
“We are entering an exciting phase in the firm’s history and we would encourage anyone in the motorsport fraternity to try us out. We think you will be very pleasantly surprised. We are proud and excited to be part of this new round of BTRDA and welcome our existing championships back to the event. Id like wish everyone involved a great event and every success”.
Connor McCloskey and John Rowan made the trip across the Irish Sea a worthwhile one, taking a dominant win at the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages this weekend (3rd June) in their Ford Fiesta WRC.
Making it a Fiesta podium lockout, Charles Payne and Carl Williamson took second spot in his new version of the Fiesta WRC with the husband and wife pairing of Martyn and Dawn England rounding off the top three in their R5+ derivative.
Sponsored once again by established race wear and accessory firm Rallynuts Motorsport, the Midland Manor Motor Club organised event started its 44th year with around 90 cars from the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship and Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship.
Crews contested 44 miles across classic Welsh forests including Crychan and Radnor and endured a largely dry and dusty day with scattered showers ensuring some sections of the stages remained slippery under the trees.
Courtesy of winning the rally in 2013, McCloskey started the event with the coveted number one on the door and was looking for seat time on gravel ahead of the remaining rounds of the season.
Leading from the very first stage, McCloskey opened proceedings with a two second gap on stage one and crossed the finish line at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells with a 45 second winning margin.
The Northern Irishman enjoyed a trouble free day and was pleased to take his second event win and in the process, took maximum points for his Welsh Rally Championship aspirations.
“It’s been a great day and I`m pleased to head to the Carlisle Rally next weekend with a win under our belts” said rally winner McCloskey at the finish. “We backed off a little over the final loop to conserve the car but the stages have been fantastic today. The car has been faultless too so everything has just come together for us this weekend.”
Charles Payne spent the event getting to grips with his new Fiesta WRC having previously piloted an S2000 version of the car. Needing to adopt a new driving style for the two litre machine, he quickly adapted to his new surroundings and never ventured outside of the podium positions all event long. Payne was “suitably at home” by the time he sprayed the champagne back at Builth Wells in second spot.
Whilst the top two positions remained reasonably static throughout the day, the battle for third spot changed hands several times before settling in the favour of the England’s with quickest time over the final test. Dylan Davies and Llion Williams were the first to challenge for the podium in their Subaru Impreza.
Opening proceedings with a second fastest time, his climb up the leader board was thwarted by a misfire which never left the Welsh pairing during the entire event. Despite a brief trip back up to third on the penultimate stage, Davies was forced to settle for fourth spot.
Taking first in the British Historic Championship, Nick Elliott and Dave Price battled all event long with local man Jason Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke with Elliott taking victory by just five seconds after a tense day of competitive driving.
Both driving Ford Escort MK2’s, Pritchard and Elliott swapped seconds on each of the seven tests, with the super-fast Radnor stage deciding the event in the favour of Elliott.”I was a little scrappy this morning which cost us a bit of time but I`m really pleased to have taken another Historic win today” said Elliott.
“I knew Jason would be quick this weekend so its nice to head into the asphalt rounds with a bit of pressure on him for the remainder of the season”.
Steve Bennett and Osian Owen rounded off the top three in the Historic category in their MK2 Escort. With only one event under his belt so far in 2017, Bennett showed no sign of being rusty with several top ten overall times throughout the day, marking his intensions for the remainder of the season.
Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley was delighted with the 2017 event. “Congratulations to Connor for taking his second event win here at the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages” said Ashley.
“We have received some fantastic feedback from competitors today and it is a credit to our dedicated organising team for producing a first class rally once again. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteer marshals who helped ensure the event ran faultlessly. We also would like to thank our sponsor Rallynuts for all their support and look forward to continuing our relationship for next year’s event and beyond”.
An impressive line-up of names will contest this weekend’s Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages
A top-class entry will head to Builth Wells this weekend as the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship and Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship converge for the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages (3rd June).
Sponsored once again by established race wear and accessory firm Rallynuts Motorsport, the Midland Manor Motor Club organised event enters its 44th year and around 90 cars will contest the rally.
Based at the Royal Welsh Showground, the event takes place in the Gwibedog, Cefn, Crychan and Radnor forests with 44 miles of special stages lying in wait. With world class stages on offer, the event has attracted the attentions of competitors from across UK and Ireland. Connor McCloskey brings his stunning Ford Fiesta WRC across the Irish Sea with John Rowan alongside.
The 2013 Severn Valley Stages winner heads to the event in a bid to gain more experience of the Welsh forests and to improve on his 14th spot in the Welsh Championship. He will be one to watch for his second outright victory at the weekend.
BTRDA regular Charles Payne will pilot his new Ford Fiesta WRC, co-driven by Carl Williamson. Payne has a proven record in the Welsh forests, taking a podium spot on the event in 2010 and will undoubtedly be embroiled in a battle for the win with McCloskey.
Dylan Davies and Llion Williams will aim to improve on their current Welsh Championship position in their Subaru Impreza. After winning the Red Kite Stages earlier this year, another win has eluded the Welsh pairing and will be hoping to reverse that at the weekend.
Fellow Subaru Impreza crew Andy Davies and Max Freeman have showed a fine run of form recently, taking their showroom Group N specification version to second in the Welsh Championship. They will be looking to close in on the gap to first.
Also in action this weekend will be event sponsor Rallynuts co-director Craig Cameron in a Subaru Impreza. Co-driven by Chris Rice, Cameron can often be found in the passenger seat for fellow director Paul Bonas but will be behind the wheel this time around.
The eagerly anticipated Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship returns to the event once again and provides rally fans with plenty of action on the stages. Leading the field away are Nick Elliott and Dave Price in their Ford Escort Mk2. Taking three wins from three so far this season, they will aim to make it four in a row as the series turns to asphalt after the Severn Valley Stages, a surface Elliott has perhaps less of an affinity with.
Local hero Jason Pritchard is Elliott’s closest rival and literally crosses the road from the family car dealership to the Royal Welsh Showground rally base. With Phil Clarke in the co-driver’s seat, Pritchard will use his Ford Escort MK2 in the forest closest to his Builth Wells home and hopes to take his first win of the season.
Rudi Lancaster has returned to the sport in recent years after a several decades away, but now is on the edge of his first historic category win in his Escort Mk2. Guy Weaver co-drives for the Devon man and the duo are third crew away.
Spectators will be given plenty of opportunities to catch the action both on and off the stages. Competitors will be flagged away by the Mayor of Builth Wells Town Council at 8.30am on Saturday from the Royal Welsh Showground before heading out to tackle seven challenging stages. Crews will return for service at 10.50am and 1.00pm with the finish celebrations taking place at around 4pm.
Crychan kicks off the spectator stages with its first run at around 9.30am. The forest can be accessed just north east of Cynghordy and with a second pass at 3.00pm, is a popular spot for rally fans.
Radnor offers another chance to watch the cars in action, with one pass of the stage at around 12.15pm. The stage can be accessed off the A488 near Monaughty.
The popular event is also a round of the West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Challenge, FMP Rally Challenge and Brian Dennis Welsh Historic Rally Championship.
Image: Gasmark Media
The 2017 Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages will mark a special occasion for Pembroke resident John Williams, as he returns to the event for the first time in exactly 30 years. After contesting the Welsh Rally Championship back in the 80’s, John retired from active competition due to family commitments and of course costs.
Three decades later, John has decided to return to the event which marked his last outing way back in 1987.
Read his story:
“I started rallying in 1984 at the age of 18 and contested various events until I really went for it on the 1987 Welsh Forestry Championship in my home built MK2 RS2000” he says. “I scored a few good results with a best placing of 3rd overall on a snowy Mid Wales stages and was co driven by Andy Morgan who later went on to co drive for ‘Mad’ Mick Jones.”
John in action on the 1987 Severn Valley Stages
“I was I think lying about 2nd in the championship to Jon Ballinger but by the end of the Severn Valley stages I had big problems with my engine and could not afford to repair it. I just basically run out of money and could see no way of funding it as I was at home on a farm with my father and money was tight so I just sold the car. I loved the sport but could not afford it so just tried to forget about it and would not attend events because of that. I took up other sports in the meantime that were a lot cheaper.”
A sentiment which rings true with many of us of course. However, once a rally driver…always a rally driver.
“In 2014 my new son in law bought a rally car and I went along to help service and I am afraid that was it, the bug came back and within a year I had bought myself a MK1 Escort because I now prefer the look and the history of the Mk1 Escort. I did 4 SV rallies last year to get the feel back but my heart lies in the forests so I am really looking forward to this years SV stages. I think it was my very first forest rally in 1985 as well . My intention is just to get round and relearn all the techniques on how to drive on loose surfaces, you just cannot practice any other way unfortunately but to just do it.”
Organisers of the event wish John the very best of luck.
Main Image: John in action in his MK1 Escort in 2016.
Entries now open for Builth Wells based rally on 3rd June
Regulations for this year’s Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages are now available and organisers of the 3rd June event are confident the 44th running of the Midland Manor Motor Club rally will be one of the best yet.
Established racewear and accessory firm, Rallynuts Motorsport will join the event as title sponsor once again in 2017 and the event will contain around 44 competitive miles of prime stages in the Gwibedog, Cefn, Crychan and Radnor forests.
The popular event is once again a round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship and the West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Challenge. The event is also joined in 2017 by the FMP Rally Challenge and Brian Dennis Welsh Historic Rally Championship.
An impressive 30 miles will be first usage in a bid to encourage entries from all ages of vehicle, equating to 68% of the total route across some of the best forest locations that Wales has to offer.
Based in Builth Wells, Powys a compact route and centralised service at the Royal Welsh Showground will keep costs to a minimum. With changes to the arrangements for repairing forests after events, the organising team has worked hard to keep the event fee under £600 and believe the entry fee represents good value for money at £595.
The Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells will once again host the rally and provide an unrivalled venue for Rally HQ, Scrutineering, free attended overnight parking, start/finish, service area and the awards ceremony. Camping and caravanning facilities are available at the Showground from £10 a night.
Competitors will be flagged away by the Mayor of Builth Wells Town Council at 8.30am on Saturday 3rd June, to tackle the seven challenging stages made famous by the World Rally Championship qualifier Wales Rally GB, before returning for a champagne finish just after 4pm.
Having been known for 13 years as the Kerridge Stages Rally followed by the Mutiny Stages Rally, the continued association with Rallynuts Motorsport offers an opportunity for the event to expand with a dynamic route and stages. Joint Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley believes they have the perfect formula for competitors and rally fans alike this year.
“These forests are regarded across the world as some of the best there is and we do have to agree with that sentiment. Add in the fact that we have just a few miles used for a second time, I’m confident that crews in both the modern and historic category’s will enjoy every second of the event. It’s a great opportunity for those not in a championship to get experience of the Welsh stages too and we always offer a warm welcome to everyone who contests the event”.
The Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages event regulations and online entry form are available on the event website, at www.severnvalleystages.co.uk
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Biggest entry for several years as crews line up to tackle classic Welsh Stages
Over 120 crews will head away from the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on Saturday 4th June as they tackle this year’s Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages. With a revised route and a host of top-line championships joining the Midland Manor Motor Club organised event, competitors from across the UK will tackle 45 stage miles of classic Welsh forests across Powys this weekend.
The popular event is a round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship, the new HRCR Stage Masters Challenge and a reserve round of the FMP Rally Challenge which will all provide a close fought battle on the stages throughout the day. With stages such as Cefn, Crychan and Gwibedog joining the re-introduced Radnor test, organisers have devised a fresh new route across stages which have been chosen specifically for their prime condition.
Sporting the coveted Number 1 on the doors will be MSA British Rally Championship contenders Jamie Anderson from Leicestershire and Ross Whittock in their Ford Fiesta R5 who are keen to sample the stages ahead of the BRC round in July. Hot on their heels will be Welsh Rally Championship leaders Luke Francis from Rhuddlan and John Roberts in their Mitsubishi E9 at number two seed. Third car on the road falls to Llanon’s Dylan Davies and co-driver Mark Glennerster who bring their familiar Subaru Impreza to the event.
Another British Championship regular Ollie Mellors starts at five in his Proton Satria Neo S2000 with Ian Windress alongside. Tristan Bailey and Jamie Edwards are at six in the popular Mitsubishi WRC 04 but have Northern Irishman Enda McCnulty just behind in seventh, who makes the trip across the Irish Sea in his Subaru Impreza co-driven by Ronan O’Kane. Martyn and Dawn England head a duo of Fiesta R5’s in eighth with Tomas and Eurig Davies joining the BRC regulars in ninth.
British Historic Rally Championship frontrunner Jason Pritchard can claim to be the closest local competitor with the family car dealership a stone’s throw from the Builth Wells Rally HQ. With Phil Clarke alongside, Pritchard will use his Ford Escort RS1800 in a bid to better his second place on last year’s Severn Valley Stages at car 10 and leads the pack of BHRC contenders. Having suffered a sizeable ‘off’ at last month’s Pirelli Carlisle Rally, Nick Elliot and Dave Price start at 11 in their Ford Escort after a hasty rebuild in between events. Winners of that event Joe Price and Chris Brooks are away at 12 in their similar machine. Championship leader Paul Barrett is accompanied by Dai Roberts at car 14 in their Ford Escort.
Andy Davies and Max Freeman head the FMP Rally Challenge crews at 17 with likeable Welsh lady driver Sara Williams and co-driver Patrick Walsh just behind at 25, both in Subaru Impreza’s. In the HRCR Stage Masters Challenge, Stanley Orr and Guy Weaver are out front in their Ford Escort RS2000 at 21 but you’ll need to look someway down the field at 95 to find the next crew of Rikki Proffitt and Graham Wild in their stunning Datsun 240Z.
Spectators are also well catered for this year with several top-class viewing locations along the route to watch the action from. The Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells plays host to the rally and provides an unrivalled venue for Rally HQ, Scrutineering and Documentation during the afternoon of Friday 3rd June.
Crews will be flagged away from the Showground at 8.30am on Saturday 4th by the Lord Mayor of Builth Wells, Councilor Meryl Prynne alongside commentary and interviews before heading towards the first spectator stage at Crychan at 09.30am. The Radnor stage kicks off at around 12.00pm which is then followed by the second run through Crychan at around 2.30pm with the lucky crews returning to the finish at the Showground just after 3.30pm. A table full of glittering glassware awaits the winners at the Awards Ceremony at 6.30pm in Rally HQ.
Popular event tops 100 entry mark as eager crews line up to tackle classic Welsh stages
Over 100 entries have already been received for this year’s Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages and with only days left until entries close for the 4th June event, organisers are predicting one of the largest entries the event has seen for many years. Crews from some of the best rally championships in the UK will head to the Builth Wells based event to tackle 45 miles over seven “prime condition” stages which have been confirmed after the final route survey this week.
As a round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship, HRCR Stage Masters Challenge and FMP Rally Challenge, the Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages will see a wide and varied depth of entries to this year’s event. Thanks to the efforts of the Motor Sports Association and Natural Resources Wales, an extension to the 2015 forestry fees (for this event only) enabled the event to go ahead as planned.
Regular championship contenders will be joined by MSA British Rally Championship hopefuls who are all eager to sample the fresh new route in 2016 which includes the popular Radnor test after a break of six years. In a bid to provide a value for money rally, the Midland Manor Motor Club organising committee has achieved a route which has 64% of single stage usage (36% of repeat usage) with an entry fee of just £525 and only utilises stages which have been chosen for their prime condition.
Joint Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley is pleased with the format and conditions for this year’s event. ”I believe we have provided a great route this year and the road conditions are looking tip-top” says Ashley.” he said. “The team has worked hard this year to provide a strong route that will suit everyone and we have ensured that only the hardest of forest tracks have been selected to ensure the entire field has good quality stages to compete on during the day. We indebted to Paul and Craig from Rallynuts Motorsport Ltd for the support they are providing this year”.
The Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells plays host to the rally and provides an unrivalled venue for Rally HQ, Scrutineering, Attended Overnight Parking, Start/Finish, Service Area and Awards Ceremony. Competitors will be flagged away from the Showground at 8.30am on Saturday 4th to tackle seven classic Welsh stages, before returning to the finish just after 3.30pm.
The 2016 Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages event regulations and online entry form are available on the event website at www.severnvalleystages.co.uk .
The closing date for entries is midday on Friday 27th May.
Those requiring Common Route Notes of types A,B and C will need to order these by Monday 23rd May.
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New route across classic Welsh Stages and entry fee held for 4th June event
Organisers of this year’s Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages are delighted to announce that not only will the event be going ahead as planned on the 4th June, but there will be no increase to the advertised entry fee of £525.
The popular event offers 44 competitive stage miles in classic Welsh forests such as Cefn, Crychan and Radnor, seeing an exciting new route across stages which have been chosen this year primarily for their prime condition. The organising team has also ensured the event provides maximum value for money for its competitors by providing 64% of single stage usage (36% of repeat usage) with an entry fee of just £525.
Thanks to the efforts of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the governing body of UK motor sport was able to reach an agreement with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) late last week to secure an extension to the 2015 road usage fees. This means the Midland Manor organised event can now scrap the surcharge that potentially could have been imposed if an agreement was not reached with NRW and competitors will now be able to sample some of the best stages in the country at a realistic cost.
Joint Clerk of the Course Chris Ashley is confident the route will suit everyone in the field “We have deliberately chosen the stages this year because we know they are of an excellent surface and stand up very well to a second pass” says Ashley. “The route was also designed to avoid any roads used previously this year by other events as best we could, meaning the entire field can benefit from smooth roads. Add to this just 36% of repeat usage and we truly believe we have an excellent format for all. I would encourage everyone to enter as soon as possible to ensure they can sample classic Welsh Stages at this price”.
“It has of course been a tense time for all of the rallying community and whilst the situation after our event has not yet been resolved, this news from the MSA means we can continue to offer some of the best stages in Wales at a cost effective figure” he adds. “We extend our sincere thanks to the MSA for all their hard work in negotiations with Natural Resources Wales and we can really press ahead with plans to host yet another fantastic event in the Welsh forests.”
The Builth Wells based rally is proud to be a round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship, the new HRCR Stage Masters Challenge and a reserve round of the FMP Rally Challenge.
The 2016 Rallynuts Motorsport Severn Valley Stages event regulations and online entry form are available on the brand new event website, visit www.severnvalleystages.co.uk
Press release from the Motor Sports Association – 18.00 – 6th May 2016
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have reached a temporary agreement allowing the Severn Valley Stages to proceed as planned on 4 June, and the MSA is encouraging crews to submit their entries as soon as possible.
The Severn Valley Stages is based in Builth Wells and organised by Midland Manor Motor Club. It is a round of the MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the MSA Welsh Rally Championship.
Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said: “This is excellent news for the dedicated organising team behind the Severn Valley Stages, who have continued to work hard on their pre-event preparation despite the current uncertainty. What Midland Manor Motor Club need now is for the rallying community to turn out in force on 4 June, so we would please encourage all crews considering competing to get their entries in now. The MSA appreciates the fact that NRW has worked closely with us to achieve this accommodation for the Severn Valley Stages.”
Keith Ashley, Clerk of the Course for the Severn Valley Stages, said: “Going ahead as planned is absolutely brilliant news after the uncertainty of the last few weeks. It is also good for both the sport and the volunteers who have spent 12 months organising the rally. We’re extremely grateful to senior management at both the MSA and NRW for their positive approach and willingness to bring forward solutions to a difficult problem. Extending the previous cut-off date for the 2015 fees as a one-off measure will enable the 43rd running of the Severn Valley Stages to go ahead.”
The MSA and NRW continue to work together to negotiate a wider agreement for forest stage rallying in Wales.