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.