The Very Best Season Yet 2010

The Very Best Season Yet 2010




MSA British Historic Champion

British Historic Tarmac Champion

Welsh Historic Champion


Three championships sealed in what has been a fantastic ending to the year. 

Big thanks must go to all the team, Andrew, Ben, Bill, Steve, Sue and Kevin ‘KJ’ for prepping the car and my driver – without your support this would not have been possible, it is a team effort.


Also a great big thanks to Dawn, my wife without your support and looking after Ryan whilst I am away all the time, I would not be able to go rallying. 

Thanks must also go to our sponsor’s – Ashmores Press Brake Tooling, Draycott Bakery, Cambrian Tyres, Renewable Developments Wales and Hobbs Bros.

The 2010 season started on the Wydean rally – the event was based at Chepstow racecourse. This was the first round of the Welsh championship. This was the first time I had really had chance to appreciate the new Alan Sherwood engine – what a unit down those straights in Serridge and Speech house, a big smile on my face when we came in to service, commenting that ‘that was quick in there’. We won the Historic’s and came first 2 wheel drive beating all the BTRDA regulars aswell – a great start to the season.


Then we moved on to the second round of the Welsh and the first round of the British championship the Bulldog rally now based in Welshpool for the first time. Now despite winning the Bulldog Clubman rally with Pete ‘the builder’ in the 555 Impreza, the Bulldog has not been particularly kind to me since its reintroduction back into the British Historic Championship – enough to say we had a core plug blow out on the first stage Big Ray, but just as though he was watching over me we managed to carry on to the end of the stage and no damage was done to the engine. 

The Red Kite rally was up next based in Llandovery and part of the Welsh Championship. The event had been rescheduled from its original January date and after the engine problems on the Bulldog, we decided to enter. A great little event double using the classic stages of Brechfa and Caio. What a stage that Caio is – we had fastest time through there on the last stage over a second a mile faster than a couple of well known local crews – that engine again was really pulling strongly in there, brilliant and another maximum haul of points for the Welsh Historic Championship.

The Second round of the British Historic came next with a venture into ‘Killer Kielder’. This year’s event was again based at the excellent facilities at Carlisle Racecourse – just some very long road section to endure as this is nowhere near the stages. Well this is where some TV notoriety was gained we were leading the Category two all day and up to 3rd overall on the event, but 1/2mile from the end of the last stage we came over a crest and the inside wheel just caught the grass pulling us into a ditch as deep as the car – she wasn’t coming out of there in a hurry. So two round gone on the British Historic championship and we were well behind no points at all !


On to Tarmac next and a visit to Mynydd Epynt for the Welsh Rally. The event was based at Theathr Brycheiniog in Brecon. A great run over here saw some top six times set overall and winning the Historic event outright giving another maximum point’s haul for the Welsh Historic Championship – this one was going much better than the British at the moment.


So now back on to the gravel and the dust for the Severn Valley Rally. The event based at Builth Wells show ground using the classic Wales Rally GB stages of Crychan, Halfway and that epic stage Radnor. Leading after SS1 by 1 second we had a monster off up a fire break at about 60mph – we hadn’t got any notes for up there!. That cost us a good 40 seconds and meant we returned to service in second place. Then a big push through Radnor saw us win the Category 2 and come 3rd overall on the event. This meant that we had got another full score for the Welsh Historic championship and that we had got a maximum score on the door for the British Historic Championship.

The Mid Wales Stages was up next – based in Newtown this event uses more Rally Wales GB stages of Myherin, Tarrenig, Hafren and Sweet Lamb. A big push in SS1 Hafren came to no avail as the stage was stopped and red flagged – as everybody saw on the incar, my driver took some convincing that he had to stop for the red flag. SS2 and we had a small lead. On to service and then back for a repeat of SS1. Again more TV notoriety, the car in front Conor Corkhill had rolled at a couple of hundred yards later, we ended up going left at a hairpin right despite loud protestations from my seat that it was right. With all the dust flying around the manoeuvre to get the car back on the track proved less than successful and we ending up backing down a hole the size of the car and rolling on to its side – that was that another 0 points for both championships. 

This kind of focus’s the mind as now we could not afford another none finish all year if we were to claim either championship.


Tarmac again next and a visit to the Isle of Man, with the event again based in Douglas using some classic Manx stages. The tarmac rounds on  the British Historic Championship allow a recce and we worked hard at this sorting out some good notes. The event though was very very wet and foggy – typical Manx weather. We had several fastest times and we leading the event out right, but decided that rather than push for the overall win, we would concentrate on getting maximum championship points. The car again ran faultlessly and we came 3rd and won category 2 again – getting the British Championship back on track  with a one and a half points score for here for the fly away rounds. 

Still on tarmac next with another visit to Mynydd Epynt for the second round of the British Tarmac championship the Harry Flatters again based in Brecon. Just as we were waiting on aircraft straight for the first 21mile stage the heavens opened – we still set fastest time though. Another 3 fastest times on the event saw us win category 2 again and come second overall to Mark Solloway  in his ‘kugelfischer’ fuel injected Mk 2 that was producing over 280 BHP. We were only 40 secs behind using the same tyres that we used on the Manx and over 84 miles that’s not too bad. More maximum points for the Welsh Historic here.



We had to miss the next round of the Welsh Historic Championship  - Neath Valley Stages, due to being on the recce for the next round of the British Championship the Ulster. Based in Antrim this was a new round to the championship, so we had to work really hard on the notes learning the new stages – sometimes you just cannot predict what the Irish bumps will do. We have 3 main competitors here, last year’s event winner Keith McIvor in his Porsche 911, Jeremy Easson and returning to his local event Ernie Graham (the stages on the Saturday, went straight past his junior school and his parent’s farm where he grew up!) This was going to be difficult. The event started well with us coming a cross a tent in the middle of the road in the first stage on a flat out bit just after a crest – that was strange. After day one we were once again leading so we had secured a set of half points to go with the set we got on the Manx. On to day two and Ernie’s local knowledge came into play and we were trailing back in third going in to the last two stages – just over a second a mile was needed to get back the lead we took seventeen seconds out of McIvor on the penultimate stage and a further 11 on the last one this gave us the event victory beating Ernie Graham on the Saturday points scores as well by 4 seconds. So we had managed to get another 1 ½ maximum points scores to give us a total of 4 maximum scores put of 6 needed. I had secured the British Tarmac Championship here with one event to go. The main British Championship was still very much on in my eyes, but we just needed to take one event at a time and just do our best on that event and see where we ended up lying afterwards – non finishes were not an option.



Over the Channel next and into Europe for the superb Tour of Flanders. The event base on Roeselare had a slightly different format this year with just two stages in the dark on the Friday and four stages repeated 3 times on the Saturday with the event scheduled to finish at around 23.30 for us – a long day. Now we had again the competition Jeremy Easson, Chris Browne and also returning to the series was a former double British Historic Champion Steve Smith. Now Steve entered the event in his TR7 V8 in category 3 so imagine my surprise when what should come out of the XS racing trailer but a brand new C5 Mark 1 Escort complete with a new Sherwood engine – we definitely had a fight on here now if we wanted to be British Historic Champions this year.  Again we had a recce here, so more hard work learning the stages was needed especially the night ones on the Friday as things can look so different in the dark. We had a good go on the Friday night experiencing the tyres going off like jelly and the car really pushing on at the corners combined with brake fade as well. We were leading though after the two Friday night stages - after Jeremy Easson had a massive crash into a drainage ditch whilst overtaking a car. We were really going well on the Saturday with the notes working well. On Hooglede second through an indiscretion with and iron staking post and a kerb almost cost us, as we clouted it hard. We had bent the rim on doing so but the tyre stayed up and we changed it on the way to Passendale the next stage. Then we had the final run though the stages in the dark easing off here as we had already established a 2 minute lead. Another event win was confirmed after a visit to post event scrutineering, where we were being encouraged to go to parc ferme at 12.30 at night after we had been there for an hour or so. We politely declined and set off back to Expo to celebrate our victory with prize giving not finishing until 02.30 in the morning!


 So one event left now in each championship now – things we starting to get interesting. 

Final round of the British Historic Rally Championship – the Trackrod Rally based this year in Scarborough. 4 stages and 42 mile were what separated me from my second British Historic Championship. The first two stages were in Dalby and again we had Steve Smith to contend with here. Second after SS1 as we had been just a little too cautious, braking slightly too early and trying not to go off as the stages were the worst I have seen the Yorkshire forests after heavy overnight rain. A quick change of the rear tyres and on to SS2 starting with a ½ mile straight – mote commitment was shown here and we came out the stage in the lead by 25 seconds, as Steve Smith had over shot a junction. On to SS3 Staindale now and another push in here saw us still in the lead as in his attempts to catch us Steve Smith had rolled his car and broken his wrist.

One more stage left 16 miles in Langdale and another visit to post event scrutineering – a few nerves here and not a particularly good stage – but we had done enough and won Category 2 again to get a maximum 6 out 6 scores to recapture the British Historic Championship.


 One more event now needed for the Welsh Championship. It had been a while since we had been out on a Welsh event and we were off to the Cambrian rally based in Llandudno using the classic stages of Clocaenog and Penmachno. Basically I had to finish the event and after the Cambrian in 2009 when we retired after 2 miles, I did not underestimate the task involved in doing this. The day dawned nice and sunny as we headed off to Clocaenog. We lead the category 2 all day and picked up another maximum score to clinch my first Welsh Historic Championship.


Once again a massive thanks to all involved – I could not have done it without all your help





MSA British Historic Champion

British Historic Tarmac Champion

Welsh Historic Champion