Donegal 5

Andy and Max get air on their way to second in class (FOKUS Photographic)

              On the 15th to the 17th of June Ireland sees possibly one of its largest and most eagerly awaited rallies on the calendar take place, the Donegal International rally, organised by Donegal Motor club. It’s a hotly contested rally that often attracts the biggest names from all over Ireland and further afield to Letterkenny to compete on the event. The rally launch took place on the Friday evening before competition began on Saturday and carried on through Sunday giving competitors twenty stages totalling some 180 miles of competition.

andy ystwyth

Andy and Cadog get air in IDZ on their way to victory (Neil Constable)

Sunday the 3rd of June once again saw club members out in action on a targa rally. This one being the Ystwyth targa, and organised by Aberystwyth and district motor club. The event took place at the Sweet Lamb rally complex near Llangurig and gave competitors some 40 miles of competitive tests. The weather was warm and sunny which was excellent for specators but meant that dust was present and hung in the air between cars given an extra challenge for the competitors.

anwen classic tracks

Anwen Davies and Sioned Davies on their way to 3rd in class and best female crew (Aneurin James)

Club members have been involved in plenty of action over the past couple of weeks, with the Night owl road rally organised by Aberystwyth and district motor club taking place on the 19th and 20th of May, followed by the Llandysul motor club organised Classic tracks Targa rally taking place the following Sunday, on the 27th.

gary manx

Gary Davies and LLinos Jones-Edwards on thier way to a class win on the Manx National (MannMotorsports.co.uk)

It has been a very busy couple of weeks for club members as the rallying season really picks up, with road rallying calendar and stage rallying calendars both full of activity, offering competitors a number of events to get their rallying fix on. Club members have seen action here in Wales and overseas recently, with the Border 200/trophy rallies taking place in the lanes of North wales, as well as the Rally of the Lakes and the Manx National rallies taking place a short ferry ride away.

Motorsports Association

MSA relaxes position on seeding to help 2WD and historics

In a move designed to support two-wheel-drive and historic competitors, the Motor Sports Association (MSA) has relaxed its position to allow for split fields and more flexible seeding in stage rallying.

In 2015, the MSA reinforced the principle of running a single field, seeded in performance order. However, three years’ progress with rally safety has allowed the governing body to issue new guidelines for running two fields, including a provision to run the first field in reverse seeded order and also to seed by class.

The new guidelines allowing more flexible seeding are detailed in the latest version of the Stage Rally Safety Requirements (SRSRs), published today with effect from 1 July.

David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “The MSA’s position on seeding has always been subject to regular review and I’m pleased that we have reached a point where we can once again accommodate two-wheel-drive and historic machinery on the smoothest roads at the front of the field. We have listened to feedback from the sport and trust that this revised approach will be well received by the rallying community.”

Other key updates to the SRSRs include the operational aspects of the recently announced change from yellow to red flags, in line with FIA regulations. Please visit www.msauk.org/rallyfuture.

Image courtesy of Paul Lawrence.

Editor’s notes:

The MSA is the sole national governing body for four-wheel motor sport in the UK, as recognised by the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The MSA is a not-for-profit organisation (limited by guarantee) comprising around 750 affiliated motor clubs, which are represented by 13 Regional Associations nationwide. The MSA represents approximately 30,000 competition licence holders and nearly 11,000 volunteer marshals and officials, and issues around 5,000 event permits every year.

mel clacton rally

Melvyn Evans on the way to winning the Corbeau seats rally (JNAS photographic)

The 22nd of April was a day of firsts, as Chelmsford Motor club held the first ever closed road rally in England. It had been a very much eagerly awaited rally and attracted a strong entry that filled very quickly, with competitors from all over the country descended down to Clacton and Tendring to compete on the Corbeau Seats Rally Tending and Clacton. Members from Lampeter and district motor club were included on the entry list, with car 1 going to multiple event and championship winner Melvyn Evans out in a World Rally specification Subaru Impreza. He had Sean Hayde on pace note duties. Melvyn’s son Meirion took number 6 with regular navigator and fellow club member Jonathon Jackson. They were out in an R5 specification Ford Fiesta. Mark Glennerster was navigating in car 9. He was navigating in a Ford Fiesta for Michael O’Brien. Andy Davies was making his tarmac debut in his group N Subaru Impreza at 16, he was partnered once again by Lee Taylor having competed on many road rallies together over the past few years. In all the rally attracted 111 entries with 107 of them starting.

The first closed-road event organised under new legislation in England takes place on Sunday (22 April) when competitors from across the UK tackle the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton.

The Essex-based event is just two shy of a capacity 120-car entry, with crews coming from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland. First into the stages will be asphalt ace Melvyn Evans, who is seeded at number one, fresh from his victory in the opening round of the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship.

Evans and his fellow competitors will tackle 45 competitive miles across five stages on the Tendring Peninsula. There are two designated spectator areas and the rally will pass them three times during the day. Spectators will also be able to watch the cars being worked on in the Service Park, sited along Marine Parade West in Clacton.

David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “This weekend’s Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton will be a landmark event for UK motor sport. After years of campaigning, the MSA and event organisers can now take motor sport to the people, engaging with new audiences and delivering a real boost to local communities. We must give credit to Chelmsford Motor Club for leading the way and getting this initiative off the ground just a year after the new legislation was passed.”

Cllr Neil Stock OBE, leader of Tendring District Council, said: “This rally, the first of its kind in England, is a brilliant opportunity to showcase our area, and adds a different dimension to what is currently on offer in Tendring. We are delighted to be bringing such a high-profile event to Tendring, and I would like to thank the rally organisers, Chelmsford Motor Club, for working so diligently with ourselves and partners to ensure this event runs smoothly, causes minimal disruption, and brings maximum benefit to everyone.”

Chelmsford Motor Club’s Tony Clements, Event Director, said: “I am very pleased that we have received such a first-class entry, not only in terms of quantity but also quality. It should all make for an exciting day’s sport with close competition.”

Important spectator safety information is available on the event website here. Programmes – also featuring spectator information – will be on sale at Rally HQ (Clacton-on-Sea Bowling Club) on Saturday and Sunday, then at the Service Area and the two spectator stages on Sunday.

Image: Melvyn Evans in action, courtesy of rallygallery.com

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