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2016 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship
1 Tour of Epynt - Wales 13th March 2016
2 Manx National Rally - Isle of Man 6th/7th May 2016
3 ALMC Stages - Gormanstan, Irlenad 3rd July 2016
4 Tyneside Stages - Otterburn 7th August 2016
5 Mewla Rally - Bluith Wells 28th August 2016
6 Parrtiot Stages Rally - Caerwent 25th September 2016
7 Cheviot Rally - Otterburn 9th October 2016
8 Awards - Moor Hall Hotel Sutton Coldfirles 12th November 2016


PRESS RELEASE: 11th September


Damian Cole/Paul Morris (Fiesta WRC) – Mewla Rally Winners

Damian Cole & Paul Morris won the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally, the latest round of the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, in their Ford Fiesta WRC, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, but the very fact that the event took place at all was down to some sterling last-minute work by the team from Epynt Motor Club!

For the second time in just over a decade, an illegal ‘rave’ had taken over the Drovers on the Epynt Ranges, rendering it unusable by the rally. Joint Clerk of the Course Brian Jones was not alerted to the problem until 6.00am on the Sunday morning but then, with the efficiency that we’ve come to expect from such an experienced team of organisers, they set about instigating amendments to the route and all the other aspects of ‘Plan A’ that required altering, such that the first car was able to leave the start at the Showground
in Builth Wells just 30 minutes later than originally intended.

Fortunately, the stages were not affected and Cole/Morris were immediately into their stride, setting FTD by four seconds from a returning Rob Tout/Dylan James (Lancer EVO9). David Tinn/Giles Dykes (Proton Satria Neo) were next, just a second up on the leaders’ main rivals for the Championship title, Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC). Cole was fastest on SS2 by one second from Bob Fowden/Paul Wakely (Impreza WRC) while on SS3, the last of the first loop, it was Fowden himself who set FTD. Through the second loop Fowden was Cole’s closest rival but then on SS7, the longest of the day at more than 13 miles, Simpson pulled out all the stops to take five seconds back from Cole and fully 17s from Fowden, in the process elevating himself and Walsh to 2nd overall. The Top Three would then remain static for the final four stages to give Cole his third maximum points score of the season. At the same time, Simpson is keeping up the pressure on the leader and, having missed the Manx National Rally, still has a score in hand.

Geoff Glover/Keith Barker (Astra RWD) – Millington RWD Challenge leaders

Richard Clews produced another workmanlike performance in his Impreza to finish 7th and take a class win. With two events to go, he is 3rd in the overall points table and leads Class B13 such that, whatever happens on the Patriot Stages, he would still lead the race for the Kwiktrak awards! However, Richard & Ben Slinger and Stu Bainborough finished less than a minute apart in their respective Lancers and both are handily placed to benefit from any problems that may trouble Clews between now and the end of the season!

We haven’t seen Phil Turner since the Tour of Epynt in March – and that outing ended in tears! Notwithstanding, he and Andy Moss brought their Escort MkII home to a Top Ten finish, taking maximum points in the Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge to boot! However, Geoff Glover/Keith Barker’s fourth finish from four starts keeps their Astra RWD in the pound seats here!

Wynne Watkins/Ashley Trimble won the Group N battle in their Impreza from Oliver Hopkins/Ian Taylor (Lancer EVO9) who, by all accounts, were lucky to survive a ‘moment’ during the afternoon. This result keeps the two drivers just a point apart and we look
forward to this one ‘going the distance’!

William Hill/Richard Crozier (Fiesta R200) – AB Motorsport FWD Challenge Leaders

William Hill/Richard Crozier (Fiesta R200) had another successful outing to take a class win on Epynt, not to mention maximum AB Motorsport Front-Wheel Drive Challenge points but, nevertheless, Tim Seipel/Val Thompson (MG ZR) were keeping them honest – the final margin being less than 15s. Paul Clackett/David Millard weren’t far behind – an untraceable (at the time!) oil leak was causing smoke to permeate their Suzuki Swift S1600’s cockpit and give them some worrying moments, not to mention warm feet!….

Meanwhile, Ian & Mags Kelly had an untroubled run to a 1400cc class win in their Nissan Micra but, even so, there’s still plenty of mileage in this category before it’s finally sorted!

The ‘mixed-surface’ BTRDA Rally Challenge turned to the Mewla for its final outing on asphalt and it was Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh who were the major beneficiaries, their runners-up spot on the event giving them maximum points in their respective categories. Leading driver Stephen Petch, with defending Rally Challenge Champion Co-driver Jack Morton alongside for company in his Fiesta R5+ on this occasion, finished 5th overall on Epynt – more than enough for Petch to maintain his position at the top, while Morton leapfrogged erstwhile leader Richard Crozier to put himself in an unassailable position, confirming his back-to-back
Co-driver titles – congratulations!

The Rally Challenge now moves to the North York Moors at the end of September for the Trackrod Forest Stages where Petch could be caught by both current runner-up Julian Barnett (GpN Impreza) and thirdplaced Steve Simpson. However, you can take it as
read that he’ll be doing everything in his power to prevent that happening!


PRESS RELEASE: 19th August 2016

Showground showcase

Defending Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally winners, Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh take the No.1 spot in their Subaru Impreza WRC for this year’s event which brings crews to the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, on 28th August. Due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Cheviot Keith Knox Stages last October, the Mewla was the final round of the 2015 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, but fast forward twelve months and the battle for the coveted crown is still in full swing, with another two events to go after the high-speed Bank Holiday run over the Epynt Ranges.

Following Simpson/Walsh away from the Showground will be Damian Cole/Paul Morris in their Ford Fiesta WRC. Cole is also a past Mewla winner and knows Epynt very well. Indeed, he emerged victorious from the Harry Flatters Rally over similar territory at the end of July. For their part, Simpson/Walsh won the Tour of Epynt – the Asphalt Championship’s first visit to the Ranges – earlier this year and, consequently, a battle royale is in prospect over the Bank Holiday weekend!

Acknowledged Epynt expert Bob Fowden, who has moved up to an Impreza World Rally Car this season, and co-driver Paul Wakely will be the next Championship registered crew in the line-up, while David Tinn/Giles Dykes (Proton Satria Neo) will be aiming to improve on their 6th place finish last year.

Richard Clews was also a Top Ten finisher in his Group N+ Impreza in 2015 and his performances so far this season have put him up to 3rd in the overall Championship points table – so, another clear run would be very useful! Similarly, Rob Tout/Dylan James’ Lancer EVO9 won Group N last year and now, also upgraded to Class B13, it has shown itself to be capable of upsetting the establishment….

Wynne Watkins/Ashley Trimble lead the Championship Group N contingent in their Impreza, from the Lancer EVO9 of Oliver Hopkins/Ian Taylor. Hopkins currently leads the table from Watkins while the category winners for the past two years, David & Mathew White, are absent following an accident in their Impreza last time out. Richard & Ben Slinger and Manxman Stu Bainborough bring their Lancer EVO6s to Epynt as the battle for Class B13, and the end-of-season Kwiktrak awards, hots up. Although Clews currently leads the class, his position is far from safe!…

AB Motorsport Front-Wheel Drive Challenge leaders William Hill/Richard Crozier (Fiesta R200) will be aiming to consolidate their position, although their closest rivals, Richard & Pat Egger (Vauxhall Nova) and Paul Clackett/David Millard (Suzuki Swift S1600) will each have their own thoughts on that one! Meanwhile, having only had sporadic outings in the Championship so far this season, Tim Seipel has enlisted the help of Val Thompson to guide his MG ZR across the Ranges this time.

Lee Perry/Stuart Powell’s Escort Cosworth is another vying for Class B13 points, while Geoff Glover/Keith Barker might just clinch the Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge in their Astra RWD this weekend – with all the usual caveats, obviously!

Kev Harbour/Ryan Jones (Peugeot 205) and Tom Middlemiss/Richard Stewart (Corsa S1600) will be vying for points in the hotly-contested Class B10 while the Kellys, Ian & Margaret, will be more interested in B9 in their 1400cc Nissan Micra!

The ‘mixed-surface’ BTRDA Rally Challenge comes to the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally for its final asphalt round of the season. Current leader of the Drivers’ category, Stephen Petch (Fiesta R5+), and defending Co-driver Champion Jack Morton are competing in the same car for the first time, but their main worry will be Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh. Should Petch not finish and Simpson take maximum points, the two will tie for the lead prior to the final round. Richard Crozier leads the Codrivers’ table but, similarly, should he fail to finish the Mewla and Jack Morton does (even if he’s behind Walsh), there is likely to be a change at the top.

The first car leaves the start of the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally at 8.00am on Sunday 28th August for 11 special stages, totalling 72 miles – the longest of which is more than 13 miles! – and is due to arrive back at the finish at 4.20pm



PRESS RELEASE: 11th August 2016

Cole cleans up!

Cole Tyneside Damian Cole/Paul Morris emerged victorious from the fourth round of the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, the Tyneside Stages, in their Fiesta WRC which, after twelve stages on the Otterburn Military Ranges, came home 22s to the good over the Impreza WRC of Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh. The win consolidates Cole & Morris’ lead of their respective Championship categories but, at the same time, they’ve been unable to shake off the attentions of Simpson/Walsh – after four rounds, both crews have two maximums to their credit!

Unfortunately, although the overall result would not have changed, the event was blighted by several stages being ‘cleaned’ by a number of crews – a great shame after all the hard work put in by the organisers, Alnwick & District and Berwick & District Motor Clubs, who had already been faced with restrictions to their preferred route.

Outgoing MSA Asphalt Champion Co-driver Jack Morton was 4th, sitting alongside Thomas Preston in his Skoda Fabia R5, while David Tinn had an excellent run in his Proton Satria Neo to take third-place points in the Drivers’ table. Having missed the trip to Ireland for the ALMC Stages, Richard Clews returned to the series and brought his Impreza home in 8th place which, in turn, moved him up to 3rd in the table, while the Slingers, Richard & Ben, also claimed a Top Ten finish in their Lancer EVO9.

tyneside16 (56)Mark Borthwick took his ex-Simon Mauger Escort MkII (a past Tyneside Stages winner!) to maximum points in the Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge, ahead of Geoff Glover/Keith Barker whose Astra RWD still leads the category.

Manxman Stu Bainborough was experiencing Otterburn for the first time, bringing his Lancer EVO6 home just ahead of the EVO9 of Oliver Hopkins who, following the demise of David & Mathew White’s Impreza, took maximum Group N points to lead the category with three events remaining.

tyneside16 (129)Following the expensive noises emanating from under their Fiesta’s bonnet which put them out of the ALMC Stages, William Hill/Richard Crozier returned to take a class win on the Tyneside Stages, and maximum points in the AB Motorsport Front-Wheel Drive Challenge which they now lead. Richard & Pat Egger (Nova) are next, with Paul Clackett/David Millard’s Suzuki Swift S1600 also in close attendance.

Making their first appearance of the season in their ex-Kev Monaghan Corsa S1600, Tom Middlemiss/Richard Stewart were Hill/Crozier’s nearest rivals on the day. Clackett/Millard were 3rd and Richard Milbank/Lee Bezuidenhout (Corsa) next. Milbank also returned home to Essex with top marks in the 1400cc category, although Bezuidenhout’s attempts to join him were thwarted by Val Thompson who was guiding Andrew Egger’s Nova round the Ranges to a class win on the event.

Ian & Mags Kelly (Nissan Micra) and David & Mathew Smalley (Vauxhall Corsa) are neck-and-neck in the race for Class B9 honours and, although they already have three maximums on the board, Milbank/Bezuidenhout are far from safe!……

Apart from David & Mathew White’s non-finish, Tim Seipel was the only other Asphalt Championship driver to return home pointless. He has been experiencing clutch mechanism problems with his MG ZR and what he thought would be a cure proved to be the exact opposite. Consequently, the head-scratching continues as Tim contemplates his next move….

David Hardie/John McCulloch had placed an entry on the Tyneside Stages but their participation was conditional on their Impreza’s safe passage through the previous day’s Solway Coast Rally. Unfortunately, manifold problems and a broken differential saw to it that they didn’t finish one and didn’t start the other!….

No2hThe Tyneside Stages was also the second asphalt round of the ‘mixed-surface’ BTRDA Rally Challenge. Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh were the main beneficiaries, followed by Thomas Preston/Jack Morton but, with two rounds still to go (the all-asphalt Mewla and the North York Moors-based Trackrod) it’s Stephen Petch (Fiesta R5+) who holds a narrow lead in the Drivers’ table from Preston. Meanwhile Richard Crozier, who has scored on all five events so far, is top Co-driver with Morton as his nearest rival. Currently, any one of the top five drivers and four co-drivers could, theoretically, end the season as Champion!



PRESS RELEASE: 17 March 2016

Simpson on fire

Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh have started the 2016 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship in the same way they finished last season – with a win! Notwithstanding a lack of recce for the Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt (13th March) – they were 250 miles away contesting the Malcolm Wilson Rally at the time that took place! – their Subaru Impreza WRC moved into the lead of the event on the second of the seven stages and stayed there through to the finish, eventually coming home half-a-minute ahead of last year’s winners, Simon Mauger/Jon Hawkins (Metro 4M4).

Seasoned Epynt watchers were astonished by the glorious sunshine that pervaded the Ranges throughout the day and, as can be imagined, in such conditions the pace was fast and furious! For their part, Simpson & Walsh can count themselves lucky to finish after an errant oil pipe on the penultimate stage caused an under-bonnet fire which, thankfully, they were able to extinguish themselves before too much damage was done. Mark Worley, who had just retired, lent them another hand-held extinguisher to put in the car and off they went to complete the final stage and take the win.

toe16_maugher 1For their part, Mauger/Hawkins were another half minute in front of the Fiesta WRC of Damian Cole/Paul Morris which, with just the final stage to go, was on equal time with Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt who were using their ex John Indri Impreza S11 on an Asphalt Championship round for the first time. Cole managed to squeeze a solitary second out of Spencer on that 14.5 mile stage to take the final podium spot.

Simon Mauger was experiencing various niggles with the 4M4 – fluctuating fuel pressure being the most noteworthy, whilst Cole admitted to a slight off on a hairpin on SS6 with the resultant loss of a handful of seconds. Also falling foul of a hairpin mid-event, Spencer stalled on one and the 15 seconds, or so, that it cost would have made all the difference at the finish!

Bob Fowden/Paul Wakely & Richard Clews/Carl Williamson were a mere eight seconds apart in their respective Imprezas, while Rob Tout/Dylan James also claimed a Top Ten spot in their Lancer EVO9. But for a one-minute road penalty, David Tinn/Giles Dykes (Proton Satria Neo) would have been there as well. However, it’s worth pointing out that, having been forced to miss the event in 2015, David was 27th two years ago and should be well pleased with what is, undoubtedly, a very impressive improvement!

Philip Turner’s Mitsubishi Lancer finished one place in front of the winning Group N car – the Impreza of Wynne Watkins/Sherryn Roberts. They hadn’t exactly had a trouble-free day as problems with the car’s centre diff. saw it dropping into fail-safe mode on occasions which is not exactly what you’d call a ‘confidence booster’! The new partnership of Oliver Hopkins/Ashley Trimble were second in the Production category in their Lancer EVO9, while champions for the past two seasons, David & Mathew White (Impreza), stopped on the first stage and will now have to wait until the trip to the Isle of Man to get the defence of their latest title underway.

A different driver/car combination came up trumps in the Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge – Alistair Inglis’ Lotus Exige led the Astra RWD of Geoff Glover/Keith Barker back to the Llandovery finish. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good day for Ford Escorts as those of both Graham Hollis/Alan Jones and Phil Turner failed to finish.

The AB Motorsport Front-Wheel Drive Challenge was dominated by the 1600cc Peugeot 106 of Paul Clapham. 17th overall and a class win, by more than two minutes, were just rewards for a blistering run over Epynt to take the lead in the table at this early stage. Next up were 22-year old William Hill and Richard Crozier in their Fiesta, finishing one place ahead of a returning Tim Seipel (MG ZR). David Earthy (Citroen C2R2 Max), partnered by Sarah Edwards, took a class win on the event for the third consecutive year, with Phil Bruce (Peugeot 206) next in the FWD points.

Asphalt Championship newcomers Richard Milbank/Lee Bezuidenhout (Vauxhall Corsa) romped home in the 1400 category, ahead of Ian & Margaret Kelly (Nissan Micra) and another Corsa in the hands of David & Mathew Smalley. Former champions Ian Barnard/Richard Bonner were reduced to the rank of spectators after their Nova retired midway through the event.

Retirements, especially among the leading crews were, thankfully, few and far between. The aforementioned David & Mathew White were the highest-seeded Championship registered crew (18) unlucky enough not to see the finish line. Meanwhile, Chris West’s Peugeot 306 Maxi holed its sump on the opening stage, but the team were able to repair the car in time for the Trophy Rally (last two stages) which it went on to win.

Round 2 : MANX NATIONAL RALLY (6th/7th May)


PRESS RELEASE: 31st December 2015

We are pleased to announce that registrations for the 2016 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship are now open. Regulations (subject to review by the MSA) and Entry Forms are available.

The best way to register for the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is to use the on-line BTRDA membership system and pay by debit / credit card. Go to and follow the instructions.

Registration for the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship includes membership of the BTRDA (British Trial & Rally Drivers’ Association) which is an invited club to all championship events.

The combined MSA Asphalt Rally Championship registration and BTRDA membership fee is £60.00 for drivers and £50.00 for co-drivers. BTRDA membership is FREE for competitors under 25 years of age on 1.1.16 in their first year with BTRDA (a saving of £25.00!).

The 2016 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship calendar contains a total of seven events, from which a competitor’s final championship results will be based on their best five scores. In this way, it’s possible to tailor your season to suit your budget

Full details can be found on

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