15 Mar, 10:52
The organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are delighted to announce that Conwy County Borough Council has extended its highly successful support for the UK's round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB
MSA British Rally Championship
Elfyn Evans was rewarded with a free entry into Dayinsure Wales Rally GB as the inaugural winner of the reintroduced and revitalised MSA British Rally Championship in 2016. The Welshman, though, preferred to focus his efforts on maximising his BRC title winning performance to regain a top drive in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship and thus chose not to compete in his home event. It was a decision that paid off as Evans is now back among the world elite contesting the WRC in a DMACK entered M-Sport run Fiesta WRC.
DMACK MSA Junior British Rally Championship
Having won the Northern Ireland Rally Championship to receive a free Road to Wales prize drive in 2015, Robert Duggan was again a beneficiary in 2016 - this time as winner of the DMACK MSA Junior category in the BRC. Making the best the opportunity, Duggan was leading his class by more than three minutes in his Network Q backed Vauxhall Adam before a big accident on stage seven halted him in his tracks. The promising young star from Killarney's BRC success also earned him £60,000 towards a year in the Drive DMACK Trophy/Junior World Rally Championship - a prestigious stepping stone to future stardom which Duggan is now targeting in 2017.
ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Champion
By winning a second successive Scottish Rally Championship, Jock Armstrong was rewarded with back-to-back free entries into the WRGB National Rally. He was one of the pre-event favourites, too, having come so close to winning in 2015. Sadly, however, the Castle Douglas driver crashed his Subaru during final testing for the event and thus was enable to start the event. Third time lucky in 2017?
Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Champion
As Welsh Champion, Luke Francis was rewarded with a free entry into the 2016 National Rally - an offer that became a big challenge even before the event had started when Francis crashed his regular Mitsubishi Evo 9 just a few weeks before WRGB. With repairs impossible in the time remaining, the home favourite from Rhuddlan in Denbighshire was forced to hire a similar car from MacWhirter Motorsport. Despite vowing 'just to go out there and have a good run', Francis used his local experience to finish a delighted second. "The car ran faultlessly all weekend and it was a great way to finish the season," he enthused.
MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Junior Champion
In his first full season of rallying, 22-year-old James Wilson secured Junior Championship honours in the Northern Ireland Rally Championship - an achievement for which he was rewarded with a free Road to Wales entry into the WRGB National Rally. It was an offer that Wilson chose not to accept, concentrating his efforts on upgrading his title winning Peugeot 106 Cup Car to a more potent Peugeot 208 R2 in which he will now contest the 2017 Irish Tarmac Championship.
Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series Gold Star Driver
Charlie Payne won a free entry into the WRGB National Rally as reward for winning the 2016 BTRDA Rally Series crown in his Ford Fiesta. The Ripon-based ace, however, was unable to enter the event due to work commitments.
MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship: Robert Duggan
Robert Duggan and co-driver Ger Conway won the Northern Ireland Rally Championship and were rewarded with an International event entry in a Citroen DS3. In the WRC3 category, Duggan set respectable times and sat as high as second behind on the opening day. The following two days were to be character building for the Irishman, but despite having to restart under Super Rally rules on the Sunday, Duggan made it into the top 50. Duggan also won the prestigious Billy Coleman Award for The Young Rally Driver of the Year in Ireland. For 2016 he will be a part of the Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Team contesting the full MSA British Rally Championship.
ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship: Jock Armstrong
After a fruitful year in the Scottish Rally Championship, Jock Armstrong and navigator Paula Swinscoe lined-up for the Network Q National Rally as one of the favourites. The pair stormed the field in their Subaru Impreza for the majority of the rally, despite the difficult weather conditions. Heart-wrenchingly, Armstrong's TEG Impreza ground to a halt with a broken ball joint just five corners from the finish and victory. Much like his only other appearance at Rally GB back in 1996, he endured challenging conditions and his bid ended in retirement.
Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship: Bob Ceen
Bob Ceen became 2015 Welsh Champion after a hard fought battle in the forests. Seeded at number four on the road, Ceen was joined by navigator Andy Bull in a Subaru Impreza WRC. The pair showed their experience right from the off - never dropping outside the top four on the time sheet. The following day started off well for the duo as they became 'King of the Castle' on the Chirk stage before sadly having to retire with mechanical problems on Dyfnant.
Rally North Wales Chosen Winner: Clive King
Clive King and Anton Bird were the chosen winners from Rally North Wales at the start of the year. The pair took the iconic Mini Cooper back onto the Wales Rally GB stages. Bouncing the nimble Mini through the Welsh stages the pair took the class win in the H1 class and 51st overall.
Pirelli Carlisle Rally Chosen Winner: Ben Friend
Ben Friend and co-driver Cliff Simmons started their Wales Rally GB story in fine style, claiming seventh fastest time on the opening test and the title of fastest two-wheel-drive car. The crew also punched in five further top-ten times, as they were broadside through the forests, though sadly they were forced into retiring during the Brenig stage due to mechanical gremlins.
Jim Clark Rally Chosen Winner: Thomas Gray
Thomas Gray and David Wilson were looking for eastern promise on the Network Q National Rally in their Proton Satria. The duo thoroughly enjoyed their experience as they set respectable times across the opening two days of the event. Gray and Wilson unfortunately retired on the Alwen stage due to an accident.
RSAC Scottish Rally Chosen Winner: Caroline Carslaw
Caroline Carslaw and John Duke were the recipients from the Scottish Rally earlier in the year. Carslaw was campaigning her tried and trusted Ford Fiesta ST on the Network Q National Rally to good effect last November. Caroline, along with navigator Duke took a fine ninth in class and 38th overall.
1st MSA British Rally Championship
Daniel McKenna was enjoying a solid rally, with several promising times against the best in the JWRC. Sadly mechanical problems caused a disappointing retirement at the start of Day three, however McKenna will use his experience on Wales Rally GB to good effect as he tackles the JWRC in 2015.
2nd MSA British Rally Championship
21 year-old Osian Pryce stunned his fellow competitors in his first outing in a four-wheel-drive car. Although not registered for WRC2, the young Welshman had set fastest times against the established regulars by the fourth stage of Wales Rally GB. Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss finished their fantastic performance 18th overall and the leading non-priority crew in their Fiesta R5. Pryce is set to tackle the JWRC in 2015.
3rd MSA British Rally Championship / Rally Two Champion
Dean Raftery had an impressive first WRC outing on Wales Rally GB producing a faultless drive to secure second in class RC4 and 41st overall with co-driver Karl Atkinson.
BRC British Junior Champion
Gus Greensmith and co-driver Carl Williamson overcame pace note problems and a puncture on Day 2 to finish 3rd in class RC4 and 42nd overall in their Ford Fiesta R2.
MSA English Rally Championship
Matthew Robinson and co-driver Sam Collis tacked Wales Rally GB National, and the pair flung their Ford Escort Mk2 through the forests with impressive style. The duo were strictly sideways as they crossed the line 21st overall and second in their class.
Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship
2014 was a successful year for Alex Allingham and co-driver Chris Williams as they took a third Pirelli MSA Welsh National Rally Championship on the Cambrian Rally in October and claimed their spot on the National event of Wales Rally GB. Seeded fourth on the road, the pair had a difficult event but managed to finish 23rd overall.
ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship
Euan Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton upgraded their Wales Rally GB National prize to take part in the full Wales Rally GB in their Fiesta S2000. After setting flying stage times on Friday, the pair were hampered with mechanical problems on Saturday, but were back with a bang on Sunday, setting times in the top 20. They finished the rally an impressive 25th overall.
BTRDA Rally Series Gold Star Driver
Despite problems with a ceased wheel bearing on Friday, Steve Perez and co-driver Paul Spooner continued to entertain the crowds with their mighty Lancia Stratos. The sight and sound of the Italian machine echoed through the forests as they finished 46th in Wales Rally GB National.
1st MSA British Rally Championship
Jukka Korhonen had a superb drive finishing 28th overall and winning the WRC3 class.
2nd MSA British Rally Championship
Welsh duo Osian Pryce and co-driver Dale Furness finished in 30th overall.
3rd MSA British Rally Championship
Tom Cave and co-driver Ieuan Thomas finished 12th overall and fifth in the WRC2 class.
BRC RallyTwo Champion
Daniel McKenna, with co-driver and fellow Irishman Arthur Kierans, completed Wales Rally GB in 35th overall despite several set-backs. They finished second in the R2 class.
BRC Challenge Winner
NGK Spark Plugs BRC Challenge runner-up, Richard Sykes received a surprise entry into the three-day National Rally when the overall series winner, Russ Thompson was unable to accept the prize drive. Richard, the 2012 BRC Challenge champion, alongside co-driver Jonathan Boucard, finished an impressive 13th and second in their class.
BRC Junior Rally Champion
Benjamyn McKay along with co-driver Jason McKay had a great start to the rally, leading their class up until special stage 11, when unfortunately, the father and son team rolled out of Wales Rally GB.
BTRDA Gold Star Championship Winner
Euan Thorburn and co-driver Paul Beaton dominated from the start, winning the first six stages and a total of nine out of all 13 stages on Wales Rally GB National Three Day. The duo had a superb, near-perfect rally to take the win.
BTRDA Rally First Champion
Joe Evett and co-driver Calvin Houldsworth overcame gearbox and fuel issues to finish a fantastic seventh and won their class on Wales Rally GB National Two Day.