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Ypres Rally - 22-23 Jun 18

Posted: November 13, 2018 10:21 AM - 2464 Hits

Round 3 - 2018 British Rally Championship

In Car

Posted: November 13, 2018 10:21 AM

Alex Laffey & Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) SS22


William Hill / Richard Crozier (Ford Fiesta R2T) SS10


Mats vd Brand & Eddy Smeets (BMW M3)

Thierry Neuville gives i20 R5 dominant Ypres Rally victory

Posted: November 13, 2018 9:49 AM

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul dominated the Ypres Rally in their i20 R5, winning 15 of the event’s 23 stages to take overall victory by 40 seconds.

For the current World rally Championship leaders the weekend in Flanders was only their second competitive event in the i20 R5, following their start at the same event twelve months ago. In returning to Ypres in 2018 the duo was able to take advantage of the upgrades developed by the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department and applied to the i20 R5 in the last year, including updated dampers, electronics and engine. Together these provided greater performance and a faster response from the Hyundai Motorsport-built car, which Neuville was able to put to good use throughout the event.

After setting the best time on the Qualifying Stage run on the Thursday night, and electing to run second on the road for the opening day the Hyundai crew won seven of the first nine stages to establish themselves as the crew to beat. That was despite a minor scare at the end of the first loop of stages, when the car needed to push started from the regroup area in the centre of Ypres. Fortunately the problem was easily fixed in the subsequent service at the same time as making minor set-up changes to further improve the handling for the following stages as Neuville gained confidence in the chassis beneath him.

With their car carrying a special livery promoting Belgium’s Rode Neuzen Dag – Red Nose Day – event the pair were the first on road for the four loops of stages on Saturday, running well into the evening. Continuing to show the strong performance of the i20 R5, Neuville won a further seven stages as he improved his feel for the chassis with every kilometre. His consistency put him in position to begin the final leg of four stages with a lead of nearly 40 seconds over his and Nicolas’ closest rivals. Wary of the constant danger presented by the ditches that line many of the roads the crew elected for a more conservative approach in the closing loop. Despite this he was actually able to add to the overall advantage to give the i20 R5 victory at the event where it made its public debut in 2016.

Thierry Neuville said: “To win in Belgium and after a performance like this is really good for me and shows how good the Hyundai i20 R5 is. When we started I didn’t have much mileage with it, so I had to learn the chassis a little, but then we could make changes in service to the suspension and handling to constantly improve the car as I got more confident throughout the weekend. At the Ypres Rally you can always end in a ditch, so towards the end we just wanted to avoid the mistakes and make sure we protected the lead.”

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Deputy General Manager Andrea Adamo said:
“The Ypres Rally is always an important event in the rallying calendar in Europe, and this year was no exception. There were top crews representing all the R5 manufacturers, so the level of competition was incredibly high. To win in such dominant fashion is obviously a great advert of the Hyundai i20 R5 on one of the most difficult rallies of the year. For Thierry to get in the i20 R5, with such little running and be immediately on the pace shows the overall quality of the car, and the upgrades we have developed for this season.”

Edwards does the BRC double in Belgium

Posted: November 13, 2018 9:43 AM

Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod stretched their championship lead after an enthralling Prestone MSA British Rally Championship contest on the Renties Ypres Rally (22-23 June). The Welsh pairing claimed a last-gasp victory to seal their first BRC win on Tarmac – backing up their victory on the opening round of the series on gravel. What’s more, the M-Sport crew lifted the Tony Pond Trophy for the first British crew across the finish line in eighth in their Ford Fiesta R5.

The action-packed Prestone MSA British Rally Championship travelled to Belgium for the exciting Renties Ypres Rally. Playing host to the second event of the 2018 season and the series’ overseas round, the legendary Belgian lanes would provide the setting for 23 Tarmac stages and 175 miles of competitive action.

FIA World Rally Championship leaders Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul claimed the overall Ypres Rally win, but just behind there was drama aplenty in the British Rally Championship event.

With one crew many fans tipped for Ypres greatness out of the event, the mantle fell to Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin in their Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 R5 to lead the BRC charge. The Irish crew picked up from where they had left off last year, with the 2017 winner commanding the event – leading the British section into the final stage. Cronin didn’t have the rub of the green on the last test of the weekend, however, as the Hyundai i20 R5 driver suffered a puncture, dropping him to third at the Ceremonial Finish.

Matt Edwards similarly had his fair share of problems throughout the weekend. On the opening day, ECU woes and a complete wiring loom change at the final service put the team on the back foot. The M-Sport mechanics went over the allotted 45-minute service time and the Welsh crew were given a 1m 10s time penalty going into the last day. Ever the optimist, Edwards punched in several impressive stage times to haul himself from fourth into victory contention. Even a lack of power steering for two stages was not going to stop the Swift Rally Team driver. Edwards was almost settling for second, but one last push and the misfortune for Cronin allowed Matt to clinch back-to-back victories in Britain’s premier rallying series in the Pirelli-backed Ford Fiesta R5.

David Bogie and John Rowan both put their 2017 early exits behind them to open their BRC podium account for the year with a fine second place. The DMACK Skoda Fabia R5 ace got off to a cautious start, but building in confidence with every stage, the Flying Scotsman entertained the locals with his committed driving style. Marty McCormack looked set to stand on the podium with Bogie in his Kumho- supported Skoda, but steering failure on the final loop left him stranded on the roadside and spelled a cruel retirement.

Rhys Yates and Elliott Edmondson had become the first British pairing to win Rally van Wervick a fortnight earlier and arrived in Ypres full of optimism. However Yates’ weekend was one to forget. Several overshoots into fields cost the English star too much time to challenge for honours on the opening day and with Edmondson suffering from illness on the final day, the pair had to withdraw from the event.

In the Prestone MSA Motorsport News Junior British Rally Championship, Welshman James Williams and English co-driver Ross Whittock lit up the stages in their Vauxhall ADAM R2. Williams broke his BRC podium duck in Ypres 12 months ago and a year on went two better to clinch his first Junior BRC victory. Despite a spin on stage 11, thus losing his grip on the top of the timesheets, a spirited fight-back allowed Williams to spray the champagne and claim the honour for the fastest R2 front-wheel-drive car on the event and the Junior Tony Pond Award. Williams played his Joker Card in Belgium, giving him a further five points to catapult him to the top of the championship standings.

William Creighton and Liam Regan pushed the Vauxhall duo hard in their Peugeot 208 R2 and inherited the lead when Williams faulted. Unfortunately, the thousands of fans stage-side were denied a battle royale as on stage 15 the crew from Northern Ireland slid into an infamous Belgian ditch and retired on the spot. Second went to BRC debutants Josh McErlean and Aaron Johnston (Ford Fiesta R2T) while another crew new to the podium, James Wilson and Gavin Doherty (Peugeot 208 R2) made it three different marques inside the top three.

Bart Lang and Sinclair Young survived the Cadet Cup carnage to bring their Ford Fiesta R2 home in first. John Morrison and Peter Carstairs thoroughly enjoyed their trip from Scotland to take the National Rally Cup win in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Renties Ypres Rally winner Matt Edwards said:
“It’s just not going to sink in at all. Maybe it will in a few days. Just an unreal rollercoaster of an event. Thank you to everybody in the team for keeping us going, holding their heads high and believing we could get a strong result. I thought it was all over when we lost the steering. This has been a very different win for us as from stage one it’s not gone right but I never doubted myself, the team or the car. You just have to keep going and take any glimmer of hope you can as when the car was on song, the event was unbelievable.

“This has really helped my championship ambitions. I really want to win the BRC this year and will not hide away from that fact. I want to complete that box set of DVDs with my car on the 2018 front cover and we will keep chipping away to get there.”

The series returns later in the summer as the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship crosses the Irish Sea for the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally on 17/18 August.

Results

Posted: November 13, 2018 9:41 AM

European Rally Challenge for James Wilson- Belgium Bound!

Posted: June 14, 2018 5:29 AM

What an exciting year in rallying it is for twenty-three year old James Wilson from Keady, as now the family team prepare the left hand drive Philip White Tyres backed Peugeot 208 R2 for the Ypres Rally in Belgium, the second round of the British Rally Championship (BRC). The event based around the famous town of Ieper, so poignant from the World War 1 battles, will witness some of the best rally stars in the world battling from the 21st-23rd June.

The famous Belgian tarmac closed roads await James for the first time and he’s heard a lot about them.
“Some of my main rivals have competed on the rally before and it’s a reputation for being tricky. The weather will be hot but we could be on softer compound tyres than normal due to the smooth roads and the big cuts that are taken. It’s a big experience for us and we have to treat it as part of our learning curve this year in the British Championship” said the young engineer whilst working at his day job in Road Tankers Armagh.

Rallying is a national sport in Belgium and current World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville will be present on the event, which counts for the Belgian Rally series and is one of the most famous rallies on the globe. It’s a long trip from Keady, County Armagh to Ieper Belgium, and the back-up crew of Trevor Wilson, Nigel Wilson and Phil Gillespie will set off on the Tuesday evening to reach there on Thursday, whilst James and his Co. Derry co-driver Gavin Doherty fly out on the same day to arrive and engage in the pre event recce making the all-important pace-notes. “It’s totally new for us, the first time the family has really rallied abroad as such, it’s an adventure for sure. We know there will be some local crews who will be very fast, but we need to try and see where our BRC rivals are and aim to finish also. We have a fourth placed finish on round one of the BRC in Carlisle forests to build on and try to keep the points coming in.”

As a warm up to Ypres, and with help from faithful sponsor Tec Industrial, James and Gavin took the Peugeot 208 R2 to the Cavan Stages Rally, trying the Kumho tarmac tyres for the first time, and ended up an impressive nineteenth overall, and second in R2 by just six seconds.
“The tyres were excellent, they worked really well, and we think we can make further improvements to the car to suit them also, so that was a good confidence booster.”

Another confidence booster came in April with a nomination from Motorsport Ireland for the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award, a prize worth 50,000€. It was following James’s debut R2 win on the opening Valvoline Irish Forestry round in Carrick on Suir that the nomination was announced, and it’s given the team an extra goal to aim for.
“It’s an award that would mean so much, there have been many great driver’s to win it and to be nominated was an honour, I still can’t believe it.”

With final car preparations undertaken at the James Wilson Garage Services premises in Keady, under the watchful eye of his father Trevor, uncle Glenn, granddad James Snr and grandma Hilary, all seasoned rally competitors, the Wilson family effort is all being directed to James Jnr. He has already added to the family tally of Irish Tarmac Championship class wins last year, but can he take the family rallying legacy further? Now the team set sail for Belgium and to battle in Ieper, and hopefully they can continue the excellent run in 2018.

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Posted: June 13, 2018 4:01 PM

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Posted: May 12, 2018 4:07 AM






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