The opening round of the MSA British Rally Championship kicks’ off this weekend with the Newtown based Mid Wales Stages.
The 2016 Mid Wales Stages is set to welcome more than 120 entries from around the world to Newtown as it hosts the opening round of the MSA British Rally Championship on 5th/6th March. The historic Powys town will provide the backdrop for the exciting new-look series which has generated competitors from as far afield as Australia, India and America.
The Newtown and District Automobile Club organised event will take place across classic Welsh forest stages and a tough two-day format lies in wait for almost 50 eager BRC contenders.
Leading the BRC crews away at number one seed from Newtown will be World Rally Championship star Elfyn Evans. Co-driven by Craig Parry, Evans will be undoubtedly one to watch for overall victory in his Fiesta R5. However there is a host of rivals aiming to top the leaderboard on Sunday including previous British Champions Keith Cronin in his Citroen DS3 R5 and David Bogie in his Skoda Fabia R5.
Aberdovey’s Tom Cave returns to the series in a Fiesta R5 and is closely followed by Swede Fredrik Ahlin in a similar machine. Scotsman Euan Thorburn brings his unique Peugeot 208 R5 to the event with son of 1981 World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen, Max just behind.
Some of the closest battles of the event will undoubtedly come from the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship crews and it will be equally as hard to pick a winner from the two-wheel-drive R2 runners as it will be the leading contenders.
Vauxhall Motorsport Junior Rally Team member Mattias Adielsson heads the three car team in the rapid Vauxhall Adam with Norwegian Sindre Furuseth in a Renault Twingo R2 hot on his heels. World Rally Championship regular Gus Greensmith heads the British Junior contingent in his Fiesta R2T.
The National B event mirrors the BRC format and hosts over 25 contenders in the BRC National Cup and Defender Challenge. They will be led away by the Welsh crew of Osian Pryce and Dale Furness in the Mitsubishi Mirage R5, hoping to take the fight to the National A runners. Two-time Defender Challenge champs Edd Cobley and John Tomley lead the Land Rover crews.
The Viking Motorsport – Links Electrical Clubman Rally houses competitors from the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship, HRCR Stage Masters, Jelf Motorsport Welsh Clubmans and ANWCC Forest Rally Championships. Subaru Impreza crew Dylan Davies and Llion Williams head the field away as round one winner Luke Francis has elected to miss this event.
The event kicks off at 6pm Saturday, March 5 from Theatr Hafren in Newtown which also plays host to the event, providing Rally HQ, documentation and pre-event scrutiny. Two stages lie in wait under the cover of darkness for the BRC and National B crews, both of which are accessible to spectators with Hafren Sweet/Lamb providing the action at around 7pm. Across the road at Pikes Peak/Myherin, you can catch the crews just before 8pm.
On Sunday, the Clubman Rally joins the BRC crews to negotiate the remaining 43 miles of the event over four, hard fought stages. Spectators can catch the action on the opening stage of the second day at Pike’s Peak which takes kicks off at around 9.25am.
Hafren/Sweet Lamb will be the penultimate stage at 12.45pm with Myherin/Pikes Peak rounding off the day at 2pm.
Those fortunate enough to have made it through the day will return to ceremonial finish to spray the well-deserved champagne back at Theatr Hafren at around 3pm that afternoon. The pre and post event press conferences will also be hosted by the theatre and college centre with the Service Park a short distance away in the industrial park opposite.
Full spectator information and a full entry list is available to download at www.midwalesstages.co.uk
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