This weekend (19th May 2018) sees Round 2 of the 2018 HRCR MOTOSCOPE Northern Historic Gravel Rally Championship. Three crews will line up at Lockerbie Lorry Park from the 6 stages in the Scottish Forests with a service back at Lockerbie and the finish in Moffatt High Street.
With the 2 wheel drive cars carrying 200 numbers, Tim Metcalfe/Andrew Hutchinson-Ford Escort Mk 2 lead the registered crews at 228. Paul Rawson/Graham Wild-Ford Escort Mexico go next at Car 233 having taken 3rd in class and 10th O/A of the contenders on the PIRELLI. Finally James Stephenson/Mike Reed-Talbot Sunbeam TI are seeded 237. Mike has previously contested the championship as a driver in a Ford Escort Mk 2.
Championship Co-Ordinator Mark Casey is also contesting the event in a 4WD Subaru Impreza navigating for Steve Adamson (Car 427) from Huddersfield. It is the first time the pair have sat together and if all goes well this weekend they are set to do the Nicky Grist Stages in July and then possibly a full BTRDA season in 2019.
After the scheduled opening two rounds were cancelled due to the snowy conditions, the first round was the PIRELLI International Rally on 28th April. 20 registered contenders lined up for the start for the four stages that lay ahead of the them in the Kielder Forest complex with a service after stage 2 and the finish back at H & H Auctions on the outskirts of Carlisle.
It was Stuart Egglestone/Brian Hodgson that took overall victory in their Ford Escort Mk 2 from Warren Philliskirk/Garry Green-Ford Escort Mk 1 second and Chris Skill/Tom Murphy-Ford Escort Mk 1 third, all three contesting the British Historic Championship aswell as the Northern Series. As three events coincide this year then any BHRC contender can sign up to the Northern and qualify for awards having contested three rounds plus any other event of the championship they wish to do. A total of 10 BHRC crews took advantage of this.
In the Category & Classes, Category 1 saw only 1 car, that of Bob Bean/Miles Cartwright-Lotus Cortina.
Category 2 saw Robin Shuttleworth/Ronnie Roughead-Ford Escort Mexico take victory aswell as 1st in Class C2.
Class C3 saw Josh Carr/Ben Hall-Ford Escort Mk 1 and Barry Jordan/Paul Wakely-Hillman Avenger start the event but neither would finish. Josh retired with a broken gearbox after SS3 and Barry suffered mechanical problems after SS1.
Class C5 saw Warren Philliskirk/Garry Green take the win returning to the Mk 1 Escort having last contested the championship back in 2013 with a Mk 2 version with Emma Slights in the navigators seat.
Class D2 saw James Stephenson/Rob Brook-Talbot Sunbeam TI just have to finish to take the class following the early retirement of Keith Davison/Henry Richardson-Hillman Avenger with an overheated engine. They had changed from Class C2 to a younger car which allowed Keith to have better brakes on the car and he was looking to go faster but the reliability was the first priority also.
Class D3 saw Dave Forrest/Charlie Carter-Ford Escort Mk 2 take class honours. Dave/Charlie were looking to better their 2nd Overall in the championship last year and contesting several events this year to give themselves the best chance possible.
Class D5 saw no Steve Bannister/Callum Atkinson this year as after 5 wins for Steve and 1 for Callum, the reigning champions have decided to step back from the gravel series. They do however intend to contest the asphalt championship with a new car which is hopefully being debuted on the Tyneside (Rd 3 & 4) taking place on August 4th over Otterburn Ranges.
So Class D5 winners were Tim Metcalfe/Katy Mashiter-Ford Escort Mk 2 again just having to cruise to the finish following the retirement of David Brown/Steve McNulty-Ford Escort Mk 2 having got stuck in a ditch on SS1.
There was also an FIA Appendix K car and the first time that one had contested the championship. Chris White/Chris Dewsnap won their class but were well down the field having been off the road on SS1.
For more information on the 2018 HRCR MOTOSCOPE Northern Historic Gravel, Asphalt & Mixed Surface Rally Championship contact Co-Ordinator Mark Casey on 07949 899 619 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Information can also be found on the championship FaceBook page: www.facebook.co.uk/groups/HRCRMOTOSCOPENHRC/
The next round of the championship is the ATL Carlisle Stages on Friday8th-Saturday 9th June where for the second time the BHRC crews will coincide with the Northern crews. 11 are currently entered at the time of going to press. The event is based at H & H on the outskirts of Carlisle and uses stages within a different part of Kielder to the PIRELLI.