Feedback gained from competitors in previous events has led to changes been made for the 2010 Pirelli Historic Rally. The organiser of the Pirelli sponsored event, the Cumberland Sporting Car Club, states the “radical shake-up” it is bringing to the format will give it a “totally new look” when it is held on April 24.
The city of Carlisle will reverberate to the sound of throbbing motors and tyres traversing gravel on the weekend of April 17 to 19 when 150 cars compete in no fewer than five Pirelli International Rally events. Topping the bill is the second round of the MSA British Rally Championship, an event that is bringing an international field of competitors to Cumbria.
Ahead of the crews lies two days of action over the fast gravel tracks in the border forests where any slip can land a car in one of the many deep ditches, leading to instant retirement. But with vital championship points at stake, the drivers will be no doubt give every ounce of effort to wring every second out of their times.
Motorsport is admittedly not the cheapest of pastimes, but at least competitors taking part in this year’s Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship will not have so many worries about tyre costs. Pirelli, in conjunction with the Association of National Championship Rally Organisers (ANCRO) has announced that all registered competitors will be eligible to receive four brand new Pirelli tyres, completely free of charge. This decision has been taken, say the organisers, in a bid to tempt competitors to contest the eight-round national series.
Federal Tyres has joined the Motor Sports Association (MSA) as a fully endorsed member. The company states, “we are dedicated to innovation and deliver industry-leading products in the high performance end of the market.”
Federal’s 595 and RPM asymmetric tyre were accepted in the category 1a for road tyre; along with 595EVO as well as 595RS-R race-proven tyre in the category 1b for road legal competition tyres.
The Motor Sports Association is recognized as the sole motor sport governing body for the United Kingdom. It controls the technical and sporting rules across the various disciplines with over seven hundred motor clubs choosing to share agreed codes of practice under one umbrella. Related information will be officially published in MSA’s 2009 Year Book of Regulations.
Dunlop has announced its key UK motorsport meet dates for 2009. The race calendar will include Dunlop’s role as sole tyre supplier to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship and as official sponsor of the Dunlop Great and British Motorsport Festival. Additionally, the company is the sole tyre supplier to the Dunlop Sport Maxx Production Cup.
The Pirelli National Rally, based in Carlisle alongside the manufacturer’s major British plant, will be run under a new name in 2009 after it was announced that it will be integrated into the ANCRO Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship. Founding members of ANCRO, the Cumberland Sporting Car Club have decided to rename the event the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria. This was how the rally was known when it was originally part of the ANCRO series.
In addition to the Gravel Rally Championship, the Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship and the Dunlop/Gambia British Historic Rally Championship will be represented with stages at the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria.
The British Rallycross Drivers Association has unveiled the schedule for the 2009 Kumho Tyres British Rallycross Championship season. The 2009 championship will consist of eight rounds taking place over six weekends. The current financial climate as well as the need, wherever possible, to avoid date clashes with the European series and other UK rallycross meetings have been considered in the planning of the programme, said BRDA Chairman John Horton. These factors and the welcome return of the European Rallycross Championship to Britain have resulted in the 2009 calendar effectively offering a spring and autumn championship, giving competitors the possibility to spread their cost of competing and allowing time for family holidays in the summer months. The Championship will also maintain its strong links with the Motorsport Ireland Rallycross Championship; the latter’s final round forming the first round of the BRC at Mondello Park on March 8. The two series plan a second joint event at Pembrey in September.
Lawrence Gibson has become the Kumho Tyres MSA British Rallycross Champion for 2008. The Ulsterman won the title, his first British championship, in the final round of the seven-event series at Mondello Park in the Irish Republic on October 12 .
Entering the final round of the championship, three drivers remained in the title battle. Defending champion Ollie O’Donovan was eliminated from the event when his Peugeot suffered engine problems in the practice session, leaving Gibson to duel with Steve Hill for the title. Hill had the better run in the qualifying heats and started the Supercar A final from pole position. Here, however, it was Pat Doran, starting from the middle of the front row, who got the drop on Hill and Gibson and won the race to take pole position for the Superfinal. Hill and Gibson joined Doran on the front row of the grid for the Superfinal.
Dunlop has bagged the opportunity to produce the control tyre over the next three years for the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship, which will switch to a single make of tyre for 2009. All cars registered for the 2009 BHRC will be required to use Dunlop tyres, with exceptions made only when there is not a suitable tyre size available in the Dunlop range for that particular type of car.
Championship organisers hope that Dunlop’s ramped-up support will allow the Championship to pursue increased televisual coverage. “Although, globally, we are facing uncertain times, this major commitment from Dunlop will allow us to consolidate and continue building the hugely successful BHRC,” stated a please championship co-ordinator Simon Marks.
HiQ’s recently launched sponsorship of the British Touring Cars Championship (BTCC) means the HiQ branch in Grays, Essex will host an race-themed entertainment on Thursday 27 March. HiQ is hosting the evening of thrills and spills at its London Road store from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, to give motoring enthusiasts a taste of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championships, which the company is officially sponsoring for the first time.
The entertainment will feature appearances from leading touring car team Vauxhall and driver Tom Onslow-Cole, who will give onlookers an insight into the world of competitive motor sport. A question and answer forum will take place with the team from 7:00pm to 8:00pm and an autograph signing session will also be held, to celebrate the latest round of the BTCC, which takes place at nearby Brands Hatch. 10 free pairs of tickets will be up for grabs as well, to celebrate HiQ’s sponsorship of the championships.
Pirelli Tyres will be title sponsor of ANCRO and the next MSA Gravel Rally Championship. As a result of the agreement, the series will be renamed the Pirelli MSA National Gravel Rally Championship. “In 2008 we will introduce a control tyre to all cars running within the Group N category. In line with the developments we have been working on in 2007 we hope to introduce our eco-tyre to all categories in 2009,” commented Martin Pallot Motorsport & Events Manager, Pirelli Tyres Ltd.
Pirelli, the official tyre supplier to the 2007 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship (BRC), has offered Pirelli Star Driver Award for the first time in 2007. This incentive is offered to all competitors in the BRC to put that extra effort into their own class battles throughout the year. With everyone using Pirelli tyres until 2009 and both Higgins brothers withdrawing themselves from possible selection, the playing field has been levelled for anyone to shine.
The BRC approaches its final round, Wales Rally GB with an exciting climax in prospect. Any one of the top six drivers is still in with a chance of the title, as the final gruelling event has two opportunities for scoring points. When the flag eventually drops on the championship after Rally GB, six Pirelli Star Driver finalists will go head to head in a televised shootout, to find out who will take the Pirelli funded drive in the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.
Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery were crowned the 2007 Hankook MSA Gravel Rally Champions after finishing first championship registered crew and second overall on The Malton Killarney Forestry Stages Rally. Dodd and Bargery finished just 15 seconds behind event winner and 2007 Hankook Irish National Forestry Rally champions Stephen Moore and Greg Shinnors in their Hyundai Accent WRC to claim the title for a third time and wrap-up the honours with one round still remaining. “I’m elated to win the championship for a third time. It’s great to win it on the penultimate round but it would have been nice to take it down to the final round, the Bulldog Rally, as that’s a bit special to me.”
Eight MSA National Gravel Rally Championship crews made the start of the Killarney-based rally, which was included in the series calendar for the first time. Despite the title already been claimed, there are still plenty of class honours to fight for on the final round of the 2007 Hankook MSA Gravel Rally Championship, the Oswestry-based Bulldog Rally which takes place on Saturday 20 October.
Llandrindod Wells-based Craig Middleton produced a polished performance to take third place on the final round of the MSA National Gravel Rally Championship. More importantly, on the Bulldog Rally Middleton has done enough to secure his first major championship title alongside his three National Junior titles.
(Akron/Tire Review) Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced that it is expanding its DuraSeal product, a self-sealing commercial tyre technology, to more mixed-service tyres. Specifically, DuraSeal will now be available in the Unisteel G177 severe-service drive tyre. “Adding DuraSeal Technology to the rugged G177 will reduce vehicle downtime due to punctures,” said Rich Cottrell, product manager for mixed-service tyres.