Asphalt Asides – No. 9

Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd


Peter Lloyd (Subaru Impreza WRC) scored his second REIS – Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship victory of the season when he won the Patriot Stages Rally, the penultimate round of this year’s series. With Kath Curzon co-driving, he managed to stay ahead of the Focus WRC of a hard-charging Paul Bird who was on his first visit to the Caerwent Training Area.

John Indri (Darrian T90 GTR) took 3rd Championship and top Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge points and the scene is now set for a grandstand finish to the season on the Otterburn Ranges on 20th October. The battle for the overall 2013 title is now between Bird, Indri, Damian Cole and Steve Simpson and the permutations as to ‘who must do what to win’ are endless!…

Top 3 Championship Finishers
Top 3 Championship Finishers

Lloyd and Bird were in a class of their own at Caerwent – the Impreza set FTD on four of the six stages, while the Focus came out best on the other two. By the finish, the pair were just 14 seconds apart and 2½ minutes ahead of the chasing pack!

John Stone (Skoda Fabia WRC) finished the event two seconds behind Indri, having taken seven out of the Darrian on the final stage, while Gary Le Coadou/Paul Hollingham rounded off the Top Six in their Toyota Corolla WRC.

Having taken their Mk1 Escort to 5th on the Mewla at the end of August, Ian Kenvin/Ian Meakin up with another excellent run to 7 Patriot. In addition to runner-up spot in the Millington Challenge, Mr Kenvin’s efforts were also rewarded with the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ trophy.

Pete Rayner’s Escort was in the Top Ten, while Fowden (Subaru Impreza) was one place in front of a delighted Rob Tout whose Group N Lancer EVO9 took a class win and recorded its first finish on a Championship round since the Tour of Epynt back in March. Chances of retaining his Production Cup title are gone, but the result must be a huge confidence booster.

On the subject of Group N, originally on the reserve list, Julian Barnett received a last-minute call the space left vacant by Simon Mauger consequently, ran with No.2 on the doors of his Impreza. With Mat Evans elevated to the role of co driver for the day, they did enough to maintain Barnett’s Class N4 Championship lead, but are now faced with a dilemma as should Chris Rice who registered a DNF at Caerwent, take his similar Impreza to the final round and score maximum points, he would equal Barnett’s tally and take the class on count-back!…

Alex Laffey/Jack Morton were also class winners in South Wales – their Fiesta S2000 was just a second in front of the MG ZR of Matt Beebe/Paula Swinscoe the end of the day, with Adge Spencer/Mark Hewitt next up in their Impreza. Chris Daykin/Dan Megannity (Impreza) and Chris Marshall/Simon Hunter EVO5) finished on identical penalties, with the former crew getting the nod by dint of a faster time on the opening stage.

The AB Motorsport Peugeot 205 Challenge was supported by Tim Daltry and Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett. Daltry is already confirmed as Champion Driver but, should the West Country crew opt to contest the Cheviot, Hewett could overhaul Emma Morrison for the Co-drivers’ title….

Mewla2013_44_SW1Thirty Championship-registered crews started the Patriot Stages and, in addition above, the following also recorded finishes :

22nd Philip Turner/Simon Anthony Subaru Impreza
23rd Wynne Watkins/Sherryn Roberts Subaru Impreza
24th Neal Arden/Giles Corbett Subaru Impreza
35th Ian Barnard/Andy Bull Vauxhall Nova
55th Stephen Ritchie/Ian Harden BMW M3 Compact
69th Graham Watkins/Ian Taylor Ford Escort

The programme featuring the Patriot Stages will be shown on Motors TV on Friday 18th October at 22.00.

Championship points following the Patriot Stages Rally have already been circulated. If you have any queries, please contact the Coordinator immediately as they will go final at midday on 10th October.

Round 9 (Final): Regulations & entry forms for the UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Stages (20th October) are available to download from As outlined above, the event takes on a special significance this year with four drivers vying for the overall MSA Asphalt Rally Championship title. Whoever emerges from the Otterburn Ranges as victor will have had to complete thirteen stages totalling 92 miles and, of course, adding further spice to the proceedings is the prospect of a 1.25 coefficient being applied to any points gained!

Once again, we commend the Awards Presentation for the REIS – Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship to you. It takes place on Saturday 30th November at Moor Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. Tickets are £47.00 for an excellent four-course meal + a disco into the early hours.

Application forms for tickets and hotel reservations are attached, and we hope you will be able to join us for the annual season finale! Moor Hall Booking Awards Tickets

The calendar for next year’s Championship has recently been circulated to everyone and is now available to view on:


Eight excellent events to suit all budgets, and each competitor’s five best scores will count towards their final tally.

Tour of Epynt 9th March Llandovery
Manx National 9th/10th May Douglas
Jim Clark National 30th/31st May Kelso
ALMC Stages 6th July Dublin
Tyneside Stages 3rd August Otterburn
Mewla Rally 24th August Builth Wells
Wexford Rally 13th/14th September Wexford
Cheviot Keith Knox 9th November Otterburn

(Best 5 scores from 8 events to count)

The points for the last round will again carry a coefficient of 1.25.

Whilst the announcement that Get Connected would not be continuing their involvement with either the MSA Asphalt Championship or the BTRDA Gravel Series beyond the end of 2013 was nevertheless disappointing, a look at the achievements of both the company and its Managing Director, Damian Cole, point to a level of business acumen that would be the envy of many.

In terms of the business, Damian began selling mobile phones from a spare bedroom over twenty years ago and the first Get Connected shop opened in Blackwood, South Wales in 1997. There are now 68 spread over the length and breadth of Wales and into Devon, Somerset and various parts of the Midlands. ‘GC’ is the largest privately-owned phone retailer in the UK and, with a turnover of £12m, now employs 140 people.

Having cut his teeth navigating on road rallies and then driving a Golf GTI in the early 90s, Damian moved on to stage events and the Mid Summer Caerwent holds a particular place in his affections – it was the first stage event he ever entered, the first on which he was to take a class win and it was also the scene of his first overall victory in 2000 at the wheel of one of a number of Darrians that would pass through his hands.

Winning the 2 litre class in 1999 and then consecutive Welsh Tarmac Rally Championships in 2000, 2001 & 2002 before the arrival of an Impreza WRC in 2004 preceded a move into the forests, competing on all rounds of the British Rally Championship. Now, in direct contrast to his mastery of asphalt rallying, Damian has never actually won a gravel event, finishing 2nd overall thirteen times… The Subaru was replaced by a Hyundai Accent in which he finished 3rd in both the 2006 & 2008 BTRDA Rally Series. Runnerup spot came in 2007 but, much to his disappointment, he has never quite managed to put his name on the coveted Gold Star trophy.

Asphalt, however, has been a different story! The advent of a Focus WRC in 2009 heralded what was to be the first of three consecutive MSA Asphalt Championship titles. In the ARC’s 30-year history, a hat-trick had only been achieved once before (Pete Doughty 1994-96, albeit in different cars) and, at the time of writing, a fourth consecutive victory is still well within the realms of possibility. The Cole/Focus partnership is a proven winner on the Otterburn Ranges with four overall wins from four starts and, with just the Cheviot Keith Knox Stages to go, for him to put his name in the record books once more, it needs to be a winning partnership once again. However, just in case you’re in any doubt, the level of competition is such that nothing is ever that easy!…No1h

Coordinator – Andrew Haill: Tel 0121 313 1416, Mobile 07836 729 549,
Eligibility Scrutineer – Colin Salkeld: Tel 0191 492 1771, Mobile 07860 960 489,
Website – Facebook –
Twitter – @AsphaltRallying

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