Asphalt Asides 2014 – Edition 2

damian cole 1st oa 2JUST A SECOND!…
Defending Champion Damian Cole and co-driver Elliott Edmondson have continued  where they left off at the end of last season by winning the opening round of the 2014  REIS  MSA  Asphalt  Rally  Championship,  the  Tour of  Epynt.  Already  the  signs  are  that  the  highly competitive  nature  that  was  a  feature  of  the  2013 Series is set to continue – having missed out  on a  tiebreak last year, Cole’s winning margin this time was a mere one second!…

peter lloyd 2nd oa 2The Impreza WRCs of  Peter Lloyd/Neil James and last year’s winners  Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh were 2nd&  3rd respectively  but,  even  then,  only  five  seconds separated  1st from  3rd!  John  Stone/Carl  Williamson (Skoda Fabia WRC) were 4th, with the Impreza WRCs of Rob  Swann/Darren  Garrod and  recent  four-wheel drive convert  John Indri/Peter James rounding off the Top Six. These last two were all the more impressive as Swann  was  unfamiliar  with  Epynt  and  Indri  was  still getting  to  grips  with  the  technology  that  is  a  World Rally Car!

FTD on the opening stage put Cole/Edmondson into a lead they would  maintain for the rest of the day, with Lloyd and Simpson jockeying for the remaining podium places. A dry, sunny day on Epynt and it goes without saying that the pace would be fast and furious – and so it was! Although  the  overall  entry  was  down  slightly  on  therecord-breaking  figure  set  last  year,  the  element  of MSA  Championship-registered  crews  remained constant at 66 – a very impressive 62% of the total…

Millington Diamond LogoMillington Rear Wheel Drive Challenge
Having  proved  so  popular  last  year,  the  Millington RWD  Challenge  is  back  and,  unsurprisingly,  7th overall secured  top  marks  for  Simon  Mauger and  2013  MSA Asphalt  Champion  Co-driver  Brian  Cammack.  It  was another  superb  run  from  the  Oxfordshire  crew  in  a new-build  MkII  Escort,  but  such  is  their  pedigree  that it’s  almost  as  if  we’ve  come  to  expect  giant-killing performances now!

john horton logo

One  of  the  drives  of  the  rally  came  from  Darren Atkinson/Phil  Sandham whose  own  Escort  finished the  day  just  five  seconds  behind  Mauger.  Any unfamiliarity  with  the  venue  was  quickly  swept  aside as  they  set  Top  Ten  times  on  three  of  the  six  stages that  were  run  to  take  9th overall.  For  his  efforts,  the Lancaster  driver  was  awarded  the  first  JHMM  ‘Star Performer’ trophy of the new season.

epynt14_15_brys0833Meanwhile,  Richard  Merriman/Kath  Curzon finished just outside the Top Ten in their Darrian T90 to take a class win and third Millington points. After  a  season  to  forget  last  year,  2012  Group  N Asphalt  Champions  Rob  Tout/Dan  Holley are  back  in their  Mitsubishi  Lancer  EVO9  and  have  started  their campaign off with a ‘full-house’. 12thoverall gave them maximum  points  ahead  of  the  Impreza  of  Wynne Watkins/Sherryn Roberts.

AB Logo2AB MOTORSPORT FRONT WHEEL DRIVE CHALLENGENew for 2014, maximum points in the AB Motorsport Front-Wheel  Drive  Challenge  were  claimed  by  the Underwoods,  Darren  &  Sue,  whoepynt14_83_img_6930  took  their  1600cc
Nova to a class win and 17thoverall. Next up were  Ian Godney’s Renault  Clio  and  the  Citroen  DS3  of  James Ford/Michael Gilbey. Other  class  winners  on  the  day  included  David Earthy/Maria  Rayner (Citroen  C2R2),  David Morgan/Richard  Suter (Darrian  T9)  and  Carwyn Watkins’ Fiesta ST.

We are delighted that Fuchs Titan Race have elected to continue  with  vouchers  for  £50  worth  of  products  on each rouepynt14_93_brys0748nd of the Asphalt Championship going to the driver  deemed  to  have  made  the  ‘Best  Improvement on  Seeding’.  On  this  occasion,  it  was  won  by  Paul Clapham whose  Peugeot  106  was  seeded  at  93  and classified 39th in the final results. On  the  other  side  of  the  coin,  Roger  Hicks/Terry Martin will  have  had  better  days!  Seeded  at  No.22, their  Escort  suffered  various  problems  on  its  way  to 60th place,  not  least  of  which  was  the  loss  of  its bonnet.

With  so  many  Championship-registered  crews  on Epynt  it  is  impossible  to  include  everyone’s  tales  of derring-do  but,  having  outlined  many  of  the  success
stories,  it’s  perhaps  only  fair  to  mention  a  few  of the crews  whose  day  ended  prematurely.  Firstly,  Alex Laffey/Jack  Morton were  carted  off  to  hospital  after
their Fiesta R5 came to grief on SS3. We are happy  to report  that,  although  Jack  was  kept  in  overnight  for observation,  neither  crew  member  has  suffered  any
lasting  injuries  and  we  look  forward  to  seeing  them out and about again very soon.

The  much-vaunted  Championship  debut  of  Graham Coffey’s new  Fiesta  WRC  was  curtailed  after mechanical failure, whilst also in a new – to them – car were Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt. Their ex Mark Worley Impreza  WRC  broke  an  engine  mounting  in  an altercation  with  a  bale  on  the  opening  stage  – unfortunately,  Mr  Worley  was  on  hand  to  see  the extent of the damage for himself!…

The  MSA  Asphalt  Rally  Championship  points  tables following  the  Tour  of  Epynt  have  already  been circulated  and,  in  the  absence  of  any  queries,  will go
final at midday on Tuesday 18th March.

Motors TV’s broadcast schedule for each round of this year’s  Asphalt  Championship  is  such  that  Wayne Goldring  has  a  week  less  to  prepare  each  individual
programme.  Those  wishing  to  see  themselves  on  the Tour of Epynt should make sure they are near a TV set at  10.00pm  on  Friday  21st March.  If,  for  any  reason,
you  miss  the  programme,  the  recordings  will  be available  shortly  afterwards  on  the  Championship website:

Special Stage always  want to make them as  extensiveand  entertaining  as  possible  and,  in  order  to  achieve this, depend  very much on information received from
you both during and after each event. Therefore, they would  love  to  hear  from  you  with  snippets  on  how your day went and any particular incidents or dramas.
They will also consider using film coverage taken from your in-car cameras. Contact: and  there  is  a  form to fill in on their website:

Round  2  :  MANX  NATIONAL  RALLY  (9th/10th May) – Regulations/entry  forms  are  available  on Both  National  ‘A’  &  ‘B’ events  cover  identical  routes  and  are  eligible  for Championship points – so, the choice is yours!…

JIM  CLARK  NATIONAL  RALLY  (30th/31st May) – Regulations  and  full  details  will  be  available  shortly from  http://www.jimclarkrally.comThe rally  will, once again,
be based in Kelso and, as the only closed-road event in mainland  UK,  it’s  so  popular  that  it  attracts  people from  far  and  wide  who  all  need  somewhere  to  stay.
Consequently,  it’s  in  your  interests  to  book  your accommodation ASAP!

ALMC STAGES (6thJuly). This year’s ALMC Stages Rally will be based at the Castle Arch Hotel in the historic Co Meath town of Trim. Parc Ferme will be in the adjacent
County  Council  Offices,  while  the  trailer  park  and scrutineering  are  in  the  adjoining  commercial premises.  Further  details  from

1 Comment

  1. As usual just reporting on the bad points when it comes to us,exactly why we wont be doing the Reis next year.
    Despite the fact that we set three top ten times when we got back in the rally.
    Setting 12 th fastest on ss1
    Loosing our brakes on ss2 where we hit the big bale chicane after catching and passing the millington Proton.
    9th fastest on ss5
    8th on ss6 and Fastest rwd on ss6 after spinning twice.
    9th fastest on ss7 where we cruised home after realising that our year old tyres were past their best after our spins on ss6.

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