Asphalt Asides 2014 – Issue 5

john_stone_almc 2014Another excellent run in their Skoda Fabia WRC, this time on the ALMC Stages Rally, the latest round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, sees John Stone/Carl Williamson move to the top of their respective categories in the points table at the halfway stage of the season. They actually finished 4th in Ireland, just eight seconds adrift of a tie-break for runners-up spot after over an hour of competitive motoring and take over from Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh whose Impreza WRC retired after a heavy collision with a chicane bale on a wet piece of road.

For the second time this year Damian Cole/Elliott Edmondson took maximum points – their Focus WRC was 2nd overall, having come out of the above mentioned tie-break to the good. However, after taking his fourth consecutive finish, Darren Atkinson finds himself a point in front of Cole. He and Phil Sandham were 12th in their Escort, in spite of a Stage 3 puncture which cost the duo the best part of a minute.

Following up their recent win on the non- Championship Rally of the Midlands, Alex Laffey/Jack Morton were 5th overall in their Fiesta R5+, leaving the crew in a similar position in the points. Graham Coffey’s WRC version was a couple of places behind them, taking a class win into the bargain.

Millington Diamond Logo22 Championship-registered cars accounted for more than a quarter of the total entry and, from them, Robathan’s 9th overall was more than enough for top points in the Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge, closing the gap slightly on leader Darren Atkinson. Simon Chapman/Michael Calvert rounded off the Top Ten in their Metro 6R4, pleased to improve on their 12th place in 2013.

john horton logoMaking their Irish competition debut, Tinn’s 13th place in their Proton Millington also the first time such a car has been seen over there – earned the driver the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ trophy on this occasion.


AB Logo2David Hardie/John McCulloch’s bright yellow Impreza was 16th while Pete Rayner’s Escort and Underwood’s Nova finished a second apart in 23rd & 24th places respectively. For their part, the Underwoods took a class win and maxi Motorsport FWD Challenge points which they were leading before boarding the ferry from Holyhead….

TITAN Race LogoJim Sharp/Craig Wallace’s Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 was 29th, with David Earthy’s Citroen C2R2 a handful of seconds behind in 32nd. Ian Barnard’s from a start number of 77, earned him and his Nova the Fuchs Titan Race ‘Best Improvement on seeding’ voucher. Stephen Ritchie’s BMW M3 Compact also registered a finish and Team Lotusbits experienced something of a reversal of fortunes in Ireland. On the Jim Clark, Mike Taylor/Peter Grant’s Talbot Sunbeam Lotus finished, while Cathy Sewart’s after leaving the road. This time, she brought hers to the finish in Trim after Taylor/Grant had inflicted some suspension damage to theirs after trying to avoid an errant chicane!…

New Championship recruit Abarth 500 on the road to record a finish and open her account in the AB Motorsport FWD Challenge. In an entry of 80, only 53 were registered as finishers and, consequently, there were bound to be some Championship casualties in amongst the retirements albeit, thankfully, remarkably few! In addition to Simpson/Walsh, Peter Taylor/Andrew Roughead stopped when their Fiesta S2400 suffered a broken driveshaft and Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson heading for a Top Ten finish in their Group N Impreza before it disappeared through a hedge in the closing stages! Mathew Roberts/Peredur Davies were leading their class in their Citroen Saxo, but were also destined for an early bath – and nil points!

The updated points following the ALMC Stages were circulated in record time thanks to Ron Jackson at NERS. If you have any queries, please contact the Championship Coordinator ASAP as they will go final at midday on 15th July.

The ALMC Stages is due to be broadcast on Motors at 9.00pm on 18th July and will then be available on YouTube shortly afterwards.


ROUND 5: The Wilkinson Maintenance Tyneside Stages (3rd August) is next up. 90 miles, in nine special stages on the Otterburn Military Ranges, with a recce of the route between 15.30-18.00 on the Saturday afternoon. The Entries Secretary is : Maurice Mabon – Tel: 01665 602690 / Email: Full details are available on

ROUND 6: The Forge Garage Mewla Rally (24th August) takes us back to Epynt over August Bank Holiday weekend. 80 stage miles, in eleven stages, and
a chance to recce the route between 11.00-16.00 on the Saturday. The Entries Secretaries are: Keith & Trina Edwards – Tel : 01982 551246 / Email: Full details are available on

ROUND 7: Clerk of the Course for The Wexford Stages Rally (13th/14th September), Pat O’Dowd, was present on the ALMC Stages. Plans for the event are at an advanced stage and regulations should be available shortly. The Entries Secretary is: Karen O’Dowd – Tel : +353 (0) 86 0247121 / Email: Full details are available on

Since the last edition of ‘Asphalt Asides’, the Motor Sports Association has confirmed that the BTRDA has been successful in its bid to retain the permit for the Asphalt Rally Championship for 2015-2019. We look forward to moving the series forward into this new era, hopefully with your support. Details of the 2015 Championship will be released in the autumn.

We value any communications from competitors and therefore if you have any news, comments, questions or simply require advice we would like to hear from you.

Coordinator – Andrew Haill: Tel 0121 313 1416, Mobile 07836 729 549, Email:
Eligibility Scrutineer – Geoff Doe: Mobile 07808 129 663, Email:

Website –
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Twitter – @AsphaltRallying

Andrew Haill

Photos courtesy of Special Stage

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