Getting the point!

mewla14_02_img_0223Damian Cole/Elliott Edmondson’s win on the penultimate round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, the Wexford Stages Rally, gave them their fifth maximum points score of the season as the driver strives for what would be his fifth consecutive series title. However, there’s still a way to go yet – if Steve Simpson/ Patrick Walsh win the final round, the Cheviot Keith Knox Rally, with Cole finishing outside the Top Six scorers, the crown will be theirs by a single point!…

With John Stone/Carl Williamson (Skoda Fabia WRC) rejoining after their absence from the Mewla, the Championship was responsible for three of the first five starters. The ever-improving Alex Laffey/Jack Morton (Ford Fiesta R5+) were at No.11 and, putting the disappointment of losing out on a Top Ten finish on the ALMC Stages behind them, Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson were back in their Group N Impreza.

Cole, who won the event in 2010 and 2011, moved into the lead on the final stage of the first leg and maintained station through to take a third victory. However, with the finish ramp almost in sight, his Focus WRC’s gearbox began to give cause for concern, but it all held together just long enough to get back to Wexford’s Riverbank House Hotel.

mewla14_11_mrol2723After a superb couple of days, it was Laffey/Morton who were Cole’s nearest rivals. They tucked into runners-up spot on the first stage of the second leg and hung in there to take their best result of the season – better, even, than their 5th on the ALMC Stages and they were well pleased with that!

After 15 stages, John Stone was just ten seconds adrift of a podium finish but should also be happy with his pace over what were very quick stages. The Fabia has maintained a 100% reliability record this season and, looking ahead, a similar performance on Otterburn in November could put ‘the ‘Legend’ in line for runner-up spot in the Championship – it just depends what happens between Cole & Simpson (see above!).

For Steve Simpson’s part, he spent the weekend coping with an Impreza WRC that was down on power. Initially the thought was that the problem was down to a turbo pipe but, unfortunately, replacing it did nothing to alleviate the situation.

Under the circumstances, 5th overall was an excellent performance and one can only wonder what might have been if things had been different….

Meirion Evans went on to take the finish he and Jonathan Jackson had hoped for – a well-judged drive to finish a handful of seconds outside the Top Ten worthy of the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ trophy on this occasion.

In terms of the Fuchs Titan Race ‘Best Improvement on Seeding’, both Meirion and Alex Laffey moved up the same number of places and, through the good offices of FTR, will each be receiving £50 product vouchers.

Keith Robathan had ‘one of those weekends’ but, nevertheless, his perseverance was rewarded with maximum Millington Rear-Wheel Drive Challenge points, putting his Escort MkII into the overall lead with just the Cheviot to go. Now that’ll be interesting!

mewla14_46_img_9910Both the Team Lotusbits Sunbeams had cause to welcome the inclusion of SuperRally, or Rally 2 as it’s now known. But for the chance to restart, Mike Taylor/Peter Grant would have been forced to retire on Saturday after their car suffered suspension damage, while Cathy Sewart’s example continued comfortably into the second day before its battery cooked itself. Having sorted all that out, she was forced to retire for good when the Lotus power unit developed problems.

So, as previously mentioned, just the Cheviot Keith Knox Stages to go in early November and there are some folk in for a nail-biting few weeks!

The programme produced by ‘Special Stage’ on the Wexford Stages Rally is due to be aired for the first time on Motors TV on Friday 26th September at 21.30.

Championship points following the Wexford Stages Rally have already been circulated. If you have any queries, please contact the Coordinator immediately as they will go final at midday on 22nd September.

Round 8 (Final): Regulations & entry forms for the Cheviot Keith Knox Rally (9th November) will shortly be available to download from the event website, The 2014 season draws to a close and there is still some unfinished business to be dealt with on the Otterburn Ranges.

Overall, class and category points on the final round are subject to a coefficient of 1.25, rounded down.

The Awards Presentation for the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship will take place on Saturday 29th November at Moor Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. Tickets are £48.00 for an excellent four-course meal + a disco into the early hours.

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

As you are no doubt aware, following the tender process in the spring, the MSA has appointed the BTRDA to organise and run the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship for the next five years (2015-19). We are actively formulating details for 2015 and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

We are also seeking a Sponsor to partner REIS and anyone wanting more details should contact Andrew Haill (contact details below).

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 –
Facebook –
Twitter – @AsphaltRallying


March 9 Tour of Epynt (Llandovery)
Baryan Joseph Tel: 07895 085 585 Email:
Robert Wilson Tel: 01639 849 413 Email:

May 9/10 Manx National Rally (Douglas)
Mark Quayle Tel: 07624 479 587
Hilary Moore Tel: 07624 477 152 Email:

May 30/31 Jim Clark National Rally (Kelso)
David Malthouse Tel: 07881 363 911
David Malthouse Tel: 07881 363 911

July 6 ALMC Stages (Trim, Co. Meath)
Raymond Scullion Tel: +353 876 187 829 Email:
Lyndsay Doran Tel: +353 861 519 697 Email:

Aug. 3 Tyneside Stages (Otterburn)
Maurice Mabon Tel: 01665 602 690
Maurice Mabon Tel: 01665 602 690

Aug. 24 Mewla Rally (Builth Wells)
Brian Jones Tel: 07974 948 193 Email:
Keith &Trina Edwards Tel: 01982 551 246 Email:

Sept. 13/14 Wexford Stages Rally (Wexford)
Pat O’Dowd Tel: +353 879 184 022 Email:
Gary Nolan Tel: +353 879 007 1252 Email:

Nov. 9 Cheviot Keith Knox Stages (Otterburn)
Charlie Tynan Tel: 0191 258 3509Email:
Gordon Bradford Tel: 07412 107 269 Email:

29th November: Awards Evening, Moor Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Awards Tickets Moor Hall Booking

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