Brief reports of Race and Rally results for Darrian and Davrian. For older results go to the Results Archive page
MGJ Brands Hatch Stages Rally 19-01-19
Mark Straker and Simon May had a good run at the MGJ Brands Hatch stages. With development work still ongoing, with the new 1.6 litre ecoboost engine, this was a good chance for Mark to get some more testing done. Despite this, and after a slow and steady first stage, they set consistant times and were running in sixth overall throughout the day. They would eventually finish with exactly the same time as the fifth place crew and just three seconds away from fourth place overall. Those three seconds also separated them from a podium position in their class. Not bad for a test day and we're looking forward to seeing what Mark can do with this car this year.
Joshua and Tamsyn Davey were back behind the wheel of the Darrian T90 at this weekends Snetterton Stages. After a bit of a break from the car they were quick to get back into the groove. By the afternoon they were in 5th place overall but going quicker than some of the more powerfull 2.5litre cars ahead of them. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time left to climb the leaderboard so they would finish in 5th overall and would take the 2litre class win by over a minute and a half.
Now that they have the car sorted it surely won't be long before we see Joshua and Tamsyn back at the front, battling for the overall win! Enjoy the video above showing them on their way to a third fastest stage time on the final stage of the day.
Thie Birr Stages was the first event for James Stafford this year and there was a very strong WRC and R5 entry on the start sheet ahead of him. James, along with his Co Driver Jeff Case, got off to a great start. After four stages they found themselves in 6th fastest overall, right in amongst all the four wheel drive cars in slippery conditions and comfortably leading the modified class 14.
By the end of the afternoon stages they would slip down to 8th overall but they still came away as fastest two wheel drive and the class 14 win ahead of Kevin Eves and Chris Melly in the Toyota.
This was a great result for James and Jeff and hopefully the first of many for this year.
Brandon Smith had a good run yesterday at a very soggy Three Sisters Circuit. This was also the first event for his son Sion in the co drivers seat of the Darrian. The father and son team survived some incredibly tough and wet conditions to come away with second in class finishing 14th overall. It's great to finish your first event and even better to bring a trophy home as well. Well done to Sion and Brandon, hopefully the next event won't be so wet!
Donington Park Stages 03-03-19
Joshua and Tamsyn Davey were back out in the Darrian T90 at the Donnington Park Stages yesterday. In a strong entry they held their own throughout the day always posting times in the top three or top four. They would finish the day in fourth overall, getting ever closer to those podium positions, and first in class with a margin of over three minutes to their nearest competitor. Fifth overall last time out and fourth overall this time, with some more seat time we can expect Josh and Tamsyn to be up in those podium places next time. They're already going in the right direction!
Here's another in car video with Josh and Tamsyn on a wet stage seven.
Bad weather is often expected for the Tour of Epynt with it being the first visit of the year up to the Ranges. This year the weather was pretty awful again with the stages very slippery in changeable conditions and strong wind and rain effecting competitors, service crew and spectators. The on stage action was just as exciting as ever though. From the outset Gareth Richards and Deian Rees showed great pace and considering that Deian communicates through sign language this was all the more impressive. After two stages they were leading their class and were the top two wheel drive car. Richards and Rees would briefly be overhauled by two fellow Darrian competitors, Roger Moran and Den Golding and Huw Reed and Anthony Hackett, but by the end of the day they had regained control of the class. They finished 7th overall and first in class. Roger Moran and Den Golding finished second in the class and 11th overall which was a great result for them with it being their first time on Epynt in the GTR+. Not far behind Moran and Golding was the T90 of Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon. After a steady first few stages in the morning they spent the day gradually climbing up the leaderboard to eventually finish first in the 2ltr class and 12th overall. Well done to everyone who got to the end of such a tricky event and hopefully it will be dry on Epynt next time. The pictures below show the weather that the competitors and service crew had to deal with!
Tour of Caerwent 24-03-19
Image Copyright Neil Jones 'Central'
Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon put in a great performance at this years Tour of Caerwent Rally. Consistently posting fast times all day saw them finish in fourth overall and first in class and first two wheel drive car. It was only a small winning margin but a class win is a class win!
Ian Sutton and Karen Phelps also showed some good pace and they ended the day in ninth overall and third in their class.
Mark Straker and Ian Meakin were very fast in the T90 GT R5 on the first stage untill engine problems finished their day before they could show what the car could do.
James Stafford and Jeff Case had another great run in the Darrian T90 GTR on the Midland Stages Rally. With a very strong WRC entry they had quite a bit of work to do to get a decent result. Of course they were well up for the challenge and spent the day posting some very quick times and were the only two wheel drive car right in amongst the top WRC competitors. At one point they held a podium position but by the end of the day it was a very respectable fourth place overall and first in class by more than a minute.
Well done to James and Jeff, that was a great drive.
Another strong result for Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon in the Darrian T90 yesterday on the Altratech SMC stages in Anglesey. They set some very quick times through the day and were mixing it with more powerful machinery up at the front. In the end they would finish fourth overall and first in their class by a comfortable margin. Brandon Smith and Terry Martin were also setting very quick stage times but with a big chunk of time lost on one stage they unfortunately didn't get a top result. With this only being the first event for the car with it's new engine we can expect the teething troubles to be sorted out and the results will soon follow, there is definitely some potential there!
Corbeau Seats Rally 29-04-19
Well done to Tony Rees and Geraint Thomas for a great performance on yesterdays Corbeau Seats Rally. Tony was hoping for a day of dry weather in Clacton but early morning slippery conditions and some rain later on certainly added an extra challenge to this event. That didn't phase them too much though. They spent the day in the top ten in very strong competition with the time gaps being very small. With two stages to go Tony and Geraint were in 9th place but with massive push and fastest overall time on the final stage they climbed up to 6th overall by the finish. Times were still very close, it was only four seconds up to 4th place! First in class and first two wheel drive honours, not a bad day at all. Some more performances like that final stage and we could be seeing Tony as a regular podium finisher. Jonathan Davies and Daniel James were another Darrian crew to make the trip from Wales over to Essex and they came home with third in their class in the Darrian T9. A good drive and well worth the trip.
Dixies Challenege Rally 07-05-19
Tony Rees and Jamie Vaughan had another fantastic result on this years Dixies Rally Challenge on the Epynt ranges. Fired up by his performance over in Essex last weekend Tony was on the pace right from the start and after two stages was leading the event by just one second. The pace up the from was very strong though and Tony and Jamie couldn't quite hold their lead through the day and it would be a third place overall by the time they got to the finish line. This was a great drive by Tony and he certainly seems to be making big steps forward in pace now he is comfortable with the car.
Gethin Davies and Ben Ruff had a great result up in Harlech on Sunday. They were really on the pace in the 1600cc Darrian T9 and beating many much more powerful 2 and 2.5ltr cars. There was no more that a handful of seconds between them and the rally leaders on each stage through the day. They would finish the day in second overall and first in their class by quite a big margin. This was an amazing performance from Gethin and Ben considering it was only their second event in the car and we hope to see more like this throughout the year. Gareth Richards and Ian Jones weren't quite able to keep up with Gethin and Ben but they brough their Darrian home with 6th overall and 3rd in their class.
Manx National Rally 13-05-19
Geoff Roberts had a good first rally in the Isle of Man on the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally, part of the Manx National Rally. With experienced co driver Terry Martin sitting next to him in the T90 they drove a steady rally through the Friday stages and were in a good top ten position by the end of the night. On Saturday morning they got off to a good start and through the day managed to get up to 5th place overall and first in their class for the Chris Kelly Memorial Rally. A good result on a challenging rally and not bad for a first visit the the Isle of Man.
Carlow Stages Rally 13-05-19
The Carlow stages are always exciting and 2019 was no different. Three really quick Darrians entered with James Stafford and Jeff case at the head of the pack. They were quickest on stage one but unfortunately an accident on stage two put them out of the rally. After stage two Ian Barrett and Paul McGee took Staffords place at the head of the field and set quickest times on stages three and four untill their rally also ended prematurely. Kevin Gallagher, with his new car finished just hours before the event, did keep going all through the day. Kevin, along with his navigator William Lynch, was posting some very promising times and finished within grasping distance of the podium in fourth place overall. With a bit more time in the new car they will get back up to the top and be fighting for the win again.
Cetus Stages 13-05-19
Congratulations to Jason and Lee Wilson for winning this years Cetus Stages at the Three Sisters race circuit. In only their second event in the car the Wilson brothers were setting the pace right from the start. They were fastest on eleven of the days twelve stages and lead the rally from start to finish. It certainly hasn't taken them long to get to grips with the Darrian! A fantastic result and we hope to see more like this in the future.
Tony Rees has been really getting to grips with the Darrian this year and this weekends two day TSH Stages in Cornwall certainly proved that. With Jamie Vaughan on the notes along side him Tony was flying. They had a comfortable lead by the end of the first day after trading fastest times throughout the afternoon with James Harvey and Holly Creamer in the Subaru. On day two Tony and Jamie seemed to get even faster again, increasing their lead at the front of the rally, and after Harvey and Creamer retired in the closing stages they won the rally by over two minutes!
Well done to Tony and Jamie on such a comanding win and congratulations to Tony as this was his first overall rally win. The TSH Stages Rally is always a challenging and to win it in this way is very impressive.
Caerwent Mid Summer Stages 16-06-19
Image copyright Neil Jones Central
There were some great results on yesterdays Caerwent Mid Summer Stages. Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon, no strangers to the podium positions, finished in third overall and were second in their class. Ian Sutton and Karen Phelps had a very quick start to the event posting some top times but being caught in the rain on the wrong tyres pushed them down the order. They managed to climb back up to 6th overall and third in the 2ltr class. Not a bad run in a very competitive class. Dave Morgan and Richard Suter came away with 8th overall and third in their class. Well done to all, some good results in tricky and changeable conditions.
JRT Enville Stages 30-06-19
After not driving the car for over ten months Alan Oldfield had a fantastic result on last weekends Enville stages at the Anglesey circuit. Alan, with Steve McNulty along side him in the co drivers seat, was setting very competitive times all day and it was enough for second place overall. With a bit more seat time the top step won't be very far from their reach! Brandon Smith and Catrin Jones were quick in their V6 powered Darrian and were ahead of Oldfield and McNulty in the morning. The times between the two Darrians were very close but they were eventually overhauled and came home with third overall.
John Dalton and Gwynfor Jones made their way over to Ireland last weekend for the Ravens Rock rally. After a great result last year they were hoping for more of the same this year. They couldn't quite match the pace of two very strong R5 competitors up ahead but they got into a great battle for third place overall. John and Gwynfor were swapping times throughout the day with Richard Moore and John McGrath in their Escort. Eventually John and Gwynfor would miss out on the podium by just 1.4 seconds. Not the result they were hoping for but it was an exciting battle.
Brawdy Stages 07-07-19
It was a bit of family affair at this years Brawdy stages with three Darrians driven by three people from the Davies family. Dai 'Dot' Davies must have been proud of his two sons Rhys and Gethin, they certainly showed some great pace. Rhys Wyn Davies and Dafydd Evans were the quickest Darrian crew all day. This was all the more impressive as it was the first time Rhys had driven the car in competition. It certainly didn't take him long to get to grips with the car and third overall and first in class at the finish was an amazing result.
Gethin Davies and Ben Ruff have shown their pace in the 1600cc T9 before and this event was no different. They took a clear lead of the class early on and by the end had a gap of over three minutes to the next 1600cc crew and finished fifth overall. That second place would go to John Lewis and Jade Phillips. Lewis, in a similar T9, is a regular class winner but he couldn't find an answer to the incredible pace of Gethin Davies up ahead and had to settle for second in class and 17th overall.
Dai 'Dot' Davies and Gerwyn James weren't quite on the pace of the Davies sons but they had a tidy run through the day to finish 12th overall.
Well done to all the Darrian crews. Fantastic results and it's nice to see some healthy family rivalry!
There was a strong Darrian entry on Epynt yesterday for the Harry Flatters rally with quite a few cars that could fight for podium positions. Through the morning it would be Tony Rees who would be at the head of the Darrian battle, continuing his recent good form. With Ian Taylor sitting in the co drivers seat they managed to get into third place overall but it wasn't such a comfortable gap behind them. Mark Straker and Ian Meakin were the chasers in Mark's turbo GT 'R5' Darrian. The latest engine developments were definitely worth it and Mark was showing much improved pace, getting faster throughout the day. Mark and Ian would eventually get ahead of Tony Rees on the afternoon's longer stages. It was still close though, no more than a few sceonds between them on every stage and the gap at the end was ten seconds. Well done to Mark Straker and Ian Meakin for a great third overall and first in class and well done to Tony Rees and Ian Taylor for their fourth place and second in class. It was also a Darrian 1-2-3 lockout in the class with Huw Reed and Anthony Hackett having a good trouble free run to third in class and seventh overall. Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon had a good run, leading the 2ltr class through the day and finishing in eighth overall. Another class win for them, they must be running out of room for trophies! Ian Sutton and Karen Phelps also had a good day and got themselves a top 20 finish ending the day in 19th overall.
After his win on last years Dogleap Stages Barry Morris was back to try and repeat the performance but this time with his own Darrian. With the car only finished the day before the event it was going to be a tall order but Barry, with Declan Campbell in the co drivers seat, was on the pace straight away in the morning setting second fastest times on both of the first stages. Being caught on hard slicks in a downpour on the next stage dropped them a bit of time to the leader but they still managed to finish the day in a strong second place overall and first in class. A fantastic first event for Barry and the new car which definitely shows a lot of promise for future events. Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly had a great run in their GTR+, the car that won in Barry's hands last year. They were consistently well into the top ten times all day and it was enough to get them eighth overall and second in class.
Well done to Rhys Wyn Davies and Gerwyn James who had a fantastic day up on Rally Marketing Epynt Stages on Sunday. In only the second event in the car for Rhys, and Gerwyns first time on pacenotes, they dominated the six stage afternoon rally which runs alongside the Mewla rally.
The idea was to get a bit of experience and seat time before the Rali Bae Ceredigion in September but they weren't slowly getting up to speed and after the first loop of three stages they already had a lead of over a minute. They wen't on to be fastest on the next two stages as well with the final stage being the only one where they wouldn't top the timesheet. By the finish their lead was stretched to over a minute and half.
With stage times that would have put them easily into the top ten in the main field their pace shows a lot of promise for the future and we look forward to seeing what they can do on the closed roads of Ceredigion in September where the competition will no doubt be very strong in the 2ltr class.
The Promenade stages almost always feature a strong Darrian performance or two and this year was no different. Geoff Roberts is one driver who always goes well on the prom and, with Co Driver Johnathon Kennedy, he worked his way up the time sheets over the course of the two day event and finished in a strong third place overall. Dale and Darrel Thomas has a steady start to the rally but by the end were posting some much faster, top ten times. They couldn't quite break into the top ten overall positions but they did come very close, eventually finishing in 11th overall. John Lewis and Kath Curzon had a great event coming first in class and 14th overall. John must have been having a bit of deja vu after the finish! He entered the promenade stages as car 7 and won the 1600cc class way back in 1994. In the same car, 25 years later and with the same start number, John did it again. Not many drivers could say the same. Some great results there, well done to all the Darrian crews.
The Three Shires Rally is another new closed road rally based near Ledbury in England. It's name comes from the fact that it's stages take the competitors through three 'shire counties', Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Two Darrians and one Davrian took part with a great battle going on at the head of the field. Roger Moran and Den Golding had the upper hand in the Darrian battle and held second place overall throughout the morning with Andy Fraser and Alan Jones close behind in third. By the afternoon, Fraser and Jones had got into their stride posting a couple of fastest times they got ahead of their Darrian rivals into second place. Unfortunately Moran and Golding were forced to retire before the end so they couldn't challenge Fraser and Jones. Rick Neale and Ed Gamble finished in 29th overall. It always nice to see a Davrian out on the stages. Well done to Andy Fraser and Alan Jones, second overall on the inaugural Three Shires Rally.
There was a lot of excitement in the lead up to Rali Bae Ceredigion, the first closed road rally to be held in Wales. The rally was very close to the Darrian headquarters and the stages took place in some of the most beautiful scenic locations to the east of Aberystwyth. John Dalton and Gwynfor Jones were hoping for a good result in the works Darrian T90 GTR+ but unfortunately it wasn't to be. With a spin on the first stage they got into the groove a bit more on the longer Nant Y Moch stage and were on a respectable pace but unfortunately on the second loop of stages gear selection issues put an end to their rally. Their exit meant that the prize for the fastest Darrian was still up for grabs. There was a very close battle going on between a few GTRs and it was Tony Rees and Geraint Thomas who had the upper hand to begin with but they wer being chased hard by Barry Morris and Declan Campbell. This was the first event on closed roads for Barry's new GTR+ and they wanted to make sure they got to the finish so after a steady start they were closing in on Rees and Thomas. In the last two stages Morris and Campbell were really speeding up, now setting times that were well inside the top ten, and they managed to get ahead of Rees and Thomas finishing sixteen seconds ahead! Congratulations to Barry Morris and Declan Campbell, finishing 18th overall and winning the Best Darrian Crew award, well worth the trip over from Northern Ireland! Tony Rees and Geraint Thomas finished 19th overall. Roger Moran and Den Golding had a very busy weekend. After almost finishing second on the Three Shires Rally on Saturday they made their way to Wales on Sunday, got the car fixed and went out onto the Welsh stages. With everyone saying how technical and full on the stages were their performance must have been hampered by the fact they couldn't do the recce the day before but they had a trouble free run to finish 21st overall. Huw Reed and Anthony Hackett enjoyed the Welsh stages and were not far behind Moran. They finished in 23rd overall. Barry's father Seamus was the final Darrian finisher. He and co driver Jarlath Kelly had a steady and trouble free run and finished 52nd overall. Well done to all the Darrian crews for finishing what turned out to be a tough but enjoyable rally.
The rally itself was a huge success, an incredible achievement for all the organising team, and it was great to be a part of such an event so close to home. Hopefully it will be the first of many rallies based in Aberystwyth.
Well done to James Stafford and Jeff Case, winners of this years Wexford stages. This is also the third time James has won his home event! Saturday started off with a great battle for the lead with Andrew Purcell in the Fiesta WRC. James and Jeff in the Darrian were on a mission and several fastest stage times saw them swap places with Purcell a number of times throughout the day. On Sunday James and Jeff were on a blistering pace again and they got back into the lead. After Purcell in the Fiesta retired on stage eleven James and Jeff had a huge lead from another Fiesta. That didn't mean they were going to take it easy though! They went on to set a few more fastest times and overcame some late dramas to finish first overall with a lead of almost two minutes to the R5 car behind them. Well done to James and Jeff, definitely an impressive and entertaining drive!
Ian Barrett and Paul McGee had another great run in Ian's T90 GTR+ at the Clare stages on Sunday. It was a very close battle from the outset with Barrett and McGee quickest on the first stage and holding a small lead over the next few stages. They were swapping fastest times with Roy White in the WRC Fiesta. Rain came later on and Barrett and McGee couldn't hold on to the lead and would eventually drop to third overall after a slow time on stage seven. Over the rest of the afternoon stages their times were still very quick but not quite enough to pull them back up in the wet conditions. They missed out on the overall win unfortunately but a third place and first two wheel drive, by almost five minutes, is still a fantastic result.
Congratulations to Ian Hall for winning his 200th race at last weekends CSCC race weekend at Thruxton. In fact, winning both races of the double header gives Ian a total of 201 wins now. Ian started racing a MK1 Sprite in the Modsports series in 1966 and he later went on to drive a very rapid Davrian MK7 modsports in the early 80s. More recently Ian has been at the wheel of his Darrian T98 Wildcat, an incredible machine fitted with a 5.2 litre rover V8 engine. This car is one of the most successful modsports cars in the country with many wins, fastest laps and a championship win in 2005.
What a fantastic achievement for Ian and hopefully there will be a few more wins to add to the total over the next few years.
Patriot Stages Caerwent 29-9-19
There were some pretty tricky conditions down in Caerwent on Sunday for the Patriot Stages Rally so well done to everyone who made it to the end. There was a great Darrian battle going on throughout the day and it was Brandon Smith and Simon May who had the upper hand in the Jaguar V6 powered Darrian. Comfortably running first in their class they only had to worry about fastest Darrian bragging rights. Richard Merriman and kath Curzon have completed a fair few rallies around Caerwent but they couldn't quite match the pace of Smith and May but they kept close enough to have a real go on the final stage. The gap going into the stage was twelve seconds and a blidningly fast time from Merriman and Curzon almost got them ahead. They took eleven seconds out of Smith and May to finish just one second behind them. Ian Sutton and Karen Phelps were also keeping a good pace and had closed in on Merriman and Curzon before the last stage. At the finish they were just fifteen seconds down. All three Darrians finished in 5th, 6th and 7th overall with Brandon Smith and Simon May taking a class win. Well done, a great result and an exciting battle of the Darrians!
Kevin Gallagher and Ger Conway had a great day at the Donegal Harvest Rally. In typically changing, slippery conditions they stayed at the head of the two wheel drive field mixing it with the four wheel drive R5s. They slotted the Darrian into fourth place overall on the early stages with some impressive times but by the afternoon they had dropped to fifth. This was still enough to keep them ahead of all the two wheel drive and one R5 At the end of the day they finished in fifth overall with first in class 14. Well done to Kevin and Ger, another great result.
Adgespeed Stages 14-10-19
Brandon Smith and Catrin Jones finished in fifth overall and second in class on Sundays Adgespeed stages at the Three Sisters race circuit. Conditions were very slippery but Brandon kept control of that Jaguar V6 power in the Darrian and they went on to set some very competitive times in the afternoon with second fastest on the last stage. A great drive in tricky conditions.
Mark Smith and Tim Nunn had their first event in their GTR. It wasn't the easiest day for a debut but they gradually got to grips with the car and were setting some good times in the afternoon.
Dukeries Rally 14-10-19
Josh Davey and Tamsyn Davey were out in the Darrian at the Dukeries Donnington stages in preperation for the Motorsport News circuit rally championship this winter. It didn't quite go according to plan for the brother and sister duo. The speed was there but some misfire problems, a couple of spins, losing the rear bodywork and getting a 30 second penalty hampered their result somewhat. Incredibly they still finished fifth overall and first in class. Without the penalty it would have been a third place for them. Their pace does look promising for the upcoming circuit championship and hopefully they have got their 'mishaps' out of the way and there will be a little less drama for the rest of the season. Good luck to them both.
Mull Rally 21-10-19
Images Copyright James Officer
Bruce Edwards is a regular competitor on the Mull Rally. Unfortunately this years event didn't go quite according to plan. Edwards, along with co driver Jim Smith, ended up as low as 130th on the time sheets after breaking a wheel on the first stage and having to crawl through the next. With the bad luck out of the way Edwards and Smith spent the rest of the three day event climbing up the leaderboard to eventually finish in 48th place. Obviously not the result they would have wanted but getting to the end of this notoriously difficult event is a result in itself!
Barry Morris and Declan Campbell overcame some first stage problems to win their class in Tyrone. An overshoot and having to get spectators to help get them pointing the right way lost them over half a minute and put them down the order but they weren't giving up. Going into the last two stages they had already got into the top spot of the class but a couple of two wheel drive cars were ahead of them. Two mighty stages later and they crossed the line in seventh overall with the class win and they had done enough to be first two wheel drive. What a great comeback drive! Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly couldn't match Barry's pace and they crossed the line in 19th overall.
Merlin Stages Pembrey 21-10-19
They've done it again, Welsh Champions 2019 The team from left to right - Kath Curzon, Richard Merriman, Barrie Jenkins, Neil Jones Central
Congratulations to Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon for winning the Welsh Tarmac Championship win. It's four championship wins now for Richard but six for Kath, is there any stopping them! Apart from winning the championship Richard and Kath had great result on the Merlin stages in Pembrey. Running in fifth place and second in class in the morning they got into their stride through the mid way stages and got up into fourth place. At the end of the day they crossed the line infourth overall, first in class and first two wheel drive. Well done to the whole team, it's a fantastic achievement, and we look forward to seeing you do it all gain next year!
Neil Howard Stages 02-11-19
Images Copyright John Gorton
Saturday saw the start of the Motorsport News circuit rally championship with the first round at Oulton Park. With three quick Darrians entered, some new faces and some championship regulars, it was interesting to see who was going to come out on top. Joshua and Tamsyn Davey had the benefit of experience on their side, that and some serious speed, and they were quick off the mark on the first stage of day. Stage two didn't go quite so well for them after they hit a particularly bad pothole causing damage to the front suspension. Thankfully they carried on to the end of the stage and some hasty repairs in service held together for the rest of the day. Their time lost had allowed the Darrian of Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings to get ahead. Their pace was pretty quick as well, these two Darrians were easily the fastest two wheel drives in the slippery conditions, but they would have some hard work to keep Josh and Tamsyn behind. Eventually Josh and Tamsyn did get back ahead to finish first two wheel drive, first in their class and fifth overall. Barry and Tom were close behind in sixth and first in their class. Both cars well clear of their nearest class competitiors. Barry's father, Seamus Morris couldn't keep pace with the two other Darrians, he and co driver Jarlath Kelly finished in 26th place. It's great to see more quick Darrians in the championship this year and hopefully it will make an interesting battle as the season goes on. Well done to all the Darrian crews, great results.
MSN Circuit rally championship catch up 27-01-20
Images Copyright MSN Rally Championship
The MSN Rally Championship has been going very well for Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings in the T90 GTR+. They have been going from strength to strength throughout the first four rounds. Round one, Oulton park saw them finish just behind experienced championship regulars Josh and Tamsyn Davey. Round two didn't go to plan for them with a non finish but with that out of the way they were back out for round three where they finished a strong sixth overall just missing out on being fastest two wheel drive by one second! Round four at Brands Hatch was yet another great result for Morris and Hutchings. The first stage of the day was incredibly slippery and difficult for everyone. Morris couldn't match the pace of Josh and Tamsyn Davey in the Darrian T90 who set fastest time on the first stage but they would later on retire with gearbox problems. Morris and Hutchings kept up a great pace throughout the day and crossed the line second overall and first two wheel drive. At the halfway point of the championship Barry and Tom are still in the hunt for the Championship honours and as it stands, with a dropped score, would be leading the championship. Let's hope the rest of the season goes well for them.
Josh and Tamsyn Davey have been very fast in every round they've entered but unfortunately those gearbox problems have put them some way behind. Hopefully they will have better luck in the second half!
Alan Healy Memorial Stages 02-02-20
Images Copyright Tim Holderness
Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings had another successful outing in the MSN Circuit Rally Championship. They didn't quite equal their fantastic performance from Brands Hatch but they did enough to stay in the lead of the championship when you take dropped scores into account.
The conditions in Cadwell Park on Sunday were incredibly wet and slippery with many experienced competitors being caught out. Barry and Tom had a slow start to the day and it would be the afternoon by the time they made their way into the top ten on the leader board. Some quicker times in the later stages saw them up to sixth overall and closing in fast on the class leaders Stephen and Jack Tilburn in the Escort. On the last stage of the day Barry and Tom were quicker but unfortunately couldn't quite do enough, the time lost in the morning costing them a class win. Second in class and sixth overall in those difficult conditions was still a good result.
Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly held a steady pace but a couple of stage maximums put them well down the order.
Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings are becoming regular front runners in the MSN Rally Championship. Their trip to Snetterton proved no different with the pair quick off the mark in the morning with only the Focus WRC of Frank Brid ahead of them in the times. With Storm Dennis bringing some horrendous weather across the country the conditions were changeable and tricky in the wind but Barry and Tom were on top of any challenge the weather brought and they kept their second place overall throughout the day making it a comanding class win and some great championship points for them.
Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly are definitely heading in the right direction. They finished in 21st overall, just one second away from breaking into the top 20!
Jason and Lee Wilson had a great run on their first event of the year, the Questmead stages at the Three sisters Circuit, in their Darrian T90 GTR. Their hard work over the winter upgrading the car and working on the setup certainly seemed to pay off. Their pace was incredibly quick right from the start with their 2 litre car mixing it with 2.5 litre cars and WRC spec cars. Unfortunately some electrical problems dropped them down the order on stage four but Jason and Lee made up for that later on with some very fast stage times and a couple of fastest overall. They climbed their way back up to finish third overall, a very promising start to the year.
Massive congratulations to Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings for taking a great win on the Lee Holland Memorial Stages Rally in their Darrian T90 GTR+. It wasn't an easy run to victory though. After Frank Bird's early exit in the Focus WRC it could have been a straight forward win for Barry and Tom but they were pushed all the way by Rob Hughes and Sion Cuniff in the Fiesta R5. At one point in the morning they were on exactly the same total time. Barry and Tom managed to find a bit of extra speed in the Darrian over the afternoon stages and managed to pull out a slender lead from the chasing Fiesta. At the end of the day they crossed the line with a seven second advantage. This was their first win in the MSN Rally championship and we all knew it was coming sometime after their great second place finishes in recent rounds but for them to have finally got the win under their belts it must give them a lot of confidence. Well done to Barry and Tom, a brilliant drive in a very competitive field and hopefully the first of many wins for them.
Barry and Tom win the 2020 MSN Circuit Rally Championship 16-03-20 LDV Donington Stages Rally
Massive congratulations to Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings for winning the 2019-20 Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship in their Darrian T90 GTR+. After winning the previous event outright they had a small points margin leading the championship coming into the final round at Donington but they still needed a good result to clinch the title. With the weather again being very cold and wet they were careful all day not to slip up in the treacherous conditions. After four stages they were sitting in 8th overall after having some problems being held up by slower cars but top ten was where they needed to be. Despite this the afternoons stages saw them climb up to finish in third overall making it a nice strong finish to the championship for them. Joshua and Tamsyn Davey were back for the final round of the championship in their two litre Darrian T90. The speed was there in throughout the day but some misfire problems kept them back a bit in the afternoon and at the end of the day they finished seventh overall. Hopefully we will see them back again next year putting in their usual great performances. Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly kept it all together in the difficult conditions and finished in 24th overall. Seamus must be very proud of his sons performance in the championship this year.
Something a little different in the form of Charlie Campbells Davrian MK8 was also competing at Donington but it looks like a little more work is required to get the car running perfectly. Great to see though.
Well done to Barry, Tom and the team, a really great performance all year in a very competitive field and hopefully they will be back to defend the championship again next year.
Image Copyright Tom Hutchings
Barry Morris comes back with a win - Northern Ireland Sprint Championship 03-08-20
After being one of the last people to complete a rally before the Covid19 lockdown Barry Morris was also one of the first Darrian drivers to get back behind the wheel again. Last time out, in Donnington, he clinched the MSN Circuit Rally Championship. A few months down the line, and after a thorough refresh of his T90 GTR+, Barry won his class on the 500 MRCI Summer Sprint in Northern Ireland. First in class and 9th overall, beating all the R5 and WRC cars entered, certainly a great re-start to the year for Barry. Barry also beat the class record on the event which was set in 2017 by fellow Darrian driver Dessie McCartney.
It's great to see Motorsport has started up again and hopefully we will have a few more Darrian results to write up soon!
Barry Morris should be quite at home winning by now! Yesterday he notched up another sprint class win in his at the Nutts corner circuit in Northern Ireland. Once again Barry in his stunning T90 GTR+ was the quickest rally car competitor over the seven stages to win the class with a comfortable margin.
Another great drive, well done Barry.
August Welsh Sprint Weekend 17-08-20
Nigel Gibbard had a great run in his Darrian T9 yesterday in Pembrey at the Welsh Sprint weekend. He finished the day with a win in the over two litre rally car class after a close battle with Terry Brown. Brown improved on the last run but it wasn't enough to get the better of Gibbard.
Manon Lloyd, usually more at home with two wheels and pedal power, had a go in a Darrian T9 in the up to two litre class and came away with an impressive third place in what looked like a very competitive class. Well done Manon.
Northern Ireland Sprint Results Roundup 14-09-20
There is still a lot of motorsport action over in Northern Ireland and a few more Darrian drivers have been venturing out for a bit of practice in readiness for when the stage rallies start again.
Barry Morris has again been showing his speed and was once again quickest of the rally cars at Ballykelly on the 29th of august.
At the next event, two days at Pallas Karting Tynagh, there was more Darrian success. On the Saturday it was Vincent O'Shea in his T90 GTR+. He had a great run to finish first in the rally car class, with a healthy margin, and 25th overall.
Sundays event saw a return for James Stafford in his T90 GTR. James is always a very rapid competitor and he won the rally car class and finished 19th overall.
It was great to see some more Darrians coming out of the garage and doing what they were built for and the fantastic results are very welcome. Well done!
The Abingdon Motorsport CAR-nival took place this weekend with a sprint event run on Saturday and a stage rally on the Sunday. Seven Darrians were on the entry list for this event which is usually very popular but this year even more so given the lack of motorsport so far this year.
Geoff Roberts and Jonathon Kennedy were flying in the T90, rarely out of the top six on the time sheets with some very fast competition around them. They finished the day with sixth overall and third in their class.
Behind them, in seventh overall, was the T90 GTR+ of Jeremy Straker and Adrian May. This was the debut for Jeremy's new, eco-boost powered, Darrian and their times showed a lot of promise. It's quite a different and more capable car than Jeremy's previous Darrian but more seat time will be needed to really get to grips with the car and find the limits. Still, a very good debut for the car.
Missing out on the top ten by just two seconds were Brandon Smith and Terry Martin. They were climbing steadily through the field throughout the day but couldn't quite clinch that top ten position at the end of the day. A great run nonetheless.
Dan Gibson and Terry Hilman set some quick times in their T90 and were having a good battle with Smith and Martin and spent a few stages on exactly the same time as them. Over the last two stages they fell back a little and would finish in fourteenth overall.
Ian Barclay and Sue Plater had a good, trouble free, run in their GTR to finish 34th overall, well up on their seeding.
It was great to see plenty of Darrians out there again after such a long break. Hopefully it will continue now with all the extra safety measures in place.
Vincent O Shea has been spending more time getting to grips with his T90 GTR+. It seems to be paying off as he came in fourth overall at the recent East Cork Fun Sprint at Watergrasshill. Only beaten by a single seat racing car and a couple of lightweight buggies Vincent and the Darrian were the quickest rally car ahead of the rest of the field. A great result, well done.
Compbrake Three Sisters Rally 09-05-21
Last weekend there was finally some Darrian action on the stages for the first time since September last year. The most recent lockdown has seemed to be a very long time.
Two Darrians were at the Compbrake stages held at the Three Sisters Kart Track. Jason and Lee Wilson were right at the head of the field with their 2ltr GTR seeded car 1 and Mark Smith and Tim Nunn were at car 2. This was the debut for Mark Smiths new Ford Eco Boost engine in his GTR.
Both Darrians, considering they have very different engines, were closely matched in the morning stages with Mark Smith and Tim Nunn taking third overall on the first stage with Jason and Lee Wilson just one second behind in fourth. By the end of the second stage the two Darrians were on the exact same total time in equal second behind the R5 of Mark Kelly.
The Wilsons made some great progress but were unable to catch up to the R5 ahead though they certainly kept the pressure on with an equal fastest stage time on stage seven. They also had the pressure from behind with Smith and Nunn never being more than a few seconds behind on each stage. Neither Darrian crew could relax!
At the end of the day second overall for Jason and Lee Wilson was a great result and Mark Smith and Tim Nunn coming in third overall on the debut of their new engine was a strong result and shows a lot of promise for future events.
It was fantastic to see the cars back out doing what they were made to do and well done to both crews for a great result.
Red Dragon Stages - Down Ampney 30-05-21
Image Copyright Kelvin John
It was great to see Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon back at the Red Dragon IT Stages. After not having any rallies in the UK for well over a year they made a steady start in the morning. It didn't take them long to find their pace and by the halfway point they had climbed into the top ten overall. Over the next five stages their upward trajectory continued and they would finish the day in a respectable 7th overall. The class win wasn't quite in their grasp but they came a good second in what is always a very competitive class.
Hopefully we will see more of Richard and Kath this year, topping the class as they so often do.
The Neil Howard Memorial Stages usually takes place much earlier in the year and is often a cold and wet event. This year though, due to Covid postponement, it was baking hot and dry. There was also the added draw of the British Rally Championship contestants as well as the MSN Championship regulars. A good chance for the clubmen to compare their speed with the best drivers in the UK and Ireland.
Reigning MSN Champions Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings were there in their GTR+. They had a good run through the stages, the car running faultlessly, and their efforts were rewarded with second in class. There is still more to come from Morris and Hutchings and no doubt they will be right at the sharp end of the field next time out.
Unfortunately Josh and Tamsyn Davey would not make it to the end of the rally but they did show that their speed, in their 2ltr Darrian T90, was good enough to mix it with the top ten BRC crews. There could have been a giant killing result there.
Stage rallying is back in Northern Ireland! Well Done to Barry Morris and Dylan Doonan for their great result this weekend. The McGrady Insurance stages was round one of the 2021 Northern Ireland Rally Championship and of course there was always going to be a strong entry from people keen to get back to the stages. Barry and Dylan made a good day of it, in Barry's T90 GTR+, mixing it with the R5s and WRCs in the top ten. At the end of stage six they found themselves finishing in 9th overall and comfortably top two wheel drive and first in their class. This is a great start to the year for Barry and surely there are bigger results to come as the championship progresses.
Lee Holland Stages and SMC Stages double header 5-07-21
With the unprecedented interruptions to sport over the last year and a half there have been a lot of events taking place at strange times. The end of this years MSN Circuit Championship is a few months late and, similar to what the Formula one championship has been doing, they held a double header to get an extra event in to finish off the season. The Anglesey Circuit was the venue for this action packed weekend with the Lee Holland Memorial Stages on Saturday and the Altratech SMC Stages on Sunday. Defending MSN Circuit Champions Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings were fast on the Saturday stages, holding third overall and first two wheel drive by mid afternoon. Unfortunately for them a rare mechanical problem would put them out of the rally with just one stage to go. Such a pity but the car was easily sorted and ready to go for the next rally on Sunday. Mark Smith and Tim Nunn had some flashes of speed on Saturday posting some competitive times. A little bit more time in the car and they should be challenging for the top positions. They finished the day in 23rd with a couple of slower stages putting them down the order in a very close field. Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly had a trouble free run and finished just a few seconds and a couple of places behind Smith and Nunn. Brandon Smith and Terry Martin also showed some good pace with a few good stage times but they finished the day in 28th.
Not much time for the crews to reflect on their Saturday performance as the SMC Stages were up running before 9am on Sunday morning. Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings were eager to make up for their misfortune from the day before and were again quick on the morning stages in their GTR+. They spent the morning in third place again in a good fight with Chris West and Keith Hounslow in their Porsche 997 GT3. Although they dropped a place, to fourth, Barry and Tom kept their Darrian ahead of the Porsche to finish as first two wheel drive. A great result for them and a nice end to the season. Unfortunately the championship win was already out of their grasp but we hope to see them back again next year to re take their championship honours. Mark Smith and Tim Nunn had a much better Sunday with their times being much closer to the lead Darrian crew of Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings. The field was very close with a few seconds making a big difference but they had a good afternoon and came home with 15th overall and 3rd in class. Good improvement over the day before and a great result. Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly managed to go a couple of positions better than their Saturday rally and again Brandon Smith, this time with Dylan Thomas in the co driver's seat, had a steady run to finish just inside the top 30 in what was a competitive field.
This double header in Anglesey was certainly different but it was a great action packed weekend. Well done to all the Darrian crews and we hope to see you back in the MSN Championship in the winter.
Brawdy Stages 5-07-21
There was a strong entry for the Brawdy Stages this year with many competitors doing their first rally in over a year. Nigel Gibbard, with Claire Williams in the co driver's seat, is no stranger to the airfield stages and has had some great results there in recent years. Nigel and Claire had a good start, posting some fast times and found themselves in second overall. They weren't quite able to keep the pace with Fowden in his WRC Subaru ahead but they were leading the 2.5 litre class. They would be pushed as the day went on by Gethin Davies and Cadog Davies in their 2ltr T90. Gethin and Cadog put in a fantastic performance all day and proved that a 2ltr Darrian was definitely fast enough. They had a whole host of more powerful 2.5 Escorts behind them but they held a comfortable third place overall.
At the end of the day Nigel and Claire held on to their second place overall and comfortably won their class by over a minute. Gethin and Cadog also kept their third place overall, not too far behind Nigel Gibbard, and won the 2ltr class by almost two minutes. Well done to both crews, a really good strong result.
WRDA Championship 7-07-21
The Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship is back up and running again now. Deri Davies has been getting to grips with his Darrian T90 and has already had some very promising results. At the first meeting in Mallory Park Deri came a respectable 4th and in the next race, despite a mishap due to cold tyres, it was a 5th place for him. A good start to the season.
Round two was at Thruxton. Championship regular, and ex British GT racing driver, Roger Dowden was back behind the wheel of his stunning Mk6 Davrian. Roger came 12th in the first race and 9th in the second. Deri Davies took his lime green T90 to 8th in the first race but his second race was a lot better and he stepped up onto the podium in third place having shown some great pace during the race.
Deri will certainly be one to watch as the championship progresses.
Bruce Edwards dusted off his driving gloves, and his Darrian GTR+, to compete on at the Mach 1 Stages rally. Having won the event in 2018 Bruce and his regular co driver, Jim Smith, were keen to come back with a good result. This year there was a very strong entry so they knew it would be a big ask to repeat their past success. After a steady start Bruce and Jim found a bit more speed as the first day went on and found themselves in 6th overall by the evening after hauling in Kyle Adam and Steven Brown in the Escort in the later stages. This put them into first in their class and first two wheel drive with only a few stages to go on Sunday. They maintained their pace on the Sunday morning stages and by the end of the event they would finish in 5th overall and first in class, eventually pulling out a gap of a minute to the Escort of Adam and Brown. An overall podium wasn't quite within their grasp this year but still a great result on their first rally in a long while!
Enville Stages 24-07-21
Images Copyright Malcolm Arnold
There were some quick Darrians out in Anglesey again this weekend at the JRT Motor Services Enville Stages. Mark Smith and Tim Nunn are going from strength to strength in Mark's T90 GTR. They reported that there are still a few little teething problems but they are certainly showing some pace now. Having got up to third overall a bad stage five dropped them down the order but some quick stage times saw them climb back up to fourth, just three second off the podium place. Mark and Tim won their class and were fastest two wheel drive, not a bad result at all. Geoff Roberts and Richard Bromley were also having a good day with many top five stage times posted by the pair in the T90. They would eventually finish sixth overall which would be second in class and second fastest two wheel drive. Wayne Thomas and Darrel Thomas also had a strong day in their distinctive liveried T90 GTR. They spent the day on the fringes of the top ten. By the end of the day they managed tenth overall. Their result meant that three Darrians were in the top ten with just R5s and WRCs for company. Certainly a promising result, well done to all.
Barry Morris and Dylan Doonan had a very strong run on the Dogleap Stages Rally. The event was the second round of the McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK N.I. Rally Championship and there was a very strong entry this year with the top twenty being made up of mostly R5's and WRC's. Morris and Doonan seeded car eight, in the T90 GTR+, showed they had every right to be there with some very quick stage times in the dry in the morning. The rain came down heavy in the afternoon but this didn't seem to affect their speed at all as they were still posting times well ahead of any other two wheel drive car and ahead of a lot of the four wheel drives as well. They ended the day in eighth overall and won their class by more than a minute and a half, a very commanding class win! Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly had a few issues in the morning catching cars in the dusty conditions but they made up for it in the afternoon with some good times to claw their way back up to finish 32nd.
Well done to Jeremy Straker who took a fantastic first win in his T90 GTR+ on this years South Downs Stages at Goodwood. Having only rallied the car once, before lockdown, it was great to see Jeremy along with his brother Mark, this time in the navigators seat, take the victory. It certainly wasn't plain sailing for the Straker brothers as they had an altercation with a gatepost early on but thankfully the damage was only cosmetic. Another challenge came from Ian and Oliver Hucklebridge in their T90 GTR+. This was Ian's first time driving a Darrian in competition but it was clear that he needed very little time to get to grips with the car. They were actually leading after three stages but a charge from the Straker brothers dropped them behind. Going into the last stage the battle wasn't over. Jeremy was keen not to make any mistakes and eased off a little too much allowing Ian and Oliver to take a chunk of time back and almost jump back up to the top. In the end they would miss out on the win by just two seconds. Two quite different engines in these two Darrians but on this event they seemed quite a close match! Dan Gibson and Shaun Layland made the long trip up from Cornwall and had a great run in their T90, comfortably in the top ten all day. By the end of the rally this was enough to bag 2nd in their class. Well worth the trip, especially as their result meant that all three Darrians finished inside the top ten.
Well done to all the Darrian crews, it was definitely an exciting day.
Well done to James Stafford and Jeff Case for winning this years Cork 20 National rally.
It was a truly impressive entry for this years rally with the International field being made up of around 30 R5 cars. In the national section there was also a strong entry of fast Escorts and a few Toyotas. None of them were any bother to James and Jeff as they proved once again how fast the Darrian T90 GTR is. Their pace was blisteringly fast throughout the first six stages. Their time on stage six was enough to give them 5th fastest overall in the international field! After stage six they had a lead of over 45 seconds in the national category. Their pace dropped off a little through the last three stages as they were nursing gearbox problems but the times were still quick enough to be running at the front of the national rally. They ended the day with a lead of 35 seconds from Gary Kiernan in the Escort. Top job once again lads!
Motorsport News Circuit Championship regular Barry Morris was making good progress in the Irish lanes and setting some good top ten times in the national rally but unfortunately had to retire on stage nine. It was some great experience for him, and co driver Dylan Doonan, and we look forward to some great results from them in the future.
Vincent O'Shea and Eoin O'Donoghue made great progress through the day working their way up the leaderboard to finish in 12th overall in their GTR+. They also were showing some great pace with 8th fastest on stage nine in the national rally.
What an exciting event it was and another great show from the Darrian crews.
Adgespeed Stages 11-10-21
Images Copyright Malcolm Arnold
This years Adgespeed Stages at the Three Sisters circuit proved to be quite an exciting and close fought event with the short stages giving very close times. Several Darrians were right up at the head of the field battling for the top honours. Over the morning stages Jason and Lee Wilson were quick in their 2ltr GTR. They moved up to second overall on stage five behind the Polo R5 of John Stone with several of the top cars all beating the stage bogey (the quickest time allowed for a stage) Another quick Darrian, also beating stage bogey times, was the GTR of Mark Smith and Tim Nunn. By stage eight they were on a real charge using their turbo power to get ahead of the Wilsons and start eating into the lead held by Stone. They continued to set the fastest time on most of the afternoons stages but could not quite catch the leader. If it wasn't for the bogey times things may have been different! Second place was still a great result giving them the honours of being top Darrian ahead of Jason and Lee Wilson in third. Ian and Oliver Hucklebridge made great progress through the day after a spin in the morning but were running out of useful tyres towards the end of the rally which hampered their progress. They did manage to climb up to fourth overall in the final few stages to make it Darrians 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Wayne Thomas and Darrel Thomas had a good day in their distinctively liveried T90 GTR. Their times were never outside the top ten on any stage which at the end of the day gave them 6th place overall.
It was great to see so many Darrians in the top ten and in podium positions, well done to all Darrian crews.
Tour of the Sperrins 18-10-21
Congratulations to Barry Morris, two wheel drive winner of the Northern Ireland National Rally Championship. His drive on the Tour of the Sperrins rally, with Dylan Doonan in the co driver seat, was enough to clinch the title for Barry. Knowing that a reasonable result on the event would put him in great shape, Barry and Dylan took a conservative approach not risking anything in the wet conditions. They finished the day 4th in class and 19th overall. This is the second championship title Barry has won in his T90 GTR+ having previously won the MSN Circuit rally championship outright in. Two quite different championships with the Northern Ireland Championship taking in some closed road stages as opposed to the MSN circuits in the UK.
With rallying getting back to normal we can't wait to see how Barry gets on next year. Competition will be fierce and hopefully we will see a better spread of event across the year.
James Stafford had a number 1 on his door this year in Wexford having won the last event, which seems like a long time ago, back in 2019. With a strong entry this year it looked like it would make a tough day for James and co driver Enda Kennedy. Of course that doesn't worry James and his pace in his T90 GTR was right up there at the front of field for most of the day. They had a great morning after a slow first stage and were taking chunks of time out of the R5 cars ahead of them. By Stage four they were up to third place overall but unfortunately a spin and an altercation with a bale on the final stage dropped them down to fifth place. Fifth was still enough first in class and first two wheel drive. A great drive in very slippery conditions and you can bet James will be back next year to try and win his local event again.
Mark Straker and Michael Coady also had a slow start in the slippery conditions but found a bit of speed as the day went on. They climbed their way back up into the top 20 finishing the day in 18th.
Mark Hayden and Peter Ryan were quick in the 1600 rear wheel drive class, holding second position most of the day. Unfortunately they didn't get to the end due to the co driver feeling unwell, not an uncommon occurrence!
Andrew Leacy and Chloe Kelly made steady progress up the leaderboard through the day and they brought their T9 home in 41st overall.
The Wexford rally is always an exciting event and it was great it could run this year. Well done to all the Darrian Crews.
Harlech Stages 18-10-21
Images Copyright Aneurin James
There was a very strong entry of Darrians for this years Harlech stages rally. Gethin Davies managed a fantastic second place on his last outing in Harlech but this year he was back with a different car and more power so all eyes were on him and Co Driver Ben Ruff in the Darrian T90. There was a bit of a shock on the first stage though as they found themselves in second place behind fellow Darrian Driver Gareth 'Sheds' Edwards. This was Gareth's first event in his new GTR+ and with Dafydd Evans in the Co Drivers seat they had an incredibly quick first stage. Gethin and Ben had some work to do in catching the GTR up front. Gareth and Dafydd held their lead until stage five when a spin cost them the lead and, with Gethin and Ben putting in some very quick times, they couldn't make up the deficit before the finish. So Gethin and Ben took a well deserved win with Gareth and Dafydd taking second. Gareth had four fastest stage times on his first event with this car and Gethin took two fastest times. It certainly made an exciting battle and it was great to see both of them finish with a good gap to the latest R5 machinery in third!
Dai 'Dot' Davies couldn't quite match the pace of his son Gethin but did have a great run. He and Gerwyn James set some great times on their way to finishing fifth overall. Perhaps fourth could have been theirs but a spin and losing the rear aerofoil of the GTR didn't help them in the afternoon. Dai and Gerwyn came home with third in their class.
Ian Hucklebridge and Steve McNulty also managed some great times in their T90 GTR+, staying in the top ten all day eventually finishing in seventh overall.
Tony Davies and Ceri Morgan had a good run in two litre class. They finished the day in 13th overall and 3rd in class, missing out on second place by just five seconds!
No strangers to class winning honours, John Lewis and Merfyn Williams won the 1600cc class by nearly two minutes. They came home in 15th overall.
Ian Lloyd and Martin Davies had a steady run and finished in 25th overall in their Darrian T9.
What a great event this was for, it was wet and very slippery but there was no doubt that the Darrian was the car to beat in Harlech. Well done to all the Darrian crews.
Torrential rain and gale force winds? That sounds fairly normal for Epynt rallies! Well done to the crews, in the service area and on the stages, who braved the awful weather for this years Tour of Epynt. A different time of year to what we are used to but it was great to have the event running again.
Jeremy Straker and Ian Meakin had a good day and kept their T90 GTR+ well up in the top ten all day. They would finish the day in 6th overall and second in their class. It was the second time for Jeremy on Epynt with his new turbo engined Darrian and the car went very well in the wet conditions all day and is definitely showing promise. Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon again showed their experience on the ranges and found themselves in 9th overall. They took a lot of time out of the class leader on the last stage but unfortunately not enough so it was 2nd in class for them too. Ian Sutton and Karen Phelps had a steady day to finish 21st in their Darrian T90. Eurwyn 'Wiggy' Davies and Gareth Davies managed 3rd in the 1600cc class and 25th overall in the Darrian T9.
Well done to everyone who got around in those tough conditions and also, thanks to all the marshals who were out in the wind and rain all day, hopefully an Epynt in the summer next year will make up for it!
The MSN Circuit Rally Championship kicked off it's 2021/22 season with the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park. Having won the championship a couple of years ago Barry Morris was back again in his T90 GTR+, with Marc Fowler in the Co drivers seat, with the hope of re-taking the title! Barry and Marc got off to a great start finding themselves in the top five at the halfway stage with only R5s for company. Rain came later in the event but it didn't affect their pace compared with the four wheel drive cars. By the end of the day they held a strong fourth overall and third championship runner. Barry and Marc also won their class by almost two minutes! So with a podium place in the championship it wasn't a bad start to the season.
Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly showed some much improved pace after some setup work and upgrades at the Darrian 'factory'. Their times were on the verge of the top ten. Unfortunately a puncture on stage six dropped them well down before another puncture on the final stage put an end to their rally. Despite this they were very happy with their pace and gained a lot more confidence in the car.
Unfortunately we would not see a lot of Josh and Tamsyn Davey. They only managed one stage before engine troubles struck again. Hopefully they will get things sorted for the next event and show the R5 crews just how fast their Darrian T90 is.
Five Darrians made the trip to Anglesey last weekend for the two day Pentraeth Glyn Memorial Stages. The event had attracted quite a strong entry across all classes. Mark Smith and Tim Nunn made good use of their turbo powered T90 GTR and very were quick from the outset. They held second overall throughout the first day and were keeping the pressure on the leaders. Gareth 'Sheds' Edwards and Dafydd Evans had never done any rallying on a racetrack before so there was a steep learning curve for them but they seemed to get to grips with the GTR+ and the Ty Croes circuit fairly quickly. They posted some quick times on day one and found themselves in 6th place overall after the night stages. Jason and Lee Wilson took a comfortable lead of the 2ltr class on day one, they were in 9th overall. Not far behind, on their first outing in their newly acquired T90 GTR, were Wayne Jones and Jonathan Davies. The speed of the car impressed them and gave them the confidence to push right away. They were in 12th at this stage. Richard Merriman and Emma Todd had a lot of work to do back in 14th, they were a minute behind the Wilsons and second in the 2ltr class. Sunday would see a change in positions though.
On day two it was some bad luck for the Wilsons. They lost the class lead with a stage maximum, after going the wrong way at a split, with only three stages left to make up the time. A massive push from them and fastest overall on the final stage meant that they clawed their way back up to third in class and 13th overall. Their misfortune meant that Merriman and Todd inherited the class lead and they kept that position for the rest of the day. A great result for them 1st in class by a minute and a half and 10th overall.
Wayne Jones and Jonathan Davies continued their fantastic pace and their second fastest time on the last stage shows that there is some real potential from them in the future. They finished 9th overall, a fantastic first event for them.
Gareth 'Sheds' and Dafydd Evans had a great run on day two. They also had a fastest time on stage 12. With more time on a circuit they will undoubtedly be pushing for the win. As it was they finished 5th overall.
Mark Smith and Tim Nunn, having held second on day one, had a couple of slower stages on Sunday morning which dropped them to 4th. After that they were setting a blistering pace again and got within just six seconds of second overall but ran out of stages to make up the deficit. Their Ecoboost Turbo set up seems to be showing real promise in that car now as they had five fastest stage times throughout the weekend.
A lot of great results in Anglesey and it was great to see so many fast Darrians in the mix.
The second round of the MSN Circuit Rally Championship took place at Cadwell Park on Sunday. Barry Morris, with Tom Hutchings back in the co drivers seat, was seeded car 1 for the event and was in with a chance of very good result. Barry and Tom were stuck behind a Fiesta R5 on first stage so they were in 9th after stage 1 but would make a climb up the field in the coming stages. Josh and Tamsyn Davey had no such troubles on the first stage, drifting their T90 around the track to second overall. They were lucky to be there at all as on Thursday night, before the event, their dreaded engine woes came back again. They almost gave up but after being persuaded to put a standard Honda engine in, which at the time was residing in a hedge, they made it the event and were just as quick as always. After that initial stage Barry and Tom got up to speed and jumped up the leader board to third, chasing the Daveys hard! By the half way stage the Darrians were running in second and third with Barry and Tom just three seconds behind Josh and Tamsyn who found that the wetter conditions suited their underpowered 'hedgerow' engine but once things dried out the lack of power was noticeable. Barry and Tom put on a big effort in the afternoon and fastest time on two stages meant they took second place overall and would stay there to the end of the day. Josh and Tamsyn had a couple of slower stages and survived a massive spin in worsening conditions in the dark and unfortunately dropped out of the podium positions to finish 5th overall. But it was a finish! This engine, although down on power compared to their normal one, got them to the end of a rally and they had great fun coming out of splits chasing Barry and Tom's GTR+. Well done to both for finishing what was a tricky and slippery event and Barry gained some more good championship points.
Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings had another great run the Maxxus Dukeries Rally this year. They held third place in their GTR+ all day at a very slippery Donnington Park with their times being very competitive compared with the R5 Fiesta up ahead. It could have been second place but Barry and Tom were held up on the last stage behind second place crew, Roskell and Roughead, when their Fiesta broke a drive shaft. They caught the Fiesta on the first lap of the circuit but were unable to find a way past on the second. By the end of the stage they had taken 29 seconds out of Roskell and Roughead and finished just 2 seconds behind in the overall standings. Despite that, third was still a great result. The Darrian was the only two wheel drive car in a sea of R5/Rally2 machinery.
Josh and Tamsyn Davey unfortunately missed a split on stage one, a rare and costly mistake whichgave them a maximum time. They did carry on throughout the day setting some good times but not at quite thee same level as Barry and Tom in the GTR+. Seamus Morris and Jarlath Kelly made a similar mistake and also gained a maximum on stage two but their times after that continued to show promise.
A very strong result for Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings and it looks likely to be a close fought battle as the season goes on.