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Lombard RAC Rally Retro 20th October

Starting on Friday 19th with a traditional rally competitors "signing on" at the famous Bath Spa Hotel, followed by a Rally Forum, Meet and Greet and very social Buffet Dinner. The evening is hosted by those well known Northern Ireland rallyists, Robin Eyre-Maunsell & Peter Scott, plus the former team manager and author, Graham Robson.

Who will be there? We expect to host around ten featured "star" drivers from the period including Stig Blomqvist, Rosemary Smith, Russell Brookes, Jimmy MacRae, Louise Aitken-Walker, Tony Fowkes, Gill Robinson, David Llewellin, and Graham Elsmore, plus co-drivers such as Ian Grindrod and Pauline Gullick.

On saturday, after breakfast, our "star" drivers will set off on a run around four RAC Rally tarmac stages in Somerset and Devon. Lunch will be taken in Minehead, before a run up the legendary Porlock Toll Road, last used on the Lombard Rally in 1976. All at road legal speeds of course, before returning to Bath for the Rally Dinner in the evening.

Want to see the cars in action during the day? We suggest that you come to Wiscombe Park, near Honiton in Devon. The first car will arrive at around 11.00 a.m. there will be full facilities, a commentary, plus programmes will be on sale. Come early - the roads around Wiscombe are very narrow and will easily clog up!

The Dinner will be hosted by Graham Robson with help from Russell Brookes and Brian Culcheth and will also support the charity, Action on Addiction, which will include an auction of motorsport items. A full list of the Auction Items can be found on our Services page.
The International Rally Drivers Club will be manning a control at the carpark of Cricket-St-Thomas House, where coffee and biscuits will be available - call in and say hello!

19th October, 2018

Ogier Scores 5th Rally GB Victory

Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville to score a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.
Latvala took the lead with a brilliant run through the second stage of Sunday morning - Gwydir - but Ogier struck back on the next three stages - including a stunning time on Gwydir two, which he'd struggled on earlier.

Despite lacking first and second gear for some stages on Friday, the five-time WRC champion Ogier battled hard and was rewarded with a victory by 10.6 seconds over Latvala, with the second Toyota of Esapekka Lappi rounding out the podium.
It means Ogier is the most successful driver in the event's history, moving ahead of Petter Solberg and Hannu Mikkola's four wins apiece.

In addition, Ogier's win reduces his deficit to championship leader Thierry Neuville - who finished fifth - to just seven points, having started the weekend 23 adrift. Ott Tanak had held a comfortable lead and looked on course for a fourth consecutive WRC rally victory to cut Neuvile's lead further, before he lost his sump guard and suffered radiator trouble on Saturday afternoon. The Toyota driver finished well outside of the top 10 and is now 21 points behind Neuville, despite clawing back four points for setting the second quickest time on the powerstage. He had started the event 13 points behind the Belgian.

Neuville - whose shot at victory ended with a trip into a ditch on SS11 on Saturday morning while running second to Tanak - jumped two places on the penultimate stage, passing Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg for fifth, 8.2s behind Craig Breen's Citroen. But any chance of overcoming Breen were undone for Neuville when the last stage was shortened due to an incident near the end of the stage involving motorcycle stunt performers. It also meant the stage start was delayed from 1228 to 1400hrs.
Toyota's Lappi had a relatively uneventful run to third overall ahead of Breen and Neuville, acknowledging he didn't have the pace to match his team-mate Latvala or Ogier, but his points were valuable for Toyota's manufacturer championship lead.
Mikkelsen's splendid Saturday afternoon run helped to secure his sixth-place finish, but the Norwegian felt under the weather on Sunday morning and hit a bale and a lamppost in the Great Orme Stage.

Hayden Paddon was leapfrogged by Neuville and Mikkelsen on the final day, but claimed seventh after moving ahead of Ostberg, whose set-up change to favour the rear didn't work. The Citroen driver had to settle for eighth, having started the day in fifth. Kalle Rovanpera took a sensational WRC2 victory, the 18-year-old Finn holding a 1-minute gap after Friday morning which he maintained throughout the event to take ninth overall. Reigning champion Pontus Tidemand took second and rounded out the top 10 in a Skoda Motorsport one-two. Brit Gus Greensmith sealed a WRC2 podium for M-Sport.
Last year's event winner Elfyn Evans - the first Welshman to win the event in its history - retired after a misfire on Friday.
Leading finishers

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT 3h06m12.5s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 10.6s
3. Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 35.1s
4. Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 1m10.4s
5. Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 1m14.4s
6. Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 1m15.9s
7. Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 1m18.4s
8. Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 1m21.6s
9. Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen Skoda Motorsport II 9m14.7s
10. Pontus Tidemand, J.Andersson Skoda Motorsport II10m48.9s

10th October, 2018

Matt Edwards wins Prestone BRC

Matt Edwards clinched the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship finale following his title win, sealed on the penultimate round earlier in the weekend at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. Llandudno based Edwards led an M Sport one two on the last BRC event of the 2018 campaign as Alex Laffey bought home his Ford Fiesta R5 into his best ever result in Britains top flight with a fine second, a position he would also secure in the championship. Steve Rokland survived the demanding rally to bring his Peugeot 208 R2 into third overall and with it the Junior BRC title.
 
After sealing the crown following the first round of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB double header, Pirelli backed Edwards was let off the leash and set about climbing the overall WRC leaderboard to end the year on a high with a win.
 
He enjoyed a day long battle with Scotsman David Bogie in a DMACK Skoda Fabia R5 over the fast and flowing mid Wales stages. Coming into the final day of the season, Edwards trailed and had no answer for the Scot until a mistake by Bogie on Stage 20 handed the lead to the Welsh star. Along with fellow countryman Darren Garrod in the co drivers seat, the pair notched up their fourth win of the season to complete a stellar year in the championships 60th anniversary season.
 
Following Edwards home in the rally and in the championship was Alex Laffey. He has made good progress this season, and proved consistency can build a title tilt. Despite not finishing the final round, David Bogie finished third in the series after clinching his first win of the season earlier in the event.
 
In the Prestone MSA Motorsport News Junior BRC, Steve Rokland in his Michelin shod Peugeot 208 R2 battled his way through the elements and rounded out his season in style by taking the final Junior win of the campaign as well as a third overall after the war of attrition in front of him. With his Championship success, Roklands prize is a test with the Hyundai Motorsport team in one of its latest R5 cars.
 
James Williams took the title fight down to the last day, but try as he may, he had no answer for the flying Norwegian. The Vauxhall ADAM R2 driver finished second on the final round to cement the same position in the series. Irishman Kevin Horgan had a torrid first round in Wales but came back fighting in his Kumho shod Skoda Fabia R2 to take his second podium of 2018 and with it, third in the Junior standings.
 
Standout performances in the Welsh forests by Alex Waterman and 2018 BRC Ladies Champion Nabila Tejpar earned them solid results in the Junior BRC and their first overall top ten points.
 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Driver Standings
 
1. Matt Edwards 120
2. Alex Laffey 64
3. David Bogie 61
4. Rhys Yates 51
5. Steve Rokland 39
6. James Williams 33
7. Keith Cronin 30
8. Kevin Horgan 19
9. Martin McCormack 12
10.  Jonathan Greer 10
 

10th October, 2018

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

This weekend more than 150 competitors will be based in the Deeside Rally Village, contesting round 11 of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. With 23 stages totalling nearly 200 miles (312kms) spread over an epic weekend it includes challenging new speed tests in the Welsh forests and a stunning finale with cars racing through the closed streets of Llandudno in what will be the first free-to-attend WRC stage in the UK for more than 20 years.

Add in the added excitement of thrilling three-way title fights for both Drivers and Manufacturers WRC Championships as well as a local Welsh hero Elfyn Evans desperate to notch-up back-to-back GB victories to be assured of a seat with a top class team for 2019. It adds up to an absolutely unmissable sporting spectacle.

The event starts under the lights at the Tir Prince Raceway on Thursday evening and concludes with the history-making Great Orme Llandudno Street Stage on Sunday morning - the first time World Championship motor sport has ever been seen on closed roads in Great Britain.

3rd October, 2018

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