Latest News  Championship kicks off in Cumbria for Fagg
Wednesday, March 8, 2017


The P and R Benn Motorsport Ford Focus WRC02 which has just
undergone a full winter rebuild ahead of the coming season

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Manx rally co-driver Rob Fagg heads to Cumbria this weekend to tackle the Malcolm Wilson Rally, the event, now marking the start of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series following the cancellation of the Cambrian Rally back in February.

Looking to get their Gold Star Championship bid underway on the Cockermouth based event, Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors backed Rob and driver Hugh Hunter (Ruthin) will finally get the opportunity to sample the P&R Benn Ford Focus WRC02 in competition.

As a former winner of the event, Hunter will be keen to put on a good showing on his teams local event, with P&R Benn based in the host town. The event though has attracted a high quality entry as a number of crews look to use the event as a warm up for the upcoming British Rally Championship opener, resulting in Hunter and Burger Man Catering sponsored Fagg being seeded at number 17.

Former multiple British Champion Keith Cronin will lead the field away in his Ford Fiesta R5 followed by another former British and multiple Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie (Skoda Fabia R5), then it’s the turn of reigning BTRDA Gold Star

Champion Luke Francis (Mitsubishi Evo 9). BRC frontrunner Desi Henry (Fabia) starts just ahead of 2013 BTRDA Champion and former Scottish Champion Euan Thorburn (Fiesta) completing the top five. That’s just the start of what could prove to be one of the most competitive rallies of the year in the UK as Fagg well knows.

“The event has attracted a great entry and there are a number of crews who could take the honours come the end on Saturday evening. With a number of BRC crews entered the pace is sure to be fast and we just need to be mindful to concentrate on the Championship” commented JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating sponsored Rob, “With many of the crews not likely to contest the full championship, I hope that if they choose to register for the series it does not have too much of a bearing come the end of the season.”

Getting under on Saturday with the first car away at 07:00 from the home of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in Dovenby, seven stages lie in wait totalling just over 40 competitive miles. Stages in Hobcarton, Comb and Wythop before a first run in Greystoke bring the crews to the first service. They then head for two stages in Grizedale where the rally has been so often won and lost with another service prior to the crews returning to Greystoke for the final stage of the event and reaching the finish just after 14:30.

“It’s going to be good to get to get the Championship underway and while the Cambrian is a great event, the Malcolm Wilson provides another fantastic event to get the series underway” explained Rob, “It’s a rally I have always enjoyed and Hugh also so hopefully we can get a good result for Paul (Benn) and his team on their home event.”

Fagg comes into the event on a high, having won the Legend Fires North West Stages two weekends ago with Arron Newby. The change from sealed surface, multi-lap spectator stages to some of the best-regarded forest tracks in the country could not represent a bigger difference, but it is one Fagg takes in his stride.

“This is where experience counts, and luckily we have plenty of that. Obviously you have a lot fewer landmarks or bigger corners in the forests to keep you on the notes than on the sealed surface tests, but having the skills needed to deliver the information the driver needs, when he needs it, remains the name of the game! 

Live results will be available throughout the day at www.btrdarallyresults.co.uk/results/index.php

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering and Fastime Stopwatches (www.astopwatch.com)