14 July 2019


Builth Wells celebrates successful Nicky Grist Stages as Euan Thorburn claims BTRDA Rally Series title


The move into the centre of Builth Wells proved a huge success, as the Quinton MC-organised Nicky Grist Stages produced a carnival atmosphere, a great sporting spectacle for the town and a significant increase in footfall and trade on the high street – which had welcomed the event with open arms. On the stages, Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton won the event in their Ford Focus WRC to clinch the 2019 Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series title.


The Scottish duo, who had won the previous four rounds of the BTRDA Series, lost their initial Nicky Grist Stages lead on SS2 after losing time with a gearbox problem that affected the launch control and handbrake. However, a good time on SS3 saw them retake the lead from Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC), who were themselves slowed by a wrong tyre choice and hanging patches of dust.


After the first 21.5 mile four-stage loop of Crychan, Halfway, Monument and Llyn Login forests had been completed, Thorburn led Petch by 21 seconds entering the mid-day service in Builth Wells (located on the town’s famous rugby pitch), with Brendan Cumiskey/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta WRC) and Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo 9) tied for third.


A faultless Thorburn increased his lead to score an impressive 1 minute 02 seconds victory after the four fast and smooth stages on and around the Epynt military range were repeated in the afternoon. It’s the second time the Duns driver has won the event, after victory in 2013. While Petch held onto a strong second, there was a fantastic battle for third – with Sam Bilham/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5) setting the fastest time on the final stage to clinch the final podium spot, finishing just three seconds ahead of Cumiskey after all 43 stage miles had been completed. Former BTRDA Cup champion Naylor finished fifth, with Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy (Mitsubishi Evo 9) finishing sixth overall and top-placed Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship crew.


Local hero Jason Pritchard made a wrong tyre choice for the first loop and suffered a half spin on SS2 and then went off backwards and into a ditch on SS4. But after that the triple British Historic Rally Champion flew in his North Road Garage-backed Ford Escort RS1800, setting some great times with co-driver Steve McPhee to finish first Historic crew home in 15th place overall.


Tom Llewellin/Russ Whittock were delayed behind a car that had rolled and then had come back on to the stage just ahead of them, but they still scored a very good result to keep their overall, junior and two-wheel drive Welsh Forest Rally Championship, as well as the RAVENOL Welsh and FMP Rally Challenge, title aspirations very much alive.


Bobby Mitchell/Shannon Turnbull scored victory in the MRF Fiesta ST Trophy category, after series leaders Zak Hughes/Tom Wood broke the bottom arm on their Fiesta ST on SS6.


Tommi Meadows/Osian Owen won the R2 class and finished an excellent 20th overall in their Fiesta R2, Ireland’s Ruairi Maguire/Grace O'Brien won the B10 class in their Vauxhall Corsa and finished an impressive 30th overall, while other class winners included Andy Davison/Tom Murphy (B11 – Talbot Sunbeam VXR), Owen McMackin/Lee Taylor (B12 – Ford Escort), Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear (B13 – Mitsubishi Evo IX), Hywel Davies/Simon Jones (H1/2 – Ford Escort), George Lepley/Tom Woodburn (H3 – Hillman Avenger) and Tom Coughtrie/Baz Green (H4 – Mitsubishi Galant VR4). Jayne Auden-Row (MG ZR) was the highest placed lady driver in 87th position, Dawn England (Fiesta R5) was the highest placed lady co-driver in 11th, and Steve Deeley/Alan Proudman were the highest placed Quinton MC crew home, finishing 88th overall in their Peugeot 205 1.6 GTi.


There were 101 finishers, and those that didn’t make it to the end included Scott Faulkner/Gareth Parry (Mitsubishi Evo – rear differential at TC6), Theo Bengry/Les Forsbrook (Proton Iriz R5 – retired after SS1), Damian Pratts/Jonny Tad Evans (Ford Escort – clutch after SS5), Richard Hill/Steffan Evans (Subaru Impreza – differential before SS5), Ian Bainbridge/Jamie Edwards (Subaru Impreza STi – broken propshaft in SS1) and Steve and Martyn Loomes who stopped their Escort Mk1 with clutch failure just 200 yards from the finish of the last stage!


Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “This year’s Nicky Grist Stages ran to time throughout, the competitors enjoyed the stages and I have to give a very special thanks to the marshals, who have all been fantastic in the hot and dusty conditions. The town of Builth Wells have welcomed us with open arms and we hope we have repaid them by bringing a lot of business onto the high street. The new Service Area on the Builth Wells rugby pitch worked well – all the competitors servicing together created a great atmosphere, and there were a lot of people, many of whom were enjoying their first experience of rallying, walking around and enjoying seeing the cars and meeting the drivers and co-drivers. I’m delighted that all our innovations for 2019 worked so well and that we delivered a very successful event for the competitors and the town of Builth Wells.”


Nicky Grist said: “We implemented a lot of changes for this year’s event, the biggest one being moving the home of the event into Builth Wells town centre, and it’s been a great success. The aim was to introduce rallying to a new audience and to bring trade into Builth and it seems to have done the trick. There was a great atmosphere in the Service Park and all the competitors and spectators that I spoke to really enjoyed it. The event itself ran to time and everything ran very smoothly, so full marks to Quinton Motor Club for putting on another fantastic event. We are looking forward to doing more of the same in 2020.”


Euan Thorburn said: “We did the Nicky Grist a few years ago and the stages are always amazing down here – really smooth, really fast, and it’s just been another great day. We had a small issue with the gearbox on stage two, which affected the handbrake and the launch of the car, but apart from that everything has been perfect. To win five out of five BTRDA rounds hasn’t been done before and I certainly wasn’t expecting to achieve it at the start of the year, but it’s a great feeling.”


Next year’s Nicky Grist Stages will take place on Saturday 18 July.


2019 Nicky Grist Stages – top 10 finishers


1. Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton (Ford Focus WRC)….44mins 10secs
2. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)….45mins 12secs
3. Sam Bilham/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5)….45mins 38secs
4. Brendan Cumiskey/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta WRC)….45mins 41secs
5. Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo 9)….46mins 03secs
6. Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy (Mitsubishi Evo 9)….46mins 08secs
7. Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear (Mitsubishi Evo IX)….46mins 18secs
8. Conor McCourt/Brian Hoy (Ford Fiesta R5)….46mins 40secs
9. Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)….46mins 45secs
10. Stephen Simpson/Mark Glennerster (Hyundai i20 R5)….46mins 55secs


 


4 July 2019


Thorburn aims to clinch BTRDA Series title on the bumper 130 car Nicky Grist Stages


The forthcoming Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 13 July) has received a bumper 130 car entry, with top seeds Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton hoping that a good result on the eight stage Mid-Wales forestry event will clinch them the prestigious 2019 Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series title.


The Scottish duo has been unstoppable so far this year, with four wins out of four in their Ford Focus WRC. But securing the final championship winning points are often the hardest ones to find – and they’ll have plenty of top quality competition trying to deny them the Gold Star trophy on the Builth Wells-based event.


And as if Thorburn needed reminding of that fact, in his rear view mirror will be number two seeds and 2017 champions Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC), with Connor McCloskey/Noel Sullivan (Ford Fiesta R5+) starting at number three. The quality field continues with Ian Joel/Shaun Hughes (Escort Cosworth) at four, Conor McCourt/Caolan McKenna (Ford Fiesta R5) at five and Martyn and Dawn England (Ford Fiesta R5) at six.


Local hero Jason Pritchard, the triple British Historic Rally Champion, will start his very first Nicky Grist Stages at number seven – partnered by Phil Clarke in his North Road Garage-backed Ford Escort RS1800. Having never completed against the cream of the BTRDA Historic crop before, it will be fascinating to witness Pritchard battling with the likes of reigning BTRDA Silver Star champions George Lepley/Tom Woodburn, who lead the BTRDA Historic Cup and who are an incredible third overall in their flying Hillman Avenger.


Tom Llewellin will be another Historic Escort Mk2 driver to watch. The son of double British Rally Champion David Llewellin arrives at the Nicky Grist Stages leading the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship in the overall drivers’ standings, the Junior series, the two-wheel drive category and the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge. The Pembrokeshire teenager also leads the FMP Rally Challenge, which has over 100 competitors and helps raise the profile of the Wales Air Ambulance. Co-driven by Russ Whittock, Llewellin is seeded at number 19.


Matthew Hurst/Declan Dear, Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy and Scott Faulkner/Gareth Parry (who also lead the BTRDA Production Cup) are currently second, third and fourth in the Welsh series, and their close rivalry will continue in a trio of rapid Mitsubishi Evos.


Others crews to look out for include Theo Bengry/Les Forsbrook in the new Proton Iriz R5, former BTRDA Cup champions Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence (Mitsubishi Evo), Wug Utting/Bob Stokoe (Subaru Impreza N12), Terry Brown/Angharad Williams (Escort Mk2), Richard Hill/Steffan Evans (Subaru Impreza), Tommi Meadows/Osian Owen (Fiesta R2), former 1400 champion Ed Fossey/Will Rutherford (Peugeot 208 R2), Callum Black/Michael Gilbey (MG ZR S1400), Steve Black/Paul Morris (Suzuki Swift 1400), Dan Evans/Jess Hockly (Suzuki Swift), Chris Powell/Jim Lewis (who lead the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championship in their Talbot Sunbeam) and Noel Lappin/Will Atkins, who will lead the field away in their Escort Mk2.


The event is also a round of the MRF Fiesta ST Trophy, with series leaders Zak Hughes/Tom Wood aiming to extend their healthy 25 point lead over Bobby Mitchell/Shannon Turnbull.


No fewer than 18 manufacturers and over 40 different models are represented on the entry list. The vast array of rally-prepared cars competing on the event include a Porsche 911, a BMW 325, Compact M3 and E30, a Toyota GT86, an Opel Ascona, Talbot Sunbeam VXR, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Galant VR4, Vauxhall Chevette HSR, a Ford Ka and a SEAT Arosa – to name but a few!


This year’s Quinton MC-organised Nicky Grist Stages will be based in the centre of Builth Wells for the first time. Scrutineering takes place on the eve of the event at North Road Garage, while the trailer park and a re-fuelling zone will be located at the town’s Cattle Market car park. On Saturday (13 July), the Start (08.30) and Finish (15.16) ceremonies will take place in Groe Park and the Service Area will be on the Builth Wells RFC pitch, in a stunning venue on the banks of the River Wye. Rally Headquarters is based a few steps away in Strand Hall on Strand Street, with the hub of the rally all within a stone’s throw away from the town’s main high street, which is full of wonderful independent shops, cafes and hardware stores.


The 2019 Nicky Grist Stages is the only rally to use Crychan forest this year, with a fantastic opening stage that is just over nine miles long. A short test through Halfway forest is next, followed by the popular Monument stage and then a revised Llyn Login stage. Following a mid-day service halt (from 11.30) in Builth Wells, the 21.5 mile four-stage loop will be repeated in the afternoon, giving a stunning 43 miles of competition in total.


Following the success of last year’s format, the 1400, Rally First and H1/2 Historic cars will once again run in the first batch of cars in reverse order, followed by the rest of the field in a second batch, running in number order.


Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We are really pleased with the depth and quality of this year’s entry throughout the field and we are looking forward to another classic Nicky Grist Stages. The battles for the championship titles are on a knife edge and the event could be the deciding factor.”


2019 Nicky Grist Stages – top 10 seeds
1. Euan Thorburn /Paul Beaton….Ford Focus WRC
2. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson….Ford Fiesta WRC
3. Connor McCloskey/Noel Sullivan….Ford Fiesta R5+
4. Ian Joel/Shaun Hughes….Ford Escort Cosworth
5. Conor McCourt/Caolan McKenna…..Ford Fiesta R5
6. Martyn England/Dawn England….Ford Fiesta R5
7. Jason 
Pritchard/Phil Clarke….Ford Escort RS1800
8. Scott Faulkner/Gareth Parry….Mitsubishi Evo 9
9. Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy….Mitsubishi Evo 9
10. Pat Naylor /Ian Lawrence….Mitsubishi Evo 9


 


24 June 2019


Local rally champion Jason Pritchard to contest Builth Wells-based Nicky Grist Stages in Historic Ford Escort Mk2


Builth Wells champion rally driver Jason Pritchard will contest his home forestry event, the Nicky Grist Stages, for the first time on Saturday 13 July in his North Road Garage-backed Ford Escort RS1800.


Having won the MSA British Historic Rally Championship title for a record three times in a row (2015, ’16 and ’17), this will be the first time that Pritchard has competed against the Historic crews in the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series. So competitive is the Historic section this year that class leader George Lepley (Hillman Avenger) is also lying third in the overall BTRDA Series drivers’ points table!


Co-driven by Phil Clarke, Pritchard is contesting the Nicky Grist Stages as part of his on-going preparations for another attempt at this winter’s Roger Albert Clark Rally. He’s done that event twice before, and after a broken half-shaft ruined a one minute lead, the talented 31-year old driver is aiming to win the November classic for the first time this year.


Originally built in 1980, Pritchard’s RS1800 has a rich motorsport history, even in the modern era of top-flight Historic rallying. Gwyndaf Evans won the Roger Albert Clark Rally in the car in 2011, the same year Stig Blomqvist drove it to victory on the Colin McRae Historic Forest Stages Rally and then Petter Solberg drove it on a demonstration event in Norway, before Pritchard acquired it.


Technical checks on the eve of the Nicky Grist Stages will take place at North Road Garage in Llanelwedd, meaning that Pritchard won’t even have to miss any hours in work that day, as he works at the family's Toyota dealership as Sales Manager.


Jason Pritchard said: “It’s great to support my local forest rally, especially as it’s coming into the centre of Builth Wells this year, and I’m really looking forward to contesting the Nicky Grist Stages for the first time. Getting some good seat time in the Escort Mk2 is the most important thing as we prepare for the Roger Albert Clark Rally later in the year, but of course we want to be competitive, do our best and put on a good show for the spectators. I’ve never rallied against the crews in the Historic BTRDA Rally Series before, but it looks to be extremely competitive and the pace will undoubtedly be very hot. Hopefully a clean run on the Nicky Grist Stages will set us up nicely for a good performance on the Roger Albert Clark Rally – and if we can win that for the first time later in the year, it will be another box on the Bucket List ticked off!”


This year’s Quinton MC-organised Nicky Grist Stages contains eight stages (four repeated) totalling 43 stage miles in the classic Mid-Wales forests of Crychan, Halfway, Monument and Llyn Login, situated in the stunning Carmarthenshire-Powys border area.


The hub of the event will move into the centre of Builth Wells for the first time, with the Rally Headquarters located at the stunning Strand Hall on Strand Street, the Start and Finish ceremonies in Groe Park, on the banks of the River Wye, and the Service Area situated on the Builth Wells RFC pitch, a stone’s throw away from the town’s main high street, which is full of magnificent independent cafes and shops.


Following the success of last year, competitors in the 1400, Rally First and H1/2 Historic classes will once again run first on the road in the first batch of cars in reverse order, followed by the rest of the field in a second batch, running in number order.


Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk


 


23 May 2019


Nicky Grist gives a personal insight into this year’s ‘super-smooth’ Nicky Grist Stages forest rally route


This year’s Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 13 July) is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of title sponsorship support from Nicky Grist Motorsports – and the man himself has been a vital component in the event’s success over the years, both in terms of backing and his invaluable guidance on planning the route and timetable from a competitor’s point of view.


And Nicky says that this year’s Quinton MC-organised event, which contains eight stages (four repeated) totalling 43 stage miles in the classic Mid-Wales forest stages in the Carmarthenshire-Powys border area, will be one of the best – as the stages are in super-smooth condition.


Nicky Grist said: “This year’s Nicky Grist Stages has a fantastic opening stage, Crychan. At just over nine miles, it’s the longest stage of the event and one of the longest in the BTRDA Series, and competitors aiming for a good result will need to go hard and fast from the very beginning. As it’s the only rally that will use Crychan this year, the road is in excellent condition. It’s a stage were drivers and co-drivers can really get their teeth into, as the road is super-smooth. There is a lot of variety too, with many junctions, twisty sections and some fast and flowing sections. It’s a gem of a Mid-Wales stage, one of the best stages you can find, and like all the stages competitors get to do it twice, as it’s repeated in the afternoon.


“Next up is Halfway. All the forestry stages in and around the Epynt military range have a similar feel, but all have their own very subtle characteristics, and Halfway is no exception. It’s a shorter stage, but there is plenty to keep crews focused and there are opportunities to make up time, and lose time if you’re not careful.


“The Monument stage returns for the first time since 2017. We like to change the route and give competitors something a little different each year, so this classic gravel Epynt stage returns while Route 60 is being re-surfaced. This stage is rarely used and is in magnificent condition.


“The fourth and final stage on the loop is Llyn Login. This was used on the event for the first time last year, and is back by popular demand. The great majority of the stage will be run in the opposite direction, making it a brand new challenge for crews. It finishes on the eastern side of the ranges, so from there it’s a short drop down into Builth Wells for midday service – before all four stages are repeated in the afternoon.


“I’m also delighted that the event is moving lock, stock and barrel into the centre of Builth Wells. The Royal Welsh Showground has served us well over the years, but it’s meant that the event has always been a bit hidden away from people. With the support of Builth Wells Town Council and Powys County Council, Rally Headquarters has moved into the fabulous Strand Hall in Strand Street, the Start, Finish and Service Area is located at the Builth Wells RFC in Groe Park, the trailer park and a re-fuelling zone will be at the town’s Cattle Market car park and Scrutineering will be at North Road Garage. In terms of promotion and visibility, all these developments takes the event to another level, which can only be of greater benefit to rally crews, rally sponsors and the businesses and people of Builth Wells. It’s a real win-win situation.”


This will be the 32nd consecutive year that the Nicky Grist Stages will host a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series. The event will count towards the BTRDA Gold Star, BTRDA Silver Star, BTRDA Production Cup, BTRDA 1400, BTRDA Rally First, BTRDA Historic Cup, BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and the Fiesta ST Trophy, plus the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the HRCR Stage Masters Challenge.


Following the success of last year, competitors in the 1400, Rally First and H1/2 Historic classes will once again run first on the road in the first batch of cars in reverse order, followed by the rest of the field in a second batch, running in number order.


 


 


20 May 2019


North Road Garage provides state-of-the-art scrutineering facilities for the Nicky Grist Stages


North Road Garage, a company synonymous with both the motor industry in Mid-Wales and with national rallying, will provide state-of-the-art scrutineering facilities for this year’s Nicky Grist Stages – which takes place on Saturday 13 July.


The Toyota dealership, which is situated in a prime position on the A470/A483 roundabout on the outskirts of Builth Wells, has very kindly offered its pristine workshop for the event’s technical and safety checks, which will be carried out on the eve of the rally (on the afternoon of Friday 12 July). A one-way system will operate to allow an easy flow in and out of the workshop, while the building will provide competitors and scrutineers with first-class operating facilities.


It’s not the first time a high-profile motorsports event has used North Road Garage for such an occasion, as it was the scrutineering venue for the 2011 Wales Rally GB.


North Road Garage is owned by Eian Pritchard and his wife Helen. The company has been based in Builth Wells since 1972, when Eian’s parents ran it as a petrol station. Eian was training to be a motor technician at Newtown College when, in May 1977, his father sadly passed away. Aged just 19, Eian immediately left college to help his mother run the garage, and began offering customers vehicle repairs and servicing.


In April 1984 Eian and Helen bought North Road Garage and started buying and selling used cars. In 1989, the old site was redeveloped and in December 1992 North Road Garage took on the Toyota franchise selling new and used cars. During this period, from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, North Road Garage also used to buy, sell and rent out rally cars, with many customers scoring event and championship victories. It still buys and sells the odd rally car, in addition to normal car sales.


In October 2007 North Road Garage moved into new purpose-built state-of-the-art premises to accommodate new Toyota franchise requirements. This is where North Road Garage is based today, and the busy operation employs 15 people.


Renowned for having an exceptionally high quality of service and aftersales care, Eian is also extremely well known in rallying – and has, over the years, won many national Tarmac events as a driver. Running North Road Garage has meant that he has mainly tackled individual events and has been unable to contest many full championships, although Eian did finish second in the 1988 Motoring News National Tarmac Rally Championship in the famous ex-Roger Clark (POO 505R) Group 4 Escort. He also finished second in the same series in 2004, driving a Group A Subaru Impreza. He most recently won the Historic section and finished 11th overall on the Dixies Challenge Rally, driving a Ford Escort RS1800 – which was his first rally in twelve months!


Eian’s son Jason Pritchard also works at North Road Garage. After finishing his GCSEs at school, Jason attended the Toyota Academy to train as a motor technician and has worked his way up through the business to become Sales Manager. He worked in the workshop for a number of years and also maintained the rally cars and has built a number of competition cars.


Jason is also a superb rally driver, and has won four major British titles in as many years – a hat-trick of MSA British Historic Rally Championship titles (2015, ’16 and ’17) and the 2018 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship. The reigning champion currently leads the Asphalt series with a perfect score, after winning three out of three rounds in a Ford Focus WRC05. His latest victory on the Manx National Rally equalled Kenny McKinstry’s record of five event wins.


Eian Pritchard, North Road Garage MD, said: “It's a privilege to be able to accommodate the Nicky Grist Stages as a scrutineering venue. We're delighted to help a national rally use our facilities at North Road Garage and we hope it is a successful event for the organisers, competitors and the local town. It's great to have big events such as these come to Builth Wells, as it's extremely beneficial to the local economy in this small town in Mid-Wales. We really do appreciate the event supporting our local businesses and all the teams and spectators this event brings with it.”


Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We are delighted to have access to such fabulous facilities for our scrutineering and look forward to working with Eian, Jason and all those at North Road Garage, which is an iconic name in national rallying. Working with the local businesses in Builth Wells is important to us at Quinton Motor Club and bringing the event into the heart of the town is a major part of our vision for the Nicky Grist Stages going forward.”


This year’s Quinton Motor Club-organised Nicky Grist Stages hosts a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series for a 32nd consecutive year. The event will count towards the BTRDA Gold Star, BTRDA Silver Star, BTRDA Production Cup, BTRDA 1400, BTRDA Rally First, BTRDA Historic Cup, BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and the Fiesta ST Trophy, plus the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the HRCR Stage Masters Challenge.


Based in the centre of Builth Wells – with Rally Headquarters in Strand Hall (Strand Street) and the Start, Finish and Service Area at the Builth Wells RFC in Groe Park – this year’s route will contain 43 stage miles in Crychan, Halfway, Monument and Llyn Login forests. All eight stages (four stages repeated) will run on both Natural Resources Wales and Ministry of Defence land on the Epynt ranges, in the Carmarthenshire-Powys border area.


Regulations and Entry Forms can be found in the Competitors’ section of this website.


 


 


13 May 2019


Nicky Grist Stages entries open, as 43 stage mile BTRDA and Welsh Championship event route is revealed


Entries are now open for the Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 13 July) – with the official event Regulations and Entry Forms published on-line in the Competitors' section of this website.


This year’s Quinton MC-organised event will once again take place in some of Mid-Wales’ most classic forests stages in the Carmarthenshire-Powys border area, with 43 stage miles (and only 80 road miles) in an eight-stage route. The event will run on both Natural Resources Wales and Ministry of Defence land on the Epynt ranges, with the emphasis on giving competitors the best smooth and flowing roads available, great value for money and a no-nonsense, action-packed and well organised event.


The 2019 Nicky Grist Stages is the only rally to use Crychan this year, with a fantastic stage through this famous Welsh forest that’s just over nine miles long. A short test through Halfway forest will be up next, followed by the return of the popular Monument stage and then a revised Llyn Login stage, which will have most of the asphalt section removed and a flying finish where cars will be airborne as they cross the line. The 21.5 stage mile loop will be repeated in the afternoon (following a mid-day service halt in Builth Wells) giving a stunning 43 miles of competition in total. The Route 60 stage is being rested this year as it is undergoing re-surfacing work by the MOD.


Celebrating its tenth year of invaluable support from Nicky Grist Motorsports, the Nicky Grist Stages will host a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series for a 32nd consecutive year. The event will count towards the BTRDA Gold Star, BTRDA Silver Star, BTRDA Production Cup, BTRDA 1400, BTRDA Rally First, BTRDA Historic Cup, BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and the Fiesta ST Trophy, plus the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the HRCR Stage Masters Challenge.


Last year the Nicky Grist Stages was the first rally in Wales to run under new seeding guidelines – and such was its success and popularity with competitors that this year the 1400, Rally First and H1/2 Historic cars will once again run in the first batch of cars in reverse order, followed by the rest of the field in a second batch, running in number order.


The Nicky Grist Stages will be located in Builth Wells this year, with Rally Headquarters based in Strand Hall (in Strand Street), the Start, Finish and Service Area at the Builth Wells RFC in Groe Park and the trailer park and a re-fuelling zone at the town’s Cattle Market car park.


Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We have worked hard this year to bring competitors and fans what we are confident will be a classic Nicky Grist Stages. The forest roads are in great condition, and they haven’t been used since last year’s event. Moving the rally into the centre of Builth Wells will showcase the event to the local population, and we hope the rally community will support the many local businesses during the event.”


 


 


10 May 2019


Nicky Grist Stages moves to the centre of Builth Wells


This year’s Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 13 July) will move into the centre of Builth Wells, with the Rally Headquarters located at the fully renovated Strand Hall on Strand Street and the Service Area based at the Builth Wells RFC at Groe Park, a stone’s throw away from the town’s main high street.


Organised by Quinton Motor Club (which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year), since 2011 the Nicky Grist Stages has been based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd. In 2017 it moved its ceremonial start to Strand Street and its podium celebrations to Groe Park, on the banks of the River Wye. Such has been the support from local traders, Builth Wells Town Council and Powys Country Council, that the event will now move into the town – with the Start, Finish, Service Area and Rally Headquarters located all within sight of each other.


The trailer park and a re-fuelling zone will be located at the town’s Cattle Market car park, while extra marshals will be brought in to manage the Service In and Out controls, as well as the rally car exit route. Auxiliary service vehicles, officials and media car parking will be located adjacent to the Service Area.


This means that the busy hub of the Nicky Grist Stages will be within sight of Builth Wells’ main high street, which is full of independent coffee shops, cafes, bars, hotels, B&Bs, hardware stores and a multitude of other outlets – meaning that team personnel and all rally visitors will have quick and easy access from the Service Area to everything the town has to offer. The event is working closely with Builth Wells Town Council, the Builth Wells Chamber of Trade and Powys County Council to make sure all the local business opportunities are maximised and all rally personnel are catered for.


The Nicky Grist Stages will begin to set up in Builth Wells on Thursday 11 July, with a site clearance operation returning everything to the way it found it concluding on Sunday 14 July.


The organisers predict a large number of visitors to Builth Wells, as the event hosts a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series for a 32nd consecutive year – as well as welcoming crews from the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the HRCR Old Stagers Championship.


Jeremy Pugh, Powys County Council Councillor and Chairman of Builth Wells RFC, said: “We are delighted to welcome a major sporting event like the Nicky Grist Stages into the centre of Builth Wells. The extra trade it will bring into the town is exactly what the local businesses need, and it will be a fantastic sight for everyone to enjoy. The rugby pitch sits on a very large grass area that has previously held a wide variety of family events, and it will easily accommodate more than a hundred and forty service crews and rally cars. We are confident that what we have planned together with Quinton Motor Club will be of maximum benefit and minimum inconvenience to the town.”


Gwyn Davies, Builth Wells Deputy Mayor, said: “We are very excited to have the Nicky Grist Stages come into Builth Wells town centre. We are situated in a very beautiful part of the world and on the major north-south link through Wales, so as a town we do well out of tourism and passing trade. To have a big event based on the Groe, within sight of the main high street, will be great for the people and businesses of Builth. We have a new generation of shopkeepers in the town who will be very keen to welcome the Nicky Grist Stages, and we’re looking forward to making this the start of a long-term relationship with the event.”


Jo Jones, owner of The Owls B&B, said: “As a catering business, we personally do well out of the Nicky Grist Stages as we always have rally guests staying at The Owls. This year we are really excited to have the event based at the Groe, as all the businesses on the high street can benefit from the increased trade. Builth is such a lovely little town, a real Mid-Wales gem, full of wonderful independent shops and a real community spirit. It’s lovely to share the town with visitors, who we hope go home happy and tell their friends to come and find us!”


Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “This is a fantastic and exciting move for the event. Crossing the river and bringing the rally to the heart of Builth Wells will showcase the event to the local population and hopefully bring welcome business to the cafes, coffee shops and takeaways. Both the Builth Wells Town Council and Powys County Council have been instrumental in this move and we thank them for all their support and encouragement.”


Regulations and entry forms will be published in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk on Monday (13 May).


 


 

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