2013 News & Event Reports

WRGB ? Our Budget in 2013


How much does Wales Rally GB actually cost when you are trying to do the event cheaply?


Here are our costs for the two day national event:


£600             Entry fee.

£110             Pacenotes and DVD.

£96              Two hotel rooms, two nights [one for us and one for the service crew], 15 minutes from service.

Undisclosed    Tyres, a very good deal which we are not prepared to reveal, but they will easily do more events ? thanks to The Rover Centre / TMS of St Albans for supplying us with the Yokohama A035s we used on the event.

£120             Tow car fuel.

£125             On event fuel.

£110             Food and drink on event for four people [breakfast, lunch for the competing crew, snacks, pub dinner Friday evening, McDonald?s Saturday evening].

£100             Tow car insurance as we borrowed the vehicle and took out fully comprehensive insurance, which also covered the tools in the car.


Total: £1261


Not included in the above is lunch for the service crew, as they bought their own, and their fuel as they offered to and paid for their own fuel to / from Deeside.


Not included in the above are car preparation costs for work that would have needed to have been done anyway, and items such as competition licences which we use for a number of events. The above is to give an idea of the direct costs for the event only.


So, where could we have saved money? The tow car insurance was an additional cost, although as we borrowed the tow car and trailer this obviously saved us money due to not having to hire these items. We didn?t need a pub dinner on the Friday night but we tried to keep our accommodation and food costs down as much as possible.


Items such as the entry fee and pacenotes are fixed costs. We didn?t need the DVD to accompany the pacenotes but if there is one available, we will always purchase one.


Matt does the car preparation himself, and our service crew were Andrew Bisping and Ian Phillips, family and friends, so we did not have the cost of people running the car for us.


As you can see from the above, the event still cost us some reasonable pennies, however to compete in the forests and have the experience and memories that we now have, it was worth it. There will be many people who competed who spent more and of course if people spent less, it would be interesting to see how our figures compare.


Wales Rally GB cannot be classed as grassroots motorsport. It?s not an event which you can enter for £7.50 in your standard car and go and compete, but for us it was a dream, an ambition, which we successfully achieved.


If you want to know more about getting involved in motorsport whether as a competitor or a volunteer, head to http://www.gomotorsport.net There you can find out about your local motor clubs and about the fantastic range of club and grassroots motorsport that is available to you so you can compete cheaply in a standard car. Of course, if you want to get more involved, you can find information on disciplines such as circuit racing and stage rallying there too.



News - Wales Rally GB National Entry Confirmed

We are pleased to announce we have a confirmed entry for the two day national rally at Wales Rally GB. Competing and servicing alongside the WRC crews, the two day national event will see us tackle a number of gravel forest stages as well as classic tarmac stages such as Great Orme.

With greater gravel and forestry experience, it has been decided that Matt will drive with Suze co-driving. Recent upgrades to the car including changing and upgrading the engine to 1348cc and a new ported and polished head fitted with Group A cams sees the Micra with more power and performance then ever before.

A list of entries can be found at: 


Sponsorship opportunities will be available to advertise your company on the car. For more information contact [email protected] 

Thank you to our sponsors for Wales Rally GB, The Rover Centre  / TMS of St Albans, Muze Media and Humphris of Oxford.


Event Report - On Your Marks charity event, Bruntingthrope - 10th August 2013

On Your Marks is a charity event run by Asda for their staff and invited guests. Lots of activities are laid on, many available for just £5 a go, including rides on the rally stage which is run by Cannock Rally Club. The stage was a mix of tarmac and gravel and was different to anything we had ever driven before, going through an aircraft scrap yard and also under a passenger plane. We volunteered to give passenger rides in the Micra and had a great day meeting lots of different people, some interested in motorsport and some not. It was good to show how fast the Micra could go, with a few screams and white knuckles gripping the roll cage showing some of the nervous excitement! Over £6000 was raised for charity and we hope to be back next year.


Event Report - OMC Grass Autotest, Pusey - 28th July 2013

Grass autotests used to be events that we competed on regularly when we lived in Essex and the Sevenoaks & District MC events were local for us. Since moving, we haven?t done any so I wasn?t too sure how much I?d remember ? I can be a little right foot heavy and sitting spinning the wheels up on the grass isn?t the quickest way around.

There were four tests, and one of the key autotest issues I have of remembering the route was made easier by ?guiding? cones laid out to show which side of each cone you needed to pass it on. Although my times on one test were a little off the mark and let me know, I was pleased with my result of 5th in class and 6th overall. 


Event Report - CSMA Autosolo, Bovingdon - 21st July 2013

Normally, CSMA events seem to fall on days where we have other commitments but for once everything worked out well and we could make one of their events. The event was the closest to home we have competed at to date, being just over 20 minutes away. Our class was fairly big with a mix of standard and rally prepped cars competing.

I had one of those days where things just clicked, and was pleased to finish 2nd in class and 11th overall, a few places ahead of Matt. We see autosolos as a bit of practise and seat time in the car and stuck to our normal philosophy of free umbongo tyres, so the result was really pleasing. I was less than half a second off a top ten finish, and it was good to show what the Micra can do!


Event Report - Chelmsford MC Javalin's Jumbo Targa Rally, Wethersfield - 14th July 2013

The last CMC targa rally had been held in snow at Woodbridge, but the July event could not have been more different with glorious sunshine for the club?s return to Wethersfield, where it used to run stage rallies in the 1990s. Matt has recently carried out a lot of work on the Micra and we were both looking forward to driving her.

All of the tests had passage controls, which I think is really good to get navigators used to balancing timecards [which have to be signed at the passage control by a marshal] with the maps and telling the driver where to go. There was plenty of work to keep the navigator on their toes all day, and early on there was an advantage for second drivers ? after the first timecard, I was leading overall!

This seemed to spur Matt on, and we had a good day trading times and pushing each other on. We were pleased to both drive to top ten finishes, with Matt winning class and finishing 5th overall with myself navigating, and I finished 2nd in class and 7th overall driving.


Event Report - Go Motorsport Live!, Silverstone - 7th July 2013

The inaugural Go Motorsport Live! event was held at Silverstone. As the Go Motorsport Regional Development Officer for London and the South East, it was great to see so many clubs and people. I had a number of conversations with people during the day looking to get involved in motorsport including volunteering and competing, and it was great to be able to encourage peoples? interests.

I also organised the Chelmsford Motor Club stand on the day which had a number of club members? cars on display, F1 car parts, information on the club, a competition raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and more. Oxford Motor Club also had a stand as well as running the autosolo where people could get free passenger rides around an autosolo to see club motorsport in action. Skoda had lent the event some Citigos for the autosolo and I enjoyed giving people rides around the autosolo using the Citigos.


Event Report - Oxford Motor Club Summer Scatter, 5th June 2013

Having not competed on a scatter since relocating to Buckinghamshire, we decided it was time to dust off the map board, maps and pencils. I am not the best scatter navigator as I sometimes suffer with travel sickness but I wanted to give it a go. Having navigated as a novice to an overall win on a Chelmsford MC 12 Car a few years ago, I was classed as an expert which meant no plotting time available at the start of the event. The plotting went well and we had a good route picking up lots of clues, but the time we did not have at the beginning compared to other crews was our main downfall. Having decided to enter at the last minute I had made the fatal mistake of not reading the regs and therefore failed to spot that guessed answers meant points deductions. A few guessed answers saw our points reduced, and although we had an enjoyable evening, we should have done better than 2nd in class and 10th overall.


Event Report - Oxford MC Navex, 24th April 2013

A navex was unfamiliar to us, as they weren't events which were run in the area which we used to live but we wanted to give one a go. With both Matt and I wanting to drive we enlisted the services of other Oxford MC members as navigators with Ben Rees in the hot seat for myself. I had vowed I wouldn't use my road car for any events when I bought it in July 2012 but I gave in and it was the road car which I entered for the navex.

The navigation was challenging but doable and I was pleased to crack a circular herringbone for the first time. An enjoyable plod around the Oxfordshire countryside picking up mileage on road signs to local villages and towns [as proof of passage] was a simple but effective method. Although a simple event and concept, it must have taken a lot of work to bring it all together. We didn't realise you only took the mileage from the road signs where we turned [rather than road signs which we passed] so we dropped a few points there, but it was a good event and we finished fourth overall.


Event Report - The London Rally for Heroes, Surrey and Hampshire, 19th & 20th April 2013

We decided to enter The London Rally for Heroes as it was something different for us, it was a multi-venue event which we hadn't done for a while and it would be the first experience of pace notes for both of us. After some discussion it was decided that Matt would drive and I would co-drive. The event started with scrutineering, noise and documentation at Brooklands on the Friday with all stages on the Saturday.

We didn?t have any major moments, although on SS5 over a crest the back end went and we had a pretty big moment ? I looked up briefly and thought we were going to end up on our side in the ditch but somehow we got away with it. Aside from that it was ok ? I was pleased the car stood up to the event as I haven?t seen Matt much over the past few weeks as he?s spent so much time in the garage! There were quite a few retirements and the people we?re friends with / who we?d want to do well were all parked up on the side of stages [Rob Dillon and Lizzie Pope ? driveshaft, Tony Michael and Paul Barrett ? driveshaft and Ed Scott and Ben Scott ? electrical issue]. 

We knew things were going well when we found in one of the service halts that we were sat third in class. With over a minute over fourth in class, the plan for the final six stages was to continue doing what we had been doing as it worked well. We both enjoyed the pace notes particularly with the extra information they provide compared to calling off diagrams. We only had one issue on SS1 where I turned to p3 instead of p2 but I soon got the hang of that.

Over the final six stages we kept pushing on and although the Brooklands stages were short and sweet it was lovely to see to many people there including friends and family. We finished 3rd in class and 29th overall and raised over £280 for Help for Heroes as well - many thanks to all our sponsors and to Andrew Bisping, Ian Phillips and Jeremy for servicing for us. 


Event Report - CMC Targa Rally, RAF Woodbridge, 10th March 2013

A bumper entry of 73 cars entered the first Chelmsford Motor Club Targa Rally of 2013 at RAF Woodbridge. It was a tedious journey on the Saturday night to get to Ipswich - although I was only travelling from Norwich, which should have taken an hour, heavy snow saw chaos on the roads and a very long journey.

Matt and I were double driving the Micra and it was our first time out on a Targa Rally. To try and even up the advantage of second drivers, on certain tests the second / double drivers drove first so they hadn't already seen the test. The day went well, and recent work by Matt on Muriel was apparent and it was really good fun driving her. I was really pleased to be trading times with Matt all day, beating him on some tests whilst he beat me on others. We were definitely pushing each other on and at one point I was sat as high as 4th overall - a very unusual feeling for me but great to prove both I and the car had the pace in us to be competitive right at the top of a very large entry.

The event finished with Matt beating me by just 21 seconds. We were 3rd in class and 10th overall with him driving and me navigating, and 4th in class and 12th overall with me driving and him navigating. Smiles all around! A few what ifs, but that's rallying. 


Event Report - South Downs Goodwood Stages, 9th February 2013

The Goodwood Stages was one of the first events I was doing for a second time in the driving seat. It was a horrible day - grey, cold and raining. I felt SS1 went badly as it felt really slow but I was surprised and pleased to discover I was 3rd fastest in class. I didn't expect it to last, but it was an encouraging start.

We were running some winter road tyres we had bought to do the Rockingham stages on as these were better than part worn A048s with the conditions. They did the job, but weren't as good as proper wets would have been which were what others in the class were running. The conditions were tricky with the stages wet all day and rain coming and going. There also seemed to be a fair bit of oil down which we later discovered was from the Saab running in front of us on the road, who then retired at the lunch halt.

We had quite a few sideways moments, as did many others, but no spins and managed to keep it on the black stuff. It was a good day and I was pleased with how the event went. 

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