Monday, 2 October 2017

Currie claims victory in Trackrod Fiesta finale


The DMACK ST Trophy championship reached it’s finale last weekend on Trackrod Rally Yorkshire and it was Tobermory’s Alasdair Currie who ended the season with a win after tying on time with Richard Wells.

Currie and co-driver Steven Brown got their event off to a great start, setting fastest time in the long Langdale stage ahead of 2017 title winner Sam Bilham.

Bilham’s hopes of rounding off his year with another win were dashed in stage two, Staindale, when a misfire caused him to stop for over five minutes: “We had to pull over but we got going again eventually, albeit at reduced pace. We rectified the problem in service but we’d lost too much time so just went out to enjoy ourselves. It’s a slightly disappointing way to end the season but we achieved what we wanted to this year with the championship win, that’s the main thing.”

Currie maintained his leading position in Staindale but it was Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth who were quickest in the stage, moving up to second on the Fiesta leaderboard.



Stages in Gale Rigg and Cropton were up next. Currie was fastest in Gale Rigg but only by 0.8 seconds from Wells. With his car back in good health it was Bilham who was quickest in Cropton.

Going into the last stage, in the notoriously tough Dalby forest, it was all to play for as Currie led Wells by just 5.2 seconds. In a very dramatic finish Wells beat Currie by exactly 5.2 seconds which meant that the two crews ended on the same time, Currie being classed as the victor on a tie-break ruling which gave him second overall in the championship and the prize of using a Castrol-backed Fiesta R2 on Wales Rally GB.

“It was a great end to my first year in the woods,” said Currie. “We have chased this result through the season. We struggled a bit early on as we were catching cars and losing time behind them. I’m delighted to get the win and the Rally GB prize drive.”

Despite losing out on the tie-break Wells was pleased with his result: “I really enjoyed the day. We had a steady start in Langdale which meant we had a big challenge to try and overhaul Ally for the rest of the event. We almost got there. The car ran faultlessly all day and I’m pleased I was able to bring the battle right down to the wire.”

Finishing third of the DMACK ST Trophy crews was Jon Ambler and Simon Jones who were challenging for third place on the end of season leaderboard.

“We didn’t push too hard as we were focussed on the championship,” commented Ambler. “In a rough and muddy rally it was nice not to have to take risks. We brought the car home with no issues or moments and it was very satisfying to get third after our retirement on the Nicky Grist Stages. Thanks to the organisers for a really enjoyable championship.”

Tom Easson and Abi Haycock were fourth: “We had a good run, we started strong but the second stage was a bit messy. I built confidence throughout the event and the times were improving. I made a couple of mistakes in Dalby which cost us some time but I still finished well which I’m happy with.”

After his problems in stage two Bilham finished in fifth place with the other Fiesta entrant, Martin Laverty, having to retire following a troublesome day which included power steering issues and an overheating engine.

Please visit www.sttrophy.co.uk or www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy for more information on the DMACK ST Trophy.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Finlay takes top honours




Finlay Retson & Tom Hynd take their first DMack ST Trophy win, the former Scottish Junior Champion pace has been improving with each round. Aly Currie and Steven Brown felt a little off the pace in the morning but set fastest time on the final stage to finish second in their bid to win the R2 subsidised Drive and a free entry on WRGB National. Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth enjoyed a finish after a run of bad luck to finish third.

Report to follow...

Monday, 10 July 2017

Bilham takes 5th victory and ST Trophy title


The DMACK ST Trophy headed to Wales for the Nicky Grist Stages. Seven crews arrived in Builth Wells to tackle the tough gravel roads over the Epynt Military Ranges.
Sam Bilham and Cameron Fair just had to finish on the podium to clinch the 2017 ST Trophy title so they were under pressure to drive a calculated rally. Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown were unsure if they would make the event but eventually managed to secure the funding to continue their championship campaign. Fellow Scotts Finlay Retson and Tom Hynd had decided to continue their learning curve within the championship after their podium success on the Carlisle Stages. Jon Ambler returned to the championship after missing the last round and was teamed up again with Doug Chivers, the pair were hoping to take back the 2nd place position they had previously held in the championship. Rhydian Price and Peredur Davies made a welcome return and were looking forward to the event on local turf. Guy Butler and Jamie Mactavish were planning on building up their pace, as on the last round their confidence had been knocked following their roll on the Plains Rally. Martin Laverty had again made the trip over from Ireland and with Phil Kenny on the notes, the pair were keen to score points here in Wales.

Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown set the initial pace over the first three stages. Sam and Cameron had been pushing them hard but with Sam mindful of the championship, he was happy to hold 2nd place at this point. Disaster then struck for Currie in Stage 4 when a stub axle failed resulting in them losing a rear wheel and the car ground to a halt.

Sam and Cameron's hopes of taking the championship title then took a blow when they started struggling with gears on a road section and then the car finally sticking in one gear for the whole of the final stage of the morning. The crew managed to nurse the car back to the mid point service at the Builth Wells Showground where the team worked against the clock to repair the problem.

Jon and Doug's day didn't start too well either having a bottom ball joint shear off less than a mile into Stage 2. Jon managed to repair the problem and continued but sadly was OTL so were out of the event.

Finlay and Tom were having a clean run and using the event to gain experience of both the car and the stages, Tom still under instructions from the team to rein Finlay in to make sure they got the full mileage under their belts and gain as much experience as possible.

Rhydian and Peredur were also out to learn the car and gain experience, the all-welsh crew having not yet made it to a finish line this year due to mechanical woes so had admitted the plan was to just enjoy the rally and get to the finish.

Both of these young crews had a clean run through the morning stages.

Martin and Phil's engine unfortunately cut out mid way through Stage 4 and despite their best efforts were not able to find the problem so they became the 4th car to retire from the event during the morning.

Guy and Jamie had a steady start but were getting quicker each stage and the memory of that roll becoming more and more distant with every mile covered and by service had decided they were going to attack in the afternoon and try for a podium finish.

The afternoon stages were a repeat of the morning loop. All of the crews were aware of the now deteriorating condition of the stages so would be looking for clean lines to avoid the large rocks pulled out by the more powerful British Championship cars running ahead.

With the orange Fiesta ST back on form after its gear selection issues of the morning, Sam and Cameron had a faultless afternoon, conserving their tyres through the final stage they arrived back at Builth Wells with a convincing 5th consecutive victory. This also sealed their overall victory in the ST Trophy and so becoming 2017 DMACK ST Trophy Champions.

Finlay and Tom had opted for soft tyres on this event so with tyre wear an issue, they were pleased to make it home safely in an excellent 2nd place - a great resulting considering this is only the 17 year old's 2nd forest event.

Rhydian and Peredur, the coolest looking team in the ST Trophy were really pleased to get to the finish with miles under their belt that they so desperately needed.  Not only that, they were also over the moon to have taken the 3rd place on the podium.

Guy and Jamie had upped their pace to such an extent that they clawed back 17 seconds in the final stage to finish just 1.8 seconds behind the cool welsh crew, narrowly missing out on a podium position.

The champagne tasted that extra bit sweeter for Sam and Cameron on the podium with both event and championship victories to celebrate. Congratulations go to Sam & Cameron from the ST Trophy Team.

The crews now have a short summer break before the penultimate round of the championship which takes place at the Woodpecker Stages on 2nd September in Ludlow.

 



Monday, 12 June 2017

Bilham takes another victory


Sam Bilham and Cameron Fair take another win, whilst Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown finish runner setting fastest times in pursuit of the top spot. Finlay Retson and Tom Hynd finish an excellent third on Finlay's first forest event. More details later

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Currie dominates Plains Rally but Bilham wins again



Nine crews entered the DMack ST Trophy with new entrants Martin Laverty co driven by Phil Kenny and Matt Tordoff co driven by his father Tim Tordoff in the Rallyme clubman spec Fiesta ST taking the series registrations to 16 crews.
Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown set a stunning pace and fastest times on the three stages prior to service to hold a healthy lead of 15 seconds from Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth. Next up was Jon Ambler and Arwel Jenkins proving his third place on the previous round was no fluke. Sam Bilham and Cameron Fair were fourth not on his usual pace at this point.
Rhydian Price and Peredur Wyn Davies broke a drive shaft on stage 1 and Guy Butler and Jamie Mactavish rolled, carrying on to the end of the stage, but the belt driving the power steering and alternator had snapped, so they retired. Tom Easson and ABI Haycock were in fifth place. Martin Laverty and Matt Tordoff sixth and seventh.
The afternoon stages saw a complete change in the leader board as Alasdair Currie went out after breaking a drive shaft and Sam Bilham set some stunning times to overtake Richard Wells and Jon Ambler to take the lead going into the final stages.
Tom Easson's luck ran out after going off and the time it took to extract the car took them OTL. Richard Wells luck ran out for the second round breaking a driveshaft after proving again he can run at the front. Richard looks forward to the future rounds which he likes and hopes his luck improves.
The top three finishers were Sam Bilham and Cameron Fair, second Jon Ambler and Arwel Jenkins, followed by DMact ST Trophy debutantes Martin Laverty and Phil Kenny, all winning DMack tyre vouchers.
Thanks to all DMack ST Trophy Sponsors DMack Tyres, Zenith Racewear from Vital Equipment, Mintex, Philips Legal Solicitors

To keep up to date with DMack ST Trophy news please visit www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy or www.sttrophy.co.uk.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Back to back wins for Bilham in DMack ST Trophy


Sam Bilham made it two wins in two events as he finished first of the DMack ST Trophy crews on the Somerset Stages. Seven crews, looking resplendent in their new Zenith Racing championship overalls which were supplied by Vital Equipment.

It was Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth who set the pace early as they set two fastest times in the first three stages to hold a six second lead over Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair, Wells benefiting from a test session held after he was frustrated to be down on speed at the Malcolm Wilson rally.

It all went wrong for Wells on stage four when he lost the brakes and then the car was stuck in gear, resulting in retirement. Bilham was promoted into the lead which he maintained to the end of the event.

“I’ve competed on the event twice before which gave me some very useful experience,” said Bilham. “Other than tapping a bale we had no issues and it’s great to get a second victory.”

Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown had their long journey from the Isle of Mull rewarded with a second place finish. They had been joint leader going into first service but Currie’s lack of experience of tarmac stages saw him lose 20 seconds to Bilham on the two Porlock stage. He set three fastest times on the gravel stages to finish a strong second.

In third place were Jon Ambler and Doug Chivers who were pleased to be quicker than they were on last year’s event despite using very old tyres.

Mathew Davies and Mark Crisp were fourth of the Fiesta crews and they were setting good times all day with only one issue all day, a loose wheel on one stage. The crew were pleased to have a reliable run and to gain experience.

After their dramatic accident on the Malcolm Wilson rally Tom Easson and Abi Haycock were happy to get some points on the leaderboard with a fifth place finish in their repaired Fiesta.

Elspeth Rodgers and Jordan Murphy finished sixth on their first DMack ST Trophy event and Rodgers’ first gravel rally. Rodgers gained a lot of experience and started to find a good rhythm with the car which should stand her in good stead for the rest of the season

Martin Auskerin and Jon Ross did not finish after an accident on stage one. Fortunately both crew members were ok.

Next up for the DMack ST Trophy crews is the Plains rally on 13th May which promises to be an exciting event as the new crews get used to their cars and the competition gets tougher.

To keep up to date with DMack ST Trophy news please visit www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy or www.sttrophy.co.uk.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

DMack ST Trophy crews set for Somerset Stages


Crews in the DMack ST Trophy will journey to Minehead next weekend to take part in round two of the popular championship for Ford Fiesta STs, the Somerset Stages.

The opening round took place in Cumbria last month at the Malcolm Wilson Rally with Sam Bilham and Cameron Fair finishing in first place. Bilham and Fair at the top-seeded Fiesta ST crew on the Somerset Stages and they’re aiming to build on their great start to the season.

“It was pretty amazing to win the Malcolm Wilson Rally, especially as it was the first time Cameron and I had sat together,” said Bilham. “We will be more settled for the Somerset Stages but the other crews in the championship are only going to get quicker so we need to progress too.”

Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth are the next ST crew away. They initially set the pace on the Malcolm Wilson Rally but power steering issues dropped them to third place at the finish.

The third ST crew is Tobermory’s Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown who were second in the opening round. “It’s a very long trip from Mull to Minehead,” commented Currie “We got a great result in Cumbria though and I’m hoping we can fight for victory in Somerset.”

Jon Ambler and Doug Chivers won the award for best improvement on seeding on the Malcolm Wilson Rally after showing good pace all day and the crew are hoping to be battling for a podium position at round two.

Looking for a better run than they had at round one are Tom Easson and Abi Haycock. Their car has undergone major repairs after a frightening accident in Grizedale forest last time out and they’re looking for a good haul of points to get their championship campaign back on track.

After a successful Rally North Wales where Jon Ross drove and Martin Auskerin navigated the crew will be swapping seats for Somerset as Auskerin drives in his second ST Trophy event. “I struggled to find rhythm on the Malcolm Wilson Rally,” said Auskerin. “Hopefully I can get back into the groove next weekend after our good result in Wales.”

The penultimate ST Trophy crew is Matthew Davies and Mark Crisp. With the initial opening round cancelled due to snow it will be their first event of the season and they’re looking to build on the experience gained last year and to push hard for a good result.

Another crew doing their first ST event of the season is Elspeth Rodgers and Jordan Murphy. It will also be Rodgers’ first event on gravel which she is feeling excited, but nervous, about.

The rally is based in Minehead but most of the action takes places in the surrounding forests. In a change from the usual all-forest routes the rally also features two runs of the tarmac Porlock toll road which will test the crews. The event starts on Saturday morning with the successful crews finishing back in Minehead in the early afternoon. 

For all the latest news please visit www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy or www.sttrophy.co.uk.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Mintex Award Winner for Round 2



Congratulations to Jon Ambler who has won the Mintex Award on the Malcolm Wilson Rally. 

The award is for a set of Mintex brake pads courtesy of  Questmead, suppliers of motorsport components. Jon won the award for his improvement on seeding.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Bilham battles to DMack ST Trophy win in Cumbria


Bingley driver Sam Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair battled through tough conditions to win round one of the Dmack ST Trophy which took place on the Malcolm Wilson rally in Cumbria. Alasdair Currie was second and Richard Wells third.

Bilham was fastest of the ST Trophy crews on all but the first stage and his winning margin was almost two minutes after 43 miles of competition in the forests of the Lake District.

“We had a trouble-free day, stage one was very slippery and it took some time to get used to the car with it being the first event since last season,” said Bilham. “It was good to be the quickest crew on six of the seven stages, I’m aiming for the championship win after a strong performance last year so it’s the ideal start to our year.”

Alasdair Currie and Steven Brown were in second place, a great result given their car was only finished the night before the event.

“The gearbox broke on the Snowman rally two weeks ago and we’ve been flat out repairing it,” commented Currie. “We finally got the job finished on Thursday night before heading down to Cumbria. We struggled on stage one but then were settling in nicely before a total loss of brakes in stage four. We struggled back to service and discovered a split pipe which we repaired. The brake peddle was still spongy in the afternoon stages but we managed to get second place.”


Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth finished in third after setting joint fastest time on the first stage. They shared the fastest time with Jason Dickson and Arwel Jenkins who ended the event in fourth place after spending the day working on the set-up of the car, having previously only contesting Irish forestry events. 

Jon Ambler made the long journey north from Hampshire and he and co-driver Doug Chivers were rewarded with fifth place. 

“We started fairly steadily to get back into the swing of things after the winter break,” said Ambler. “We had no real dramas other than some damage to the front bumper caused by the stages being rough in places. Our times improved as I got used to the car and I’m happy with fifth place.”

In sixth place was Martin Auskerin and John Ross. Auskerin struggled for grip early on and then had a huge moment in the Wythop stage which resulted in the car getting stuck and needing the help of spectators to get going again. This, and a few other moments, saw a fair bit of time lost to the other ST Trophy crews. 


Tom Easson and Abi Haycock had a disappointing event. Like other crews, they struggled with the conditions early on but their rally would come to a dramatic end in Grizedale when the car went off the road and a fence post came through the windscreen, narrowly missing the crew who fortunately escaped injury.

Enniskillen’s Jody McManus and co-driver Jon Armstrong were setting some great times in their Fiesta but hopes of a good result were ended in Grizedale when an engine mount broke and, subsequently, a driveshaft failed which caused them to retire. 

Another crew to fall victim to the notorious Grizedale forest were Guy Butler and Jamie Mactavish who suffered a broken shaft.

“It was my first event in the car,” said Butler. “It was a case of learning with each mile and I was really enjoying my first taste of the ST Trophy. Sadly we broke a shaft on the start line of stage five, we limped through the stage but decided to retire rather than risk further damage to the car.”

The DMack ST Trophy will resume on the Somerset Stages on April 8th.


DMack ST Trophy Round 1 results:

Sam Bilham 51:11
Alasdair Currie +1:58
Richard Wells +0:29
Jason Dickson +0:11
Jon Ambler +0:30
Martin Auskerin +4:28

Stage shots courtesy Songasport

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Malcolm Wilson Rally - a few pics

Some shots of the DMack ST Trophy crews on the tour we had of M-Sport and from the Comb stage. All images courtesy Songasport.










Friday, 3 March 2017

DMack ST Trophy to get underway in Cumbria


Following the cancellation of the Cambrian rally in early February, the DMack ST Trophy will,subject to the Cumbrian weather, get underway next weekend at the Malcolm Wilson rally. The championship has attracted 14 registered crews and nine of these have entered the event.

2016 championship runner-up Sam Bilham is looking to go one better this year and he'll also be defending his BTRDA N3 title. Bilham will be co-driven by Cameron Fair and he'll be the first of the ST crews off the start line.

Winchester's Jon Ambler will start his second season of competing in the ST Trophy and he'll be looking to build on the 5th place he got in the championship last year.

Martin Auskerin enjoyed success in the 205 Challenge 10 years ago and he'll be wanting a good result next weekend as he targets a similarly successful season in his Fiesta.

After three years in Rally First Guy Butler has moved up to the ST Trophy for 2017. Jamie Mactavish will be in the co-driver's seat and his experience of deep mud holes when competing on the Safari rally could prove useful in the Lake District forests!

Making the journey from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull will be Alasdair Currie. Currie was the youngest ever driver to start a Nat B rally, having passed his test aged 16 on the Isle of Man and starting the Mull Rally on his 17th birthday.

Tom Easson finished the 2016 championship in great style with second place on the Trackrod and he's aiming to continue the good results this year. Abi Haycock will co-driver, returning to the ST Trophy after navigating for Tim Kirvan-Rodgers last year.

Enniskilllen's Jody McManus will start his second season of rallying at the weekend. His previous experience includes leading a quad bike race the wrong way round the track so hopefully co-driver Jon Armstrong will keep him in the right direction.

Richard Wells started rallying last year and finished his first season with a good result on the Wales Rally GB National event. Before that he competed in motorbike trials and racing.

The DMack ST Trophy crews will face 42 miles of competition in the classic rally stages of the Lake District forests, includes Comb and Grizedale. The event will start from the M-Sport World Rally Team base at Dovenby and the successful crews will finish near Penrith.

Keep up to date on the DMack ST Trophy via www.facebook.com/fiestasttrophy.

Image courtesy Pete Owen

Monday, 13 February 2017

It's 'Snow' go for Cambrian Rally


Nine of the 14 registered ST Trophy crews ventured into a wintry North Wales for the Cambrian Rally on Saturday 11th February. The crews set off from a cold and windy Llandudno and with a mix of familiar faces from 2016 season and several newcomers, it was going to be all eyes on the time sheets to see who was going to set the pace. 

Tom Easson and Abi Haycock had teamed up this season so were obvious strong contenders with both already having a year in the ST's under their belt. The crews of Martin Auskerin with Jon Ross and Luke McLaren with Phil Kenny alongside had both made an impression on their one-off runs in the 2016 season so would be ones to watch. Jody McManus with the very experienced Jon Armstrong on the notes had made the long trip over the Irish Sea, he was looking forward to getting out in the forest stages in Wales feeling they were of a higher quality than those in his native Ireland. 

Elspeth Rodgers was taking her first steps on gravel, this season progressing on from the Ford Ka she used on a number of single venue events. Her target for this event was to gain experience and learn the new car and surface. Mat Davies was playing his cards close to his chest before the start, as another 2016 competitor, he now had the experience to attack the stages and be at the sharp end of the leader board. Last years ST Trophy winning car was now in the hand of newcomer Rhydian Price. Rhydian with Peredur Davies on the notes was another of the young competitors hoping to use the championship as a stepping stone to bigger things. Guy Butler had teamed up with Jamie Mactavish and were using George Lepley's 2016 car, Guy was looking forward to tackling some of the same stages he had used on Rally GB where he claimed a class victory in November last year, as did Richard Wells and Calvin Houldsworth who were leading the ST's away on this event and after winning Rally First over the same events last year, was surely the one to watch.

Sadly only two of the cars, Richard and Jody, got to drive on the stages, the event getting cancelled on safety grounds due to the snow and ice in the stages. The 4-wheel drive cars struggled enough but it soon became apparent for the 2-wheel drive cars that the stages were becoming dangerous and in some places, impassable. The organisers took the tough decision to call off the event fearing rescue and medical vehicles would not be able to gain access if an incident occurred. All cars were rerouted back to Llandudno and the event was declared void meaning no points were scored. 

As the championship has dropped an event, it now becomes the best 5 scores of 7 events that count towards the championship. 

The next event is the Malcolm Wilson Rally in early March.      

Thursday, 9 February 2017

ST Trophy is Go Go Go...


This weekend sees the arrival of the first rally of the Fiesta ST Trophy.  Nine of the 14 registered Fiesta ST Trophy crews will be heading to the picturesque seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales for the Cambrian Rally so the excitement is building!  

Richard Wells will lead the field as they head out to the stages on Saturday morning. Jody McManus has made the trip over the Irish Sea, Martin Auskerin, Tom Easson & Mathew Davies all return to the championship this year after their 2016 campaigns. 

Guy Butler has moved up to an M-Sport spec car this year after trialling the Club spec car on the Plains Rally last year. Elspeth Rodgers is the first female driver to register in the championship and she will be on her first forest rally too so admits it will be a steep learning curve. The rally consists of 6 stages over 42 miles of Welsh forest roads so crews will need to select their tyres wisely, with each crew only able to use 6 tyres per round.  

Will there be snow? Rain? sunshine? A touch of spring?!  We will soon find out. You can keep up to date with results on out Facebook page and a full event report will be on here early next week.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Autosport action!

A busy day at the Autosport Show today with lots of visitors to the DMack ST Trophy stand and some new championship registrations. We also had a presentation of the Rising Star Award prize by our sponsors Zenith Racing to George Lepley and Alex Kihurani.






Thursday, 12 January 2017

Dmack ST Trophy on show at NEC



This year the DMack ST Trophy will be on display at the Autosport show. Come and visit us on Saturday & Sunday at stand 9210. We will have all the details about the 2017 Championship including two Fiesta STs on display.

John Pritchard, Trophy Administrator, Ian the Trophy Coordinator and Tim the Technical 'guru' will be on hand to chat and answer any questions over the weekend. We will also have registered competitors on the stand as well as displays from some of the Trophy's sponsors.

We look forward to seeing you at Stand 9210.