BTRDA NEWS & FEATURES RALLY 

BTRDA | RD6 – RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Just two weeks had passed since the Cambrian Rally took place over the World Class gravel stages of North Wales and the BTRDA was soon back in action on the Rally Nuts Stages for the final round of the 2021 MRF Tyres Rally Series. The Championship contenders faced more of the World Class Welsh Stages that we know and love, only this time they were a just little further south in the Myherin and Hafren Forest Complexes.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Organised by the Midlands Manor Motor Club this popular event has been around since the 1970s under a number of different disguises, namely that of the Mutiny Rally and Severn Valley Stages. Whizz forward to the present day and the Rally Nuts title sponsored event had the honour of closing the 2021 MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Championship season.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

115 crews had entered the event which covered approximately 44 miles over 6 stages and with a number of championship categories mathematically still up for grabs the event made for a fitting end to the season.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Garry Pearson / Niall Burns

Scotsman Garry Pearson alongside Irish Co-Driver Niall Burns held the No1 on the doors of their Skoda Fabia R5 and had only one target to aim for. That was to add the BTRDA Gold Star & Welsh National titles to their already impressive National British Rally Championship and Scottish Rally Championship honours.

But would the likes of Callum Black and Tom Woodburn be able to prevent their ambitions from becoming reality? In order to spoil the party, Black needed nothing short of the outright win but also needed Pearson to falter in some way or another.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Callum Black / Tom Woodburn

Pearson lead the crews off into the opening 8 miles test over Myherin but it was not he or his closest rival Black who was the fastest out of the blocks. Instead, it was a young Elliot Payne alongside Patrick Walsh on the notes in their Ford Fiesta R5 getting the better of Black by 10 seconds.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Elliot Paynes / Patrick Walsh

After that opening test, Pearson who had suffered from power steering issues was lying in 5th with it all to do. His mechanical issues along with that early morning rude awakening call from the likes of Payne and Black spurred him on over the next two stages in the Hafren Forest Complex to end the morning loop in second. Heading into the midday service halt just 10 seconds behind the rally leader Payne was pretty good considering but crucially with Black just another 2 seconds behind him in 3rd, he was on target.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Garry Pearson / Niall Burns

The afternoons’ loop of stages also did not begin well for Pearson, in the second Myherin test he picked up a puncture. This dropped him down to 5th overall giving Black the upper hand with two stages remaining. Unfortunately for Black, he was not able to catch and overhaul Payne who was clear out front for the Rally win.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Elliot Paynes / Patrick Walsh

Pearson never gave up and was able to win the final two stages in Sweet Lamb – Hafren and Hafren South to move back up the leaderboard to 3rd overall, 34 seconds behind Black which was enough to secure the 2021 championship spoils.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Garry Pearson / Niall Burns

Pearson and Burns’s BTRDA Gold Star Championship honour was accompanied by the Welsh National Championship and these added to their already crowned National BRC and SRC titles, made for a truly impressive and amazing year of rallying for the pair, where can they go from here next season?

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Jason Tauber Pritchard / Phil Clarke

In the Silver Star award, Jason Pritchard & Phill Clarke fought off the competition from the likes of Rob Wright & Mark Fisher to take the win (and Historics Cup honours) in their MK2 Ford Escort but as Pritchard was only out for his second round of the season, it had little impact over the Championship standings.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Owen McMackin / Lee Taylor

Irishman Owen McMackin had already secured the title last time out on the Cambrian. However, that was a case of “luck of the Irish” considering that he was forced into early retirement following a double puncture on SS2 – Sweet Lamb – Hafren.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Richard Jordan / James Gratton-Smith

The 1400’s Championship could also mathematically still be game on at the Rally Nuts Stages. Although Richard Jordan & James Gratton-Smith peddled their MG ZR home for the rally win, their championship protagonists Steve Black & Paul Morris were close behind in second in their Suzuki Swift to take the 2021 Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA 1400 Championships honours.

BTRDA | RD6 RALLY NUTS STAGES 2021

Photo: Steve Black / Paul Morris

WORDS & PHOTOS: ANDY COOK – XLERATE

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