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The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally Review

March 2, 2023

David Henderson wins his second successive East Riding Stages Rally.

The successful East Yorkshire event is set to offset the CO2e from competitors and spectators using a new Woodland Carbon Code certified carbon offsetting project based in England.

Triple British Rally Champion Matt Edwards was in the co-driver's seat on this occasion. Picture credit RWD Rally Images.

The partnership with Carbon Positive Motorsport has allowed the event to use a new Woodland Carbon Code certified carbon offsetting project in England for the first time. Having these independently verified standards of offsetting in place, using permanent projects, has allowed the organisers to widely and legitimately promote their environmental credentials to benefit the event's perception in the local community.

With an entry including three Carbon Positive Motorsport brand ambassadors - Matt Edwards, Ashleigh Morris and Cat Lund - there was great publicity for Carbon Positive Motorsport before and during the event.

Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador co-driver Cat Lund with driver Andy Rowe at the start. Picture credit JEP.

Richard Vincent, the rally's Event Director, said, "We're very happy to be able to use an English project to offset the CO2 emissions for this years event. We're hoping to voluntarily offset more emissions than any other rally in the country held so far.

"Offsetting our unavoidable event emissions in this way, using a project with a greater level of regional relevance, has really helped to build our credibility with the local community and especially with our FanZone sponsor, Visit East Yorkshire."

145 cars were flagged away from a packed Beverley Market Place. Picture credit: JEP

The 145 cars were flagged away from the start arch in Beverley Market Place from 9am, with the top ten sent on their way by TT rider and motorsport enthusiast, Guy Martin.

A short shower just before the opening stage at Wawne Common left a number of crews questioning their tyre choice. In the event, James Ford/Neil Shanks were quickest on stage one in their Citroen C3 Rally2, with 2022 winner Henderson only able to take sixth place.

Ford/Shanks increased their lead after stage two, Coom Hill, but Henderson had leapt up to second and reduced the gap to the leader on stage three, Rise. “I had a big spin and lost my rear spoiler," Ford explained.

Early leader James Ford finished 4th overall following a spin and a stall. Picture credit: JEP

One more stage followed at Dunnington before service at Leconfield. Ford's lead was intact, but reduced to 2.8 secs by Henderson, despite a slide into a bale on stage four. “It was very slippery on slicks, especially on stage one, but it caught us by surprise when it rained at the start,” he said.

As they started their second run through the stages, Ford initially managed to increase his lead over Henderson, but that soon changed. “I lost it, stalled, and the car wouldn’t restart,“ said Ford, after dropping to fifth on stage six. Henderson was now in front with just over five seconds in hand over David Wright / Paula Swinscoe, with just re-runs of the Rise and Dunnington stages left to go.

Henderson’s lead was cut again after he had a slight off on the penultimate stage, and had reduced further by the end of Dunnington, but victory was secured with 3.6 secs to spare, with Wright rueing an earlier spin. “That was mine to win if I hadn’t spun,” he said. Elliott Payne / Tom Woodburn fought back from early brake issues to finish 3rd overall.

Carbon Positive Ambassador Ashleigh Morris was the only female driver competing. Picture credit RWD Rally Images.

Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassador Ashleigh Morris, who was driving a LHD car for the first time, received a lot of interest as the only female driver competing on the event, both through social media and in BBC radio interviews.

Morris commented, "The event was fantastic, the Visit East Yorkshire FanZone really encouraged spectators along, and it was great to have such a buzz at the start of the rally.

"The stages were fast and flowing, and it’s great to see another successful closed road event establish itself on the UK rally scene.

Ashleigh Morris: "The stages were fast and flowing." Picture credit: JEP

“It was also a real positive to see the event embrace carbon offsetting with spectators as well as the rally cars, which I’m sure set a new carbon offsetting record for rallying. It really helps to build a strong and sustainable future for the event and our sport.”

The rally organisers placed high importance on the use of verified carbon offsetting for every competitor as part of their environmental plan. Using Carbon Positive Motorsport's services for the second year, the organisers will offset 46,000kg of CO2e for the competitor and organiser vehicles. This includes 11,500Kg more carbon than was actually generated, giving additionality to qualify as a genuine carbon offset.

The event is also totting up the CO2 emissions generated by the spectators attending the event, and will be offsetting these emissions for the second year. "We're now calculating the final event carbon offsetting level, to include spectators who purchased event tickets. Using a proven methodology we can calculate the potential emissions generated from the distances the spectators have travelled," explained Paul Glass.

The FanZone was full of spectators all day. Picture credit: JEP

The event itself received widespread and positive media coverage of the initiative on social media and on BBC Radio 5 live. Speaking after the event, Glass continued, "It was a real privilege to work with the East Riding Stages Rally for the second year, using our unique end-to-end carbon offsetting event package and service.

"Like so many others sharing positive comments about the event, I have been truly impressed by the excellent stages, compact route, efficient organisation and especially how the event has worked to bring rallying to the public. Its clear the event is becoming one of THE events in the UK, and we are incredibly proud to have beeen part of that from day one.

‘’With the increased entry, and including organisers vehicles and spectators, I fully expect the event will achieve its goal to have created the greatest genuine and properly verifiable carbon offsetting of any UK event so far.’’

Listen to Paul Glass together with ambassadors Matt Edwards and Ashleigh Morris discussing the rally and carbon offsetting with FanZone host Kev Furber.

Event sponsors such as Visit East Yorkshire and competitors benefited by association from having 100% UK based, properly certified and verifiable carbon offsetting provided by Carbon Positive Motorsport - which allows events and competitors to legally publicise their offsetting claims and to avoid claims of greenwashing.

The rally winners were presented with their awards in the historic setting of Beverley market place by rally sponsor John Reed.

David Henderson / Chris Lees claim a second successive East Riding Stages win. Picture credit: JEP

The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally: Top 10 Results

1 David Henderson/ Chris Lees Ford Fiesta Rally2 39:12.01 2 David Wright/ Paula Swinscoe Ford Fiesta R5 +0:03.6 3 Elliot Payne/ Tom Woodburn Ford Fiesta +0:10.0 4 James Ford/ Neil Shanks Citroen C3 Rally2 +0:16.3 5 Robert Swann/ Darren Garrod Ford Fiesta WRC +0:26.7 6 Kevin Davies/ Owain Davies Volkswagen Polo R5 +0:35.9 7 Stephen Simpson / Patrick Walsh Ford Fiesta Rally2 +0:53.4 8 John Stone/ Laura Connell Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 +1:13.1 9 Neil Roskell/ Andrew Roughead Ford Fiesta Rally 2 +1:34.7 10 Jonny Milner/ Colin McMath Toyota Corolla WRC +1:35.3 Full results can be found at

It only costs a little to make a big difference for the sport, so whether you're a competitor or spectator, why not join with us to help make motorsport sustainable.

To become Carbon Positive yourself, visit our website #ERSR23 #EastRidingStages


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