Success for our Carbon Positive Ambassadors and a fantastic takeup of our carbon offsetting was the icing on the cake for a fabulous Nicky Grist Stages rally.
The 2022 Nicky Grist Stages brought a carnival atmosphere to Builth Wells at the weekend as 160 crews from six major British rally championships entertained the large number of visitors who created a magnificent buzz in the Service Area in Groe Park, at the Start and Finish ceremonies and in the nearby mid-Wales forest stages.
This year’s Nicky Grist Stages teamed up with Carbon Positive Motorsport to provide carbon offsetting as part of a long-term roadmap and commitment to mitigate the event’s carbon footprint. Ninety rally crews registered to carbon offset their event-related travel, plus a considerable number of marshals, officials and spectators, which was a tremendous uptake in year one of the partnership.
Image credit: Black Mountains Media
In a fantastic display of speed and skill, Carbon Positive Ambassador Osian Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan won the Quinton Stages – National section of the event for the first time in their Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, on what was Osian's 100th rally.
"100th Rally - P1! One to remember!" said Osian, adding: "I'm chuffed to bits to come away with the win on today’s NG Stages. A challenging day in the best weather possible. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for making this possible, from sponsors, team for the perfect car, Noel for an awesome job and of course my family and friends that support me."
There were new winners of the Nicky Grist Stages – Interclub section of the event too, with Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear claiming victory in their Ford Fiesta R5+ for fifth place overall, just in front of Carbon Positive's Garry Pearson/Dale Furniss who were 6th overall in their Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Competing in the ever competitive R2 class, the Carbon Positive Motorsport supported crew of Matthew Jackson/Sasha Heriot started the rally in great form, heading to the service halt with a 3.4 second class lead. Unfortunately, the afternon saw turbo boost issues for the pairing and the final 9 mile Crychan test would prove too much for the ailing Fiesta and all turbo boost was lost. Around 2 minutes was lost getting through the test, dropping Matthew & Sasha to 5th in class.
Image credit: Tom Banks Photography
After all 44.38 stage miles, held on the classic Natural Resources Wales and Defence Infrastructure Organisation Wales forest gravel roads on and around the Epynt military range, were completed, the Mayor of Builth Wells, Cllr Alan Waller, and Nicky Grist were back to present the trophies to the winners, with the British Rally Championship, MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship podium ceremonies taking place on the banks of the River Wye.
Following the success of the event – not just in sporting terms, but as an economic boost to Builth Wells (the rally organisers alone booked 55 bed and breakfast rooms in the town) – the Nicky Grist Stages can announce that the 2023 event will take place on Saturday 8 July.
Next year’s event will be the 14th consecutive year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports, and Colin McRae’s former co-driver (who was joined at this year’s event by Jimmy, Margaret, Alister and Max McRae) was full of praise for the 2022 edition.
“It’s been a wonderful event,” said Nicky. “The organisation has been excellent. The stages ran on time, the competition was fantastic, we had no dramas whatsoever and even the weather was perfect.
“Bringing the event into the centre of Builth Wells created a lot of buzz around the town and there was a fantastic atmosphere in the service park. It was great to see so many visitors walking around looking at the rally cars and talking to the teams. Many of them were locals, but a lot were people just passing through Builth who decided to stop and look at what was going on.
“I managed to get out to watch on the stages. The action was incredible and everyone had a great time. Rallying needs to embrace the smaller communities and one of our key aims was to bring trade into Builth Wells. We certainly did that, and we created quite a carnival atmosphere too. I’m delighted by the way everything went.”
“On behalf of Quinton Motor Club, we’d like to thank Nicky [Grist] for all his enthusiasm and support and the competitors, marshals, spectators and residents of Builth Wells for helping make this year’s event such a success,” said Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course.
“Our inaugural year working with Carbon Positive Motorsport was also a huge success and we look forwarding to working with them in the future.”
Nicky Grist Stages Top Ten Results
1. #100 Osian Pryce/Noel O'Sullivan VW Polo GTI R5 45:03.4
2. #1 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin VW Polo GTI R5 45:18.3 +14.9
3. #10 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke VW Polo GTI R5 45:27.8 +24.4
4. #6 Tom Llewellin/Ross Whittock Ford Fiesta Rally2 45:28.5 +25.1
5. #7 Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear Ford Fiesta R5 45:45.0 +41.6
6. #4 Garry Pearson/ Dale Furniss Ford Fiesta Rally2 46:33.8 +1:30.4
7. #2 Elliot Payne/Patrick Walsh Ford Fiesta Rally2 46:37.5 +1:34.1
8. #11 Dylan Davies/ Mark Glennerster Škoda Fabia R5 47:05.0 +2:01.6
9. #14 Niall McCullagh/ Martin Brady Ford Fiesta Rally2 47:52.4 +2:49.0
10. #17 Will Hudson/Jamie Edwards Ford Fiesta Rally2 47:59.4 +2:56.0
See the full results at EWRC.com
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