The 2011 Fiesta SportTrophy (FST) and Fiesta SportChallenge (FSC) season reaches its mid way point for the Jim Clark Rally from the 27-29 May. The Jim Clark Rally will be in its 41st year, all in memory of the late Formula 1 driver. Competitors from the Dulux Trade BRC and BRC Challenge will be competing in this, the fourth round of the year with both championships showing nail-biting competition. The Kelso Racecourse based event will be the first of three tarmac events in the 2011 championship.
Being the opening tarmac round of 2011, FST and FSC competitors will be required to adapt their driving style to suit the surface. The round will favour some competitors over others throwing a spanner in to the mix for championship points.
Championship leaders Craig Breen (21) and Co-Driver Gareth Roberts (23) will head to Scotland after a difficult event on the Mediterranean stages in the second round of the WRC Academy, ‘2011 Rally d’Italia Sardegna. The pair saw their fair share of action with mechanical problems on both days of the world event, after a few weeks off, Craig enters the Jim Clark looking to continue his championship dominance and once again representing M-Sport as a nominated driver.
ST wonder boy Nick Cristofaro (17) and Co-Driver Rob Fagg have shown great consistency so far this year with high scoring points on all rounds, leaving them second in the FST championship. Nick will be going to the Jim Clark for this first time as part of the FST, the TEG Sport ran car will be one to watch on this opening tarmac round.
Welsh duo Osian Pryce (18) and Iestyn Williams go to the Scottish tarmac round for the first time in their new Fiesta R2. Osian enters the Jim Clark straight off the back of a class win at the Plains Rally last weekend; Osian is showing signs of progression taming his new machine. This opening tarmac round will be an eye opener for Osian with the Fiesta R2 bringing a whole new dimension to Osian’s previous tarmac driving in the Gp N Fiesta ST.
Dan (18) and James O’Brien continue their FST assault at the Jim Clark at the end of May; Dan last entered the Jim Clark in a Gp N Fiesta ST last year, taking a seventh in class position. The Paul Benn ran team have shown reliable pace through the first half of the FST calendar of 2011 scoring double figure points in all three rounds.
Kent based pair Louise Cook (24) and Stefan Davis travel the length of the country to get to the Scottish stages for the second consecutive year after a second in class result in 2010. Louise continues with the Jim Clark being one of two Gp N Fiesta ST’s in the FST.
Finnish FST champion Jussi Kumpumaki (21) and Peter Flythstörm go into there first ever UK tarmac round. Jussi has shown talent adapting to the different driving styles that are required for the UK stages coming second in his first ever UK rally on the Bulldog and after a small accident on the Pirelli still managing to clinch some well deserved points.
Alex Laffey (21) and Chris Williams (22) will want to match their 2010 Jim Clark performance; taking a third in class position just over one minute behind the leaders. Alex sealed double figure points on the Pirelli after a slow start he brought the car home in sixth.
John Boyd (24) and Chris Williamson join their home event after a tricky start to the 2011 season in his new Fiesta R2. John entered the 2010 Jim Clark in his old Gp N Fiesta ST putting in a worthy performance finishing second in class and in the FST only four seconds behind the leader. The Scottish pair will be looking to display this kind of pace and skill on the opening 2011 tarmac round.
AB Motorsport’s Kit (27) and Tim Leigh brought their new Fiesta R2 home after a long and difficult Pirelli rally at the start of May. The Jim Clark is Kit’s first tarmac round in his Fiesta R2; a broken driveshaft on his Gp N Fiesta ST unfortunately ended his charge on the event in 2010.
After a tricky start to a season, Scottish driver John MacCrone (24) and Stuart Loudon (23) will be looking to break their string of bad luck. John is keen to dismiss the demons that have hampered his 2011 championship and score some much needed points. He will be once again joining Craig Breen as one of M-Sport’s team nominated drivers on the Jim Clark, M-Sport have confidence that the Scottish driver has the pace to secure BRC team points.
Blackburn based Phil Scholes (22) continues his 2011 FSC championship at the top of the table; Phil started his debut season off with two wins on the Malcolm Wilson and on the Bulldog and a third place on the Pirelli. The FX Motorsport ran Gp N Fiesta ST will continue its pace on the Jim Clark in two weeks.
Sykespeed’s Damien Smith travels to the Jim Clark for his second consecutive year in his Gp N Fiesta ST, Damien and Co-Driver Frazer Hutchinson join the Jim Clark’s starting line up on a high after taking second place on the Pirelli and a first in class win on Plains Rally last weekend.
Jack Rowe (17) and Co-Driver Alex Lee (22) are progressing quickly after two rounds getting used to his new Fiesta R2 the pairput in a solid performance on the Pirelli leading the challenge event for the majority of the weekend and taking his maiden FSC win. The Jim Clark will prove another learning curve for the Barnsley based lad being his debut tarmac round.
Jamie Brown (19) and Craig Burgess drive to familiar territory on the Kelso based stages, 2010 saw him take double figure points. Although Jamie’s finishes have not been in the top three as of yet this year his scores have been consistent, leaving him mid table in the FSC championship.
Travelling the width of Scotland, Mark McCulloch (24) and Co-Driver Craig Wallace (25) enter the Jim Clark on a high with a rejuvenated outlook in their Gp N Fiesta ST. After some gearbox issues were ironed out, Mark found the time he was missing during the Pirelli, with his confidence boosted he put in competitive times, challenging the top three for position.
Heading to their first tarmac event of the year, Richard Parry-Jones and Sara Pryce will be looking to match their performance of 2010 in which he claimed fourth position in the FSC standings.
Round four of the FSC championship sees Jam Motorsport ran Alex Parpottas (17) and John Connor drive their first tarmac round together at the Jim Clark. Alex has shown promise so far in 2011 delivering some quick stage times on the opening round at the Malcolm Wilson.
Tony Simpson and Stefan Arndt enter their debut FSC tarmac round in Kelso at the end of May; the pair are starting to get to grips with Tony’s Gp N Fiesta ST after a difficult opening round at the Malcolm Wilson.
Following up the FSC David Harrison (24) and Simon Taylor have had a tricky start to their 2011 championship; a mechanical issue hampered their assault on the Bulldog and a roll left them too far back to challenge on the Pirelli. The Manx driver did show some competitive times on the final stage on the Carlisle based event; the Jim Clark will be his first tarmac appearance as part of the FSC.
Another packed entry list of Fiesta R2’s and Gp N Fiesta ST’s, the Jim Clark is teeing up to be an action packed opening tarmac round.
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