WELCOME TO THE NICKY GRIST STAGES 2017
Nicky and the organising team from Quinton Motor Club would like to extend a warm welcome to you all to this year’s event. The event is based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. Builth Wells is a market town in the heart of Powys, Mid-Wales, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye and Irfon in the upper Wye Valley.
The town is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. The spectacular Elan Valley and the Brecon Beacons are only a short drive away. Builth is ideally positioned to give access to the classic gravel stages that have been used in recent years by Wales Rally GB and the legendary asphalt of the Epynt military ranges.
For those of you who have not joined us before we have set out below a brief history of our 37 year old event that shows how it has grown from very humble beginnings to be named in 2015 as the best round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh National Stage Rally Championship and in 2016 to win the Bill Turner Trophy for the best event in the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series. Nicky Grist Stages Rally Guide 2 Quinton Motor Club www.nickygriststages.co.uk
HISTORY OF THE EVENT
Quinton Motor Club organised their first non-championship forest rally in 1980. A full entry of 90 cars left Bengry’s Car Auctions in Leominster for 35 stage miles in Radnor Forest. The entry fee was £42. The event was well received and was included in the Welsh Stage Rally Championship the following year.
In its early years the event did not have its own forest allocation so moved around Wales using various forests. 1981 saw the event in the Forest of Dean starting from the cattle market in Gloucester and finishing in Monmouth. The City of Gloucester had never played host to this sort of event before so the Mayor was present to flag away the 115 starters. Although the event was only in its second year it received its first works entry when Dealer Team Vauxhall entered a DTV Chevette for Tony Pond and Mike Nicholson.
As they were only out testing for the forthcoming RAC Rally they did not book into the final control. So unfortunately the name of one of the countries favourite rallying sons does not appear on the winners list, that honour goes to the ‘King of the Dean’ - Graham Elsmore. The early 80’s saw the event in Ceri forest and then Hafren before a trip to north Wales to use Penmachno and Clocaenog in 1985. Based at the Waterloo Hotel in Betws-y-Coed the event attracted its second works entry when Austin Rover entered Malcolm Wilson and Nigel Harris in a brand new Group B Metro 6R4.
They were doing some testing about 6 weeks before the RAC Rally, the spectators were wall to wall, no one could quite believe it. The relationship with the BTRDA started in 1986 when the event was invited to be a round of the BTRDA Clubman’s Championship, promotion to the Gold Star Championship was achieved in 1992. 1986 also saw the event attain its own forest allocation and settle into Llandrindod Wells, which was to be the headquarters town for the next 12 years.
The event used various combinations of Ceri, Sarnau, Caio, Esgair Dafydd, Crychan and Brechfa forests. However the move was always southwards so the event left Llandrindod to move to Llandovery and finally where we are now at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. The establishing of Wales Rally GB in south Wales opened up more gravel stage mileage on the Epynt military ranges. The event was able to utilise these fabulous stages to refine the route to the very compact format that exists today.
Notable victors in recent years have included the son of the 1985 winner when Matthew Wilson won the event in 2004 at the tender age of 17 years 163 days. The days are important because in 2006 Andreas Mikkelsen won the event the day after he passed his UK driving test at 17years and 16 days.
More Details are @ nickygriststages.co.uk