Entries are now open for the Nicky Grist Stages (8-9 July) – with the official event Regulations and Entry forms published on-line at nickygriststages.co.uk.
2017 celebrates the 37th running of Quinton Motor Club’s forest stage rally, the 30th consecutive year of it hosting a round of the BTRDA Rally Series and the seventh year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports. Following its maiden success last year, the Nicky Grist Stages remains the only mixed-surface round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, with a fine-tuned route for 2017 giving competitors a magnificent gravel and Tarmac challenge and spectators a weekend-long festival of top class rally action.
Competitors have a choice of three events to enter – a gravel National B stage rally on the Saturday (8 July), a Tarmac National B stage rally on the Sunday (9 July) and a two-day (8-9 July) mixed-surface National A stage rally. All of which is fantastic news for spectators, who’ll have 10 different championships and up to 180 cars to watch competing on some of the best forest and Tarmac stages in the UK.
Both the gravel route on the Saturday and the Tarmac course the following day have been revised – with Saturday containing eight gravel stages (a loop of four run twice), separated by a midday service at the Royal Welsh Showground. The Monument, Halfway and a longer Crychan stage will be run in the opposite direction to last year, leaving Route 60 as the only unaltered test. In total there will be 45 stage miles of gravel for competitors in the BRC, Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship, BTRDA 1400 Championship, BTRDA Rally First, Fiesta ST Trophy, MG ZR Rally Challenge, FMP Rally Challenge and ANWCC Forest Rally Championship.
Sunday will see a revised Tarmac route, with a further 12 stages totalling 72 miles over the famous roads of the Epynt military ranges. In a change to 2016, this year will see two loops of three stages in the morning and two loops of three different stages in the afternoon, separated by a lunchtime service at the Royal Welsh Showground. In addition to Sunday being the second Nicky Grist Stages day of the BRC, there will also be a separate event called the Spencer Sport Acropolis Rally, which is part of the MAXXISMSA English Championship double-header weekend and open to all other National B stage rally competitors.
In line with MSA requirements, competitors on these rallies will be seeded together in their order of expected performance on both the Saturday and Sunday.
Not only will rally fans be able to see the BRC cars in high-speed action on two surfaces, 20 stages and over 117 miles, there will also be a two hour service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground on the Saturday night, when teams change car set-up from gravel to Tarmac – a sight to behold for those mechanically minded and a great opportunity for driver autograph hunters. The finish ceremony will take place in Builth Wells shortly after 16.00 on the Sunday.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “We’ve acted upon all the feedback we received from competitors following last year’s event, and we hope that the changes that we have made to this year’s route will be to everyone’s liking. The Nicky Grist Stages really is blessed with some fantastic roads, and we’ve tried hard to make best use of the available gravel and Tarmac stages. We’ve once again created a 45 stage mile route on the Saturday for the BTRDA, Welsh and other championships, which is a great challenge on some fabulous forest roads. Following on from lessons learnt last year, Sunday’s Tarmac event will start later to allow the Army to clear the ranges, should any of its overnight exercises overrun. Crews will then do two loops of three stages before a service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground, and another three stages done twice in the afternoon. This format will make Sunday’s stages run a lot more efficiently, yet provide competitors with the very best challenge Epynt can throw at them and make it a truly tremendous day out for the spectators.”
Nicky Grist said: “This year’s route is going to be absolutely fantastic for each and every competitor, with some great viewing points for spectators. We’re very lucky to have some of the best forestry stages on our doorstep, and the gravel part of the event will feel similar to last year – albeit with three of the four stages run in the opposite direction. The next day on Tarmac has been designed to flow and breathe a lot better. Cars will still run at thirty-second intervals, but the stage layouts and timetable will make it much better for crews and spectators. As the only mixed-surface round of the British Rally Championship, this year’s event will be a true rally challenge.”
In association with Spencer Sport, Nicky Grist Stages VIP Hospitality packages are available for both Saturday and Sunday – with exclusive car parking, stage-side viewing area, marquee, breakfast, lunch, unlimited refreshments and guest speakers. For information on availability and cost, please contact Sarah Williams on 01559 371534.