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2019 – The Best Ever!

Organisers of the 2019 Mintex HRCR Stage Masters Challenge have been overwhelmed by the number of registrations for the 11-round series.

The HRCR Open Day at Gaydon saw 25 crew’s sign-up; we look forward to the return of Stuart Anderson in the Vauxhall Chevette, he’ll be joined in class D4 by Mike and Doug Harrison in a similar make and Lee Sellers in his Triumph 2500Pi.

In category 1 we welcome the return of reigning overall champions Ken Davies and Alan Jones who will once again use the Volvo in the forest rounds and the Cortina on asphalt.

They’ll be joined by Bob Gibbons who will return to the challenge in his Cortina.




Category 2 will be dominated by Ford Escort Mk 1s with Andrew Stokes and Paul Kendrick likely to lead the overall class battle in C5, not to be outdone will be Mike Simpson who is likely to compete on most of the rounds, he will have competition from new signing Robert Williams in his RS2000.

Matt Fowle will start his campaign on the RallyNuts stages in June before competing on the forest rounds and making the trip to Belgium, where organisers are promising something special on the 60th anniversary of the rally.




Category 3 is where we see another Escort battle in classes D3, D5 and D7; Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver must be firm favourites in the Wollacombe Bay backed car.

Newcomers Adrian Smekks and Chris Neale will be out in the Eaton Yale livered car and will be looking to start their campaign with maximum points on the opening round.

After the open day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon entries opened for the first round of the Stage Masters Challenge, the Jasper’s Bakery AGBO Stages at Weston Park on Saturday March 16th. Owen Motor Club will once again organise a rally with 10 stages for Historic Rally Cars only within the stately home grounds. Within 48 hours 36 entries had been received, and more of the regulars are expected to enter before the maximum of 65 cars is achieved.

Challenge secretary Andy Ballantyne said; “To achieve a five-fold increase in registrations shows that the time and effort put in behind the scenes is paying-off.

“We would like to thank our backers including Mintex, West Wales Rally Spares, Hankook and Penrite Oils for sticking with us.”

“This year we hope to see more competition in classes both on asphalt and gravel rallies.”

Most of the forest rounds are looking at the running order to make sure the historic category 1 and 2 cars run at the front of the field, in reverse order.

The hope being that a Stage Masters car will be leading the field on either the RallyNuts Stages or Plains Rally.

Stage Masters accepted unseeded entries for the AGBO Stages as of 13/1/19:

Robert Williams TBA Ford Escort RS 2000 B
Doug Harrison Mike Harrison Vauxhall Chevette D
John Williams Gethin Sollis Ford Escort Mexico B
Ken Pryce Don James Morris Mini Minor A
Lee Sellers Michelle O’Connor Triumph 2000 D
Clive King Anton Bird Austin Cooper ‘S’ A
Adrian Smekks Chris Neale Ford Escort RS 2000 D
Gareth Frank TBA Vauxhall Firenza D
Craig King Adrian Lloyd Morris Mini A
Stuart Anderson Kenny Owens Vauxhall Chevette D
Dave Evans Tom Aleksandrowicz Mini 1275 Gt A
Shane Gamble TBA Morris Mini Cooper A
Mike Simpson Dale Gibbons Ford Escort RS 2000 C
Paul Kendrick Luke Green Ford Escort RS 1600 B
Eric Davis Russell Joseph Mini Clubman A
Paul Price Owain Thomas Morris Mini Cooper ‘S’ A
Steve Powell Jamie Hawkins Hillman Avenger C
Gwilym Roberts Debbie Myers Ford Escort Twin Cam B
Fred Camp Gareth Drayton Peugeot 205 C
Bob Gibbons TBA Ford Cortina Gt B
Peter Ellerby TBA Morris Mini A
Pete Littler Andy Marchbank Ford Escort D