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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Matador Hillrally: Baja GB winner Rochelle faces stiff competition.

Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management have announced details of the Ruthin-based HillRally 2006 supported by Britpart, the final round of this year's Matador Tyres National HillRally Championship. The event takes place over a series of short forest and hill stages in North Wales on October 14th-15th.

Now in its 10th year, the Matador Tyres National Hillrally Championship comprises three multi-venue stage rally style events, each constituting two days of gruelling competition. Unlike the British Off Road Championship, vehicles must be road legal as crews are often required to use the public highway between off-road stages.

The 2006 series has been fought out over two rounds so far, with the Clyro-based Y Rali Bryn Cymru in Radnor forest in May being followed by the Perth-based Scottish HillRally in mid-July. Each of the three scores count towards championship points and the series will be decided in Wales, with last month's inaugural Baja GB winner Ian Rochelle set to take a 16-point lead into the final round with his Bowler Wildcat.

Dan Lofthouse and Sally Lewis won the opening round in their Lofthouse Proto LD4 and Richard Kershaw and Graham Broadbent were the winners of the Scottish event in a GSR 206. Rochelle, from Bridgnorth, and co-driver Amanda Garratley were second overall in the opening round and third in Scotland and currently have 156 points, with James Webb and Chris Hammond their closest challengers with 140 points in their Buggy Space Frame. Tom Rimell and Brian Sleigh are a further two points adrift in a 3M Challenger.

This year's HillRally supported by Britpart will take place in the forests of Bryn, near Ruthin in the Vale of Clywd, Pen-y-Cerrig, Penllyn, FireTower and Gwern, near Bala, where the organisers are hopeful of introducing two new stages. There will also be a Matador Tyres HillRally Trophy open to competitors holding a National B licence.

Last year's event won by the recent Baja France and Baja GB National category winner Hugh Haines in his Bowler Wildcat. The Caerphilly driver beat Ray Kempster by over six minutes and went on to win the Hi-Q National HillRally Championship. Hefin Owen and Adrian Jones won the Clubman category.

"We hope to build upon the success of the inaugural Baja GB and continue to see this type of sport expand and progress in the UK," said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the British Cross-Country Committee and Rally Director on the Ruthin event. "The HillRally has been a popular round of the series for a number of years and we hope that the success of the Baja GB will see more competitors switching to this form of motorsport."

The HillRally will be based at the Coleg Llysfasi Ruthin (Ruthin College) for a fourth year and is open to 4x4 vehicles complying with MSA regulations. There will be classes for Production, Modified Production and Prototype machines. Production vehicles are permitted to upgrade springs and shock absorbers and fit underbody protection, while engine and transmission improvements and additional shock absorbers are permitted in the Modified Production class. Prototype cars must comply with MSA Technical Regulations Sections E12 and H36.

For further information about this year's HillRally, contact Andy Flynn [ ] or visit the official website at [ ].

2006/09/13 | 15:33 CET | Editor: MR/Neil Perkins

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