Seeking Cadet Double
After a successful opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC), MH Motorsport will head to Carlisle this weekend with high hopes of taking more glory at the Pirelli International Rally (29th/30th April).
The five-car Ford Fiesta team will look to take the honours in both the Junior BRC and Cadet Cup, having topped the tables of both categories after the Border Counties in March.
The Cadet Cup plays host to contenders in older specification front wheel drive models that are perhaps looking to sample the BRC for the first time.
MH Motorsport bolstered the series with three crews all eager to make an impression on the British Championship stage and each will head to the Kielder forest complex for the two-day, 100-mile event in the Scottish Borders.
Josh Cornwell and co-driver Richard Bliss were in command of the series from the off, taking a start to finish victory in their Fiesta R2 to lead the standings after round one. Cornwell put his previous experience of the Fiesta to good use in the tricky Border forests, winning by almost three minutes from his nearest rival.
“Once we got through the Friday night stages intact we could really push on in the daylight of Saturday’s stages,” said Cornwell. “It was pretty much a trouble-free run and we just did our best to stay out of trouble and keep the car in the middle of the road as much as possible. I was really pleased to have won by such a margin. It would, of course, be great to do it all again on the Pirelli and that’s the plan, but I know Kielder forest can bite you back hard so we will just look to do our own thing and see how we get on”.
Nabila Tejpar returns to the British Championship for a second year this season and is joined by Charley Sayer-Payne to form the only all-girl crew in the series. Tejpar would endure a tough opening round in her Fiesta R2, suffering a brace of punctures throughout the event which hampered progress but she recovered to bag fifth spot in the Cadet Cup.
“I definitely can’t wait for the Pirelli Rally as I actually have experience of this event which will be key to improving our pace”, Tejpar says. “The Border Counties was hard work. The night stages were really hard going and Charley and I have only done two events together but I could see an improvement over last year. I hope to increase the pace again on the Pirelli and it will be nice to have a direct comparison to see how I`m fairing. It’s a long season so the goal will be to get quicker as it goes on”.
In only his second season of rallying, Alex Waterman made his BRC debut at the Border Counties Rally at the wheel of his Fiesta R2. In an event of firsts for the youngster, Waterman and co-driver Harry Thomas would sample writing their own pace notes for the first time, as well as night driving and the tough Tweed Valley forests.
A trouble-free run through the opening tests under the cover of darkness was undone by a rally ending off on Saturday morning and Waterman is looking to bag some valuable points to get his season back on track at the Pirelli.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end my first BRC outing” says Waterman. “But there are lots of positive to take away from the opening round. I was really happy with the recce and our notes were great considering it was my first time writing my own. Friday night in the dark was the real test and again I was pleased with the pace on my first ever night stage and ending the leg third in class was a good sign. We have been out on an event recently to get back into the swing of things and it went well, so getting some points on the board is the main priority this weekend.”