Latest Championship News 

Round 5 Preview - Snetterton Stage Rally
Saturday 10th February 2024

The MGJ Engineering Circuit Rally Championship reaches halfway during the Snetterton Stage Rally.


Last year’s winners and current champions John Griffiths/Emma Morrison start as top seeds in car 1, their Ford Fiesta R5, but know they’ll have a battle on their hands.  While currently leading the championship they know they’re likely to need event wins to retain their titles, once dropped scores come into play.  Can they add that extra bit of speed to their excellent consistency?


Michael Igoe/Will Atkins won last time out at Brands Hatch and are sure to provide a stern test in their Citroen C3 Rally 2 which starts as car 2. There’s also no doubt about the raw pace of Patrick O’Donovan/Jack Morton in Car 3, a Hyundai I20 R5.  They threatened to challenge Igoe/Atkins for the win at Brands Hatch.  While their car survived damage from clouting a chicane, the subsequent penalty put them out of contention for the win.


Third in that event was father Ollie O’Donovan with Ashleigh Morris alongside in a further Hyundai I20 R5, starting at number 4. Kieran Hankin/James Swallow will debut their Citroen C3 Rally2, pictured, in place of their previous Peugeot 208 T16 R5 at Snetterton.  They’ll be looking to get strong results across the rest of the championship, ahead of a full programme in the new car in the 2024/25 season.  They’ll start at car 8.


The sole 2-wheel drive car in the Top 10, at car 10, is the rally-winning Peugeot 306 Maxi of Chris West/Steve Cox, heading the Class C runners.  Martin Hodgson/Tony Jones head the championship points in that class in their Ford Escort Mk2.


After missing Brands Hatch, Alasdair Stables/Neil Jones return in their Vauxhall Chevette HSR in the same class and they can be expected to be challenged by James Garner/Jordan Joines behind them in a Darrian T90 GTR, emphasising fantastic car variety in the class.


Class B, for the older style 4-wheel drive cars should see a good battle between Steve Hill/Matt Daniels in their Mitsubuishi Evo6 and the earlier Evo III RS of Wayne and Darren Larbalestier.


Leading championship driver in Class D is Nigel Greensall in a Toyota GT86, but with several higher-seeded crews in the same class not registered for the championship, he faces strong competition.


Class E sees battle resumed between Joseph/Daniel Duffy in their Lotus Elise and Paul Sheard/Colin Stephens in their Mazda Mx5.  Also, look out for the MGJ Engineering liveried Ford Escort Mk2 of championship sponsor Mick Johnson with Peter Pears alongside.


In class F, championship contenders Kay Thompson and Marina Miller are out in their Nissan Micras.


Finally, while not part of the championship, there’s a strong field of Junior 1000 drivers, aged between 14 and 17 competing in their up to 1-litre cars.  This class is closely controlled, so expect strong competition between the 13 crews entered.
 

Highlights from Round 4 - MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Stages 

Round 4 Preview - MGJ  Engineering Brands Hatch Stages
Saturday 20th January 2024

After our “winter break” it’s fantastic to be back as we reach Round 4 of our 9-round Championship.


We’ve seen different clues to form, but picking a winner is really tough.  Top seeds are John Griffiths/Emma Morrison who won at Brands Hatch last year, on their way to becoming Circuit Rally Champions 2022/2023.  


While they currently head the points tables, they have extremely strong challengers immediately behind them. Seeded at car 2 are Patrick O’Donovan/Jack Morton in their Hyundai I20 R5.  Patrick has a 100% winning record in stage rallying, although that is based on a just single event, Round 2, at Cadwell Park. As the current and two-time British Rallycross champion, he took to rallying with great aplomb, victorious on debut and he’ll be looking to maintain that winning start.


A year ago, Michael Igoe was seeded at car 39 as he made his transition from circuit racing in British GT to circuit rallying.  Now he and Will Atkins are in car 3!  He made the change rapidly, winning at Donington Park less than two months later. 


Last time out, back at Donington Park and affected by snow and ice, he switched from a Ford Fiesta R5 into a newly acquired Citroen C3 Rally 2.  Thoughts of another victory must have seemed a long, long, way away during a lurid fifth gear spin along most of the length of the pit straight!  You may have seen it on YouTube.  However, a great recovery drive led to victory. 


The Top 10 is packed with modern turbocharged 4-wheel drive cars, with Ollie O’Donovan/Ashleigh Morris next up in car 4. Ollie is Patrick’s dad and also a former British Rallycross Champion.  While co-driving today, Ashleigh is also a successful rally driver in her own right.  They are in the Hyundai I20 R5 taken to victory by Hayden Padden on Rally Barbados 2023.


The top-seeded 2-wheel drive car comes from Class C and is driven by Martin Hodgson, with Tony Jones alongside in a Ford Escort Mk2, car number 11.  They won their class in the Circuit Rally Championship 2022/23, and will be in close competition with car 14, James Garner/ Jordan Joines in a Darrian T90 GTR. 


Paul Sheard, Ian Jarvis, Daniel Poole and Alex Stubbs currently make-up the second part of the top eight drivers overall, showing how leading drives in their classes also benefit overall championship positions.


Looking for something different when at Brands Hatch or watching the livestream coverage?  Let’s start with the oldest car in the rally, the 55-year-old Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico of Vince Bristow/Tim Sayer.


Among the rarer types of rally car, also look out for several original Austin Minis, a Ferrari 308, Ford Puma in front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive versions, Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, a Triumph TR7 V8,Ex works Vauxhall Firenza Magnum and a VW Golf Mk2.    

 

There’s variety and close completion lined-up across the field, so a fantastic day is in prospect.

Highlights from Round 3 - Northside Truck & Van Donington Rally 

Round 3 Preview - Northside Truck and Van Rental Donington Stages
Sunday 3rd December 2023

The entry for Round 3 is headed by Michael Igoe/Will Atkins, who won Dukeries Motor Club’s last rally at Donington Park in March.  That rally marked Michael's first rally win after his move from GT racing.  The crew has made a late change from a Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a Citroen C3 Rally 2, so how will they adjust to this change?

 

Following them, in car 2, are reigning Circuit Rally Champions John Griffiths/Emma Morrison, who currently head the championship standings after the first two rounds in their Ford Fiesta R5.

 

Both crews will be challenged by Paul Murro/Callum Cross, fresh from their win just last weekend in the Pentraeth Glyn Memorial Stages at Anglesey Circuit, in their Ford Fiesta R5, car 3.

 

A further R5 car is the Hyundai i20 R5 of former British Rally Champion Ollie O’Donovan, who has Jack Morton alongside him for this event in car 4.  Jack’s another recent winner, as he's back from the Roger Albert Clark rally.  He made it to the finish too, co-driving the Open class winner, Neil Weaver, Opel Corsa Kit Car, finishing 6th overall.

 

Ian Jarvis, car 33 has maximum Class B scores from the first two rounds in his Class B Mitsubishi EVO 9, although he may find non-championship driver Mark Jasper hard to catch in car 7, the legendary MG Metro 6R4.

 

Class C sees Martin Hodgson, Ford Escort and Alasdair Stables, Vauxhall Chevette HSR, resume competition, separated by just two points in the current championship standings.  They are in cars 5 and 10 respectively.

 

Class D has an incredible 30-car entry.  Joshua/Tamsyn Davey, in car 9 are the highest seeded crew in class.  They move from using a Peugeot 107 in round 1, to their more familiar Darrian T90.  Phillip House is seeded close behind in Car 11 , a Ford Escort and should provide a strong challenge.

 

Class E is headed by the Lotus Elise of brothers Joseph/Daniel Duffy in car 19, while most of the class, with Paul Sheard’s MX5 a notable exception, is made-up of front-wheel drive hatchbacks.

 

Finally class F, for the smallest engined cars, has its strongest line-up so far, with entries in double figures.  Kay Thompson leads the way so far with two maximum class scores in her Nissan Micra, car 74.  While there are three Nissan Micra in class, the remaining eight cars are all different, so there’s fantastic variety.

 

Donington Park should be a great place to be, but if you can’t make it to the circuit, we’ll have live-streaming coverage on YouTube.  You'll find the links at the weekend on the Championship Facebook page, Special Stage on YouTube, or through Motorsport UK TV. 

Highlights from Round 2 - NHMC Cadwell Stages Rally

Round 2 preview - NHMC Cadwell Stages Rally
Sunday 19th November 2023

Trying to pick an overall winner for the second round of the MGJ Engineering Circuit Rally Championship is a tough challenge.

 

 John Griffiths took his first rally win in this event last year and claimed the championship with Emma Morrison, so they will be strong contenders.  They are in a Ford Fiesta R5, running at car 1, and currently placed second in the unofficial championship drivers' table. 

 

Michael Igoe, Ford Fiesta Rally 2, car 3, tops that table after round 1, emphasising his rapid transition from race driver to rally driver.  He secured his first rally win at Donington Park in March.

 

Although Mark Kelly hasn’t yet registered for the championship, he was first overall at Oulton Park, and will push both of these drivers hard again, in a Skoda Fabia R5, car 2.

 

Class D driver Jason Wilson dominated Class D at Oulton Park, for a fantastic seventh place overall and will be expected to go well again in his Darrian T90 GTR.  That strong performance leaves him third in the current driver standings.

 

We also look out for Patrick O’Donovan, fresh from securing a second straight Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship with a double victory at Lydden Hill.  His father, Ollie O’Donovan, 2007 British Rallycross Champion will be out too. They both run in Hyundai i20 R5s, cars 9 and 6 respectively.

 

It’s very early days in the championship and we’ll see what patterns develop as the season unfolds, but these early championship points can be very valuable in setting up successful overall and class campaigns.

 

With the end-of-event bonfire, we can look forward to fireworks during the rally and definitely at the end of the day.

Highlights from Round 1 - Neil Howard Stages

Livestream links for Round 1 Saturday 4th November

2023/24 Championship Bulletins now have their own page on the website. 
Bulletin Number 1 is available here

Round 1 preview - Salford Van Hire Neil Howard Stages
Saturday 4th November 2023

After a long break, the second running of the MGJ Engineering Circuit Rally Championship is just days away.  We can’t wait!

 

Over half the Top 30 entries for the Salford Van Hire Neil Howard Stages have already entered the championship and there’s still time to do so at https://www.circuitrally.co.uk/regulations/

 

Top seeds are returning champions John Griffiths/Emma Morrison in a Ford Fiesta R5.  John won his first rally during last season’s championship. That first victory was the start of a championship-defining hat trick for John and Emma. 

 

British GT race winner Michael Igoe adapting to rallying quickly this year and took his first rally win in March at Donington Park, so should be a tough challenger.  Will Atkins will be alongside him again this weekend in their Ford Fiesta Rally2.

 

Third seed Mark Kelly should be full of confidence after winning the recent 3 Shires Stages closed road rally.  He’s joined in a Skoda Fabia R5 by Richard Scarbrough from championship partner Witham Motorsport Oils.  Maybe Richard will persuade Mark to register for the championship?  

There are a further 10 cars in class A, the top class, for FIA Rally2, R5 and S2000 cars. 

 

Class B for the remaining four-wheel drive cars looks ripe for late championship registrations (hint, hint), with Stephen Johansen currently the leading championship entry.

 

Class C sees class champion Martin Hodgson renew his rivalry with runner-up James Garner.  They’ll battle in very different rear-wheel drive cars, in Ford Escort and Darrian GTR respectively.

 

Jason Wilson may be in class D, but is seeded at number 7, so predicted to be mixing it with the top cars in his Darrian T90 GTR.  Having competed in half the championship rounds last time, we hope he’ll be able to enter more rounds this time.  At Oulton Park, there are 30 other class challengers.

 

Reigning class champion Daniel Poole has a couple of cars seeded ahead to chase down in his Vauxhall Corsa in the up to 1600cc 2-wheel drive class, with plenty more chasing him.

 

Finally, in the smallest engine class, Kay Thompson represents the championship in a Nissan Micra. This class is the counterpoint to the four-wheel drive turbo cars and a reminder that circuit rallying is accessible to a wide range of budgets. 

 

We hope plenty of people will make it to Oulton Park for the rally and fireworks.  If you can’t get there, please follow the livestreaming, supported by Williams Auctions and KissDental.  This will be on YouTube and featured by Special Stage, with the link also available from Motorsport UK TV.

 

As ever thanks to all the event and championship volunteers for your hard work to make weekends like Oulton Park happen.  We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable rally.

 

Witham Motorsport joins the MGJ Circuit Rally Championship as specialist lubricant partner

It’s great to have Witham Motorsport joining the Championship this year as our specialist lubricant partner. 

 

Richard Scarbrough, Sales Director said “We are on hand to discuss all things oil for the drivers and teams, from high performance motorsport lubricants to reliable top quality classic oils, coolants, brake fluids, and transmission fluids. 


“Rallying creates heavy stress on the cars and engines and we know what a difference good quality products can make across the finish line. 


We wish all the drivers and teams a safe and fantastic competition over the season ahead.”
We’re also delighted to see Richard on the entry list for round 1.


The Witham Group. www.withamgroup.co.uk

Live streaming with Special Stage Rally TV announced for 2023/24 MGJ Circuit Rally Championship 

We’re delighted to announce our plans to provide live streaming from Special Stage Rally Video of every stage of every round of the Championship.


This is made possible by two new sponsors and our organising clubs.  We welcome:


Williams Auctions - plant and agricultural auctioneers in Cheshire, with full audio visual capabilities enabling worldwide online bidding.


Kissdental Private Dental Practice - increasing confidence with smile makeovers and cosmetic dentistry across Manchester, Cheshire & Liverpool.


Enter the championship at https://www.circuitrally.co.uk/regulations/

2023/24 Championship Regulations Released

With our Motorsport UK permit received, we’re delighted to publish the Regs and open registrations for our best six scores from nine round championship, across six classes.


https://www.circuitrally.co.uk/regulations/


Entries for Round 1, the Salford Van Hire Neil Howard Stages open at 20:00 on Thursday 14th September.
More exciting news follows soon...

2023/24 Championship Announcement

We’re delighted to welcome back our championship title sponsor MGJ Engineering and share our calendar for 2023/24. The championship is planned to take place over nine rounds, with the best six scores to count. 

 

We plan to run a six-class championship structure again, catering for everyone from rallying newcomers, to those running high performance four-wheel drive machines. 

 

With returning sponsors/supporters and new ones joining too, we’ll have further news over the coming weeks, including updates on our plans to provide live streaming of our rallies. You can already see our upgraded website www.circuitrally.co.uk 

 

We are working with Motorsport UK to gain approval of Championship Regulations. They have supported our work so far and we’ll publish the Regs and open registration for the championships as soon as we can.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.