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Nigel Raeburn

The is sad to report the death of longtime member Nigel Raeburn, on Thursday 12 October 2017 and Nigel was one of the most successful rally navigators ever, while also holding-down a senior role within the IBM corporation for over thirty years.

Nigel cited his most satisfying win as the 1970 Welsh international with Will Sparrow, mainly because they were still quite inexperienced at forest rallying and never expected to do so well. Among other memorable wins Nigel included the Tour of Mull with Bob Bean as Mull was so special, the iconic Cilwendig Motoring News also with Will and also securing a Gold Medal on Le Jog with Andy Nash.

For Nigel, rallying was really a hobby and he turned down several opportunities of works drives and was more at home on UK road rallies and later, historics.

22nd October, 2017

Meeke scores timely Catalunya victory!

Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle claimed a much needed victory on Rally Catalunya after struggling all season with an ill-performing C3 WRC and some driver errors, even being dropped for Rally Poland - but bouncing back for a dominant drive in Salou. Sebastien Ogier was second, extending his World Rally Championship lead after Thierry Neuville retired.

Third overnight on Friday after the gravel stages, Meeke took the lead with an epic time on the first stage on asphalt on Saturday morning and wasn't less than 12 seconds in the lead after that, winning every stage on Sunday apart from the last. "It's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how you get back up again and I've had to get up a few times in my career." said Meeke at the finish.

Sebastien Ogier took second on a weekend where he lacked the outright pace to challenge for the win, but beat his two closest championship rivals. One of them, team-mate Ott Tanak, took third after spending the majority of the asphalt stages with a gravel-spec gearbox.

Thierry Neuville, Ogier's closest contender starting the event, retired on Sunday, hitting a rock while trying to claw back time he'd lost to a hydraulic problem on the previous day.

His team-mates Dani Sordo and Andreas Mikkelsen - who led overnight - also hit a rock, both hitting the same one on Saturday's SS12 Savalla. Home favourite Sordo returned to win the power stage, but the three drivers finishing outside the points all but hands the manufacturers' title to M-Sport.

Ogier and Tanak added three and two points respectively for third and fourth places on the powerstage behind Sordo and Meeke. Juho Hanninen was rapid on the Spanish asphalt, taking two stage wins as the sole-finishing Toyota in fourth. Team-mates Latvala (engine) and Lappi (crash) both retired.

In his first appearance in a 2017 car on asphalt, Mads Ostberg showed good pace and took a fifth place on his least favourite surface, having led on the gravel of Friday. He headed Meeke's team-mate Stephane Lefebvre who had to nurse a hydraulic issue through Sunday.

Elfyn Evans was the final 2017-spec WRC car in the top 10 after a difficult weekend for the Welshman. His DMACK tyres weren't suited to the gravel or asphalt stages and he suffered in bucket loads, eventually finishing almost five minutes off the lead.

Teemu Suninen won the WRC2 class for M-Sport in his Ford Fiesta R5. Second placed Jan Kopecky was left reeling after losing by 31.8s although he lost over a minute on the first day, caught in a drivers dust in his Skoda Fabia R5.

Result
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 3h01m21.1s
2 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team 3h01m49.1s 28.0s
3 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team 3h01m54.1s 33.0s
4 Juho Hanninen, K.Lindstrom Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 3h02m15.2s 54.1s
5 Mads Ostberg, T.Eriksen M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3h03m47.3s 2m26.2s
6 Stephane Lefebvre, G.Moreau Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 3h04m04.1s 2m43.0s
7 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3h05m58.5s 4m37.4s
8 Teemu Suninen, M.Markkula M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3h09m43.8s 8m22.7s
9 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport II Skoda 3h10m15.6s 8m54.5s
10 Ole-Christian Veiby, S.R.Skjaermoen Printsport Skoda 3h10m25.9s 9m04.8s

9th October, 2017

Rallyday 2017

The sun shone down on Castle Combe Circuit last weekend for another epic edition of the UKs premier rally show, Rallyday. Thousands of fans rocket-up at the convenient Wiltshire venue to see some of the very best that rallying has to offer with cars, drivers and personalities from almost every era of the sport catering for all tastes including. The icing on the Rallyday cake was undoubtedly the M Sport teams welcome return, fitted in between its WRC commitments with the stunning 2017 R5 Ford Fiesta WRC becoming the first new-generation world rally car to be driven in anger in front of British fans on Wiltshire tarmac too.

As current FIA World Rally Championship leaders, the Cockermouth team brought their impressive M Sport Village together with the Ford Focus RS Rally cross car, Mikko Hirvonens 2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC and Colin McRaes 1999 Ford Focus RS WRC. Team principle Malcolm Wilson OBE brought with him Ott Tšnak, Elfyn Evans and the young RallyX ace Andreas Bakkerud.

Malcolm Wilson commented, What a fantastic event. Everywhere you turn theres a blast from the past or someone with a story from way back when. Its been a great day and a great opportunity to bring some of our best drivers and cars to the fans. The support that we ve received this year has been phenomenal, and it was nice to give a little something back.

Joining the famous faces from M Sport was Toyota WRC team leader Jari-Matti Latvala, 1984 World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist, Finnish rally & race driver Harri Toivonen, the late Colin McRaes co-driver Nicky Grist and recently crowned British Rally Champion Keith Cronin.

Once again the Cooper Tyres interview stage proved the epicentre of paddock action and the place the enthusiastic fan base tended to congregate to listen to inquisitors Howard Davies and Mike Board quiz the star names in their knowledgeable, pithy but light-hearted style which has become a characteristic of these two former top flight international co drivers! Following each interview, the stars were willingly available to fans for autographs or simply a selfie with a fan or just simply a short chat.

Elsewhere, car clubs, specialised trade stands and rally teams proliferated in all corners of the expansive Castle Combe paddock and the on-track action was continuous with passenger rides and tyre-smokin donuts the order of the day during demonstration runs by star-drivers in star cars!

A significant anniversary being marked at Rallyday was the 10th anniversary of the tragic and untimely death Colin McRae in a helicopter accident in 2007 and as well as his former co-driver and friend Nicky Grist being a prominent guest, several of Colins rally cars were being demonstrated on the circuit and displayed in the paddock for fans to remember the popular Scottish legend.

Since Castle Combe Circuit took Rallyday in-house 3 years ago the event has grown inexorably in statue and steadily improves year on year. It is now the only show dedicated to the sport of rallying that takes place in the UK or even Europe and this unique selling point is undoubtedly the key to its enduring success, roll on 2018!

27th September, 2017

RallyDay Saturday 23rd September

The International Rally Drivers Club will be at Castle Combe Circuit as part of the the 2017 Rallyday paddock with the familiar IRDC club gazebo erected near the Driver's Club entrance.

Action starts at 9:00 am with star drivers and rally personalities commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1995's World Rally Champion Colin McRaes passing. Joining Colin's former co-driver Nicky Grist will be Stig Blomqvist, Harri Toivonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tanak, Elfyn Evans, Malcolm Wilson and Andreas Bakkerud.


21st September, 2017

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