MMS Toyota Teams in Pirelli Carlisle Rally

After two successful and thoroughly enjoyable RAC Championship rallies in Wales, MMS have entered their AE86 into the Pirelli Carlisle Rally. Driver Will Midgley is now parterned by Graham Wride and are hoping to cement the Championship standing with another solid performance up in the fantastic Kielder Forest stages.

The car has had to have a recent engine change, but has new suspension and is hopefully going to be very competitive. Will has driven these stages before during the 2011 Roger Albert Clark, and is looking forward to returning.

Refreshingly there are not 1, 2 but 3 Toyota’s competing in the event. John Midgley makes a welcome return in the Corolla TE71, with Navigator John Pullan in the hot seat. Also competing is Ben Mellors in the very nice and very competitive Toyota Celica RA45.

The first of the 111 Cars are off Saturday morning with a Ceremonial Start in Carlisle City Centre at 9:00, with the first car due to finish at Kielder at 15:30 (approx).

Good luck to all teams and enjoy the event..

John and Malcolm Action Shot

Great weekend at the Mid Wales Stages 2015

Mid Wales Stages next for the MMS AE86

On the back of the successful run in the Red Kite Stages coupled with the opportunity to race on some of the most famous rally stages in the world, MMS have entered their Toyota Corolla AE86 with Driver William Midgley reunited with Navigator Jonathan Driver.

The car is ready and entry accepted so Pace Notes due tomorrow and let the studying begin. Both Driver and Navigator are excited about racing together again and taking on the challenge of stages such as Pikes Peak, Hafren and Sweet Lamb.

Here’s a great shot of the car from brilliant Photographer Stephen Tait. Visit his site and see what we mean!

Will and Paul

Red Kite Rally success for the Corolla AE86 on debut

Midgley Motor Sport ventured into new territory (in recent times at least) to compete in Wales in the Red Kite Rally, being the 1st round of the 2015 RAC Championship.

Driver Will Midgley and Navigator Geoff Maybank suffered several scares and near misses in the treacherous snow and icy conditions,  however endured and from a starting position of 73, made up 30 places to finish 43rd overall and won class BE1.

This was a fantastic achievement on first attempt at this rally and again considering conditions. Below is a fantastic picture by Thibault Lefebvre showing the ‘drifting’ on icy corners – look at where both driver and navigator are looking!

Toyota Corolla AE86 Red Kite Stages 2015

Tour of Hamsterley 2014 – Rally Report

Midgley Motor Sport entered the 2014 Tour of Hamsterley last weekend, and finished a very creditable 2nd in class and 10th overall. The rally saw Will Midgley and Jonathan Driver reunited in the Toyota Corolla AE86 after their last event being the RAC Rally in November 2012. Will won the class in 2013 with Paul Slingsby in the Navigators seat.
The rally itself had 99 entries however the MMS car was the only Toyota and is building a fan club being unique, and a replica of the class and championship winning car that John Midgley drove successfully in the 1980’s. Stages 1 to 3 were quick, however, the car was too high geared which lost time on the starts and on tight corners, however, the team persevered and managed to complete the 50 miles of what became extremely rough forest tracks after 99 cars, including high powered WRC 4×4 cars had been round twice.
There was also drama at the last stage at Raby Castle when the car wouldn’t start and had to be bump started to get to the start line, then driven carefully back to the final Time Control at the Rally Headquarters at the National Railway Museum in Shildon. All part and parcel of rallying and both driver and navigator were relieved to make the finish line!
Big thanks to Brendan for helping prepare the car and provide invaluable service during the event (and snoring all night!)
Some shots from the weekend..


Article courtesey of 

All hail the return of the rear-wheel drive rally car!

Audi’s Quattro-based Vorsprung Durch Technik is credited as changing the face of rallying forever but many of us hark back to a day when rally cars were rear-driven and every corner was tackled by Real Men on opposite lock with a rooster tail of gravel in their wake.

TMG in Germany will build the customer cars
TMG in Germany will build the customer cars

Well, those days could be back. Courtesy of automotive white goods manufacturer Toyota, no less.

 Making good on a promise made to us by GT86 project figurehead Tetsuya Tada when we met him last year, Toyota’s German-based motorsport division has confirmed it will be building a turn-key rally version of the rear-driven coupe to compete in R3 level competition up to and including the WRC. Yes, rear-wheel drive is back in world-level rallying. Hurrah!

This may come as a surprise if you don’t know Tada’s background but less so when you understand a good portion of his formative years as an engineer were spent at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Germany working on the firm’s 90s rally programme. As we discovered when we drove with him in Scotland, rallying is where his heart really lies and though the GT86’s motorsport adventures have kicked off on track he always wanted to see his car put Toyota back on the forest stages it once dominated.

Mods are similar to CS-V3 track car
Mods are similar to CS-V3 track car

Can a rear-driven car really be competitive against the front-driven privateer Peugeots, Skodas, Fords and Renaults that traditionally dominate this level of rallying? We’ll find out in 2015 when the first GT86 CS-R3s run in anger.

Podium contenders or not, they’ll be sure to win over the popular vote and the return of sideways rally cars is something we can all, er, rally behind. Though given Subaru’s rally heritage and ‘share’ in the car’s development it might seem surprising Toyota has also claimed this aspect of the GT86/BRZ’s motorsport ambitions.

Moving swiftly on, the car itself is a development of the TMG GT86 CS-V3 as raced against by our man Dale in the Nurburgring VLNseries recently. You can see the full spec here on TMG’s website. The basics are all the usual FIA-certified safety equipment (cage, seats, extinguishers, etc) and upgrades to the chassis including two-way tweakable Ohlins dampers, camber adjustment, additional brake cooling and a revised exhaust with racing cats. Engine and transmission on the 38,500 euros (plus VAT) V3 track car remain broadly standard with no claimed increase over the stock 200hp, the rally car taking this further with a sequential six-speed gearbox and further unspecified mods to engine, suspension and brakes. 

Rally car will get a proper sequential 'box
Rally car will get a proper sequential ‘box

“Rallying is in our blood at TMG so it is very exciting to announce that we will be expanding our rally operations,” says Nico Ehlert, TMG’s chief engineer for Customer Motorsport. “The GT86 CS-R3 promises to be a thrilling car on the rally stages; with rear-wheel drive we can expect some dramatic action which is sure to be entertaining for drivers and fans alike. We expect demand to be high so we are looking forward to seeing a lot of GT86 CS-R3 rally cars in action from the beginning of the 2015 season.”

 Likewise Nico, likewise!



Threshfield Toyota Corolla Teams head for Grizedale Stages

Midgley Motor Sport and Chris and James Slater have both entered their  Toyota Corolla AE86’s into this weekend’s Grizedale Stages.  Based in Coniston in the beautiful Lake District, the rally takes includes 40 stage miles with a mammoth last stage of 17 miles, and all easily accessible from a spectators perspective.  The first car is away at 10:30 on Saturday the 30th of November.

The MMS car is driven of course by Will Midgley with the very experienced Co-driver Geoff Maybank, on what will be their first attempt at this rally.

Toyota Corolla AE86

Chris and James (below) won their class in the Corolla a couple of years ago, the format then being a number of sections in the dark on Saturday night, followed by all day Sunday. They return now to a single day event, but none less challenging in the excellent Grizedale stages coupled with the wintry weather conditions.

Chris and James Slater AE86

There is also a good mixed field of old and new in Class 2 (1600 cc) with newer Fiesta R2’s racing against the Corolla’s, Lotus Sunbeams and good friends Malcolm Davey and Paul Slingsby in a Ford Escort Mark 1.  Mix in a few WRC cars and a Group B MG Metro 6R4 and you’ve got a great field.

For more details on the event click here



Toyota Corolla assault on RAC Championship

MMS drivers Will and John Midgley and local friend James Slater are all taking their Toyota Corollas to this weekend’s Tour of Hamsterley Rally, on Sunday the 28th based in Shildon, County Durham.

They are partnered respectively by Paul Slingsby, Geoff Maybank and Malcolm Smithson in the ‘brave seats’ and promises to be a real competition not only against the mulitude of Mark II Escorts, but also against each other in what will be a fiercely contested scrap amongst the forests. Will and John Midgley are competing in this year’s RAC Championship, which is bringing huge interest and support back into Rallying, and James is preparing the car for his entry in this year’s Jim Clark Rally at the end of May.

Competing in this year’s event and as part of the RAC Championship are rivals Steve Bannister and Marty McCormack, both of whom closely contested last year’s RAC Rally, with Bannister spinning on the last stage and allowing McCormack to win. You can be sure Steve will be out to make amends for that, and all in all the rally promises to be a real treat for fans of both classic and up to date rallying.

Teams are Will Midgley and Paul Slingsby, Toyota Corolla AE86, James Slater and Malcolm Smithson, Toyota Corolla AE86 and John Midgley with Geoff Maybank in the Toyota Corolla TE71.



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