AE86 entered for 2014 Tour of Hamsterley

After a delayed start due to workload and the fitting of a brand new engine into the Toyota Corolla AE86, we are back in action again starting with the 2014 Tour of Hamsterley on the 26th April. Will is defending the class after winning with Navigator Paul Slingsby in 2013, but this year is back with Jonathan Driver after a years absence. Their last outing together being the class win in their first attempt at the RAC Rally in 2012.

The car is remarkably the only Toyota to date out of 99 other entries, and hopefully the fan club will continue to grow as Will and Jonathan are hoping to compete in further RAC Championship events this year. Watch this space for further news.

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Will Midgley and Paul Slingsby on their way to the Class win in 2013.

Will Midgley and Paul Slingsby on their way to the Class win in 2013.

 

 

 

 

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TOYOTA GT86 RALLY CAR CONFIRMED

Article courtesey of http://www.pistonheads.com/ 

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!

 

 

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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 http://www.grizedalestages.co.uk

 

 

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Will and Paul ready for Carlisle Stages this weekend..

Will and Paul set out in this weekend’s DMACK Carlisle Stages Rally looking to improve their position of second place in Series 5 in the 2013 RAC Championship. The MMS Toyota Corolla is ready to get amongst the more familiar marques and the team are almost packed and ready to go.

An excellent 60-car entry for the inaugural running of the event includes 50 historic cars and the addition of former British Rally Champion Laukkanen and Glenn Patterson in a DMACK-backed Ford Escort Mk2 add further spice to the entry. The Finnish ace will be chased away by championship leaders McCormack and Phil Clarke, while round one winners Nick Elliott and Dave Price will run as car three in their Ford Escort Mk2.

The Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club has developed the R.A.C. Championship, which focuses on historic rally cars complying with MSA historic regulations. But, significantly, it is also opening up the chance for the next generation of cars to join the historic fraternity.

The 2013 championship is running over six one-day gravel rallies in England, Scotland and Wales. The championship caters for cars from MSA historic Categories One, Two and Three as well as cars prepared to FIA Appendix K. Additional classes accommodate cars built up to the end of 1986 as well as other pre ’87 cars that do not fully comply with historic regulations.

With Laukkanen, McCormack and Elliott at the head of the action, the pace in the Rob Smith Rallying Series 3 is going to be fierce and the relative pace of these three crews will surely be a talking point of the rally. However, this is far from a three-way contest as a gaggle of very quick Ford Escorts will pack out the top 10, topped by Jason Pritchard/Dale Furniss, Matthew Robinson/Nigel Hutchinson, Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks and Matt Edwards/Sam Collis.

In class D4, variety to the Escort pack will come from two very rapid cars: the Vauxhall Chevette of Steve Magson/Geoff Atkinson and the Sunbeam Lotus of Guy Anderson/Kim Baker. An excellent entry in class D3 is headed by the Opel Kadett of Peter Smith/Patrick Walsh and the Escorts of Ben Mellors/Alex Lee and Paul Fry/Mike Steele.

Making a welcome championship debut in the Martin Jones Transmissions Series 4 for cars prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations is the stunning Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez/Carl Williamson, which should be refettled after an off on Saturday’s Severn Valley Stages.

In the Capital Construction Series 2 (1968-74), Tim Mason and Graham Wild head the field in their Porsche 911 with the Ford Escort Mk1 of Mark and Tim Tugwell next up from the similar car of Nick Jarvis/Craig Thorley. Dick Slaughter/Tim Sayer head class C3 in their Escort Mk1 and face opposition from the similar cars of Peter Egerton/Gareth Lloyd and David Kirby/Chris Rixon. Meanwhile, in a new trial initiative from the championship, the 1600cc cars from Series 2 and 3 will run first on the road and that has put the Ford Escort Mk1 of Robin Shuttleworth/Ronnie Roughead into the role of first car on the road.

In the Walker Diecastings Series 1 for the pre ’68 cars, Ian Beveridge and Paul Price (Volvo PV544) should set the pace from the Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Howard Allison.

The Holton Homes Series 5 is for the later generation of cars and it is the BMW 325 of Simon Wallis/Graham Wride at the head of the group from the Toyota Corolla of Will Midgley/Paul Slingsby. Meanwhile, in Series 7 (for the open class cars), Dylan Davies and Llion Williams will set a fierce pace in their Escort Mk1.

Although not part of the R.A.C. Championship, the organisers are pleased to welcome a group of competitors in modern cars to the event. The field will add another dimension to the rally and the quality line-up is headed by Jock Armstrong/Kirsty Riddick (Subaru Impreza) and John MacCrone/Phil Pugh (Citroen DS3).

The DMACK Carlisle Stages is organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club. (exert courtesy of the RAC Rally Motor Club)

 

 

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Will and Paul win class on 2013 Tour of Hamsterley

On a day of mixed fortunes for the Toyota Corolla crews, Will Midgley and Paul Slingsby finished a very creditable 45th overall and 1st in Class. This will certainly boost their overall RAC Championship position after finishing 3rd in Class and 34th overall on the Riponian  a few weeks ago, an event where they were leading before problems with the car dropped time and places.

Will and Paul

Back to the Tour of Hamsterley, where John Midgley and Geoff Maybank had to retire unfortunately on SS2 with a blown engine. James Slater and Malcolm Smithson were doing very well even without intercom for first three stages, however on SS5 the throttle cable bolt came loose and cost them over 6 minutes. They did however recover and finished in 60th position, 6th in class.

Thanks to all the organisers and especially the Marshals for a great event.

Great pictures courtesy of Stephen Tait  http://taitimages.com

 

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