Cadet triple for MH Motorsport in Scotland
MH Motorsport’s Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) Cadet leader Josh Cornwell took his third win of the season last weekend at the RSAC Scottish Rally (19th/20th May). With two wins to his name already this season, Cornwell and co-driver Richard Bliss headed to Scotland in the hope of making it three wins from three for the Ford Fiesta R2 pairing in the BRC Cadet Cup. They duly delivered and not only that, but dominated the category for almost the entire event. Hampshire based MH Motorsport fielded a total of five Ford Fiesta’s to the BRC qualifier in Dumfries. As well as the R2T Junior contenders of Oscar Solberg and Callum Devine, three Cadet Cup challengers use the 1.6 litre R2 version, designed as a stepping stone into the British Championship. Cornwell and co-driver Richard Bliss have been the driving force behind the Cadet Cup so far this season, winning on the Border Counties and Pirelli International Rally. The duo headed to round three with their eye on further victories and they didn’t disappoint from the outset. Things may have looked a little different on stage one of the event however as Cornwell emerged from the opening test on Friday night with a puncture. The rough, boulder-lined stage claimed many front running BRC crews and the Fiesta pilot didn’t escape the ragged rocks. It was soon changed and despite the second pass being in darkness Cornwell clawed back any time lost to lead the category going into the overnight halt. It would be a lead he never relinquished and Cornwell returned to Moffat to spray the champagne for a third time this season. “It’s been a really difficult rally and after our stage one puncture I thought our luck had run out from the beginning” said Cornwell. “We had a few issues on the last few stages today but luckily we didn’t lose that much time. I’m really pleased to claim a third victory going into asphalt. I haven’t done much on that surface that so I`m glad we have the points in the bag on gravel”. Fellow Cadet Cup runner Alex Waterman would head to Scotland aiming for a solid points haul after missing out on bagging a score on the opening two rounds. Waterman would be joined by this event by co-driver Tom Woodburn as Harry Thomas was unavailable for the weekend. An understandably cautious approach was taken by the duo on Friday night’s stages in the darkness of the Mount Joe tests. Running a further down the field would become a disadvantage for Waterman as the fog descended on the forests, he was forced to pick his way through the rough stage with reduced visibility.
Alex Waterman and Tom Woodburn in action - Stanislav Kucera Photography Saturday’s stages were thankfully a little cleaner for the Fiesta pilot and he took a measured and mature approach to the day ahead. A broken gear lever hampered progress in the second loop but with one eye on his first finish of the year, Waterman was pleased to make it home in a solid fifth in the Cadet Cup. “I’m really pleased to get my first finish of the season under my belt this weekend” says Waterman. “I feel like I really needed that finish for both my championship campaign and my confidence. This weekend was all about getting comfortable in the car and we achieved that. I feel like I have broken my bad luck in the BRC so far and am now ready to start building on my pace.” Banishing all memories of last year’s rally ending off at the Scottish Rally, Nabila Tejpar recorded her third finish of the season and yet more points to add to her Cadet Cup assault. Co-driven by Charley Sayer-Payne, the only all-girl crew in the championship like many crews, struggled with the conditions on Friday night. Emerging unscathed from the fog bound opening leg, day two was all about making the finish for Tejpar and she duly obliged, picking up the The Scotsman Trophy for first lady driver home in the process.
Nabila Tejpar & Charley Sayer-Payne in action at the Scottish Rally - Jakob Ebrey Photography “I am so very glad to be at the finish of this event” said Tejpar. “It was always going to be a mental hurdle for me after last year so getting to the end without any real drama’s to speak of is really encouraging. It’s certainly helped build my confidence too and that’s been the goal all season long so there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend”. Showing consistency can indeed pay off; Tejpar now sits fourth in the category thanks to her solid results this season. Round four of the BRC takes crews into Europe for the Ypres Rally in Belgium at the end of June. The event takes place on the closed public roads in the Ypres region and marks a shift from gravel to asphalt for the series. -Ends
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Top Image credit of Josh & Richard spraying champagne: Jakob Ebrey Photography