2020 Cambrian Rally

THE 2300 Club of Blackburn will be out in force on this weekend’s Cambrian Rally.


A team of 13 are helping with marshalling duties on SS3 Penmachno,  which is due to run at 10.30am. This is the third year the 2300 Club have officiated on the Cambrian, the opening round of the 2020 BTRDA Rally Championship. It’s a link that goes back to the days when the club ran the Tour of Mull Rally, and Mark Wilkinson, who is a stage commander this weekend, was assistant chief marshal on Mull.

The team will also be out supporting the current John Easson Award winner, Ewan Tindall, who starts at car 53 in his Fiesta R2. Also out are previous JEA winners Osian Pryce, (car 4, Hyundai 20 R5) and George Lepley (car 10, Mitsubishi Evo 10).

And that’s not the only connection: a small piece of Tour of Mull history can be seen on Llandudno Promenade on Saturday. “We always had a start ramp on Mull, but when the Mull Car Club took over the running of the rally, we had nowhere to store it. Luckily, the North Wales Car Club, who organise the Cambrian, were in need of one, and we were very happy to gift it to them,” explained club spokesman Cliff Simmons.

Ewan Tindall begins challenge for 2020 BTRDA Rally Championship

John Easson Award winner Ewan Tindall begins his challenge for the 2020 BTRDA Rally Championship in North Wales this weekend.

The talented 18-year-old from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is seeded at car 53 in his Fiesta R2 on Saturday’s Cambrian Rally. With a new car and a new co-driver – Andrew Roughead – the all-gravel event will be the start of a new learning curve for Tindall.

“I’ve never done the Cambrian before, and never driven the Fiesta in anger on the loose, so it’ll be a steady start, he said. “The stages are likely to be wet and slippery, probably fairly rutted by the time we get to them, so our plan is to settle in, get a feel for the car, particularly as it is left-hand drive, and see how our pace matches up with everyone else in the R2 Cup class. Most of the R2 contenders are seeded between 50 and 60, so we’ll be in good company, and be able to keep a close eye on their progress. I’m very happy to have Andrew Roughead alongside me. He’s a vastly-experienced co-driver who I’m sure will help me develop as a driver.”

Ewan and his dad Lee have been working flat-out for the last two weeks preparing the new car, which included completely rebuilding the gearbox. Said Ewan: “We had hoped to be able to do a gravel test before the Cambrian, but it’s not been possible. Most of the others have already been out testing, so we are on the backfoot slightly. But championships are never won on the first round!”

The 2020 Cambrian Rally starts in Llandudno at 9am with seven stages in North Wales before the finish back on the Promenade around 4pm.  For spectator information visit www.cambrianrally.co.uk

Ewan and Lee Tindall would like to thank Nick Dixon for the gearbox rebuild, and Ian Peake, Ian Gillespie and Matt Edwards for their assistance, and the 2300 Club of Blackburn.

FIESTA R2: John Easson winner Ewan Tindall’s Weapon of Choice


To mount a serious challenge for any rally championship, you need a serious car. And for 2020, Ewan will be behind the wheel of a Fiesta R2, sourced from KG Motorsport in Northern Ireland. That represents a big step-up for the ambitious youngster from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, who had previously contested the BTRDA Fiesta ST Trophy in an old-shape model.

“We had a very successful debut year in 2018 with the ST in which we finished on the podium on every round we did, and we wanted to do the same in 2019,” explained Ewan. “But it didn’t quite go to plan, and only had one outing on the Jack Frost Stages in January. We got as far as stage seven when the two centre driveshafts broke. Our pace was good, but I think it was apparent that the car was lagging behind in development, compared with newer Fiestas. After the rally, my dad and I made the decision that we needed an R2 car to be competitive, so we reluctantly decided to sell the car and start saving!”

After a quiet year on the sidelines, Ewan and his dad Lee spent a long time waiting for the right R2 car to come up for sale.

“We had a look at a Citroen C2R2, but the car to have is a Fiesta, and luckily for us, a good one came up at KG Motorsport. It has a proven track record, having been built by M-Sport and used by Tom Williams on selected WRC and European Championship events, and it came with the right spares package, which is important. The biggest challenge for me, aside from the extra power, is that the car is left-hand-drive, which will take a bit of getting used to, especially as our pace increases, and the sequential gearbox. We took the car out for the first time – I’d only driven it up the road and back – on the Christmas Stages at Croft and it was very impressive. Although we retired with a broken gearstick, the seven stages we did was enough to convince us we had the right car for 2020.”

Ewan Tindall: What The John Easson Award Means To Me

Since its inception in 2004, the John Easson Award has helped numerous rally drivers further their involvement in the sport. With £5000 in cash to the selected applicant, and a bonus £1000 if they win their overall championship class award, the JEA is recognised as the UK’s top free-to-enter scholarship.

But for 2019 winner Ewan Tindall, that support goes even further. “For me, winning the John Easson is the difference between going rallying or not going rallying,” said Ewan. “Our costs have now been halved, and we can afford to contest the full BTRDA Championhip, instead of sitting on the sidelines. Entry fees alone are £650 per event, then there’s all the additional costs of running the car, of which tyres are the biggest outlay. I’m incredibly grateful to the 2300 Club for giving me this opportunity, and I intend to repay their faith in me. I made the final last year, and missed out to George Lepley, so when I went in front of the judges this time, I knew what to expect and felt more confident. We all share the same passion, so I just talked about my ambition and plans for the future.”

The 17-year-old from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne impressed with his maturity during the selection interview in front of a panel of judges from the 2300 Club. He joins a long list of winners who have gone on to greater success, thanks to the award. They include newly crowned European Rally Champion Chris Ingram, who won in 2013 and Lepley, who went on to win the BTRDA Silver Star title.

Ewan, who contested the 2018 Fiesta ST Trophy, has swapped his ST for a more competitive Fiesta R2 for the 2020 season, acquired from KG Motorsport.

Ewan Tindall would like thank the 2300 Club, his dad Lee Tindall, mechanic Simon Hewitt and John Swinscoe of Rallytech, Withnell.

Ewan Tindall Announced as 2019 John Easson Award Winner

2300 Club are pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 John Easson Award.

Tyne & Wear Driver Ewan Tindall (centre) was chosen as the winner of this year’s prestigious award which is worth a total prize fund of £6,000.

The 18 year old was the choice of the judges after very careful deliberation, which saw the three finalists travel to Preston to take part in interviews with the panel of judges.

Ewan emerged as winner after a very close run contest with fellow finalists 18 year old Scottish driver Finley Retson (left) and 19 year old Lancashire driver Jack Hartley (right). This year the judges, Former Tour of Mull Clerk of the Course Clive Molyneux, former international co driver Ian Grindrod, Bury rally driver John Cope and guest judge former John Easson Award winner and newly crowned 2019 European Rally Champion Chris Ingram faced a very difficult task in choosing the winner.

As always It is unfortunate that there can only be one winner, however we feel Ewan will be a worthy recipient of the John Easson Award, and of course we wish runners up Finley and Jack the very best of luck with their continued rallying.

2300 Club would like to thank all candidates who applied for this year’s award.

Allan Durham
2300 Club John Easson Award Scheme Manager

Chris Ingram Wins 2019 European Rally Championship

The 2300 Club’s John Easson Award winner from 2013 has just won the ERC title in a very tense final round in Hungary. Again partnered with Ross Whittock in their Toksport Fabia R5 they endured a very slippery event and very poor conditions. The pair had a puncture and lost valuable time in leg 2 along with other championship rivals. When asked about the conditions Chris said “it’s just like Manchester”. They managed to keep on pace to finish 4th overall, only 2 positions behind their nearest rival Lukyanuk. This ensured the Championship win. A very well deserved result for the whole team and financial supporters. Unlike some of the other teams they didn’t have the financial backing, even resorting to crowd funding for the last 2 rounds. So a very inspirational season with his 2019 goal completed. One more step on the ladder to Chris’s master plan to become WRC champion by 2023.

All junior drivers and Co-drivers should be inspired by this pair. Even when times were hard and the money had run dry, they didn’t give up. With hard work and determination, anything is possible. An inspiration to us all.

You can read more about Chris’s Master Plan HERE

Andy Mort Tour 2019 – What You Said (Continued)

STUART ANDERSON AND CHRIS THIRLING (Car 37):

“We must concur; it was an excellently organised event and look forward to next years. A great thank you to the Organising Team and Marshals.”

PETER CROFT AND AMANDA BRADLEY (Car 33):

“I would like to add our thanks to all the organisers and helpers for the AMT, we thoroughly enjoyed the event. It is the second time we have done the AMT and the first using the Tulip method, we we found to be extremely good and easy to follow. We stayed in time and managed all the controls which is always a bonus. The only regret was not getting Paddy Hopkirk to sign the road book as we had dropped the MG at home after the test at Hansons and left all the paperwork in it, we picked up the road car to make it easier to travel home after. The evening with Paddy was excellent, to see the two Minis at the finish.”

Andy Mort Tour 2019 – What You Said

PHIL AND AIDEEN DEAN (Car 44):

“What a brilliant event the AMT was, we both had a brilliant day out and was a credit to the 2300 Club and the organisers. It certainly is a great memorial to Andy Mort.
Yes, we got lost or missed junctions a few times but it was a fantastic day out. A big thank you to the marshals, especially the ones manning the later controls stuck up on the top of hills in an increasingly cold day, waiting for us stragglers to turn up.
The day couldn’t have finished any better that to have Paddy Hopkirk as your guest speaker, what a great laugh and what an ambassador for the sport.
Next year I hope to have the Hillman Avenger rally car finished and we can turn up in a proper car for the event!”

ROD AND DIANE BRERETON (Car 23):

Our great, great thanks for an absolutely brilliant event, proven by its popularity and full entry.
Without doubt the best we have ever done. Everything was just perfect. I assess events on the road books, and if I end up going to OS maps then it’s a bad event. Your road book was spot on. I’m sorry I didn’t stop for the forum, sadly Diane was full of a cold and was ready for home.”

OWEN AND PAM FRANKLAND (Car 17):

“Once again, we decided to make a weekend of our trip to Lancashire to take part in this excellent run with our MG3.
We were away on time at 10.17 and had a great drive over some lovely roads and hit our times at the checkpoint. We made the lunch halt without trouble and set off for the afternoon run.
Things didn’t go so well as a a couple of wrong turns had us pushing hard to keep on time. One wrong turn took us miles out of our way and we had to backtrack, although we couldn’t remember exactly which way we had come.
We turned into one country lane and found the checkpoint we wanted, although we had no idea how we got there!
We finally made it to the end and took part in the blindfold challenge, which did end up involving a bit of shouting…
At the finish we got our route book signed by Paddy – and we won a couple of bottles of champagne for getting a clean sheet. As neither of us drink, we’ve donated it to the Durham Auto Club to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
We had a great day and a huge thanks go to all who worked so hard planning the event and those stalwarts manning the checkpoints. By the time we got home we had done 357 enjoyable miles.”

IAN HARRISON AND ELLIE MURRAY (Car 19):

“We had a great day out despite finding ourselves, along with others, in Hellifield when we should have been in Sabden! Hence we arrived late at every control in the first half of the event. It turns out that the start marshal told some competitors about the first page of the road. But it didn’t spoil our day.”

GEOFF MAINE AND PHIL HOWARTH (Car 3):

“We’ve done every one of these events, and Paddy Hopkirk made this year’s special – and the cheese and onion pie was excellent!”

RICHARD PYE AND AMY MOORHOUSE (Marshals):

“Neither of us have marshalled before so we were very grateful to Maurice Ellison for showing us the ropes in the morning before we went out on our own in the afternoon.
Every car thanked us for volunteering and all were handing out sweets by way of a ‘thank you’ which was much appreciated!”

JOHN HARTLEY AND NIGEL BENTLEY (Car 40):

“Just a line to congratulate your team on an excellent event. The route was interesting and scenic, altogether a super route. (Sorry I am repeating myself)
Also thanks for dealing with us so swiftly when we arrived at the start.”
John subsequently followed up with the following, looking at it from an organisers perspective having organised so may successful events himself.
“I thought we may not make this year’s event as within striking distance of the start a rather over enthusiastic cyclist (who turned out to be a really nice chap) ran into the car whilst we were stopped. Car not severely damaged, more than can be said for the cyclist who had a nasty gash on his face, but he was saved from worse by his helmet. We had to wait for ambulance and police to attend the scene, eventually getting to the start with minutes to go to our start time. The 2300 Club spotted our arrival and brought the documentation to us and signed us on just in time to slot into our correct starting position.
When Nigel and I drove onto the car park, despite our last minute arrival, we were able to take in and appreciate the effort that has been put in and recognise we were on a “proper” event. There was a parking space allocated by our car number, although we were not in it for very long, but long enough to appreciate the treasures to be seen ….. EMO and EJB.
The rally pack of route book and rally plate etc was superb – printed in eye catching colour, printed and presented to the highest quality. It is the detail – I have no place to affix a rally plate to my car by way of cable ties and was so much relieved to find included in the pack suckers to fit the plate to the car windscreen. I did not cherish the thought of self-tappers through my bonnet.
When it was the minute to set off we drew into a smart gazebo to be flagged off by none other than Paddy Hopkirk. Does it get any better than that?
The route itself, crafted by those wily old navigators Walter Bateson and David Barritt was a constant joy, interesting roads in beautiful scenery. We are so fortunate to have such a magnificent motoring area right on our doorstep. I am not going to detail the route but in a route of 140 miles we ranged across NE Lancashire and W Yorkshire as far as Blubberhouses, then enjoyed the scenery of Nidderdale and Wharfedale back to bonny Lancashire again.
After the finish of the Tour we were invited to a fun driving test – along a taped off lane in a car park – which was not straight, to stop and then for the navigator to throw fan belts over a shock absorber. All this against the clock – and oh – I almost forgot to say the driver was blindfolded and relied on instructions from the navigator. Although the test took less than half a minute – how long did it take to set up with all the banners and at least four marshals on hand.
Back at the finish a robust supper of Lancashire Hot Pot (what else) and mushies was provided followed by a sweet.
But that was not all! After the meal we were regaled by Paddy Hopkirk with stories and short films of his past exploits.
Where will you get such a day for an entry fee of £50?”

SIMON ROTHSCHILD AND ALAN SHAW (Car 43):

“Just a quick note to say thanks to your organising team, marshals etc. for a great event. We, Simon and myself, ask you to pass on our thanks to everyone involved.”

IAN DAWS AND JOHNATHAN ATTHAY (Car 24):

“Many thanks for a fabulous fun and sociable event to you, all your colleagues and marshals. We really enjoyed it and hope to be back next year.”

IAN ROWSON AND PAUL COOPER (Car 4):

“Thanks again Stuart, was a fantastic day, with lots of very nice cars around, a brilliant route again, not sure what happened to all them photography peeps don’t seem to want to post any pics yet.. thanks again Ian.
Oh and see you next year hopefully another tour will be in the making .”

IAN HARDY AND CAROL HARDY (Car 39):

“Thoroughly enjoyed my first Andy Mort Tour. Lots of interesting cars and people to catch up with; many of whom were on Mull and I’d missed!
Really well organised and looked after by the army of volunteers; please pass on my thanks.
Keep me on the mailing list please for next year!
All the best”

KEITH OGLESBY AND GRAHAM HANSON (Car 11):

“Great event! Well done and thank you and all the organisers and marshals!
Btw are there any official photos eg at the start with Paddy setting us off?”

JOHN COOPER AND JANET RITSON (Car 32):

“Apologies for the delay in contacting you, but just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in last Saturday’s fantastic day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the drive, the supper and Paddy’s very entertaining presentation.
The effort that everyone puts in to prepare for and marshal on the day is tremendous and very much appreciated.
Please pass this message on to everyone at the 2300 Club.”