Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series contender George Morrison took his MG ZR to a second class 1400C podium of the season at last weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages in Wales.
Co-driven by fellow HM Forces Mechanic Jon Quintrell, Morrison secured third in class and 60th overall after over 44 miles of tough all-gravel driving at the Builth Wells based event. Morrison’s result sees him launch into second place of the MG ZR Rally Challenge and fourth in the 1400C standings heading into the summer break.
Round five of the championship marked Morrison’s fourth outing this season after being forced to miss the opening round of the season. A retirement in Somerset was flanked by his first podium in Cumbria and he would be looking to repeat that success at the Builth Wells based event. His form on the Nicky Grist Stages was not one to inspire confidence, retiring on the final road section back to the finish last time around. This time, Morrison would be eager to make it right to the end of the event.
The event consisted of a loop of four stages repeated again in the afternoon. Classic Welsh forests tests such as Crychan, Monument and Halfway would provide a tough challenge for crews who would follow in the footsteps of the front running British Rally Championship crews who joined the event.
Morrison wasted no time getting stuck into the stages and immediately set third quickest 1400C time over the opening Monument stage. It would be a position he would never relinquish over the opening loop and entered the service halt with a comfortable foot on the podium positions.
Third would be where he stayed for the remaining stages of the event. Despite the tricky conditions thanks to hanging dust between the trees, Morrison returned to the Builth Wells finish in the same position as where he started the day, reinforcing his assault on the MG ZR Challenge and 1400C class.
“It’s a great feeling to take my second class podium this season, which is made even more special by our heartbreaking end to this event last year,” said Morrison.
“We had a trouble-free run this time around which is really encouraging although I was a little adventurous with my speed at times, we got away with quite a few moments today. The stages were super fast though and you certainly needed to commit to make it work and I think we managed that really well. We now have a few weeks off to recoup before the final two rounds”.
The penultimate round of the BTRDA Rally Series is the Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages which takes place at the beginning of September in Ludlow, Shropshire.