A STAR-STUDDED entry, made up of competitors from six major UK championships and several of the top Probite British Rally Championship drivers who are using the classic mid-Wales stages as a gravel test, will gather in Builth Wells this weekend for the Nicky Grist Stages.   The quality of the Quinton Motor Club-organised event’s entry has been enhanced by the Castrol MEM Rally Team, with the 2019 FIA European rally champion Chris Ingram (co-driven by Alex Kihurani) making his competition debut in a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 alongside stablemates Lampeter’s Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson, who are seeded fourth.

Four-time British rally champion Keith Cronin (co-driven by Shane Buckley) also contests the event in his Ford Fiesta Rally2, as do Kyle White/Anthony Nestor (Hyundai i20 R5) and Alan Carmichael/Dale Bowen (Hyundai i20 N Rally2).   Seeded at number one are last year’s Nicky Grist Stages winners Elliot Payne/Tom Woodburn. They arrive leading the Fuchs Lubricants BTRDA Gold Star Rally Championship and will be aiming to extend their points advantage in their Amigos Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Thanks to the magnificent support of Powys County Council, Builth Wells Town Council, Builth Wells Rugby Football Club and the businesses and residents of Builth Wells, the 2024 Nicky Grist Stages will once again be based in the very heart of the picturesque market town.    The start of the event will be held in Strand Street, outside the wonderful Strand Hall which will play host to rally headquarters. The first car will leave the start at 9am on Saturday and be flagged away by Cllr Gwyn Davies, Builth Wells Mayor.   The smaller capacity 1400cc and H1/2 Historic class cars will run first on the road and in reverse order (as normal), followed by the BRC crews and then a three-minute gap before the top-seeded BTRDA and Welsh Rally Championship crews (running in seeded order).   A 50-minute mid-day service halt will be located in Groe Park, home to Builth Wells RFC (with the first car arriving at 11:45am), and the finish ceremonies will be on the banks of the River Wye (with Builth Wells’ 18th Century bridge and surrounding rolling hills providing one of the most scenic podium finish backdrops in British rallying) from 3.20pm onwards.   The rally action will take place on mostly gravel roads in and around the famous Epynt military range and feature two loops of four classic mid-Wales forest stages totalling 44.48 stage miles.

Llyn Login will host the opening morning and afternoon stages, followed by Monument (run in the reverse direction to last year), Halfway (also run in the reverse direction and with a new section towards the end) and a new configuration through Bowlsey (formerly called Crychan and renamed in honour of the late Pete Bowles, a long time Quinton MC committee member, previous Nicky Grist Stages event winner and Clerk of the Course).

Action from the Nicky Grist Stages will be streamed live and free-to-view on the Protype BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli Welsh Rally Champioship social media platforms and the Special Stage TV Facebook and YouTube pages during the event.

The 2024 Nicky Grist Stages is also part of Motorsport UK’s National Motorsport Week and more information can be found at motorsportweek.org.

“The quality of the entry is going to make this year’s Nicky Grist Stages one of the very best, with a host of top drivers using the event to test – including Chris Ingram making his Toyota Yaris debut – and all the leading competitors from six major championships,” said Nicky Grist.

“Add that to some of the best stages mid-Wales has to offer and Builth Wells geared up to welcome us into town, and it’s all set to be a fantastic day’s rallying.”