Astra Stages Rally Home Page



Best Organised Rally Welsh Clubmans Championship 2000

Best North Wales Event 2001

Best Event Welsh National Championship 1999

ANWCC Rally of the Year 1998



The Vauxhall Astra Stages Rally is organised by the Vauxhall Motoring Group (Wirral) - (The Motoring Section of Vauxhall Motors Sports and Social Club), a club affiliated to the Royal Automobile Club MSA, and a member of the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs and Association of North Western Car Clubs.

It is a very well established and successful event, having been first run in 1980. For its first 7 years it was a Single Venue tarmac rally based entirely at the Vauxhall Motors Plant at Ellesmere Port on the Wirral, using the perimeter roads and car parks of the factory and traditionally run on August Bank Holiday. It was the first Single Venue Rally ever to be granted National Status in 1985 - although the club elected not to use that status, but rather keep the event for Clubmen.

In 1990 the organising club managed to obtain a much sought after allocation of Forestry Commission land for the event, and despite that first forestry Astra Stages having been devastated by the worst blizzards to be seen in North Wales in 50 years, the event has been held in the forests since then.

We were approached in 2000 by ANCRO  who invited us to become a part of the 2001 National Championship. It was obvious right away that the popularity of the Event would cause problems for us with entry numbers, and we were oversubscribed each year after that, and after receiving 253 Entries for the 180 places on the 2004 Event, and all the hassle and stress that the situation caused for us and the competitors, we decided that ANCRO was not for us, and we split from them.  

The Astra Stages has had several bases - Bala in 1991, when it was the last event to use the Coed-y-Brenin Forest complex. Ruthin, Clwyd was the base for 1992 - 1994, and we moved to our permanent base in Llangollen in 1995, with Rally Headquarters, Start and Finish at the prestigious Royal International Pavilion.

The organising Team is also well established and very experienced. Clerk of the Course, Andy Kay conceived the idea of the event and has been at the helm since its inception. Andy has organised rallies since 1975 and has competed on over 300 rallies up to and including World Championship Internationals since the late 1960s. He has competed in and finished 6 RAC Rallies as Co-Driver (When it was a proper Rally!) , and has had many overall wins and top 3 places as Co-Driver/Navigator.

The rest of the team are also, experienced organisers and/or competitors and the same core of officials has been running the Astra Stages since 1980.

The Astra Stages is no stranger to awards:-

2001 Best North Wales Event
2000 Best Organised Event - Welsh Clubmans Championship & Best North Wales Event
1999 Best Event - Welsh National Championship
1998 ANWCC Rally of the Year
1997 Best Event - Welsh National Championship & Best Organised Event - Welsh Clubmans Championship
1996 Best Organised Event - Welsh Clubmans Championship
1995 ANWCC Rally of the Year & Best North Wales Event
1994 Best Organised Event - Welsh Clubmans Championship
1993 Best Organised Event - Welsh Clubmans Championship


Details for the 2007 Event are as follows: We are running a Historic Rally, a National Modern Rally, and a Clubmans Rally.

We have a commitment to supporting new, inexperienced and up-and-coming rally drivers/co-drivers, and the Astra will give those competitors the opportunity to experience a top quality event equal in status to "National Championship" rounds, on Classic North Wales Forest Stages at a much more economical Entry Fee.

We also extend a welcome to previous competitors from the Historic, National and Clubmans Events, and invite you all to submit your Entries or intentions to compete.    

 The event is a Round of the MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the HRCR Historic Rally Challenge, the HRCR Classic Stage Rally Challenge,  the ANWCC Historic Rally Championship and the Welsh Historic Rally Championship, with the Modern Rallies being Rounds of the MSA Welsh National and Clubmans and ANWCC Championships. It is anticipated that several one-make championships may also be included

It takes place in April and it is based at the Royal International Pavilion in Llangollen, Denbighshire,  with the The Start and Finish taking place there. The planned format comprises a route with stages totalling 60/45 competitive miles in the Classic North Wales Forests of Clocaenog and Penmachno with Service in Ruthin.

The event regularly attracts an entry of 180 competing crews from all over Britain and being a round of the British Historic, Welsh and North Western Championships, the quality of the entry is excellent and thus many thousands of spectators from around the Principality and the North West and West Midlands as well as followers from all over Britain come to watch.

  Maps Supplied by Pine Lodge Maps



Tarmac Event (At Vauxhall, Ellesmere Port)

1980 Fred Henderson/Tim Rogers - Vauxhall Chevette 2600
1981 Derek Evans/Terry Evans - Vauxhall Chevette 2600
1982 Fred Henderson/Fiona Beacon - Vauxhall Chevette 2600
1983 Mike Pattison/Dave Taylor - Ford Escort RS2000
1984 Mike Pattison/Dave Taylor - Ford Escort G3 2300
1985 Kevin Kettlewell/Bill Bates - Triumph TR8 3500
1986 Kim Mather/Yvonne Mather - VW Scirocco

Forest Event:
1990 The Weather - Lots of Snow
1991 Shaun Gardiner/Dave Brick - Ford Escort Cosworth
1992 John Roberts/Phil Sandham - Ford Sierra Cosworth
1993 Matthew Clark/Steve Leighton - Ford Sierra Cosworth
1994 Tim Ellis-Jones/Huw Lewis - Ford Escort Cosworth
1995 Jon Bennet-Evans/Chris Jones - Ford Escort Cosworth
1996 Greg Mills/Chris Jones - Ford Sierra Cosworth
1997 Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank - Ford Sapphire Cosworth
1998 Geoff Smith/Ryland James - Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1999 Richard Gough/Tony Beddoes - Mitsubishi Carisma GT
2000 Pete Littler/Andy Marchbank - Ford Escort Cosworth
2001 Marcus Dodd/John Bennie - Subaru Impreza WRC
2002 Jonny Milner/Nicky Beech - Toyota Corolla WRC
2003 Andy Burton/John Roberts - Peugeot Cosworth
2004 Andy Burton/John Roberts - Peugeot Cosworth
2005 Jon Ingram/John Roberts - Ford Focus WRC
2006 Andy Burton/John Roberts - Peugeot Cosworth 
Historic Event
1994 Bob Hart/Kevin Edmonds - Volvo 122S
1995 Brian Dennis/Alan Jenkins - Morris Cooper S
1996 Dave Preece/Rowand Prentice - Porsche 911
1997 Graham Waite/Gary Titchmarsh - Volvo 122S
1998 Michael Fewings/Simon Wallis - Saab 96 V4
1999 Graham Waite/Gary Titchmarsh - Volvo Amazon
2000 Russell Brookes/Neil Wilson - Porsche 911
2001 John Keatley/Maurice Beckett - Porsche 911
2002 Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride - Porsche 911
2003 Steve Perez/Jonty Bolsover - Porsche 911S
2004 Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride - Porsche 911
2005 Steven Smith/John Nichols - Porsche 911S
2006 Patrick Watts/Elgan Davies - Sunbeam Tiger
Post Historic Event  
1999 Charles Golding/Preston Ayres - Ford Escort RS1600
2000 Nick Whale/Nick Kennedy - Porsche 911
2001 Iain Freestone/Nick Kennedy - Ford Escort RS0
2002 Charles Golding/Preston Ayres - Ford Escort RS1600
2003 Richard Gower/Mark Crisp - Ford Escort RS1600
2004 Ray Bellm/Marc Jones - Ford Escort RS1600
2005 David Stokes/Ian Oakley - Ford Escort RS1600
2006 Jim McRae/Campbell Roy - Porsche 911RS
Clubmans Event
2001 David Shuttleworth/Stephen Perie - Ford Sierra Cosworth
2002 Mick Gilman/Nigel Bayley - Ford Escort Cosworth
2003 Alistair Adams/Andrew Adams - Ford Escort RS
2004 Tim Pearcey/Mick Johnson - Ford Escort Mk2
2005 Ieuan Rowlands/Darren Garrod - Peugeot 206
2006 Nick Kenny/Darren Garrod - Subaru Impreza N11
Classic Event
2005 Andrew Haddon/Daniel Maclachlan - Ford Escort RS
2006 Gareth Lloyd/Ryland James
Stars Event
2006 Steve Loveridge/Mark Sattin

Click here for details of the:

Astra 2007

Results for previous Astra Stages can be found at the David James - Tynemouth Computer Services Page:

Links to other Rally/Motorsport pages

Comments on these pages are very welcome: send them to Andy Kay

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Last Modified: February 06, 2007 23:00:50


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