Posts Tagged 'comp safari'

2008 Scottish Borders Hillrally – Video

Some great video coverage of the 2008 Scottish Borders Hillrally.  MuddyMoo stars at about 1’25”, 5’20” and 9’10”.

It wasn’t cold, it was Friesian!

Ronnie Webster

Joel checks in to time control Photo: Ronnie Webster

In arctic-style conditions, Friesian Racing continued their domination of the Super Production classes and made a bid for the overall honours on the Scottish Borders Hillrally at the weekend.  A stunning fifth overall was a fantastic result for the team after a trying weekend.

With stages that really suit MuddyMoo and Henry’s driving style and with Joel back on the maps in the forest, we were always hoping for a good result on this end of year bash, especially after last year’s disappointment. We had set ourselves a ‘stretch’ target of a top five finish and we weren’t disappointed.

Day 1 dawned as a frosty and cold November morning and even by the time that we had reached the start of stage 1 at about lunch time, the tracks were still completely covered in ice in the exposed areas.  Slippery conditions were definitely the order of the day and any thought of heroics on day one were firmly out of the window.  Survival was clearly going to be the key to success on this event.

Ronnie Webster

MuddyMoo rolls into service for the final time Photo: Ronnie Webster

Despite the steady start, and an annoying misfire which plagued them for several stages, Joel and Henry found themselves in fourth place before the final stage of the day – a twilight 16 miler!  Although the team dropped back to 7th overnight with the misfire finally cured, the team were more than content with the days work.

A layer of snow greeted the early risers on Sunday morning and provided a whole set of new challenges.  Ice was tricky enough on the Saturday stages, but at least it was fairly distinguishable from the more grippy gravel sections.  With a full coating of snow, the underlying ice was much less predictable and almost impossible to spot.  Henry had hoped to push hard on the early stages of day two, but the prevailing conditions suggested that once more a more circumspect approach may be more pragmatic.  MuddyMoo’s predictable handling in the slippery, snowy and icy initial corners of the stage allowed the team to gain confidence in the conditions and settle into a good rhythm quickly and set a brace of good times in the opening stages.

Now in sixth place the Friesian crew took a further 40 seconds off their times in each of the re-run final stages, and despite a heroic last lap dash from Niall Meehan in his Tomcat to place him fourth, the Friesian crew did enough to secure the sought after fifth place, a mere two seconds ahead of Robin and Nat Rymell in their Mud Rover.

A very many thanks must go to all our supporters.  First of all the Friesian Racing herd; Joel for his excellence in road reading, that gave me the confidence to push on in the tricky conditions.  Andrew for his tireless expertise and willingness to get stuck in, no matter what the conditions are like!  Sue for her fantastic attention to detail and for always asking the questions that no-one else has picked up on!  My mother Ronnie for endlessly cleaning the sponsors names, catering and for gracefully wiping my feet everytime I got back into the saddle!  And of course, my father, Nigel for his constant help in building and maintaining MuddyMoo to such a high standard and for his detailed approach to all the event logistics and planning without which I would be lost.

Henry and Joel (L&R) collect their prize from rally director Ian Sykes

Henry and Joel (L&R) collect their prize from rally director Ian Sykes

Thanks must also go to our sponsors, Allmakes 4×4 for continuing to supply us with the best in Land Rover parts to enable us to maintain our excellent reliablity record with a Super Production car, and to allow us to push the envelope ever further to challenge the expensive specials that dominate the sport.  Milner, too, whose remote-reservoir Varidamps have enabled us to move significantly up the pecking order, with the ability to maintain the pace in the rough, as well as contributing to the car’s fantastic poise in the fast stuff!

Friesian Racing triumph at Scottish Perthshire Hillrally


Piston Broke? – The spoils of our labours

So the dust has settled, or at least the mud has started falling off, from a really successful Scottish Perthshire Hillrally for the Friesian Racing team!

After a challenging weekend Henry and Joel brought MuddyMoo home a mere 6 seconds outside the top ten in eleventh overall and with a resounding first in class against some considerable Super Production competition – equalling our best ever Scottish finish.

Leaving the cattle shed at Perth Mart at the start of the event – Photo: R Webster

Apart from the engine cutting out in the second stage which lost the team over a minute and a half, the car ran almost faultlessly!  Whilst there was always more than enough for our excellent service crew to attend to when MuddyMoo made her appearances in the service area, most of the issues were pretty minor.  This is testament to the thorough preparation that took place in advance of the event, even if it did all seem a bit last minute in the final weeks!

Pressing on in the Dron stage – Photo: R Webster

With so many major changes over the winter break; a completely new shock absorbing arrangement now using Milner Off Road’s excellent Varidamps, a complete re-wire courtesy of our resident electrical/electronic wizard, Andrew, and a set of comfy and supportive new seats from Motordrive, we could have been forgiven a few teething problems.

Instead the wiring performed faultlessly from the moment the last few connections were made – and the Terratrip rally computer now seems to work reliably! (Even if we didn’t use it much here – MuddyMoo pretty much knows her own way to the the stages, and Henry certainly does!).  Thanks Andrew an absolutely fantastic job.

I was concerned by the lack of any testing on the new suspension, but needn’t have been.  The Milner Varidamps have been awesome out of the box allowing us to carry much more speed and take a lot less risks than before.  Andrew Lees has done a great job guesstimating our set up and getting it almost spot on.  There is some tuning to do, largely where I tried to pretend I knew better than the experts at Milner Off Road, but this just means that there is more speed to be found. 

Thanks must also go to my dad for doing most of the welding and fabrication.  The suspension took a real beating at the weekend, but all that should be stuck remains firmly welded to the chassis.  Another excellent job!

Joel and Henry in the office – Photo: R Webster

Having broken Joel as well as the steering box in The Hillrally in 2006 it was a pleasant surprise that he was willing to have another go!  With Y Rali Bryn Cymru cancelled earlier in the year, Joel decided to take on the roughest one of the lot – the Scottish Perthshire.  Not only did Joel survive (you did didn’t you?) but he also quickly adapted to the new set of skills required for co-driving on open moorland stages.  Much less about reading the map and more about giving advance notice of obstacles, corners and hills!  Joel’s contribution to the event was absolutely critical to our success this weekend.

Chuffed at the presentation – Photo: R Webster

The Scottish Perthshire Hillrally is one of the toughest challenges of the year.  The stages are proper, arduous off-road terrain which taxes the cars and the crews to the utmost, but thanks to the quality Land Rover parts supplied by our main sponsors, Allmakes 4×4, we had virtually no trouble with the car throughout the event.

I must also pass on my thanks to my mother, Ronnie who tirelessly fed and watered the whole team, Lesley for her support and Daisy for keeping Andrew so well amused, Sue for putting up with not seeing Andrew for days on end whilst he was under the dashboard with the coloured spaghetti and the many other people who make up the extended Friesian Racing herd and who all contribute generously to getting us through the start line and to the end of the event.

Press release – We are the champions – again!

Team Allmakes Friesian Racing are celebrating becoming the Super Production Champions of the Matador National Hillrally Championship for the third year in succession.


The team finished their year in fine style with a class win and a fastest stage time on the final stage of the recent Britpart Scottish Borders Hillrally.


With usual co-driver Sarah Suter unavailable for the last event of the year, driver Henry Webster swapped roles with his former driver Michael Bruce.  Henry spent seven year’s in the co-driver’s seat learning from Michael in his 1954 Series 1 Land Rover, ‘Nessie’!


“I’ve learnt a lot from Mike, and owe him a great deal!  But it’s definitely payback time!” said Friesian Racing’s driver Henry Webster, “This time its me behind the wheel and him bracing himself against the imaginary brake pedal!”


Typical November conditions of rain, wind and ice meant that the stages in the Newcastleton Forest complex which adjoins the notorious ‘Killer Kielder’ were very slippery and unpredictable.  Many competitors succumbed to the conditions and came off the road during the two day event, but the Friesian Racing duo made it to the end with little damage.


That is not to say the event was without incident for Henry and Michael.  A steady start on Saturday morning had them placed 19th after the first two stages, but with a target of a top ten finish in mind and the treacherous conditions to contend with as well as the prospect of two night stages, the team were happy with progress.  


Henry’s previous night rallying experience paid off in the first of the two stages held in darkness by the end they had cracked the top ten and were climbing.  Then disaster struck on the final stage of the evening where they struck a rock in a quarry section which broke the steering drag link.  With no steering, a Herculean effort from co-driver Michael Bruce managed to manhandle the car the final kilometre to the end of the stage to gain them a finish and a chance to redeem themselves on day 2.


Although the Allmakes Friesian Racing Discovery (affectionately known as MuddyMoo) had dropped to 29th position and second in class the crew knew that a class win was still a possibility.


Some spirited driving on day two saw the team claw their way back up to 20th position and that coveted first in class by the end of the day.  Their final stage heralded their first fastest stage time – an impressive effort for a production car against the more specialist machinery that usually reside at the top of the table.


That was another challenging event,” said driver and team principal Henry Webster, “We certainly haven’t had it all our own way this year, but I am chuffed to bits to come away from the season with our third consecutive class championship win!”


“I hope the fastest stage time is a pointer the future too, we’ve proven when the conditions suit the car that we can challenge the best in Europe!”


“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the entire Friesian Racing herd, all of whom are volunteers and give up their spare time and holidays to help us out.  Allmakes support too has been vital.  Their expertise with Land Rover parts has been invaluable and the quality of their products has been proven by the reliability that we have achieved this year even in the toughest of conditions, like last weekend!”

FriesianRacing on Twitter