Statement from Rally Challenge Organisers

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The Organising Team of the IPS Paint Rally Challenge have reluctantly decided that the 2020 Championship has been cancelled. The current uncertainty regarding the continuation of rallying in the UK this year has made it highly unlikely that we will be able to provide an equal number of Sealed Surface and Gravel Rounds and the situation means that we have not been able to provide the amount of publicity our loyal sponsors deserve. Only one named Round has taken place.

 It has been concluded that:

As you are probably aware, the Rally Challenge was set up eight years ago to promote and support Wales Air Ambulance and, like many other charities, it will suffer from lack of funds by the end of the year. It has been decided that we still make a generous donation to the Charity.

 Contenders already registered will have free registration for 2021. As the registration fee is just £10 of which 30% goes to WAA we hope that you agree that this is an acceptable option.

 Our decision will allow us to repay the loyalty and generosity of sponsors, Independent Paint Supplies, by asking them for no further contributions for their continued association in 2021.

 Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser are to be credited as Challenge Leaders upon the cancellation of the Championship after adding points for their nominated optional overseas round to their Cambrian Rally Class Victory.

 Our website – will still continue to be updated.

 I look forward to meeting you all in 2021 and hope you can give us your continued support to help us add to the £14,000 in donations already given. You may contact me via 

 Terry Frayne

IPS Paint Rally Challenge Co-ordinator.

On behalf of the Committee of Maesteg DMC.

Postponed Challenge Rounds

Currently, (Thursday June 11th), the following Rallies which were to be Challenge Rounds are postponed, not cancelled.

 The Red Dragon IT Stages (Date to be determined).

The Rallynuts Tour of Epynt. (Date to be determined).

Rally Yorkshire scheduled for Septmber 26th

Patriot Stages scheduled for September 27th

The Nicky Grist Stages which it is hoped will run in November. Details at 

Please check the relevant websites for updates.

Journey to the Sun Nets Scottish Crew the Current Lead

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Back in February no one could envisage a situation in which by May only one Challenge round has taken place. With five drivers and four co-drivers sharing the Championship lead after Round One, the Cambrian Rally, the current lead has been determined by contenders who nominated an optional overseas round.  Steve Ormond chose the Ormco Stages which he also sponsors in the Isle of Man though bad luck struck again with a non-finish. The event saw the debut for regular Rally Challenge man Ian Taylor, taking to the driving seat of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. Little did he think that an event entered just to try out the car would see him finishing the day in 11th place and taking the Class Victory. Unfortunately he did not register before the event.

Tom Coughtrie and Co-driver Ian Fraser’s trip to the Rally Classico Mallorca turned out to be a real adventure on a weekend when the current crisis began to take a grip in Spain. After the rally was shortened Tom faced a 23 hour drive towing his David Sutton prepared Escort back to Ayr in Scotland. Tom, who has owned the car from new in 1979 takes up the story of the event-

Having visited the Island since the late 70’s and in recent years having watched the Rally Classico, the appeal was unbelievable. The superb quality roads, which professional cyclists use for winter training, and the great atmosphere in Puerto Portals with competitors from around Europe makes an incredible atmosphere. On the first two stages on the Thursday night we had a misfire. Luckily the stage was lit so we managed with no spotlights. On the Friday we had a distributor fault and Saturday was cancelled due to the situation becoming serious in Spain. We were disappointed not to be able to fight for a class victory but persevered to secure 4th and 22nd overall.

Driver profile

Name : Tom Coughtrie

Age 65

Lives in  Ayr

Occupation: Company Director, Designer by profession

Hobbies other than rallying: Travel, family and keeping a tidy garden!

Sponsors: None at present but in the past Zanussi Appliances and Paramins (part of Exxon)

Rallying since: As a navigator 1971, as a driver 1980

Rally cars you have owned: Mini, Escort, GpN Mitsubishi Galant, Gp.N Subaru Legacy, Gp.A Mitsubishi Galant

Favourite events:

  • Abroad – Midnight sun Rally Sweden
  • Scotland – Scottish International.
  • Wales – Wales Rally GB and Neath Valley events.

Most memorable experience and biggest success: Winning GpN on the Pirelli International in an ex Vatanan Legacy when he won the event in an Escort Cosworth, 11th o/a on the 1991 Scottish in a GpN Galant and ‘Star of the Rally’ award.

When rallying resumes Tom intends to compete on as many IPS Paint Rally Challenge, BTRDA and Scottish Championship rounds on gravel as possible in his Mitsubishi Galant. He also plans further trips abroad with the Escort.

Carlisle Stages 2018. Tom rolled the Galant on the final stage but continued to finish the event.

An interview With Steve Stokes of Wales Air Ambulance

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Q: Hi Steve. Thanks for taking the time out for a chat. How has this current crisis affected your ability to attend incidents?

A: WAA is part of the Welsh strategic response to the pandemic and attends incidents as normal, whether Covid 19 related or not. It must be remembered that our aim is not just to transport casualties but to get hospital standard equipment, highly skilled consultants and critical care staff to an incident as quickly as possible. It is in effect like taking the hospital to the patient. As Wales has such a rural landscape our input is a huge advantage compared to travelling to an incident by road.

Q: Has the current situation meant that you have been asked to form extra roles such as transporting PPE equipment?

A:  Our role will always be directly focused on the treatment of patients. In the coming weeks we will be guided by NHS Wales as to the best use of our resources and medics to support the Welsh medical response to this pandemic. As well as working for the Wales Air Ambulance, our consultants are on the COVID-19 frontline in hospitals and some of our critical care practitioners have been using their skills in hospital ITUs.

Q: Wouldn’t carrying a Covid 19 patient or one showing symptoms render the helicopter out of action for long lengths of time?

A: Our medics will escort these patients to hospital in a land ambulance. This is for safety reasons and to avoid our aircraft being taken offline for deep cleaning.

Q: How is the current situation likely to affect the financing of the Service?

A: In terms of the Charity, many of the ways we raise funds involve face-to-face public events and includes the public support of our shops. Quite rightly, events have been cancelled and our shops have closed as we all play our part to protect society. This will mean a significant decrease in the money that we can raise to maintain our lifesaving service.

Signing up for our Lifesaving Lottery will help us to raise funds and has details of how online donations can be made. Some of our supporters are coming up with innovative ways to fundraise at home. Alternatively a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.

For more on the introduction of consultants and critical care practitioners onto our helicopters please visit

Lastly, on behalf of Wales Air Ambulance I would like to thank Rally Organisers, Competitors and Rally Fans for their tremendous support through the Rally Challenge and to sponsors Independent Paint Supplies. Keeping the profile of the Charity high in the minds of the public is an important factor in helping us to continue providing this vital service.



IPS Challenge Contenders Nominate Overseas Events

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Whilst many of us are digging out our Winter woollies and wet weather gear for the annual pilgrimage to Clonakilty for the West Cork Rally, Challenge Contenders Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser have slightly more exotic plans. The lads from Ayr and the Isle of Mull will be on the island of Majorca, forsaking Murphys and paracetemol for paella and parasols. (Picture by Mike Frayne) 

The crew have nominated the Mallorca Classico as their optional overseas round after taking a class victory on the Cambrian Rally in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4.

Unlike most historic spec. Escorts which have been built over the years, Tom actually owns a genuine David Sutton built car which he has had from new. For those of us under a certain age, Sutton ran cars for Drivers including Ari Vatanen, Pentti Airikkala, Roger Clark, Björn Waldegård in the 70’s.  They enter in the competitive section of the event which also caters for a regularity run, youth and Modern Classic sections.   See:


Steve Ormond-Smith hoped for better luck on the Isle of Man after differential failure ended his Cambrian Rally run. His company Ormco Accounts sponsors and promote the event which takes place on Jurby Aerodrome at the northern end of the island. Steve wheeled out his tarmac specification Evo IX but with a coolant issue early on the crew decided to call it a day to save the engine. Steve plans so far are to enter his gravel spec. car which was driven by his girlfriend Ealish Baxter on the Ormco Stages, in three more IPS Paint Rally Challenge rounds whilst he will also compete on all of the Manx tarmac and gravel championship rounds.

Our Double Champion Rhys Stoneman and fellow Junior Contender Keaton Williams have both nominated the Ypres Rally in Belgium in June.

The Rally Challenge is run in the same spirit as its promoting Club, Maesteg DMC, and any Contenders who wish to change their mind about which event they nominate before the event begins will be catered for.

Rally Challenge 2019 – Will’s Historic Third Win

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Wil Mains (left) and Rhys Stoneman (Right) with IPS Directors, Steff White and Neil Melmoth

Three times Rally Challenge Champion Will Mains marked the end of an era when he accepted his Awards at The Maesteg and District Motor Club Annual Presentation Night.

With Independent Paint Supplies now pledging its continued backing to the Club, Will was presented with the Perpetual Cup which he will now keep to mark his achievement.

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Launch of the 2020 IPS Paint Rally Challenge

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Directors Dom Thomas, Joe Thomas and Stephanie White were welcomed in December by Steffan Anderson-Thomas of Wales Air Ambulance for the official launch of the 2020 IPS Paint Rally Challenge.

Also at the Dafen Headquarters were newly crowned Triple Champion Will Mains from Llandysul and Swansea Valley youngster Rhys Stoneman who has taken both the 2019 Overall and Junior Co-drivers Rally Challenge titles.’

Championship Co-ordinator Terry Frayne commented, ‘With the successful FMP Motor Factors now sold, Maesteg and District Motor Club are delighted to retain support from the former owners new venture along with the enthusiastic support of the three enthusiastic young Directors.’

The IPS Paint Rally Challenge which this year has the Wales Rally GB as its finale, kicks off from the seaside town of Llandudno on February 8th with the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally