The first round of the 2016 Defender Challenge by Bowler Motorsport took place at the Mid Wales Stages rally as part of the first round of the British Rally Championship (BRC) in Newtown, Wales. New to Defender Challenge Team Flying Scotsmen and Mission Motorsport as well as returning Defender Challenge competitors took to the snow covered stages on Saturday night with 2015 championship winners Ed Cobley and John Tomley taking an early lead through the dark and difficult stages of Hafren/Sweet Lamb and Pikes Peak/Myherin. The first couple of stages ended with Team Sturgess leading, followed by Team Femont (2nd) and the Defenderists (3rd).
The next morning, all the Defender Challenge competitors set off for another day of rallying. After the 4th stage the Defenderists overtook Team Femont in the overall standings with 7 seconds between them. Meanwhile newcomers Team Flying Scotsmen and Mission Motorsport were chasing Team Northern Ireland Racing with only 2.5 minutes separating all 3 teams.
In the final stage the Defenderists made a small mistake, causing them to slip down to 7th position but they were still able to finish. As a result of their mistake, Teams Femont, Northern Ireland Racing, Craig Mission Motorsport and Palmer were all able to move up one place. Team Sturgess with Ed Cobley and John Tomley on board secured their first win of the championship with Team Femont coming 2nd and Team Northern Ireland Racing finishing 3rd in class. All of the Defender Challenge competitors finished the Mid Wales Stages rally.
Well done to all of them!