ITS ALL ABOUT THE DRIVER
Meet Richard Clews
Not only a competent competitor but has a well-established business background that enables him to deliver on a commercial basis, as well as behind the wheel. His ‘day job’ sees him consult, advise and manage ITG Air Filters as well as delivering automotive manufacturer training programmes and Goodwood’s corporate rally experiences. Richard fills his ‘downtime’ behind the wheel of his professionally prepared Subaru Impreza STi as he competes for honours in the National Asphalt Rally Championship.
In his early rallying career Richard competed successfully in The Heart of England Rally Championship. All tarmac events resulted in a top 3 finish with his first class win in 2001 in the Startin sponsored Mini Cooper. In 2003 Richard entered the British National Tarmac Championship branded as Clews Rallying, in a Peugeot 106 Gti. Excited by the Teams results in 2003 further development saw the Peugeot successfully complete two full seasons regularly beating larger, more affluent teams during 2004, 2005 and 2007 securing the prestigious overall front wheel drive trophy.
2009 and 10 saw more class victories for Richard in a front running GpN Fiesta ST from M sport with an excellent result on the Flanders rally in Belgium and two more front wheel drive outright championship wins.
In 2011 Clews Rallying joined forces with Geoff Jones's GJM rally team to enter into the highly competitive N4 category in an ex-Prodrive Subaru Impreza, they secured the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship Group N4 class and a credible Top Ten finish overall.
For 2012 the team entered the B13 class in the same car with the advantage of a 34mm restrictor. After a very tough year of competition, with 1 round in hand, the Team achieved the highly regarded B13 class victory! A surprise result proving the benefit of a professional co-driver, however the last round in 2012 was to prove costly. Whilst competing in a GJM run hatchback Impreza STi (borrowed) Richard made a rare mistake whilst leading an icy cheviot stages on the Otterburn ranges, resulting in a very badly damaged car, co driver and bank balance !
Continuing support from successful business man "Mark Mc Loughlin" kept Richard rallying in a lean 2013 that again brought another Championship win. It was decided to have a year out in 2014 to allow GJM to build a completely new, lightweight full tarmac specification car for an assault on the 2015 championship, with new sponsorship from ITG - world leading manufacturers of high performance air filters.
An incredibly successful inaugural year for the new car and Professional co driver Carl Williamson, 2015 saw top 10 results on every event, showing real pace on a very wet Manx Rally still with a std engine ! another class B13 win giving Clews Rallying 8 class wins in 4 different classes of the country's largest sealed surface championship.
2016 began with a new sponsorship deal from One industries and a technical partnership with Graham Sweet,s GT Motorsport operation for the supply of a new engine. This helped catapult the team to some fantastic results not finishing lower on any rally than 8th overall ! Second overall on the infamous Otterburn event securing 3rd in the championship, Making Richard a 10 time class winner in Britain's! biggest Tarmac rally championship.
In 2014, Richard commissioned the build of a new, lightweight, full specification Subaru in which he went on to win another four class titles, an achievement that now makes him a 10-times National Champion. Evolved over several seasons of tough competition, the car still has what it takes to take class honours and has often punched above its weight in terms of overall results against World Rally Cars and far more sophisticated machinery.
2020 was set to be a fantastic year for the Chevron Motorsport run Impreza but with Covid 19 putting a stop to all the larger National rallies both here, the IOM and Ireland it’s now the latter part of 2021 we are looking forward too……