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 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!
2017 brought more success not finishing below 8th OA on any of the events. Although budget constraints shrunk the championship down to selected events in 2018 and 19 there were mixed results. The team showed excellent pace on all the events but overall class honours were spoilt with the car not always behaving ! Richard decided to leave GJM and have a team change with a move over to the Chevron Motorsport outfit, a company more synonymous with circuit racing Impreza's than rallying them. Chevron owner Simon Stanley's attention to detail is second to none and his own personal passion for rallying could only be a positive step. A decision was made to go through the car with testing and events at the back end of that year.
2020 was set to be a fantastic year for the new Chevron Motorsport run Impreza but with Covid 19 putting a stop to all the larger National rallies both here, the IOM and Ireland for the best part of a year and a half, attention was then focused on the two big tarmac rounds that managed to run, two fantastic long awaited rallies with the crew securing a 5th and a 10th OA. Encouraging results that really set the cat amongst the pigeons with the R5 regulars.
2022, The best car the team will have ever had with the hardest competition they will have ever competed against! The arrival of even more R5 machinery will make every event a battle to get inside the top 15 but with 100% commitment lets see what they can do.