Nieroda returns to Formula 1000
7th March 2020
Chester based rally navigator Daniel Nieroda returned to the series in which he began rallying back in 2004 with the Formula 1000 Rally Championship. In more recent times, the series has developed a successful Junior category allowing 14-17 year olds to get behind the wheel of a rally car and Nieroda stepped in to help a debutant.
Last weekend saw the opening round of the 2020 Junior Championship, the Questmead Stages at Three Sisters Race Circuit in Wigan, and Nieroda joined young Jacob McComb who was making his rallying debut in a Citroen C1, having spent the past few years in the British Karting Championship.
As this was McComb’s first event, Nieroda guided the youngster to a very credible 10th in the Junior category. “The aim of the day was to build on Jacob’s confidence in the car and therefore his pace. I’m incredibly impressed with his improvements though the day, he took on board and reacted to all the advice I was giving him.” Explained Nieroda, who has competed as a driver and navigator for nearly twenty years.
A steady opening few stages saw the Keith Williams Plant Hire backed driver build up speed to be placed 12th in the category, before the afternoon loop of stages saw them climb the order. “The morning was all about getting more confident in the car.” Said McComb, “Dan is really helping me with the braking and the best lines to take. We’re going to start pushing harder this afternoon.”
Due to noise constraints at the circuit, the day was cut short at the circuit with 11 of the 12 stages being completed. McComb impressed many in the series with his debut and brought the FTS Hatwell supported Citroen home in 10th in the category. The next round of the series heads to Ingliston, just outside Edinburgh where McComb aims to build on his debut performance.
Images courtesy of Black Mountains Media
Spin slows Championship Leader
June 6th 2017
It was a difficult day for local rally navigator Dan Nieroda as he partnered Stuart Anderson in the fourth round of the West Wales Rally Spares backed Stage Masters Rally Championship.
On Andersons weaker surface, the gravel forest roads of Mid-Wales welcomed over 100 crews for the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages based in Builth Wells. “This will only be my fourth event on gravel, I still have a lot to learn and Dan will be helping me along the way.” Said Anderson. “These forest on the Epynt Ranges should suit my driving style more, but the aim is to finish and build on experience.”
An opening loop of 3 stages on dry, dusty roads was to see Anderson settle into a sensible pace but a rough section on the second stage was to cost the crew nearly three minutes. “We had a half spin, nothing that would usually cost so much time but the wheels dug into the ground so we couldn’t move.” Explained Nieroda, “There were some spectators there but eventually I had to get out of the car to help push us free. This is where our next problem arose, somewhere in my movements I managed to lose the cable for the intercom so we completed the remainder of the stage, and the following 5-mile stage with no communications other than hand signals and shouting!”
Thankfully the Geoff Jones Motorsport team looking after the car had a spare cable and Blendline Apparel-backed Nieroda could continue for the remaining stages of the rally without having to shout. A notional time was allocated to many of the crews after an incident forced the cancellation of Radnor, the fourth stage of the day.
With little to fight for on the event, the remaining three stages were used to increase Anderson’s experience on the gravel surface and a consistent approach brought the Vauxhall Chevette home in 40th overall but taking essential points to keep Anderson in the drivers title hunt, while REIS Insurance supported Nieroda heads the navigators championship. The series returns to tarmac for Round 5, the Brawdy Stages in Haverfordwest on July 9th.
Images courtesy of MandH Photography
Nieroda Strengthens Championship lead
22nd May 2017
Chester rally navigator Dan Nieroda guided Stuart Anderson to a positive 18th overall on the weekends TSH Stages based in Cornwall, as the pair lead the HRCR Stage Masters Championship.
Based in Chester, Nieroda took the long trip South for the two day event based on an RAF air base to partner Anderson in their Geoff Jones Motorsport prepared Vauxhall Chevette for the 3rd round of the series. “We’ve got near 100 stage miles to look forward too this weekend on some fast tarmac roads.” Explained Nieroda. “It will not only be about pace, but also consistency and most importantly reaching the finish on Sunday afternoon.”
Under the afternoon sunshine on Saturday, Anderson and Nieroda settled in to the new venue well and found themselves on the edge of the top twenty. Building confidence and speed the pairing were looking to climb more places before disaster struck. “We were passing a car running in front of us, which put us off line and we were too quick into the next corner.” Said Nieroda, “We ventured through a field and returned to the road but moments later we realised the rear tyre was punctured.” The crew limped through the stage but dropped over a minute and a half and out of the top 30.
By the end of the first day Anderson and Nieroda were lying in 27th overall and were now looking forward to the longer stages of Sunday. “We’ve been learning the venue and surface, we’ll be going for a big push tomorrow to make up on lost time.” Said REIS Insurance supported Nieroda.
Sunday’s six stages averaged nearly 10miles each and were more suited to the characteristics of the Chevette. And move places they certainly did, consistently setting times in the top 20 saw the crew head into the final pair of stages lying in 21st position, but with two more blistering top fifteen times the Vauxhall was to finish the gruelling event in 18th overall and take category honours in the HRCR Stage Masters Series. This leaves Anderson and Blendline Apparel supported Nieroda at the head of the series, which returns to the gravel of Mid-Wales next weekend for the Severn Valley Stages.
Image Courtesy of RallySport Media
Category Success on Dixies Challenge
1st May 2017
Chester’s Dan Nieroda guided Stuart Anderson to a category victory on Sunday’s Dixies Rally Challenge as the pair strengthen their position in the West Wales Rally Spares Stage Masters Rally Championship.
Based on the undulating tarmac roads of Epynt Military Ranges, eleven stages awaited over 80 crews and the historic specification Vauxhall Chevette HS, prepared by Geoff Jones Motorsport was ready for a morning of dry stages.
After the opening two loops of stages the crew were lying inside the top 20. “This morning has gone well, the car’s feeling good and we’ve found a good rhythm with the pace notes.” Explained Blendline Apparel backed Nieroda. “The car doesn’t need any work and so far, the rain is holding off!”
As the event progressed into the afternoon a change in weather was to cause problems for many crews, but it was a braking issue that was to hamper the Vauxhall. “We’re feeling a strong vibration under braking, we’re not able to brake as late and hard as we’d like so we are being cautious were we need to be.” Said Nieroda, who was keen to ensure they maintained their strong position on the leader board.
It was the final stage of the event saw any chance of a top 20 finish disappear as two overshoots on the wet tarmac dropped the crew ten seconds leaving them in 22nd place overall and 4th in class on the event. “It’s been an enjoyable event, it was important for us to get a strong finish to help our championship hopes and we’ve managed this by taking a commanding category victory.” Explained Anderson who now takes a joint lead in the REIS Insurance Stage Masters Rally Championship.
The next event for the pair will be in Cornwall, as the crew tackle the two-day event, TSH Stages.
Image courtesy of SJones Photography
Image courtesy of ni:media
Mid-Wales Podium for Nieroda
March 8th 2016
The second round of the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship was to prove a success for Chester’s Dan Nieroda as he guided Wug Utting in a Subaru Impreza to third overall in the standings.
The pairing were back out only two weeks after taking 8th overall and 3rd in class on the Red Kite Stages but were keen to put on a better showing for this event which featured stages currently used one Wales Rally GB, the World Rally Championship.
Two stages over Myherin and Pikes Peak were to open the day, as Utting and Nieroda tackled the snow covered stages. “The snow is on the higher ground,” explained Nieroda “It means the grip level is really inconsistent so you struggle to judge braking distances, we’ve had a couple of spins because of this.”
As the pair brought the Utting Estates backed Impreza to the half way point, they lay in 8th overall but were looking forward to the longest stage of the day as Hafren saw over 120 crews tackle the difficult 15-mile run through the forest. “The car felt really good and we got into a great rhythm with the pace-notes, I really enjoyed that stage.” Said Utting. The final stage was another run over Myherin and the crew were to struggle with grip slightly as another spin dropped them time but eventually finished 3rd overall and 2nd in class, claiming a podium finish in the Welsh Rally Championship.
“This is my best result to date, the day has been tough with the conditions but thoroughly enjoyable and the car ran faultlessly thanks to Geoff Jones Motorsport. Wug drove brilliantly in the conditions and it has been a great battle all day.” Said Nieroda.
The third round of the championship will be based in Dolgellau as Rally North Wales returns in April.
Image courtesy of Black Mountains Media
Nieroda Guides Utting to Class Award
February 23rd 2016.
Welshman Dan Nieroda guided Subaru driver Wug Utting to a fine eighth overall and third in class on the weekends Red Kite Stages based in Llandovery.
Re-joining after an attempt at the rally last year ended five miles into the first stage when the pair ended up in an icy ditch, Chester-based Nieroda was eager to get more mileage on this year’s event. The weather was wet and windy as the Subaru Impreza left the start in Llandovery and an electrical issue was to worry the crew as the car began to cut out. Quick thinking from Utting managed to resolve the issue as they entered the first stage late.
The weather caused some treacherous conditions in the forests surrounding Epynt military ranges and the pair were soon on the pace with the rest of the field lying in eighth overall and third in class at the halfway point. “The roads are really tricky in the forests today, there are some sections we just cannot commit to due to the lack of grip. We’re glad to have got this far, and our position shows we’re on the pace.” Explained Nieroda at the half way service.
The second loop of stages was to see the fog descend on the forests forcing the 120 crews competing on the event to deal with worsening conditions, but the pairing of Utting and Nieroda were more than up for the challenge. With stage times improving throughout the day the Utting Estates backed Subaru was to maintain the earlier position and pick up a trophy for third in class. “It’s been a good opening rally of the year for us, other than the electrical issue this morning the car has ran faultlessly thanks to Geoff Jones Motorsport and we can now focus on the Welsh Rally Championship in two weeks’ time.” Said Nieroda.
The pair will now start preparing for the next rally, as a rejuvenated British Rally Championship restarts in Newton on March 5th, the duo will be battling in the Welsh Rally Championship section of the rally.
Fuel Frustration Fails to Slow Nieroda
Last weekend saw crews tackle Round 5 of the HRCR Stage Master series at the Brawdy Stages in Haverfordwest, Wales. Chester-based navigator Dan Nieroda headed to the event leading the series.
Featuring 6 stages, the day was run in glorious Welsh sunshine and after the recent performance on gravel, Dan with driver Stuart Anderson were keen to return to the favoured surface of tarmac. But the opening stage was not to go well for the Geoff Jones Motorsport run crew in their historic specification Vauxhall Chevette.
“After the countdown, we got 200 yards off the start and the car developed a misfire on the right hand bend. This continued through nearly every corner, costing us nearly a minute in time.” Explained Blendline Apparel backed Nieroda, who was watching on as the GJM crew worked on the car. “They’re making some changes now so we will have to see how it goes.”
The second stage was not to be successful either, the fuelling issue was improved but still costing the championship leaders time. “We were suffering with the fuel starvation, but we also had to take avoiding action after following a car who ran wide. We stalled behind them dropping us even more time.” Said Nieroda.
A longer service allowed the crew time to tweak the cars fuelling, which although not resolved was a great improvement on the first pair of stages. “We’re just going with the small misfire now, making the best from a bad situation and focusing on finishing. The stages are quite long and these long sweeping corners are costing us the time, so we are pushing in the areas that we can.” Said Anderson.
Having dropped outside the top 40, the pairing were still managing to work their way up the field. As the fuelling problem couldn’t be cured, the crew were happy to continue and were pleased to have seen progress up to 35th overall and take a class victory on the event. The win also gave the crew maximum championship points and both Anderson and Nieroda lead both the drivers and navigators series.
Nieroda will miss the next round of the series, Rally Isle of Man in September due to teaching commitments so will re-join Anderson in November for the Wyedean Rally, based in the Forest Of Dean.
Images courtesy of Carl Leavold