Cotton Competition News
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Lancashire & District Subaru Owners Club
Victory at Weeton Barracks

James Ford and co-driver Steve
Hartley won the very wet Heroes
Rally at Weeton on the 30th of

Originally this rally was to completed in the Citroën C2R2Max which James currently drives however, a quick look at the weather forecast soon changed that. The decision was made to compete in the Subaru usually driven by father Chris.

As it turns out, despite the occasional 'moment', four-wheel-drive was the way forward on this rally and after some level-headed driving James was leading by over a minute when the rally was cancelled due to weather conditions.

In his speech James was thankful to everyone involved but especially his dad for lending him the car.

Father vs. Son at Rally of the Midlands

Last weekend Chris and James Ford competed at the 2012 Lovell Rally of the Midlands earning a respectable 14th and 16th overall. Not only did James achieve 1st in class with his Citroën but he also beat his dad.

James once again drove the front wheel drive Citroën C2R2Max which he has been competing in this year’s BRC Challenge in whereas, Chris stuck to familiar territory driving the Subaru Impreza N11 which both Chris and James have taken to several events across the UK.

Both cars and drivers had a fantastic rally with each visit to the service park bringing on the next round of mind games and camaraderie between Chris and James as they continued to vie for position in the rally.

By the end of Friday night Chris had a 2 second lead over James with the 2 cars lying in 16th and 18th overall. On Saturday it was anyone’s guess who would triumph as the 2 drivers continued to swap and exchange places on the leader-board however by the end of the rally James was victorious, beating his dad by only 26 seconds in order to bring an exciting end to a highly competitive weekend.
(Pictures are coming soon)

Alan Sawyer Completes his 3rd Event of the Northern Speed Championship

On Saturday May 12th Alan took his CotComp prepared Subaru to Harewood where he competed in his 3rd event of this year's Northern Speed Championship. At this event, Alan battled his way to a 3rd in class out of 6 competitors. This was a hard earned position as Alan tried to learn the track on his first visit to Harewood and after fighting low levels of grip and some interesting practice laps he found the pace and set some quick times. Next weekend the championship returns to Harewood for the fourth round where Alan plans to optimise his improved knowledge of the track and beat his previous result.

Previous to this event Alan competed at the 3 Sisters on April 15th where he achieved 1st in class to get his season off to a flying start. Then on April 28th Alan competed in the next round at Aintree where he was the only competitor in class and scored more valuable championship pionts.

The Northern Speed Championship is organised by the Longton & District Motor Club and its consists of 21 rounds of both sprint and hill climb events at venues such as Anglesey, 3 Sisters, Aintree, Blyton Park and many more. Due to the fact that only your top 10 results count towards your standings in the championship, Alan plans to attend 11 events. This year 34 people are competing in the championship within the various different classes and Alan is hoping to come within the top 10 overall on his first full season with the car which has took around 2 years to fully prepare.

The car is a 2 door Subaru Impreza Type R which has been prepared by CotComp and is competing in class 1C: 'Road Modified Series & Specialist Saloon Cars over 2001cc'. Currently, the car has a 2.0Ltr full Cosworth engine and a 5 speed gearbox with an Australian Albins gear kit supplied, built and then fitted by CotComp. Recently, the car was put on a rolling road which showed that at present it produces 441BHP.
So far, the car has won 2 awards for being the best presented car at an event. Once at the 3 Sisters where the car won out of a total of 66 competitors, and on Alan's first visit with the car to Anglesey he won the award at an event with 104 competitors.

Fifth for father & son team

Moving from the co-driver’s seat to take control of their Impreza, Chris Ford, or dad as James calls him, steered the pair to an excellent fifth place overall on the Christmas Stages Rally.

The event, which ran between Christmas and New Year, was an opportunity for the Cotcomp team to blow away the cobwebs at the Croft circuit venue. The car ran faultlessly and having swapped places from their pervious outing on the Galloway Hills Rally, the pair ran as high as third on the all-tarmac event.

A slight miscalculation with a bale cost some time and re-arranged the front left hand wing of the striking liveried Subaru, but it was all smiles at the finish on what had been an extremely slushy and slippery event.

December 2010

Cotcomp had a successful Sunday in the south of Scotland as the Lancashire team fielded a three car Subaru Impreza team on the final gravel rally of the season, the Galloway Hills Rally (5/12/2010)

The team had planned to spend the weekend in the Grizedale forest, but with the advent of snow and ice this event was cancelled with just three days to go, leaving the three crews with a dilemma.

With everything already in place and the cars ready to go, Andy Knight/Drew Sturrock, Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson and James/Chris Ford quickly decided to post late entries on the Galloway event, running almost line-astern in a group of competitors with the same idea.

The open stages meant less chance of ice, but Bowen quickly discovered that the grip levels were still very low, sliding off the road on the very first stage of the day. Despite dropping time and being officially out of the event, the crew was allowed to continue once their 2005 Impreza had been returned to the road.

It was therefore left to double Tour of Mull winner Andy Knight to set the pace, settling into seventh place in his 2000 model car. The Fords, son and father driving and co-driving respectively, settled a few places further back on their gravel debut in the 2008 Galloway Hills winning car.

With just one main service halt during the day, the Cotcomp team found itself split into management cars for the remaining mini-services, Steve commenting that the situation was awkward but still enjoyable.

“The three cars are all completely different specifications and few of the components are interchangeable. So with the management service halts being nowhere near main service, we had to be on the ball all day.” said Steve at the finish.

Despite a puncture dropping Knight back to tenth on the fourth stage, the day’s rallying was pronounced a success for all involved. Even Bowen and Richardson weren’t too disheartened, since their stage times were respectable and without their indiscretion, they would have split Knight/Sturrock’s tenth and the Fords’ excellent fifteenth.

October 2010

After a successful rebuild of their Cosworth engine, Simon Bowen and Richard Robinson took their Impreza to tenth overall on their first attempt at the Pendragon Stages Rally at the end of August.

Cotcomp’s lads have been busy with both car and engine rebuilds, having to repair Andy Knight’s recently acquired GC8 version after an off on the Argyle Stages.

The team also has work to do on a new customer’s Impreza; James Ford taking his newly acquired North West Stages-winning car (pictured above) to Cotcomp for an engine rebuild early in September.

July 2010

Tour of Mull winner switches to Subaru

Isle of Mull resident Andy Knight, who won the famous event in both 1990 and 1991 in his Nova, has bought one of Cotcomp's customer's Imprezas, planning several events in the car this year.

He has already opened his account with an excelllent debut on the RSAC Scottish Rally back in June, finishing fourteenth against the Scottish Rally Championship regulars.

Also in Scotland Simon Bowen finished 26th on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally in his 2005 Impreza despite a minor off. He unfortunately retired from his next event after a brand new engine component failed. A broken pulley was discovered as the culprit, but the engine will be fixed in time to test before the Pendragon stages in late August.

May 2010

Bowen debuts new engine at Jim Clark Rally

Local businessman Simon Bowen will be trying out his new Cotcomp built 2.5 litre Cosworth engine on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally on Sunday 30th May.

The enine is the first part of an ambitious upgrade for the distinctive Andrews-Bowen liveried 2005 Impreza, along with a wide-body kit and soon to arrive sequential gearbox.

Watch his progress via the live results on the event's own website at:

April 2010

Steve, Richard and Dave have been at Preston Flag Market again, supporting the Lancashire and District Subaru Owners Club's annual get-together in the City centre.

The gathering is a chance for LADSOC members to show off their Subarus and has become a fixture in he City's calendar, the council even planning to re-develop the site to allow more of this type of local club dispalys in the future.

Cotcomp took along a customer's rally car and to promote the new range of Subaru engines and components from Cosworth, Richard was giving away Cosworth goodies.

In the workshop the lads have been busy too, recently taking delivery of two 2010 Impreza STi donor rally cars to prepare for roll cage fitting. They were up against it with both, having just three days to turn each car round for delivery to the midlands before going to Symtech in Belgium.

As Symtech is stacked out with work, Cotcomp has also taken delivery of one of their customer's rally engines for rebuild, hopefully the start of a cross channel relationship that will see more specialist engine and tranmission work come to Garstang.

One of Cotcomp's existing customers, local businessman Simon Bowen, has ordered a new 2.5 litre Cosworth engine for his 2004 STi rally car and is expected to add a sequential gearbox to the specification soon.

On top of the continuing engine mapping and standard Subaru service work, it has been a busy time since February; long may it continue.

February 2010
Cotcomp supports North West Stages

Steve and the Cotcomp team are once again supporting the North West Stages Rally which takes place Friday and Saturday 5th/6th February.

Since the usual Pontins stage was lost with the closure of the site, the whole event has moved to a new headquarters and service area at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on the northern Blackpool promenade.

With this change also comes a change of focus for Cotcomp which is sponsoring the Blackpool promenade stage.

Steve and the team will be on hand using their service truck for hospitality either in the service area, or if space is tight, right next to the stage which runs from north to south this year.

The Cotcomp Promenade Stage forms not only the opening and closing tests of the rally, but it is run six times in total, giving plenty of opportunity to watch the action and check out the Subarus for sale, including a rally car being sold on behalf of one of Cotcomp’s customers.

North West Stages Rally itinerary

Friday 5th February 2010

Scrutineering and Rally Village Trade Show, Norcalympia. 14:30 hrs - 19:00 hrs
Ceremonial Start - MC1 Anchorsholme Park. 18:45 hrs
SS1 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 18:48 hrs
SS2 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 19:01 hrs
Parc Fermé, Norcalympia. 20:20 hrs - 22:10 hrs

Saturday 6th February 2010

SS7 Mark Holmes Fleetwood Stage, Marine Gardens, Fleetwood. 09:27 hrs
SS8 Mark Holmes Fleetwood Stage, Marine Gardens, Fleetwood. 09:36 hrs
SS9 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 10:26 hrs
SS10 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 10:42 hrs

SS13 Mark Holmes Fleetwood Stage, Marine Gardens Fleetwood. 11:50 hrs
SS14 Mark Holmes Fleetwood Stage, Marine Gardens Fleetwood. 11:59 hrs
Service Area - Anchorsholme, Blackpool. 12:12 hrs
Rally Village and Trade Show, Norcalympia. 12:30 hrs - 15:00 hrs
SS21 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 15.18 hrs
SS22 Cotcomp Promenade Stage, Blackpool. 15.33 hrs
Service Area - Anchorsholme, Blackpool. 15:30 hrs
Finish, Norcalympia. 18:30 hrs

Website at

Happy New Year from all at Cotcomp

After another successful year Cotcomp is prepared for a great 2010 and wishes all the best to all the past, present and hopefully future customers for another new decade.

November 2009

It has been flat-out at Cotcomp over the summer, several engine builds on the go at once as well as the regular Subaru servicing and of course Steve’s involvement in the Scooby Sprint Championship.

The end of August saw round three of the new series and a move to Santa Pod in Bedfordshire. Steve and Gary had a good result, finishing sixth and sixteenth respectively in the red classic.

The result moved Steve into equal tenth place overall and an excellent third in the modified category. But the best news was runner up spot in the Privateers modified class, all positions he retained to the end of the season.

As Christmas approaches Cotcomp welcomes a new member to the team. LADS forum administrator Dave will be working on car sales from the Brock site and helping Richard with general parts sales.

June 2009

Another busy month at Cotcomp, June saw Steve and Dave at round three of the Scoobysprint Championship, just a week after the team was looking after Simon Bowen & Simon Moss on the Greenerways Rally.

Both events went well, with Steve now third in the Privateers Championship and eleventh overall. May's round two had seen a change to the classic Impreza after using Joe's road car on the first event. Gary competed in the same car in May, but it was Dave's first competitive outing at Elvington in June.

Up in Kielder the Greenerways Rally didn't go exectly to plan for either Simon, Moss's clutch fluid overheating in stage four, while Bowen ened his event in a ditch just one stage later. Both thoroughly enjoyed their first outing on gravel though, classified as finishers with penalties for the missed stages.

Scooby Sprint April 2009

The Cotcomp team took Joe's road going Impreza WRX to the Scooby Sprint at Elvington this month. The event is part of a Championship of five timed sprints and drag runs for any kind of Subaru.

"It was a cracking family day out and we went for a bit of fun and low cost motorsport," explains Steve. "Joe's car was a stand in at the last minute so we both took it easy on the tests. It was the sort of event that you could take as seriously as you wanted; for example Prodrive had one of their '08 WRC cars there, but there was a guy in a Forester doing it too."

For more info and results go to

Apart from all the regular customer work, which the credit crunch doesn't sem to have affected, the team has also begun work on a 2005 WRX rally car. When finished, it will be available for hire for any event, but is primarily aimed at British Rally Championship or higher status rallies.

North West Stages February 20/21 2009

Cotcomp's newest rally customer Simon Bowen and his co-driver Richard Robinson scored an excellent 17th overall on their debut on the North West Stages this weekend.

The event saw three Cotcomp Imprezas out, Martin Oglesby and John Parker taking 33rd in the rear wheel drive Impregacy, while Simon Moss & Emma Morrison retired from a ding dong battle with Bowen.

Despite an early incident with a kerb, Bowen & Robinson lay just outside the top thirty after Friday night’s stages, with Moss & Morrison a few places ahead in 29th. After a new rear hub and bled brakes for Bowen before the first Saturday stage, their confidence built, overtaking Simon and Emma by mid morning.

But Simon’s ‘99 car’s power disadvantage was negated on the second Hillhouse stage in treacherously slippery conditions. Fifth Fastest moved the pair back within a few seconds of Bowen on stage eight, further reeling them in to lie just three seconds adrift by the start of stage 14.

Then disaster struck when Moss was a bit over exuberant with the handbrake and hit a kerb and a big rock. It smashed the rear hub, broke the driveshaft and left the pair with three wheels on their wagon!

As they were putting out the warning triangle, Bowen hit the same kerb on the now dusty right-hander. He got away with a smashed wheel, but had no spare on board. Luckily the stricken white Impreza had no need for its spare, so with mis-matched wheels (Bowen’s on three18” wheels with Moss’s 17” spare) they continued to the end of the stage.

They were both relieved and delighted at the finish, their eventual 17th place only a few lower than without the damaged wheel. Oglesby & Parker had a relatively trouble-free run and were equally pleased to finish just outside the top thirty, after an event in which over half the field retired.

Thanks got to all the team for another excellent job, particularly as Cotcomp sponsored the Pontin’s stage, splitting the team between service and hospitality duties.

February 2009

In the gap since the last news stories there has been plenty happening at Cotcomp, but the latest update is that Blackpool's North West Stages is nearly upon us and Steve is sponsoring the Cotcomp Pontins stage again.

There are three Cotcomp customers out in Imprezas on the event on Friday & Saturday 20th/21st February. Watch out Simon Moss & co-driver Emma Morrison in a white 4 door classic at car 60, Simon Bowen & Richard Robinson in a newly built blue Blobeye at 79 and Martin Oglesby & John Parker in an interesting normally aspirated rear wheel drive white classsic at 98.

Spectator information is available at

In the early part of 2009 Steve had a trip to Oman to help rebuild an N14 Impreza for a customer contesting the Middle East Rally Championship. The plan is that Steve wil fly out to each round and form part of the crew that looks after the car on event during the 2009 season.

At home the Ecutek Engine mapping has been extended to include Mitsubishis and back in November of 2008 staff and customers attended a track day at Oulton Park.

July 2008

Cotcomp has been rallying again, with a handful of events for customers, on one event entering a two car team.

Simon & Rob entered a car each on the Four Counties stages at Longcross in late May, but more recently Rob scored a great eleventh place overall on the Rally of the Midlands in his Cotcomp prepared GC8 Impreza.

In the workshop there is another Impreza in build, the local customer's Bugeye car having had a custom rollcage fitted, it is now in paint and in the process of having the bespoke wiring loom finished.

At Brock Richard is coping well with a move to the former office from where he is managing the Subaru and Izuzu genuine parts sales.

February 2008

It has been pure madness at Cotcomp in February! Three rallies in as many weeks with a car to finish before the second one!

The lads did a fantastic job of getting Rob Taffs' two door STi ready for the Riponian Rally where he finished 10 places lower than he should have. The reason was a missed road penalty of five minutes, but the team was reasonably pleased with the first event of the year.

Next up was Simon's turn. Now working full time for the British Rally Championship, he changed from staff to customer and it was all hands to the pumps to prepare his neglected four door GC8. "It has stood on my drive for 18 months since we bought it for Steve to do Mull." said Simon, "but the lads all worked really hard after I decided to do only my second ever event as a driver. Young Martyn Taylor guided us to a finish on the Nort West Stages with no major problems. I'm absolutely made-up!"

Cotcomp also sponsored the Pontin's stage of the rally and provided hospitality for event VIPs from the service truck. "The lads worked on Simon's car from the little Vito van," explained Steve, "and we had to split ourselves to cover both. I've got to thank Richard and Joyce for looking after the guests in the stage. It was a full team effort to make it all happen."

Finally the boys are off to Rallye Sunseeker this weekend with the two door for Rob's (nearly) local event. In the mean time John and Joe have been busy with the regular road car work and they are all looking forward to a break from rallying at the end of February.

January 2008

Cotcomp is proud to sponsor a stage of the North West Stages on the 16th February again, after a successful involvement in 2007.

The Pontins stage will be run several times thoughout Saturday and Steve will be on hand to answer technical questions all day.

Since the event began it has raised over £60,000 for charity and we are pleased to confirm that for the 8th year in succession ‘Marie Curie Cancer Care’ has been selected as the main beneficiary. Additionally the event will contribute a sum of money from any profit to a number of other charities including Broadfield School for children with learning difficulties and Water-aid.

Cotcomp will have Subaru merchandise available at the display right next to the stage and LADS members are invited for a brew.

10th December 2007

Rob Taffs was joined by new co-driver Kim Baker for this weekend's Grizedale Stages Rally which took place in atrocious weather conditions.

The Cotcomp run Impreza ran without a hitch with Rob claiming 23rd overall on his firts event in over six months.

"There was rain, hail, snow, mud and some of the stages were less gravel and more rivers." said Rob at the finish in Coniston.

"The guys did a great job again and I'd likre to thank Kim too who took the hideous conditions in her stride."

November 2007

Steve Joe and Simon joined LADS club members at Guys Thatched Hamlet just a mile from Cotcomp's new Brock site on a rainy Saturday in November.

The meeting was for modified cars and was at the venue for the third time, having previously been in Warrington. It attracted nearly a hundred cars including several LADS members' Subarus and everything from Fiestas to Skylines.

The meet was organised by LADS member zero260 and although he attended in a Skyline (reputedly 600bhp!), it was a good afternoon's social (better weather next time please).

SYMS Rally Team first to run 2008 Gp N Subaru Impreza

SYMS Racing from Japan, using their motorsport operation, SYMS EUROPE, based close to Antwerp in Belgium, has become the first team to run the new-shape Group N Subaru Impreza STi, in collaboration with STi.

Cotcomp engineer Joe has also been working with SYMS on the Lake Superior Rally in America where Andrew Pinker finished 2nd in the series.

The new Group N Subaru Impreza STi was launched yesterday in Japan, just prior to the country's round of the World Rally Championship this weekend. On this occasion it will make its world debut as the zero car at the head of the field, driven by a local Japanese driver.

Next year, however, the eagerly-anticipated new Impreza STi will take part in active competition, in the FIA Production Car World Championship, US Rally Championship and in national championships, run by SYMS Rally Team. In a relatively short space of time, SYMS has established itself as one of the foremost Subaru teams in the world, leading to this latest joint venture with STI.

The team was runner up with Toshi Arai in 2003 and won the FIA Production Car World Championship in 2004 with Niall McShea, and is currently running two cars in this year's FIA Production Car World Championship series for Finn Kristian Sohlberg and Cypriot driver Spyros Pavlides. In this weekend's Rally Japan SYMS will also be running Polish driver Leszek Kuzaj. It also fought for the US Rally title with Andrew Pinker and Tanner Foust where Joe spent the week looking after Pinker's car. SYMS won the Gold Medal in the world-famous X-Games in California this year with Foust, cementing the team's growing reputation in America.

With a new car comes a new challenge, but the expert know-how of SYMS promises to help unlock the maximum potential out of the new Impreza, which is bristling with the latest technology. From today, SYMS can deliver, along with its new composites partner M-Tech Composites all the competition parts needed to build a full-specification, new shape Group N Subaru Impreza STi in time for the 2008 season. All the parts sold by SYMS are approved by the Subaru factory and STi.

News - July 2007

Cotcomp has taken over Gibson's of Brock (former Subaru main dealer) business and premises. This is to complement the existing business and site and to develop genuine Subaru parts sales.

The main phone numbers will remain the same:
01995 605605 / 640542 and for new customers the location on the A6 just south of Garstang will be easier to find.

Steve Cotton, "The opportunity only arose within the last couple of weeks and we seized the chance. We will continue to operate from both sites and will be delighted to offer Gibson's customers parts and servicing as before. We have taken on John who was Gibson's apprentice and Richard has offered to help us with the transition on the genuine parts side. We'd like to think the combination makes an unparalleled level of experience to rival any in the North of England.”

All contact details are on the "Contact" page

News - June 2007 Nurburgring 24 Hour Race

Steve put his Motorsport experience to good use in June when he was part of the team running an Impreza at the Nürburgring 24 hour race in Germany.

The ADAC Zurich race took place over the weekend of 9th & 10th June and the team scored an excellent 2nd in class on the car’s maiden outing.

“We had some teething troubles and with the car,” said Steve, “but the drivers were pretty sympathetic as it was basically in standard trim. They finished 85th from a field of 220 and apart from a couple of minor scuffs the car was undamaged.”

Brothers Mike and Chris Rimmer were joined by Llynden Riethmuller for the race which was delayed due to thunderstorms and held up by fog part way through. The team completed 85 laps of the circuit which linked the classic thirteen mile Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit.

For full results and information visit the event website:
Cotcomp proudly sponsors LADSOC,
offering discount to full members on
selected parts & services*
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