Dylan GB

Dylan and Llion on their way to another podium on the Wales rally GB National (Neil Constable)

                 On the 4th and 5th of October the Wales rally GB national rally took place, it is a national event that supports the Wales rally GB international event that runs on the same weekend, but only takes place on the Friday and Saturday instead of the whole weekend. Once again Dylan Davies and Llion “tractor” Williams had entered in their group N specification Subaru Impreza.


                For this year Llandudno was rally HQ and from there competitors headed out to the forests of North Wales for the first day of action, with the first stage being Elsi. This opening stage had a length of 11.65 kilometres and here Dylan and Llion had a very good start to their rally, setting a time of 10 minutes and 19.8 seconds, the sixth quickest time of the stage. Following this, competitors then went over to Penmachno forest near Betwys-y-coed. This stage was longer than the first at 16.19 kilometres and here again Dylan and Llion set an excellent time of 11 minutes and 56.9 seconds. This was the fifth fastest time over the stage, a position which they held overall. Slate mountain was to make up stage three and this was a sprint stage with a length of lust only 1.59 kilometres. Here Dylan and Llion went one better and set the fourth quickest overall time with 1 minute 19.9 seconds, this lifted them up to fourth in the overall standings.

                The route of the event then travelled south towards Welshpool for stages in Dyfnant and Aberhirnant. Dyfnant was stage four, and this was to be the longest stage of the day with a length over nearly twenty kilometres (19.36) it was an excellent challenge for competitors. Dylan and Llion’s pace through this stage was incredible, and their reward for their efforts was the third quickest stage time, at 12 minutes and 54.9 seconds this time helped lift them into the podium positions as they now lay in third overall. With one stage to go they had an excellent opening say to their rally so far. Aberhirnant was the final stage of the first day and this stage had a length of 10.27 kilometres. Once again Dylan and LLion set the third quickest time over this stage with an impressive 6 minutes and 45.9 seconds. This meant at the end of the first day they lay in an impressive third overall with a total time of 43 minutes and 17.4 seconds.

                The second day of the event was shorter than the opening with only three stages to contest. The route headed into the forests of Mid Wales for these stages, with the first being a long 25.86-kilometre test in Dyfi forest. Dylan and Llion really charged through this stage and at the end of it were rewarded the second quickest overall time, stopping the watch at 17 minutes and 22.4 seconds. They still lay in third overall but narrowed down the gap between them and second placed competitor here. Myherin was to make up the seventh stage of the event, this was another long stage with a length of 22.92 kilometres. Here Dylan and LLion went and set the fastest overall stage time, an excellent achievement for a group N specification car among a field of far more potent machinery, a testament to Dylan and Llion’s skills. Their time over this demanding stage was 15 minutes and 9.6 seconds, they were 4.6 seconds quicker than any other competitor here. This lifted them up to second overall. The final stage of the event was the ever-popular Sweet Lamb Hafren stage, which begins in the forest of Hafren before making its way out to the Sweet lamb complex. This is always a popular venue with spectators and features tight harpins, water splashes and jumps for spectators to enjoy. The total length of this stage was 25.65 kilometres. Here Dylan and LLion managed the third best time on the stage with 18 minutes and 4.9 seconds. This meant that Dylan and LLion went on to finish the National rally in an excellent second overall with a total time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 54.3 seconds. They also won the FMP rally challenge. It was a great weekend for them in some very demanding conditions.

                A couple of weeks later on the weekend of the 26th/27th of October it was the rallying world’s annual visit to the cattle mart in Newcastle Emlyn for the Cilwendeg road rally. It was the fifty-ninth running of the event and once again it featured a strong entry with many competitors travelling from far and wide to sample the lanes of South West Wales. Again, the event would make up a round of the welsh road rally championship where it took the tenth date on the calendar.

Needless to say, there were a handful of Lampeter members on the entry list ready to take on the 100-mile route situated on OS map 145. The first of which being Andy Davies at 3 who had swapped Impreza’s and was back at the wheel of IDZ, he had regular navigator Michael Gilbey on map duties. Cadog Davies was next up with George Williams at the wheel of his Mk2 Ford escort, they were seeded at 8 and hoping to have a strong result here as part of a last push for welsh championship points, with only two rounds after this there wasn’t too much time to try and climb up the tables so every result counted. At 10 was Dafydd Evans who was once again in the Toyota corolla belonging to Kevin “penclaw” Jones. They’ve been having some great results together and are also in the running for a strong result. At 12 was Stefan “DR” Davies in his regular Mk2 Ford escort, he had Daniel Llewelyn Jones navigating for him. At 20 was Gari Evans in his Mk2 Ford escort, he once again had Richard “Ty Capel” Williams navigating for him. Alan Gaunt was once again out in his Vauxhall astra, he was at 24 with Jordan Dziadulewicz navigating for him. At 34 was Daniel Williams who once again was with regular navigator Shaun Richards in Daniel’s BMW 318ti. They have been having some great results together and were hoping to add to that tally here. Navigating in car 45 was Wayne “tar” Jones who was with Llion Rees in a Ford fiesta. Also navigating was Richard Hughes, who was sat with Dafydd Evans in another Mk2 Ford escort. They were at 52. Number 60 went to Keith Daniels in a Peugeot 206 GTI, he had John Apsland navigating form him. Rounding off club members at 78 was another navigator, Andrew Davies who was with regular driver Jordan Evans, they would be using Jordan’s regular Peugeot 206 GTI.

With plotting taken care of it was off into the lanes for a night of action. Conditions were very slippery going with a lot of standing water on the road given the rain that fell over the previous night although it did stay dry overhead. The first section began just outside of Newcastle Emlyn and went around towards Capel Iwan. Time control 6 was located here and was the first section where competitors picked up penalties after the organisers had to scrub the results of time control 3. Almost everyone picked up penalties here with best among club members going to Stefan and Daniel in the escort who had 8 seconds of penalties. Next up were George and Cadog who had 15 seconds in their escort. Kevin and Dafydd were also doing well with 25 seconds. Sadly, there were already retirements with the clutch giving up early on Andy’s Subaru so they retired, as had Gari Evans and Richard Williams in their escort.

Time control 7 was another tight one where penalties were gained. Here George and Cadog plus Kevin and Dafydd tied on 22 seconds, Alan Gaunt and Jordan Dziadulewicz had 1 minute and 1 second, Keith and John had 1 minute and 24 seconds. Daniel and Shaun managed 1 minute 28 seconds and Stefan and Daniel were on 2 minutes and 45.

Coedllwyd was where the route went next as the rally route snaked its way towards the petrol halt that was at Tan-y-Groes. Section finish 2 was located at the end of this section and once again it was a location where competitors picked up penalties. Kevin and Dafydd were best among club members here with 23 seconds gained, right behind them on 24 were George and Cadog, and Daniel and Shaun were on 45 seconds. Also doing well were Stefan and Daniel on 52 seconds. Keith and John were also pushing on hard and had 1 minute exactly. Alan and Jordan were on 1 minute 4 seconds and Llion and Wayne had 1 minute 14 seconds. Sadly, the retirements list grew some more with Dafydd Evans and Richard Hughes retiring as well as Jordan Evans and Andrew Davies.

There was one final tight section before the petrol halt, which was at section finish 3, where section finish 4 and 5 were both passable without picking up any penalties. At Section 3 it was Kevin and Dafydd that were setting the pace among club members as they set another excellent time with only 16 seconds of penalties gained. Llion and Wayne also set an excellent time with 22 seconds gained. George and Cadog were also going strong with 24 seconds gained.

At the petrol halt it was George and Cadog who led among club members with 1 minute and 25 seconds, this saw them in fifth overall and fourth in class. Only one second down on them with 1 minute and 26 seconds here Kevin “penclaw” Jones and Dafydd Evans so they held sixth overall and fifth in class. Next were Stefan “DR” Davies and Daniel Llewelyn Jones on 4 minutes and 26 seconds. They held twenty-fifth overall and eleventh in class. Llion Rees and Wayne Jones were in thirty sixth overall and twentieth in class with 5 minutes and 43 seconds. Keith Daniels and John Apsland were a couple of places further back at thirty-eighth with 5 minutes and 52 seconds so lay in thirty-eighth overall and twenty-first in class. Alan Gaunt and Jordan Dziadulewicz were in fifty-third overall and twenty-eighth in class with 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Daniel Williams and Shaun Richards were in sixty-sixth overall as they picked up a couple of fails, their time was 8 minutes and 48 seconds.

With tanks brimmed it was back into the lanes for the second half, with the first two sections taking place between the A487 and the coast, and included going around the infamous Cwmtydu harpins. Section finish 6 was the next tight section for the majority of competitors although some had picked up a few penalties at a couple of the previous time controls. George and Cadog had 30 seconds here and Kevin and Dafydd managed 49 seconds. Daniel and Shaun were on 1 minute 18 seconds and Llion and Wayne managed 2 minutes and 21 seconds.

The route then went by Capel Gwnda where section finish 7 was another that had to be scrubbed from the results so it would be time control 17 and section finish 8 that would be that last two tight sections of route and the last opportunity for competitors to try and climb the leader board. Here at time control 17 George and Cadog pushed hard and achieved an excellent time of 47 seconds. This would be the last place they picked up any penalties. Time control 17 would also be Kevin and Dafydd’s final penalty as they also passed section finish 8 without penalty, here they had 1 minute and 15 seconds of penalties. Daniel and Shaun had 1 minute and 2 seconds at Time control 17 and 26 seconds at section finish 8. Llion and Wayne achieved 1 minute 30 at Time control 17 and 41 seconds at section finish 8.

With all the route done it was over to the finish for the results. Finishing in an excellent fourth overall and third in class were George Williams and Cadog Davies with a total penalty of 2 minutes and 44 seconds. Kevin “penclaw” Jones and Dafydd Evans were in sixth overall and fifth in class with three minutes and 30 seconds. LLion Rees and Wayne “tar” Jones finished in thirty-fourth overall and nineteenth in class with 12 minutes and 35 seconds. Daniel Williams and Shaun Richards finished fifty-seventh overall and thirtieth in class due to the two fails they occurred earlier in the event. Their penalty count was 12 minutes and 47 seconds. Stefan “DR” Davies and Daniel Llewelyn Jones had unfortunately retired in the second half as did Alan Gaunt and Jordan Dziadulewicz when they decided to call it a night after missing a route check. Also retiring were Keith Daniels and John Apsland who also retired during the second half.

It had been a very demanding rally that proved to be an enjoyable challenge for everyone competing.

Also occurring on the same weekend was the Exmoor targa rally. Taking place on Saturday the 26th of October and organised by Tavern motor club Bristol and would include some 40 miles of tests with 30 of them on smooth gravel tracks. Lee Plant and Mike Phillips put in an entry to see what targa’s the other side of the border were like and were given seed 28 in their Mitsubishi Colt. They have been competing on several targa rallies throughout Wales and were keen to get involved on events further afield. This rally used tulip diagrams for navigation as apposed to maps and diagrams which was to make for an interesting change and all the action was taking place on OS map 181.

                Both Lee and Mike thoroughly enjoyed the rally and after a full day of competition finished in a highly respectable seventeenth overall and sixth in class. They had very much enjoyed the rally and were keen to compete on more.

                Many thanks must go to Neil Constable for the use of his image in this report.