Wales Rally GB provides fitting finale


The Wales Rally GB would provide a fitting finale for the final major event of a long a gruelling 2011 season. With a National Rally also running after the main field of WRC and International competitors on Friday and Saturday's stages this would provide an event for local crews at a fraction of the cost of the full event.

     Dale Furniss would be the lone LDMC member competing on the full International event when he would be co-driving once more for Builth Wells driver Jason Pritchard. The main event would tackle 23 stages over four days covering 355km. Day one would only have three special stages with two runs over the infamous Great Orme tarmac stage at the peak of Wales followed by a 15km run through Clocaenog in the dark. The pairing ended day one in 25th O/a and fourth in the PWRC section just a second down on third. Four stages repeated was the order for Friday's stages seeing Rally GB make a long awaited return to Dyfi. Gartheiniog and Dyfnant. A good run over the slippery stages saw them climb up to 20th O/a and onto the final step of the podium of the PWRC class. Saturday's stages through Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Myherin would see the pairing make further progression up the leader board to 18th O/a and retain their third in class at the mid-day service. The repeat run through Sweet Lamb however would see the pairing forced into unnecessary and avoidable incident which saw the Subaru Impreza heavily damaged. After several cars passing over the Sweet Lamb stage a jump at the top of the complex became heavily rutted. Several National crews had already damaged their cars as well as other crews higher up on the Internationals re-run had some problems before Pritchard/Furniss were on their repeat run of the stage. With no warning and heading for a jump marked 'Flat' in the pacenotes, the speed of approach and size of the rut would see pair retire with extensive damage that could have been avoided put an end to their event on what potentially could have been an excellent result and a third in class in PWRC.

     The National event of Wales Rally GB would see crews compete on one pass over the Friday and Saturday stages in West Wales. Heading the LDMC crews were Dylan Davies with Llion Williams in the co-drivers seat seeded at car 21. Regular Subaru crew Keith Parry and LDMC member Eryl Evans were also competing on the event hoping to end their season on a high. Sean Crowley was also competing on the event making a return to gravel on the event with fellow member Marc Mayes. The event would make for unusual circumstances for the crew as no service and no chase cars would be available to the crews on the days stages as is the case on National events. Crews would therefore have to be better prepared for the event having to carry a few more spare and tools in the competing vehicle in-case the inevitable should happen.

     At the close of Friday's stages through Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Dyfnant, Davies/Williams would once more be in another enthralling battle with Jamie Anderson for the Grp N honours. Davies/Williams would end day one in 5th O/a just nine seconds adrift of Anderson. Parry/Evans would have ended day one in 17th O/a, however, two ten second penalties for jump starts on SS10 and SS11 saw them drop just a couple of places to 19th O/a. Crowley/Mayes' day one would see further problems for the pairing. A broken drive shaft in Gartheiniog meant the crew had to crawl to the stage finish and make repairs to the car before the final stage in Dyfnant. Unfortunately, the pair would receive a twenty eight minute penalty for being late at the next time control which dropped them down the results severly but would still see the crew re-start on Saturday.

     Saturday's opening stage through Hafren would put an end do Dylan Davies and Llion Williams' chance to take the fight to Anderson for the Grp N honours. An accident in the stage would see just four cars complete the stage and receive their stage time. The rest of the field would receive a nominal time for the stage which was just over a whopping thirty seven seconds slower than Anderson's stage time. The worst to suffer would be Davies/Williams who were 5th O/a all the way back to Ieuan Rowlands in 9th who were all with a chance of the fourth overall spot. Davies/Williams rally would suffer another twist of fate. A puncture just a few miles into the final stage of Myherin would force Davies/Williams to change a wheel and with that substantial time loss which dropped them down the order to a final position of 13th O/a. Eryl Evans, alongside Keith Parry would finish the highest placed LDMC member when they climbed up the leader board to finish 11th O/a just eleven seconds off 10th O/a. The penalties aquired on Friday's jump start totalling twenty seconds unfortunately costing them the tenth spot. Crowley/Mayes unfortunately didn't much luck on their side. Saturday's final stage would see their demise when an engine failure put an end to their event.