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Saturday the 14th of May saw the Knutsford and district motor club Organised-Plains rally once again take place using the forests of Mid and North Wales. The rally, starting from Welshpool saw competitors tackle some 42 miles of over 7 stages that would involve Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Pantperthog.

The rally attracted an entry of 140 crews and included amongst those were Lampeter and district motor club members of Dylan Davies and Llion Williams seeded at number 12 and Andy Davies co-driven by Max Freeman running at 26. With both crews campaigning in the welsh forestry rally championship as well as the BTRDA forestry rally championship, the Plains rally would make up the 4th round of both. Each crew were out hoping for good results to and to pick up as many points as possible, as after 3 rounds in the welsh championship Andy was holding 3rdoverall and leading the group N category for less modified cars, whilst Dylan was tied for 5th.

Gartheiniog was to be the first stage of the day with dry and dusty weather conditions greeting the crews, straight away both LDMC members showed fine form, with Andy posting the 7th fastest overall time and 1st in group N, and Dylan managing a very respectable joint 11th O/a and 3rd in class B13.

It looked like it was going to be a successful day for the LDMC members. Stages 2 (Dyfi east) and 3 (Dyfi west) followed and both crews continued as they began, putting in impressive times and maintaining excellent positions.

The weather remained dry and sunny for the second loop of stages, which began with Gartheiniog 2, where Andy managed a 9th fastest overall time of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and right behind in 10th on 8 minutes and 50 seconds were Dylan and Llion. Following Gartheiniog 2 were Dyfi east 2 and Dyfi west 2, plus a stage in Pantperthog to finish off the day’s action. Both LDMC members managed to complete the day’s stages successfully, and finishing high up the leader board too. Andy Davies and Max Freeman finished in a fantastic 7th overall and 1st in group N. Dylan Davies and Llion Williams finished a very respectful 11th overall and and 3rd in class.

With both crews having a successful outing on the Plains, they in-turn improve on their standings in the welsh forestry championship, where Andy now climbs to 2nd overall after 4 rounds, and Dylan now lying 4th and Llion in 6th. Andy also lies 6th in the BTRDA forestry championship and Dylan lies 38th. The next round of the welsh championship Heads to Builth Wells for the ever popular Midland Manor motor club organised Severn Valley stages which takes place on the 4th of June. This rally is not a round of the BTRDA but it is a round of the Welsh championship so both crews will be aiming to come away with as many points as possible. Andy trails the overall championship leader, Luke Francis by just 8-points so there is all to play for...

In a short statement after the rally Andy said: “chuffed to finish what was an excellent and well organised rally using some of the best stages wales has to offer. The car felt great all day. Happy to have finally found some reliability in the car this season and overwhelmed to be voted star of the rally by the motoring news. thanks to Max for a fantastic job on the notes, my service crew, Geoff Jones motorsport and finally all of my sponsors for their continued support.”

The Plains rally wasn’t the only rally for club members, as on the weekend of the 7th/8th of May saw club members head up to the Welsh Border car clubs organised Border 100 rally, an event with a tough reputation which saw a 90 car field take on some 100 miles of North Wales’ finest lanes, starting from Llanfynllin. The rally was the 5th round of the welsh road rally championship which several Lampeter and district members compete on. Although it was not a local event, the club were well represented with many crews making the journey up north to compete, which included car the navigator of car 3, Dafydd Evans, car 9, Steffan “DR” Davies, the navigator of car 10, Cadog Davies, car 15, Gari Evans and Nia Hughes, navigator or cars 38, Llion Williams and originally 1st reserve, but securing a run, car 69, Fiona Balchin.

The event lived up to its fearsome reputation of being a real tough one, and included many farmyards along the length of the route, one of which claimed the exhaust of car 10, Reian Jones and Cadog Davies, forcing the crew into retirement. It was a more successful outing for Steffan and Dafydd, both of which finished well inside the top 10, with Dafydd Evans guiding Phil Turner into an excellent 4th overall and Steffan with the help of Michael Gilbey finishing 6th. Lying in 11th at the halfway halt were Llion Williams navigating for Chris Young but unfortunately picking up some fails in the second half dropped them down to 34th at the finish. Unfortunately, there were retirements for Gari Evans and Nia hughes, as well as Fiona Balchin, navigating in car 69.

The rally action didn’t end in Wales, as Melvyn Evans headed out to compete on the Carlow Stages rally, a 9 stage tarmac event, where navigated by Mark Glennerster, finished an excellent 6th place overall, 2nd in class.

With thanks to Neil Constable for the photograph