Furniss clinches WAMC Clubmans crown




Davies/Furniss on their way to 3rd in Group N at the Woodpecker stages - Photo courtesy ofJames Hatfield Photography

     September saw Dale Furniss clinch the WAMC Clubmans Co-drivers championship on the Woodpecker stages with one round remaining. A succession of four maximum point hauls on recent events whilst co-driving for Dylan Davies in his Group N Subaru Impreza would be enough for Furniss to take the 2011 crown whilst Davies requires a maximum on the final round on the Cambrian to take the drivers title with three other drivers also in contention for the title.



    The Woodpecker stages would see Davies/Furniss involved in another epic battle with Tom Cave and Jamie Anderson for the Group N honours. The opening two stages would see the trio separated by just four seconds with all three crews on the limit with Cave holding the Grp N lead followed by Anderson then Davies. Three stages followed the first service of the day with the crews heading into Radnor and Wigmore. Davies managed to slip into second overall just a second ahead of Anderson but Cave extended his lead to nine seconds. Two stages remained after the final service with a short stage in Bringewood and a long test through Haye Park. Davies unfortunately dropped back a place and would end the day an excellent 8th O/a and 3rd in Grp N albeit level on times with Anderson. However, the tie breaker would see Anderson claim 2nd Grp N honours for being faster than Davies on the opening stage. Eryl Evans, co-driving for Keith Parry once again in the Subaru Impreza experienced an eventful day. Slightly dependant on how other crews faired but knowing they had nothing to lose, the pair went on a big push to try and keep in touch with the quicker more modern machinery. Luck wasn’t to be on their side and a driveshaft failure on the opening stage wasn’t the start they were hoping for and dropping them way down the results table to 68th. They fought back to 40th O/a even with a minute penalty for being late out of service changing the defected driveshaft. The penultimate stage would see the majority of the drama unfold. Pushing hard saw the Impreza crew overshoot a hairpin into the scenery which was shortly followed by gearbox failure leaving the Impreza with only two wheel drive for the final stage which eventually brought their event to an end. The retirement from the event however didn’t prevent Parry and Evans winning the 2011 WAMC Clubmans Championship for Class 4 vehicles.

     The Wexford Rally would see Tomas Davies head over to the Emerald Isle once more for some tarmac competition but this time would also see father Ian Davies competing. Iwan Mayes was another member to make the journey across the ocean making his debut on Irish soil, his first closed road event and first time making his own pace notes. Tomas Davies got his event off to a flying start and held a convincing twenty three second class lead and lay 21st overall after two stages. Stage three would spell disaster however when the head gasket on Davies’ Escort Mk2 let go and put an early end to his event. Ian Davies’ event would last a little longer but would also come to a premature end on day two when his Escort Mk2 also broke down. Davies, with co-driver Ryland James had been lying in 22nd overall and 7th in the highly competitive Class 13 on the event after SS10. Iwan Mayes’ rally got off to a steady start when a wrong tyre choice for the morning’s opening stages cost Mayes and co-driver Steven Hicks time. As the day progressed the pairing began to find their feet and finding confidence in the notes saw Mayes up his speed and progress up the leader board ending day one in 54th overall and 4th in class 12. The opening stage on day two would unfortunately see Mayes/Hicks roll on SS7 when a wet and muddy right hander would see the Escort slide into the bank and roll. Fortunately both Mayes/Hicks escaped the accident without serious injury and were able to walk away.

     The Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire would be the event to cap off September’s stage rallying calendar with just the lone LDMC member Dylan Davies competing on the event with Llion Williams in the co-drivers seat. Luck wasn’t to be on their side once more but mechanical issues wasn’t to be their down fall this time. Their rally would come to an end on the ten mile opening run through Dalby. After catching the car ahead within four miles of the stage and eventually being allowed past, the red mist had unfortunately settled in the Subaru and pushing a little too hard to claw back lost time saw the Subaru leave the road on a downhill section into a hairpin and head on into a bank at high speed. Fortunately, once again, both crews escaped serious injury and were able to walk away from the accident.