alan cad gremlin

Alan Gaunt and Cadog Davies on their way to fourth overall on the Gremlin

There has been a flurry of activity from club members recently on rallies recently, with the Gremlin road rally, Tour of Epynt and Malcolm Wilson stages too.

The first event was the Gremlin road rally, an event organised by Brecon motor club that took place over the weekend of the 4th/5th of March, and would make up the third round of the welsh road rally championship. The rally was to be made some 120 miles on OS maps 147, 160 and 161, right in the heart of welsh rallying territory.

Brecon golf club was to be the start venue, where amongst the sixty-seven crews entered saw a handful of Lampeter and district members. First member down on the entry list was number 3, Steffan DR Davies, who was once again partnered by Michael Gilbey, out again in Steffan’s familiar Mk2 Ford escort. Steffan hoping for a good result for their welsh championship bid having had a great result on the recent Bro Caron. At 7 were Wayne Jones and Justin Davies, who were out in a Peugeot 206, another crew that were also looking for welsh championship points. Just behind them at 8 were Alan Gaunt and Cadog Davies, Alan returning to the lanes after some time away is always a contender and has great experience in road rallying, including some outright wins. Cadog returning to the passenger side of the car for this event after the retirement from the recent bro caron, Cadog having excellent results in both seats means he is always in contention of a good result, no matter what part of the country. They would be using Alan’s Mk2 Ford escort. At 10 were the now regular pairing of Jordan Summers and Dafydd Evans, who had traded in the Ford puma that Jordan usually uses for a Mk2 Ford escort. Coming down into the novice class saw the two Rhodris’ Lewis (driving) and Williams (navigating) who have pared up to compete on the welsh rounds together, seeded at 54, they were out in a Citroen saxo, unfortunately though they were to end up on the non-starter’s list. Rounding off the entry list was Nathan Summers who was navigating for Mark Summers, they were at 75 and out in a Ford puma.

With a few non-starting, it opened up the potential for a better result for the sixty-five crews that managed to leave the start car park and enter the lanes for the night’s sport.

The first half of the rally began just south of LLanspyddid, and the first tight section of the night soon followed, which was Time Control 2. Steffan and Michael managed to avoid any penalties on this tight section. Wayne and Justin picked up thirty-seven seconds on this section, whilst Alan and Cadog had seven. Down in novice class Mark and Nathan had picked up six minutes at this point, with two of them coming from Time Control 1. Jordan and Dafydd were to have an early night as they retired with brake problems in the first half.

The next tight section for the front runners, was to be TC11, where no one escaped without picking up penalties, best amongst club members on this control were Steffan and Michael who picked up thirty-seven seconds. Next best was Alan and Cadog who picked up forty-eight seconds, and then Wayne and Justin, who had 1 minute and four seconds. Mark and Nathan down in novice class had 2 minutes and seventeen seconds on this control.

The petrol halt then followed at Sennybridge, where at the half way distance it was Steffan “DR” Davies and Michael Gilbey who were best amongst club members who were in second overall with thirty-seven seconds of penalties. Alan Gaunt and Cadog Davies were in sixth place with fifty-five seconds. Wayne Jones and Justin Davies were in twelfth with 1 minute and thirty-five seconds. Mark Summers and Nathan Summers were in forty-seventh overall with fifteen minutes and thirty seconds.

With the refuel halt taken care of crews headed off headed off for the second half, which would be going north of Llanfihangel Nant Bran, and would include a few map changes onto 147 and 160, before finishing off again on 161.

It was Time control 16, which was to be timed to the minute as it included the use of “whites”, which was to be the tightest section of the half. Even so some crews managed to complete this section within their permitted minute, this enabling them to go without picking up any penalties. Amongst those going clean over this section included Steffan and Michael, who were once again doing very well together. Wayne and Justin, together with Alan and Cadog, both picked up a minute of penalties at this control. Mark and Nathan continued down in the novice class with respectable times and picked up five minutes at this control.

This was to be the last tight section for most of the front runners of the night, so after the final Time Control crews headed over to the finish venue for the results.

Best amongst club members were Alan Gaunt and Cadog Davies in fourth overall and second in class, a great run by them considering Alan doesn’t compete on rallies as often as some. Mark Summers and Nathan Summers picked up 9 fails in the second half, so finished down in thirty-third overall, and tenth in class, still a respectable result for this inexperienced crew. Wayne and Justin were another crew picking up fails, so they finished down in thirty-eighth place, and fifth in class. Steffan and Michael were a crew to feature on the non-finishers list, a great shame as they had been doing very well all night.

The nest rally in the welsh road rally championship which should see action from club members is the Rally LLyn, organised by Harlech and district motor club.

With the Gremlin done it was the following week that saw action from club members, as Port Talbot motor club hosted the Melvyn Evans motorsport Tour of Epynt, a 75-mile tarmac rally held over the famous ranges on the twelfth of March.

Lampeter and district motor club were well represented on the entry list, with the first being at five, which was Tomas Davies, who was partnered by Eurig Davies, they were out in Tomas’ Ford Fiesta R5. Behind them at six were Sean Crowley and Emma Jones, in Maggie, their Mitsubishi Mirage. At forty-five were Malcolm “Tar” Jones and Rhys Jones, a pairing that competed together before over the ranges, out in a Peugeot 206 cup car.

The rally consisted of seven stages over the ranges, with the first being a short spring to get everyone ready for the rest of the day. Club members did very well on this opening stage, with Tomos Davies managing 2 minutes and fifty-one seconds, and Sean and Emma managing 2 minutes and fifty-five seconds, putting both of them well inside the top ten. Malcolm and Rhys achieved a great time of 3 minutes and twenty-four seconds.

The days second stage was longer than the first, and club members continued to impress, with Sean and Emma being quickest of club members with a time of 6 minutes and thirty-four seconds, Tomos Davies managing six minutes and thirty-six seconds. Malcolm and Rhys achieved 7 minutes and fifty-four.

It was on stage 3 where things didn’t go according to plan for Sean and Emma, as they had an accident on the third stage, causing a fair amount of damage to Maggie. Sean and Emma were taken to hospital for a check over to be safe, but were later released, and Maggie is already being rebuilt as this is being written. The club wishes all the best to Sean and Emma and hope to see them out competing again very soon

For the remaining crews the pace continued to be high and impressive times were being set, with Tomos now lying in second overall after setting some excellent times on the third and fourth stage. Malcolm and Rhys retired on stage 4, with throttle cable.

On a day that proved to be very difficult and challenging with everyone pushing very hard it was great to see Tomos Davies complete the day’s stages safely and also achieve and incredible second overall in the fiesta, a great result amongst tough competition.

The final rally which took place was the Malcolm Wilson rally, which was organised by Morecambe car club and took part on the 11th of March. It was to be the second round of the BTRDA rally championship. The event consisted of forty-two stage miles made up from seven stages, using the forests in the Lake district.

In amongst the 138 entries that were out, Lampeter and district were well represented. Last year’s BTRDA group N winner Andy Davies were seeded at twenty-six, he was partnered with Max Freeman for this event. Dylan Davies, with his regular navigator Llion Williams were at twenty-nine in Dylan’s regular impreza, who were hoping for another good result having recently won the Red Kite stages.

Andy spun the impreza on the first stage called Hobcarton, so were fifty-first at the end of the first stage, Dylan and LLion also encountered problems on the day’s opening stage and went OTL (over time limit), they were given a stage maximum of five minutes, Dylan and Llion carried on and took part in the days remaining stages, but did not count in the overall results of the rally.

The second stage of the day, Comb, saw Andy playing catch up to the others in group N after the first stage, and set joint twenty-second quickest stage time. Dylan and Llion set joint sixteenth quickest stage time, so it was a great shame that they would not be featuring in the overall standings, but the times Dylan and Llion posted on the days remaining stages showed that he had potential to do very well had they had a little better luck.

Andy continued to improve his position in the remaining stages of the day and even set quickest group N on stage six, Grizedale south, which saw them finish an excellent seventeenth overall and fourth in class, a great result for them considering their spin in the first stage. Dylan and LLion set top twenty times throughout the day so it was a great shame that their rally ended the way it did.

The next BTRDA round is the Somerset stages rally which takes place on the 8th of April.

Many thanks to Joseph John Gilbertson for the use of his image.