Dorian Evans awaits his start time on the Tyddyn Du test.

The bank holiday weekend of Sunday, the 28th of May saw a welcome return on the Classic Tracks targa rally return to the rallying calendar, a targa rally organised by Llandysul motor club is a little different to a road rally, where all competition takes place in daylight, and all on private ground, on farm tracks and private forestry’s (well, any private ground wide enough to fit a car down seems to be fair game!). With it being a local rally with a reputation for being an enjoyable day out it was no surprise to see plenty of Lampeter and district motor club members down on the entry list.

First down on the entry list was Dorian “4 door” Evans who was making a return to rallying after a brief spell away after having some great results on stage rallies. He was out in his Mk2 ford escort with Arfon Griffiths navigating, they were seeded at car 7. A couple of places down at 9 were Jason “scrap” Thomas who partnered with Lee Taylor for this event, Jason having originally entered in a Vauxhall corsa, but got hold of a Volvo 360 to use instead. Down at 11 was Cadog Davies who was reunited with Williams Mains and the Vauxhall astra for this rally. At 13 were Tim Evans and Dafydd Evans out once again in a Proton Satria GTI. Navigating in car 34 was Richard Hughes, for Damien Summerfield, in a vauxhall corsa. Down in 41 were Rhodri Lewis and Anwen Davies in a Citroen saxo, and just behind them was Owen McConochie who had teamed up with Owain Glyn Davies for this event, they were out in another Proton Satria. At 44 was Lee “eggs” Plant with Natalie Louise Plant in a Daihatsu charade, who were hoping to get a good result in amongst the under 1400s. At 48 was Daniel Williams who had Jamie Graham navigating for him, they were out in a BMW 318. At 52 was Shane Goddard in another BMW, he had Shaun Richards navigating for him. At 54 were Huw and Owen Rowcliffe in their Peugeot 206. In 57 was Rhydian Thomas in a newly purchased Ford focus ST170 to try out, he was partnered by Arwel Thomas.

With everyone gathered outside West Wales Rally spares down on Llandysul industrial estate for scrutineering and signing on everyone was very excited for a day of top competition and with the weather being warm and dry the conditions were excellent for a day of motorsport, and all were eager for the first test that took place in Croesllan.

On the first test, it was Dorian Evans who set the best time and only had 45 seconds of penalties, a great start to their day. It was to be a short rally for Jason Thomas and Lee Taylor as they damaged on of the cars shafts early on, forcing them into retirement. Will and cadog had a good start to their day and picked up 1 minute and 8 seconds of penalties on this test, a very respectful time. Tim and Dafydd were another pair to begin their day with a strong performance on the first test as they picked up exactly 1 minute of penalties on this test, which was joint fourth quickest time on this opening test. Damien and Richard began their day with an excellent 1 minute and 9 seconds of penalties in the little corsa. Rhodri and Anwen also unfortunately had a short rally and retired early on in the day although did well on the tests that they completed. Owen and Owain opened their day with one minute and 18 seconds in penalties on this first test, and Lee and Natalie also did well in their little Daihatsu with a minute and 35 seconds. Daniel and Jamie managed a minute and 30 seconds on this opening test. Down into novice class and Shane and Shaun managed 2 minutes and 17 seconds in their BMW and Huw and Owen set a great time of a minute and 37 seconds. Rhydian and Arwel managed a respectful minute and 52 seconds.

With almost everyone surviving the first test crews then headed over to Prengwyn for another test, before then heading towards Talgarreg area for more. It was onto test 7, which was at Pantsod Farm, a farm which was familiar to many club members as it has been used as a venue for the club’s auto tests in the past, there was a spectator point placed at this test and everyone seems to enjoy the action that took place as competitors dodged around barrels and sheds as they attempted to set a good time. Once again it was Dorian and Arfon who had the best time on this test (by one second!) with 42 seconds of penalties picked up. Will and Cadog had a minute and 37 seconds on this test as they had the gear selector forks come loose on the car, but nothing that couldn’t be sorted with a few well-placed cable ties couldn’t sort out at the end of the test. Tim and Dafydd were another crew doing very well and continued to set impressive times with 55 seconds on this test. Damien and Richard were another crew putting in very good performances as they managed only 53 seconds here. Owen McConochie was going very well on the rally so far and putting in some very competitive times that saw him rivalling many of the cars in the expert class, picking up and impressive 57 seconds on this test at Pantsod. Lee and Natalie were another crew who managed to go under the minute with 58 seconds of penalties after some very smooth driving around the yard which no doubt helped. Daniel was doing well in the BMW as well on this test with 59 seconds. The other BMW pairing of Shane and Shaun had a minute and 15 seconds. The Rowcliffe pair managed 1 minute and 7 seconds in their 206. and Rhydian and Arwel had 1 minute 30 seconds.

From here crews then headed over to Llanarth where another test followed, this was to use the “white” road near Pencae that also featured on this year’s Bro caron rally, and is a technical little section that can be quite tricky to navigate round so must have been a nice change for everyone to tackle it in daylight. Then followed a test at Tyddyn Du farm just outside of Dihewyd where a small track leading off the farm heads over to another farm, Bryn Cesig, it is a straight forward enough test with only a couple of tight corners along the track. All club members that were still running were seen to be going very well on this test, with everyone trying hard.

Dorian was the first of club members through this test, and set another fastest time on it with 24 seconds of penalties. It was Tim and Dafydd who were next club members to arrive at this test with Will and Cadog having pulled over to carry out some running repairs on the astra, both Tim and Dafydd seemed to be enjoying how the day had been going so far and looked very neat as they set off down the test. Then came Will and Cadog who were another crew who pushed hard and were rewarded with only 30 seconds of penalties. Damien and Richard once again showed their capabilities as they set another strong time with 35 seconds of penalties picked up. Rhodri and Anwen were the next club members to enter the start control of the test so had managed to cover the first 8 tests, and were getting some serious revs out of the little Citroen’s engine as they charged down the track. There is no mention of the time they achieved but one can imagine they wouldn’t have picked up many penalties with the way they were going! Owen and Owain were the next club members to set off and seemed to be enjoying the day as they queued for their start time. They managed another great time of 32 seconds. It was Lee and Natalie who were next, and they both arrived at the start of the test with smiles on their faces and were clearly enjoying the day. Lee being impressed on how the little Daihatsu was coping amongst the sometimes-tricky conditions. They achieved 37 seconds on this test. It was the BMW of Daniel and Jamie next through, and were another crew pushing hard which resulted in a time of 37 seconds on this test. Shane and Shaun in the other BMW also did well on this test picking up 39 seconds. Rhydian and Arwel were then soon at this test too, with Rhydain commenting on how impressed he was with the way the Focus was going and how it was handling the tracks. They achieved 37 seconds.

It was then over to Moyddin white for the next test which is another one familiar to many club members so it was no surprise that all club members did well here. Tanrhos then followed from here before the rally began heading back south to Capel Dewi and then a further three tests in the Pencader area. One the fourteenth test that the little corsa of Damien and RRichard wetn and set fastest time, with 11 seconds of penalties, excellent going given the high standard on the entry list. Once these tests had been completed it was time for a refuel halt in Windy Corner garage. At the petrol halt, it was Dorian Evans who was leading the rally with 6 minutes and 36 seconds of time penalties, Tim and Dafydd were at sixth with 7 minutes and 45, Damien and Richard found themselves just outside of the top ten as they lay in twelfth with 8 minutes and 35 seconds. Will and Cadog held fifteenth with 9 minutes and 28 seconds. Shane and Shaun held eighteenth with 10 minutes and 14 seconds. Owen and Owain were next among club members with 10 minutes and 17 seconds which saw them hold nineteenth. Huw and Owen Rowcliffe were in twenty-third with 11 minutes and 16 seconds. Daniel and Jamie were in twenty-sixth with 11 minutes and 31 seconds. Rhydian and Arwel were in thirty-sixth with 15 minutes and 11 seconds, Lee and Natalie were in forty-eighth overall as they booked in early at the start of test 12 so were given a fail.

With everyone refuelled it was off towards the Alltwalis area where the first couple of tests of the second half would take place. Test 15 began near the marshlands near Pencader and finished opposite Bedw Hirion near Gwyddgrug. Best amongst club members on this test once again was Dorian Evans in his Mk2 Ford escort who had 15 seconds of penalties, and was third fastest overall time on this test. Next among club members were Shane and Shaun who had an excellent time and only picked up 19 seconds of penalties, putting themselves well inside the top 10 on this test. Owen and Owain who had 20 seconds, and just behind them were Damien and Richard who managed 21 seconds, also finding themselves in the top 10. Tim and Dafydd also did very well 22 seconds here. Dan and Jamie were next with 34 seconds. Huw and Owen Rowcliffe were still going well and had 35 seconds. Lee and Natalie followed with 42 seconds of penalties. Will and Cadog achieved 59 seconds, and Rhydian and Arwel had a minute and 38. This was sadly to be the last test for Rhydian and Arwel as the Focus’ bottom arm broke on this test forcing them into retirement.

                The following test was also the end of the rally for Tim and Dafydd who broke one of the Protons shafts, a great shame as they had been doing very well and were sure to feature in the top 10 in the results. The final few tests of the rally saw competitors take on tracks in the Pentrecwrt area, followed by Henllan, Rhydlewis and Gorrig, before heading over to the finish venue The Porth pub in Llandysul for a well-deserved pint (not alcoholic for those driving of course!) to await the results.

                Once everyone had arrived at the finish venue it was declared that the events winner was Dorian Evans with his navigator Arfon Griffiths that won the rally by a whole minute ahead of everyone with 12 minutes and 5 seconds of penailties picked up throughout the day. Damien Summerfield and Richard Hughes finished and excellent tenth overall having set some great times all day, they had 15 minutes and 30 seconds of penalties at the end. Shame Goddard and Shaun Richards were next and finished an excellent thirteenth overall and winning novice class in the process with 16 minutes and 42 seconds. Owen McConochie and Owain Glyn Davies were right behind in fourteenth with 17 minutes and 10 seconds. Daniel Williams and Jamie Graham were next with 18 minutes and 45 seconds so they were sixteenth. Huw and Owen Rowcliffe were next in twenty-first overall with 19 minutes and 39 seconds. Lee and Natalie were next and were in thirty-seventh having picked up a fail earlier in the day. William Mains and Cadog Davies finished in forty-fifth with fourteen fails as the car broke a shaft so they had to cut some of the tests out but managed to get it to the finish venue where they counted as finishers as they had covered enough of the route to be classified.

                All in all it was a very enjoyable day out for everyone who competed and everyone had nothing but praise for the organisers and marshals who created and helped run the rally and everyone left the finish venue with the intention of returning next year for more fun in the tracks.