andy severn valley


It’s been a very busy weekend for members of Lampeter and district motor club as 3 rallies have taken place, one of which being a road rally, one forest rally and a tarmac rally over the Epynt military ranges.

                The first event of the weekend was the Midland Manor motor club organised Severn Valley stages, a 44-mile forest rally based in Builth Wells and using Crychan and Radnor forests, and would be making up the fourth round of the Pirelli MSA welsh forestry championship which some club members are competing on. The rally was made of seven stages.

                The rally attracted a couple of members from Lampeter and district motor club, first of which being car 3, Dylan Davies and LLion Williams who were once again competing in their Subaru Impreza. Right behind them at 4 were the other Impreza paring of Andy Davies and Max Freeman. Both of which were hoping to score points in the welsh championship.

                Cefn was the first stage of the day with a length of 3.77 miles, and both club members began with excellent times putting themselves very near the top of the leader board right away, with Dylan and Llion setting an excellent time of 4 minutes and 5 seconds on the day’s opening stage. Andy and Max also had a good start to the day and posted a very respectful time of 4 minutes and 20 seconds. It was quicly off to stage two, the 10.72-mile test of Crychan 1, which was the longest stage of the day. Dylan and Llion lost a little time on this stage as the impreza developed a misfire, even so the managed a still very respectful time of 11 minutes and 25 seconds. Andy and Max continued to set great times and achieved 11 minutes and 36 seconds on this longer stage.

                The third stage of the day was Gwibedog 1 a 4.31-mile stage, another short stage where Dylan and LLion manged yet another great time, only 2 seconds of the leading car’s pace, with an excellent 4 minutes and 32 seconds. Andy was once again being the man to beat in group N with an excellent 4 minutes and 44 seconds. There came a service halt after the first 3 stages for running repairs and tinkering to be carried out where needed, Andy having slight turbo issues on the impreza’s engine but kept going strongly, albeit down on power a little. The car’s turbo will be changed before the next round.

                With the service break done it was back to the forests for the afternoons first stages, with stage 4 being in Radnor forest. At 8.91 miles, it was the third longest stage of the day. Once again, the Lampeter representatives did excellent and were within a few seconds of each other as they often have been over the past couple of years, both showing excellent pace. Dylan and Llion managing 8 minutes and 39 seconds and Andy and Max achieving a great 8 minutes and 42 seconds. The following stage, Cefn Llwydo, was to be the shortest stage of the day at only 2.66 miles, with many of the front running cars taking under 3 minutes to complete. Dylan and LLion setting the fastest time of the day over this stage, with an excellent 2 minutes and 43 seconds. Andy and Max were pulling out a lead in Group N as they managed 2 minutes and 51 seconds.

                Stage 6 was the second longest of the day, Crychan 2, with a length of 9.49 miles. Dylan and Llion once again set an excellent time with 9 minutes and 50 seconds, which was the third quickest time over this stage. Andy and Max continued at a great pace with a time of 10 minutes and 9 seconds, which saw them joint seventh quickest. So, it was onto the last stage of the day, with both club members well inside of the top ten all day it came down to the final 4.31 miles of Gartheiniog 2 to finish off the day.

                Dylan managed to finish the day with an excellent 4 minutes and 32 seconds, giving him a well-deserved fourth overall and fourth in class, with a total time of 45 minutes and 46 seconds, a great result for them and showing how capable a crew they are given a clean and drama free run. Andy and Max achieved an excellent fifth overall and first in class (group N) showing once again he was the one to beat in a group N car. Andy commented that he was happy to finish where he did, as it was realistically going to be very difficult to beat the three world rally cars and a B13 class car given the difference in specification. Andy now holds the overall lead in the Welsh forestry championship and Dylan has been lifted into third. Llion is third navigator, but with many rounds still to come it is all to play for. The next round of the Welsh forestry championship is the Nicky Grist stages, which takes place on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of July. Andy will be competing in the DMACK Carlisle stage next week, as the fifth round of the BTRDA rally championship where there will no doubt be a very competitive Group N battle taking place.

                With the forest rallying of the weekend taken care of it was off to Newtown for the Newtown and District automobile club organised Eagle road rally, a rally of some 75 miles made up on OS maps 136 and 137, and would be the sixth round of the Welsh road rally championship.

                Lampeter and district motor club were well represented on the entry list, with Andy Davies leading the way on the entry list in car 5, together again with Max Freeman out on their second event of the weekend having finished the Severn Valley only a few hours earlier. They switched to Andy’s road rally specification Subaru Impreza “IDZ” and made it to scrutineering just in time. Navigating in car 9 was Cadog Davies, hoping to get a good result from what has been a mixed season so far with potential showing on every event he competes on, but perhaps not always carrying the best of luck. He would be navigating in a Seat Ibiza, for Telor Pugh. Simon Summers was next up, driving his Ford puma at 12, he had Dilwyn John with him on the maps. Justin Davies was navigating in car 13, a Ford escort mk2, for Chris Hand. Llion “tractor” Williams was another contesting on his second event of the weekend, having had a great result on the Severn Valley only a few hours earlier, he was navigating in another Ford escort mk2, for Alun Horn, they were given number 19.

                It was a short and sharp rally with a lot of tight and competitive sections it wasn’t long before crews were into the first tight section of the rally, which was at Time Control 2. Andy and Max picked up 1 minute and 21 seconds at this time control, which was quickest amongst club members at this control, clearly setting off on this rally in much the same way as he finished his last! Telor and Cadog managed 1 minute 42 seconds at this time control, a good start to their event. Simon Summers had a cautious start to his rally and achieved a time of 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Chris and Justin achieved a very good time of 1 minute and 48 seconds in their Ford escort, whilst Alun and Llion had 1 minute 50 seconds in theirs.

                The next tight section was Time control 6, and Andy and Max together once again posted an excellent time of 37 seconds, second fastest on this section, showing they were now battling for the lead against stiff competition in their impreza. Changing from pace notes to OS maps was something that the crew clearly found comfortable. Telor and Cadog continued to set very good times as they picked up 49 seconds. Simon and Dilwyn got into the swing of things after a steady start and achieved a very good time of 1 minute and 7 seconds. Chris and Justin had 1 minute and 3 seconds here. Alun and Llion were finding their stride as they posted a very good time of 55 seconds. Time control 8 was a section timed to the minute, and was the next tight section of the night. Even so a fair few crew managed to go penalty free on this section, but Simon and Dilwyn had a minute of penalties, as did Alun and Llion. There was one final tight section before the half way halt, but there was no refuelling on this rally as the distance was short enough to not warrant it. This was Time control 10. Andy and Max continued their charge as they set a very quick time of 57 seconds, this meant at the halfway halt they lead the rally with a time of 2 minutes and 55 seconds, a 16 second lead over second place. Telor and Cadog were in third place with 3 minutes and 33 seconds. Chris and Justin held sixth place with 4 minutes and 20 seconds in their escort. Simon and Dilwyn were in eighteenth place with 6 minutes and 20 seconds.

                With one half of the rally dealt with it was back into the lanes to finish off. Time control 13 was the first tight section in the second half and Andy was once again quickest over it with a time of 1 minute and 7 seconds, which helped him open his lead a little. Telor and Cadog achieved 1 minute 27 seconds. Simon and Dilwyn achieved 1 minute and 41 seconds here, where Chris and Justin had a very good time of 1 minute 21 seconds. Alun and Llion had 1 minute and 45 seconds.

                The rally organisers managed to cram in four more tight sections into the rally, a great achievement considering the short distance and the few hours of darkness that they had to work with. Andy and Max carried on in very much the same way as they began by setting incredible times in the impreza. Telor and Cadog’s good run was to unfortunately come to an early end as they stopped to check the car over in a neutral section when the brakes of the car locked up and would not release. They eventually managed to get the car running again but a lot of time had been lost so they jumped to the finish, in doing this they unfortunately hadn’t covered over two thirds of the route so they were unable to qualify as finishers.

                But at the end of the nights sport it was Andy Davies and Max freeman who took a well-deserved win in the Subaru impreza, this being Andy’s first outright win on a road rally having come so close on a few occasions before. Andy commented on how he enjoyed the rally very much with excellent organising by the club team and had a great battle with Irfon Richards and Micheal Gilbey all night. Andy and Max now have their name on a trophy alongside many great names from the motoring news era such as Mick Briant and Ron Beecroft. To get their first road rally win off their home map and in an area where it is very difficult for non-locals to be competitive against stiff competition made it even more special. Andy would like to thank Max for being the best in the job and for all they have achieved together. They won the rally with a time of 6 minutes and 11 seconds, giving them victory by 33 seconds. Chris Hand and Justin Davies were next in seventh overall with 9 minutes and 34 seconds. Simon Summers and Dilwyn John achieved ninth overall with 11 minutes and 41 seconds.

                The final event that took place on the weekend was the Welsh Marches mini Epynt stages, organised by Herefordshire motor club. The rally would be made up of 9 stages over the famous ranges giving competitors some 65 miles of rallying. Lampeter and district were well represented on the entry list with the first being Bro Caron clerk of the course Marc Hughes who was navigating for Will Arrowsmith in a road rally specification Ford escort Mk2. They were seeded at 31. Another navigator next, which was Dafydd Evans, who was out in a Darrian T9 driven by Gareth Edwards at 33. At 50 was Wayne Jones driving the first of the Peugeot 206s, he had Elgan Davies navigating. Right behind at 51 was Malcolm “Tar” Jones in another Peugeot 206. He had club member Rhys Jones navigating for him.

                The day began in the wet where rain had fallen for the first couple of stages, which seemed to suit Will and Marc Perfectly as they set excellent times and found themselves lying in fifth overall after the first two stages, excellent going for a road rally class car against much more advanced machinery. Gareth and Dafydd had a steady start to their rally in the Darrian, the powerful but lightweight body of the Darrian being somewhat of a handful in the wet conditions. They lay in fifty-first at the end of stage two. Early on in the Peugeot battle it was Malcolm and Rhys that currently led as they lay in twenty-eighth overall. Wayne and Elgan were in forty-sixth at this early stage of the rally.

                As the competitors began the third stage the conditions improved and the road began to dry, which suited the big power cars more. Will and Marc continued to push hard on the next set of stages, but dropped to eleventh overall by the end of stage four. Still a very impressive performance for a road rally car. Malcolm and Rhys seemed to get better and better as the day went on, and after four stages they had climbed up into twenty-seventh overall. Wayne and Elgan climbed up and held thirty-seventh. Gareth and Dafydd began to get to grips with Gareth’s newly purchased Darrian and climbed up to forty-fourth after four stages.

                Will and Marc continued to set impressive times, and found themselves in tenth after six stages, a very impressive achievement considering Will had not competed there for five years and Marc’s last outing there ended in disaster. They continued to push on and set times in amongst far more powerful cars. Malcolm and Rhys continued to improve and were knocking on the door of a top twenty result as they lay in twenty-second after 6 stages. In the other Peugeot Wayne and Elgan were now holding thirtieth overall, and Gareth and Dafydd continued to improve and their pace gradually increased as they currently held forty-third.

                With the final three stages completed the final results saw Will Arrowsmith and Marc Hughes take thirteenth place overall, winning road rally class in the process in the escort, they had a great day and Marc commented on Will driving like a man on a mission! Malcolm and Rhys just missed out on a top twenty result by finishing in twenty third overall, still a very good result for them. Wayne Jones and Elgan Davies achieved a very respectful thirty second overall in their Peugeot. Gareth Edwards and Dafydd Evans achieved a very credible thirty-eighth overall in the Darrian.

Many thanks to RallySport Media for the use of their image.