cadog dyffryn twymyn

It has been another busy weekend for members of Lampeter and district motor club, with two events taking place, the first being the woodpecker stages that took place on the Saturday and the Dyffryn Twymyn targa rally on the Sunday.

                The woodpecker stages, organised by the Sixty and Worcestershire motor club and would make up the seventh round of the BTRDA rally series as well as the sixth round of the Pirelli Welsh forestry rally championship. The event, based at Ludlow race course, was made up of six stages and included the use of Radnor forest, giving competitors 44 stage miles. In amongst the 140 plus entrants that the rally attracted were Andy Davies and Max Freeman who were once again out in their group N specification Subaru Impreza and once again going for a strong result for both of the championships that they are taking part in. They were seeded at 17

                The first two stages of the day were to take part in Radnor forest, with the first being known as Stanlo Tump. Andy and Max began their day with time of 8 minutes and 19 seconds over this first stage, which saw them in nineteenth overall and fourth in class. It was then off to the second stage of the day, Cwm Y Gerwyn, where Andy and Max set a time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds, this saw them climb up to sixteenth overall in the rally standings. Once these two stages had been completed, there was a brief service halt back at the race course. Andy admitted he was lacking a little self-confidence on the first two stages which affected his times a little as well as this the suspension setup on the car not being quite right giving the car twitchy handling on fast corners.

                With the first service done it was off the marches where the next couple of stages were to take place, the first being Wigmore, Andy set a time of 3 minutes and 40 seconds over this shorter stage, which saw him and Max climb another place to lay in fifteenth overall. Hyde Park followed, and Andy got the hang of the suspension setup and his confidence grew as the stages went on, which showed in the times he was setting, with a time of 9 minutes and 47 seconds on Hyde Park, Andy and Max held on to fifteenth overall, before heading back to the final service of the rally.

He final two stages of the rally were Hopton and Radnor, the final stage including some of the roads used in the first two stages of the day, with a stage length of 14 miles it was an ideal opportunity for a last-minute push for position and points. Hopton was first of these final two, and Andy decided to simply push on and get to the finish with the car perhaps not quite as he would have ideally wanted it, although still setting very respectful times in the process. Andy manged a time of 4 minutes and 44 seconds over Hopton, and 12 minutes and 33 seconds over the final Radnor, this saw him finish in a very respectful fifteenth overall, and fifth in class, in a rally that had an incredibly strong entry this was an excellent achievement. Andy has now regained the lead in the Welsh rally championship after dropping down the leader board following the Nicky Grist stages, as well as now winning the Group N category outright with a maximum score with one round to go! A fantastic achievement for him. The final round of the BTRDA rally series is the Trackrod rally Yorkshire which takes place on the thirtieth of September.

On the Sunday that followed club members headed north to compete on the Dovey Valley motor club organised Rally Dyffryn Twymyn which began in Llanbrynmair. Several club members were represented on the entry list, with Andy Davies taking number 2 in his other Subaru Impreza, IDZ, once again with Max Freeman they were hoping for another good result after the Woodpecker. Dafydd Evans was next at 4, he was back in the navigator’s seat after his excellent performance on the barcud. He was navigating for Telor Pugh in a Seat Ibiza. At 12 was Cadog Davies who was once again at the wheel of his Proton Satria, with Michael Gilbey once again navigating for him, they were hoping for another good result after finishing an excellent fourth overall on the recent 116 Targa tracks rally. At 17 was Wayne “Tar” Jones who was out in his Peugeot 206, he had Ffion Gaunt navigating for him. Another 206 followed, with 20 going to Steffan Daniels in his Peugeot 206, he had Paige Denyer navigating form him. At 26 were Jonathon Davies and Stefan “DR” Davies, Stefan swapping seats for this event, they were out in a Nissan Micra. In 43 was Justin Davies and Jason Dylan Thomas who was driving a Subaru Impreza. At 48 was Daniel Williams in his BMW 318i, he had James Graham navigating for him. Lee “eggs” Plant was next in a Mitsubishi Colt at 54, he would be accompanied by Mike Phillips. Sioned Davies was the next club member on the entry list one place behind Lee at 55, following in her older brothers (and most of her family come to think of it!) footsteps she was navigating for Aled Evans in a Citroen C2 and is surely one to look out for in the future. The father and son Rowcliffe team were next in their regular Peugeot 206 GTI and were again hoping for a strong result after a fantastic run on the barcud a few weeks previously. They were at 59.

He first four tests of the rally were all over various farm tracks in the area and provided a very enjoyable challenge to the rally. Cadog Davies with his navigator Michael achieved third fastest time in the Proton with 1 minute and 59 seconds of penalties gained. Setting a very respectful time of 2 minutes and 11 seconds were Justin and Jason in the Impreza, this was eleventh quickest time on this test. Jonathon Davies and Stefan “DR” had thirteenth quickest time with 2 minutes and 12 seconds. Aled and Sioned had a good start to their day with 2 minutes229 seconds and Steffan Daniels opened his day with a time of 2 minutes and 32 seconds in the Peugeot. Lee “eggs” and Mike opened began their day with 3 minutes and 33 seconds. It was to be a very short rally for Andy Davies with Max unfortunately as the diff in Andy’s Impreza broke on the first test, and unfortunate end to Andy and Max’s rallying weekend. Also appearing on the DNF (did not finish) sheet fairly early on were Dafydd Evans with his driver Telor Pugh, the Seat’s radiator becoming damaged, forcing them into retirement. Wayne “Tar” rally also ended early.

The fifth test of the rally was to take the competitors through forestry roads, and everyone matched the bogey time for the test so all were awarded the 10-minute bogey time. However, it was in this test that Daniel Williams’ rally came to an end as he rolled his BMW in this test, both crew completely fine rolling into some soft scenery, but the car becoming well and truly stuck so their rally was to go no further.

Test 6 was to take place on a windfarm using the roads that surround the windmills. On this test, it was once again Cadog and Michael that were best amongst club members with eighth fastest time. Also doing well here were Steffan and Paige in the 206, with a time of 3 minutes and 50 seconds which gave them sixteenth quickest time. Just behind them was Lee “eggs” Plant on 3 minutes and 53 seconds which also saw him in the top twenty.

Test 7 saw competition on tarmac as crews ventured round a turkey farm, with Cadog Davies with guidance from Michael once again setting a time that saw him in the top ten with sixth fastest at 1 minute 43 seconds. Also doing well over this test were Jonathon Davies and Stefan “DR” Davies as they set eighteenth quickest time with 1 minute and 48 seconds. There was very little between any of the crews and in fact many people often tied for times through ought the day. Doing well on this test also were Aled with Cadog’s younger sister Sioned Davies as they set twenty-first fastest time, and just behind them was Lee and Mike in twenty-fifth.

The eighth and ninth tests of the day saw competitors return to farm tracks just before the phalf way halt, Cadog went and achieved second fastest time over the ninth test so it was of no surprise to see that he at the halt he lay in fifth overall with a time of 30 minutes and 33 seconds. Huw and Owen Rowcliffe were next as they once again dominated the novice class in seventeenth place overall, but their rally wouldn’t go much further and unfortunately were another on the retirements sheet, at the halt they had a time of 32 minutes and 25 seconds. Jonathon Davies and Stefan “DR” Davies were next up in the little Micra, making their way into the top twenty in nineteenth on 32 minutes and 29 seconds. Lee “eggs” Plant and Mike Phillips were next in their Colt in twenty-eighth overall on 33 minutes and 30 seconds. Justin Davies and Jason Dylan Thomas were in thirty-sixth overall with 34 minutes 17 seconds. At forty-seventh were Steffan Daniels and Paige Denyer with 36 minutes and 43 seconds. Aled Evans and Sioned Davies rounded off club members in fifty-sixth on a time of 52 minutes and 4 seconds.

On the tenth test Cadog began his second half in a similar way in which he ended his first, in fact going one better and achieving an outright fastest time over the test by two seconds with 1 minute 44, an excellent achievement given his car is very close to standard specification. Clearly inheriting some of older brother’s navigational skills it was Aled and Sioned next best club members on this test as they set seventeenth quickest time at 1 minute 58 seconds, very good going for the young pair. Next club members were Jonathon and Sefan “DR” just one second behind which saw them at twentieth.

It was off to the Trefeglwys area for the twelfth test which took place in a farm yard, and once again it was Cadog Davies setting the standard amongst club members, with eleventh quickest time round the yard, Cadog’s previous auto testing skills no doubt coming into play here. He and Michael were rewarded with a time of 1 minute and 8 seconds for their efforts. The Davies pairof Jonathon and Stefan also did well on this test as they had all day with consistent times and achieved 1 minute and 12 seconds, which was enough for them to take eighteenth here. Four seconds down here were Justin Davies and Jason Thomas and Steffan and Paige as they matched each other on 1 minute and 16 seconds.

The thirteenth test was to be held at the rally school venue that is in the area, with a bogey time of 10 minutes almost every crew managed to match this. Cadog damaged the exhaust on his car on this test as he hit an unavoidable rock, but repairs were soon carried out and he continued onwards with the rally, at a great pace as usual!

Back to the turkey farm for test 14, and this time it was Lee “eggs” Plant and Mike Phillips that set the standard, setting an excellent time of 1 minute and 39 seconds on this test. That saw them take eleventh quickest time. Steffan Daniels and Paige were next on 1 minute and 42 seconds, good enough for twentieth quickest. Cadog was next, one second behind on 1 minute 43.

More forestry roads were used for the sixteenth test, giving competitors another chance to sample loose surface forestry rallying in the daylight, a complete contrast to the darkness of the lanes that most club members are used too. Although it may have been a relatively new experience for many of the crews as they matched the bogey time given for the test, Cadog managing to match the bogey despite puncturing one of his Protons tyres in the test. So, with sixteen tests complete it was back to the farm yards for the final test of the day and the last chance for everyone to try and improve their final standings on the results sheet. In the final test once again Cadog and Michael toped the club members table with eleventh quickest time over the test, achieving a time of 1 minute and twenty-two seconds. Jonathon and Stefan were next on one minute 25 seconds which Lee “eggs” and Michael matched in the Mitsubishi, a great end to their day having set consistent times. Aled and Sioned were next up with a time of 1 minute and 34 seconds. Two seconds behind were Steffan and Paige and one second further back were Justin and Jason

With all seventeen tests complete competitors headed over to the finish venue after a full day of highly enjoyable motorsport to await the final results. It didn’t come as a surprise to see Cadog Davies with his navigator Michael Gilbey hold on to an excellent fifth overall in the Proton, another excellent result for them, their total time being 59 minutes and 1 second. Jonathon Davies and Stefan “DR” Davies were next in a very respectful seventeenth overall in the Nissan Micra with a time of 62 minutes and 6 seconds. Lee “eggs” Plant and Mike Phillips weren’t far behind on 62 minutes and 54 seconds which saw them take twenty-first overall. Justin Davies and Jason Dylan Thomas achieved thirty-first overall with 64 minutes and 50 seconds in their Subaru Impreza. Steffan Daniels and Paige Denyer were next in thirty-seventh overall, their time was 67 minutes and 7 seconds. Aled Evans and Sioned Davies got around in forty-ninth with a time of 96 minutes and 14 seconds.

The rally received nothing but praise from everyone who took part and credit must be given to the organising team for putting on a top no-nonsense rally. Already people have pencilled a slot for the event in their rally calendars for next year.

Many thanks must go to Peter Lewis for the use of his image for this report.