sean emma jaffa

                Saturday the 30th of December saw the first rally take place after the Christmas break, the ever-popular Jaffa Stages, organised by Carmarthen motor club. It is a popular rally that many use a test ready for the up and coming season in the new year to see how their cars are performing, whilst others just enjoy entering for the fun of it. It was also to make up the first round of the club’s tarmac championship, despite having a 2017 date.


In amongst yet another strong entry were members of Lampeter and district motor club, with Sean and Emma Crowley being the firsts members off at 14 in Pedro, their Peugeot 205 GTI. It was great to see them out again after they're accident back in March, they were out to get back in the competitive spirit with their new Mitsubushi Colt nearing completion out in Ireland. Stefan DR Davies and Rhys Jones were next in Stefan’s familiar yellow Mk2 Ford escort. They had achieved a top ten result on last years event and were hoping for a similar result this year. They were seeded at 19. At 24 were Wayne “tar” Jones and Dafydd Evans who were out in a Peugeot 206. Navigating in car 32 was Carwyn Davies, a BMW 316 compact, he was navigating for Chris “wil” Williams. At 42 were Jonathon Davies and Rhodri Williams, Rhodri now becoming a regular of stage rallies having had some experience in the previous year. They were another crew using the ever popular Mk2 Ford escort. At 63 was Kevin Davies in another Peugeot 206. He had Hugh Jones navigating for him. Rounding off club members were number 70, which was occupied by Simon Summers, navigating for Lois Summers, they were in a Ford puma.

With everyone signed on and all cars scrutineered the first of 5 stages began, with club members once again setting great times. Sean and Emma were going at a great pace in their Pedro, with the car mimicking a tripod round some corners, lifting a rear wheel as they pushed hard, unfortunately though one of Pedro’s shafts broke putting an end to their charge. Although they did manage to repair the car and enter the clubman’s rally, which consisted of the days two final stages, an option for those who have retired earlier in the event to get some extra stage miles in. Sean and Emma did set great times on these two stages, with a time of 12 minutes and 53 seconds of stage four and 12 minutes and 44 seconds on the fifth, times which would have seen them very high up in the results had they had better luck.

It wasn’t to be a repeat performance for Stefan and Rhys, whilst they began their posting impressive times, with a top ten time on second stage (13 minutes and 5 seconds) and the third stage (12 minutes and 48 seconds) which would have seen them end far higher than where they actually did, they came into problems on the final stage of the day which saw them drop down the results order and finish in thirty-second overall and fifth in the class for road rally specification cars.

It was to be a short event for Wayne “tar” and Dafydd Evans who retied early on in the rally, although they did set a very good time of 8 minutes and 27 seconds on the day’s opening stage, which was the thirteenth quickest time. No doubt a good result had been on the cards if they had better luck.

Unfortunately, Chris “wil” Williams and Carwyn Davies were another crew that found themselves on the list of retirements with their rally also coming to a premature end, although had achieved a very respectful time of 8 minutes and 44 seconds on the days first stage. Jonathon Davies and Rhodri Williams joined them on the retirements sheet, although managed a time of 9 minutes and 13 seconds on the day’s opening stage.

Kevin Davies and Hugh Jones were a crew that had a bit more luck, managing to finish in a very respectful forty-third overall and ninth in their class (road rally specification cars), after setting some very respectful times on the day, matching Jonathon and Rhodri’s time of 9 minutes and 13 seconds on the first stage, and 13 minutes and 55 seconds on both the fourth and fifth stages.  A very good result by them.

Lois and Simon Summers were another crew to make it all the way round the days stages and finished in a very respectful fortieth overall having set some good times. On the first stage they managed a time of 9 minutes and 48 seconds, and 15 minutes and 27 seconds on the far longer second stage.

So, it was a mixed set of results for everyone from the club on this first rally of the championship, the second round is the Tour or Epynt rally which takes place on the eleventh of March. No doubt club members will be present on that event.

                Many thanks to Mark Little of Auto Aviva photographic for the use of his image.