dylan north wales

Dylan Davies and LLion "Tractor" Williams on their way to a dominant victory on Rally North Wales

The weekend of the 24th and 25th of March was another busy weekend for members of Lampeter and district motor club as the rally season picks up the pace with the longer days and warmer weather that spring brings. Two events took place over the weekend, the first of which being rally North Wales, a gravel event that makes up the second round of the Welsh forestry rally championship and uses the Dyfi and Gartheiniog forests in North Wales. On the following Sunday action took place down south and on a change of surface on the tour of Caerwent stages which made up the third round of the welsh tarmac rally championship.

                Rally North Wales was to be a 45-mile event, organised by the Wolverhampton and South Staffs car club, and was to be made up of six stages. The rally was made up of two categories, that being a two-wheel drive category, and a four-wheel drive category, which ran after the two-wheel drive vehicles and would be on a separate results sheet, although both categories would compete over the same stages.

                Club members entered were competing in the four-wheel drive category, with Dylan Davies and LLion “tractor” Williams out in Dylan’s hire Subaru Impreza which has been providing a very reliable service for Dylan and others over the past few months. The second of club members was the Subaru Impreza of Andy Davies who had Max Freeman providing the pace notes.

                The rally’s six stages were made up of three stages, run twice over the course of the day, with the first being Dyfi 1. Dylan and Llion were the pace setters from the beginning, setting the quickest time on the stage, with a time of 8 minutes and 33 seconds, a time 25 seconds faster than the next competitor. Andy and Max also had a very good start to the day as they were third quickest in their Impreza with a time of 9 minutes and 2 seconds.

                Big Ray 1 was the next stage, and again Dylan and LLion were on the top of the leader board as they set a second fastest stage time with a very impressive 3 minutes and 44 seconds over this short stage, five seconds quicker than the next competitor. Andy and Max continued to do well as they held onto third overall with a fourth fastest stage time over Big Ray on 3 minutes and 56 seconds.

                Unfortunately, Andy and Max’s rally came to a premature end on the third stage, which was Gartheiniog 1 when the turbo on Andy’s Subaru Impreza broke, forcing them into retirement. A great shame as they were once again on course for an excellent finish. Dylan and LLion extended their lead even further as they set a third fastest stage time over this stage, adding another eleven seconds to their lead with a time of ten minutes and 2 seconds.

                Following a service halt, it was back into the forests for a re run of the stages to finish the event off. Dylan and Llion were looking unstoppable as they continued to set fastest stage times, with a fourth fastest on the second running of Dyfi and pulling out even more time over the rest of the field. Big Ray 2 was of the same, where they had their fifth fastest stage time, and they now held a lead of over a minute and a half over the rest of the field, with only Gartheiniog 2 left to run it was turning into a perfect event for them.

                Gartheiniog 2 was to be the last test of the day, and with a comfortable lead all Dylan and LLion had wo do was get around the final stage without making any mistakes and preserving the car to ensure a finish, even though they didn’t need to push, push is what they did, and were rewarded with another fastest stage time, pulling out another seven seconds on everyone else, giving them a winning margin of a minute and thirty-eight seconds. A great achievement to not only win the rally but also take fastest time on all six of the days stages. The next round of the welsh forestry championship is the Rallynuts stages rally which takes place on the fourteenth of April.

                The following Sunday saw club members head down to Caerwent, a tight and twisty venue down south Wales to compete on the Tour of Caerwent, which was to be the third round in the welsh tarmac rally championship. With its numerous junctions and tight turns, it’s a venue suited to a car that handles well as apposed to a car with lots of power.

                Seeded at 31 in a Peugeot 207 were Malcolm Jones and Rhys Jones who were out to score points in the welsh tarmac championship. Not too far behind them at 37 were Jonathon Davies and Kevin Davies, in another Peugeot, this time a 206 model. Rounding off club members and trio of Peugeots at 83 was Andrew ling in his 206 GTI, he had Cameron Probert navigating for him.

                The rally was made up of six stages, giving competitors approximately 60 miles of competition. Malcolm and Rhys had a great rally where they finished in an excellent ninth overall and winning their class in the process. Right from the word go they were pushing hard, with a time of 13 minutes and 15 seconds on the days opening stage which saw them hold eleventh overall. They dropped down to twelfth overall on the second stage but still lead their class climbing back up to tenth overall on the third stage having pushed hard and been rewarded with a time of 13 minutes and 26 seconds. They held on to this position over the fourth and fifth stages of the event but put in one last push on the days final stage which saw them climb another place to finish in an excellent ninth overall, their total time being 1 hour, 19 minutes and 41 seconds. A great day of rallying for them and scoring a handful of points in the welsh tarmac championship.

                Jonathon Davies and Kevin Davies also had a good day as they fought their way to twentieth overall and winning their class also in their road rally specification Peugeot. They began their day with twenty seventh quickest time of the days opening stage on 14 minutes and 3 seconds. They climbed up one place on the following stage and held onto it over the third stage. On the fourth stage they set an excellent time of 13 minutes and 59 seconds which saw them climb up to twenty-second overall. On stage five they improved again and climbed up to twenty first, before climbing again to their finishing position of twentieth on the days final stage. Their total time was 1 hour 24 minutes and 11 seconds.

                Andrew Ling’s day didn’t end quite as well as his fellow club members, whilst laying in thirty-second overall on the fifth stage having set great time over the days opening five stages he and Cameron retired on the days last stage, a great shame as they had been doing well and were pushing hard.

                The next round of the welsh tarmac championship is the SMC stages that take place on the fifteenth of April.

                Many thanks must go to Ian Francis of IF image Cymru for the use of his image for this report.