Thomas/Litchfield claim championship crown


 Thomas/Litchfield on their way to the B10 Championship - Photo courtesy of James Hatfield Photography


     Damien Thomas and Anthony Litchfield secured the class B10 Welsh National Championship crowns on the Swansea Bay rally just after the midway point of the season. A string of consistent finishes on rounds of the championship sees Thomas and Litchfield claim the class championship for cars between 1401-1600cc cars with two rounds remaining.


     July however got under way with the Quinton stages held on stages regulary used on Wales Rally GB on the Epynt ranges. Dylan Davies and Dale Furniss were again competing in their Subaru Impreza, hoping to just get a finish and maybe some luck after a further two retirements on the previous rallies. Davies/Furniss produced a fantastic performance on the rally which saw them take the Group N class victory and an excellent 5thO/a on the rally. The pairing led the class from the very first stage and managed to hold off Jamie Anderson in a thrilling battle which saw both crews seperated by just two seconds after 45 competative miles. An excellent performance saw them win the Group N honours with three WRC's and B13 machinery finishing ahead of the pair. Eryl Evans was again co-driving for Keith Parry at car 24 hoping to maintain his WAMC Clubmans championship lead. Anthony Litchfield would be co-driving for Christian South in a Fiesta ST whilst Rhodri Morgan would be co-driving for Christopher Lloyd in an Escort Mk2 whilst Jason Thomas and Owen Rose made their forest rally debut .After a roll on their previous event, Keith Parry and Eryl Evans took a cautious approach to the event but a brush with a scenery in slippery conditions, which caught several crews unaware throughout the rally, saw the pair back off to secure a finish and more valuable points towards the championship.




Keith Parry/Eryl Evans on the Quinton Stages - Photo courtesy of James Hatfield Photography


     Anthony Litchfield and Rhodri Morgan would both experience and eventful event. Anthony Litchfield would finish the event in 77th O/a and third in class N3 but several minutes were lost after going off into a small culvet on an outside of a corner. Thankfully, several spectators were at hand to extract the striken Fiesta. Rhodri Moran would fare much worse after his event co-driving for Chris Lloyd ended in a high speed head on collision with a tree. A rear caliper failure would be the cause of the accident when it came off as the crew approached a high speed corner on SS6. Jason Thomas and Owen Rose made their forest rally debut and succesfully finished their first event on the loose stuff. with a finish being a target for the crew, they finished 70th O/a and fourth in the B10 class.


     The fifth round of the Welsh National Forest Championship, the Swansea Bay rally, saw Damien Thomas and Anthony Litchfield go on to win the championship for their class for the 2011 season in Damiens' Peugeot 205 Gti. Although the pair have been hampered by some issues with their car on occasional events, they have managed to finish every event so far and the Swansea Bay was no different. 12th O/a and second in class on the event was enough for the pairing to secure their championship crowns with two rounds remaining.


     Two events were on Sunday the 24th with the Coracle stages in Sweet Lamb and the Classic Motorsport stages based at RAF Brawdy. Dylan Davies and Anthony Litchfield would be the only LDMC members in attendance at Sweet Lamb for the Coracle Stages. After the opening two stages the pairing held second overall just seventeen seconds adrift of rally leader Barry Jones. Stage three would prove to be their demise when a small driver error after a watersplash saw the crew slide down a bank, stuck, but fortunate not to roll. Spectators were at hand to extract the Subaru from the ditch, however, marshals were of the opinion that the struken Impreza be left where it was and an argument ensued. The spectators did manage to get Davies/Litchfield on their way but around four minutes was lost in the meantime and they finished the event in a respectable 8th O/a and still take the award for second in the Group N class.

     The Classic Motorsport stages saw Carwyn Evans, this time co-driven by Ryan Hands, finish an excellent 3rd O/a in his Honda powered Ford Escort Mk2 and also the award for second in class. Chris Palmer made his stage rally debut on the event in another Escort Mk2, although, this one prepared to road rally specification. A couple of spins on the event saw him lose some time on the event but managed to finish second in the road rally class and 19th O/a. The event in Brawdy was also another round for the J1000 championship for 14-17 year old which would see Meirion Evans taking to the stages once more in his Nissan Micra.

     Thje final event for July was the Harry Flatters rally held over the Epynt ranges. Top LDMC seeds for the event were Sean Crowley and Marc Mayes in their 1600 Vauxhall Nova. More misfortune would follow them into the event and would see yet another unfortunate retirement for the pairing. A heavy landing after a jump on the ranges would see the engine timing jump which would eventually see the engine give way. Justin Jones and Rhodri Morgan would also be in amongst the retirements when they retired on SS6 with gearbox problems.SS5 wasn't without it's dramas however when they coasted to the finish of the stage with oil pressure problems which fortunatly didn't cause further damage to the engine. Epynt virgin Iwan Mayes would finish the highest placed LDMC member in the modern section of the event when he finished 27th O/a and with that, taking third in class 3a. Anthony Litchfield, co-driving for Christian South in a C2 R2 Max would finish 31st O/a on what would alos be their first outing on the Epynt ranges Tomas Davies would finish an excellent second in the Category 3 Historics and with that the D5 class win. A down on power engine would hamper Tomas on the rally slightly narrowly missing out on the final position on the podium for the Historic section of the event.