meirion cambrian

Meirion Evans and Jonathon Jackson setting excellent times on the Cambrian (Black mountains Media)

               2019s stage rallying season kicked off properly with the first round of the Irish tarmac rally championship, the Galway International, taking place on the 10th of February. Being the first round of the championship, it attracted a very strong entry with many star names on the entry list. In amongst them representing Lampeter and district motor club were Meirion Evans and Jonathon Jackson in their R5 specification Hyundai I20, they were seeded at 15 in a sea of R5 cars. At 59 was current road rally champion driver Andy Davies who accompanied by fellow champion navigator Michael Gilbey, together they would be taking on the Irish tarmac rally championship in the hope of winning the group N category. The rally consisted of nine stages with them being at Attymon, Ballyfa and Colmanstown and all would run three times.

                On the opening stage of the event both club members set very respectable times, with Meirion and Jonathon setting the seventh quickest time on 6 minutes and 8.1 seconds, this put him fourth in class. Andy and Michael began their day with 6 minutes and 48.1 seconds, good enough for twentieth overall and seventeenth in class. It is worth noting that the rally did not include a class for group N cars so Andy and Michael were in running in the same class as the R5 specification cars. On the second stage of the day Meirion and Jonathon dropped down the overall standings to twelfth overall with a time of 9 minutes and 42.2 seconds, this saw them hold ninth in class. Andy and Michael had a very respectable time of 10 minutes and 32.4 seconds in their group n car, they now lay in sixteenth in the class. On the final stage of the first loop Meirion and Jonathon held on to their twelfth overall position with a time of 8 minutes and 42.5 seconds. Andy and Michael had a time of 9 minutes and 31.8 seconds which saw the climb up one place to nineteenth overall.

                On the second loop of stages Meirion and Jonathon continued to post impressive times and they held onto their twelfth overall position. Andy and Michael continued to improve their stage times as they familiarised themselves with the Irish tar and at the end of the second loop, they found themselves in fifteenth overall and the leading group N car.

                For the final loop of stages both club members pushed hard to make up any places they could with Meirion and Jonathon setting an excellent time of 6 minutes and 2.9 seconds on the seventh stage. Andy and Michael were also pushing and managed 6 minutes and 27 seconds.

                 For stage eight Meirion and Jonathon managed 9 minutes and 40.7 seconds while Andy and Michael managed 10 minutes and 13.1 seconds. On the final stage of the rally Meirion and Jonathon had 8 minutes and 45.1 seconds which saw their total time stand at 1 hour 13 minutes and 26.6 seconds, this placed them in eleventh overall and eighth in class, an excellent result given the competition. Andy and Michael achieved 9 minutes and 27.4 seconds on the final stage bringing their total time to 1 hour 19 minutes and 15.8 seconds, giving them an excellent fourteenth overall and eleventh in class, as well as being the highest placed group N specification car, this will give them maximum points for the group N category in the Irish tarmac championship.

                The following weekend saw action back at home in the welsh forests with the Visit Conwy Cambrian rally taking place in the forests of North Wales, which included Clocaenog and Gwydir. The rally was split in to two categories with the National A rally being those that were competing in the British rally championship and would include ten stages as a loop of five stages ran twice. The National B rally was for other competitors that were not competing in the British rally championship. This category would 7 stages.

                There was only on crew from Lampeter and district on this rally and that was Meirion Evans and Jonathon Jackson who were running in the national A category as they were competing in the British rally championship this year. They were seeded given number 110 but there was thirty competing in the national A event.

                The first stage of the day was Clocaenog 1, with a length of 4.86 miles Meirion and Jonathon opened their day with an excellent time of 4 minutes and 35.5 seconds. This was good enough for joint tenth overall. The second stage of the day was to be 6.82-mile Alwen 1 stage, here Meirion and Jonathon pushed hard to an excellent time of 6 minutes 20.8 seconds, which was eighth quickest time here. Elsi 1 and Crafnant 1 were to make up stages 3 and 4, with Elsi one being 4.81 miles long and Crafnant 1 being a fraction longer at 4.82 miles. Meirion and Jonathon were in the top ten on both of these stages showing a great combination of pace and consistency on the loose surfaces. The final stage of the first loop was the 4.85-mile-long Gwydir 1. Here once again Meirion and Jonathon found themselves in the top ten with another excellent time, 5 minutes and 32.3 seconds. At the end of the first loop of stages they found themselves in an excellent ninth overall with a total time of 28 minutes and 40.8 seconds.

                The second loop of the rally ran in a slightly different order to the first loop, with Alwen 2 being used first this time. Here Meirion and Jonathon were eighth quickest on 6 minutes and 24.9 seconds. Clocaenog and Crafnant 2 made up stages seven and eight and both of them the pair managed excellent times with eighth quickest time of stage seven and ninth on stage eight. The final two stages of the event were Gwydir 2 and Elsi 2. Again, Meirion and Jonathon were incredibly consistent times which saw them in the top ten on both.

                With the final stages completed Meirion and Jonathon finished in an excellent seventh overall with a total time of 57 minutes and 47.2 seconds, an excellent result for them being the cars gravel debut and the first time Meirion had used a four-wheel drive car on gravel, Meirion also admitted that he lacked experience on the later stages which ran in darkness making the result even more impressive, no doubt they will be finishing higher and higher up the leader board over the curse of the net few events

                Many thanks must go to Black mountains Media for the use of their image in this report.