Kev Daf Night owl

Club chairman Dafydd Evans navigates Kevin "penclaw" Jones around to third overall on the Night Owl (Joseph John Gilbertson)

               On the weekend o the 27th/28th of April a host of Lampeter and district members travelled up to Aberystwyth to compete on the Night Owl rally, organised by Aberystwyth and district motor club. It would be included in the welsh road rally championship as well as Lampeter’s own road rally championship with it being not too far from home ground it is an event that is always well supported by Lampeter members.

                The rally began from Penglais school in Aberystwyth and would include a route of some 80 miles all on OS map 135. Representing Lampeter on the entry list at car 2 were current welsh champions Andy Davies with regular navigator Michael Gilbey and once again they were in their Subaru Impreza IDZ. A pair of navigators followed at 6 and 7 with Cadog Davies navigating for George Williams in a Mk2 Ford escort taking the sixth slot and club chairman Dafydd Evans who was once again with Kevin “Penclaw” Jones in Kevin’s Toyota corolla right behind them at 7. At 18 was James Davies who again had Irfon Richards navigating for him, James’ Proton now fitted with a rebuilt engine after the last one began knocking on its last outing (the Bro Caron). At 23 was Gari Evans in his Mk2 ford escort, he had Ryan Griffiths navigating for him. Right behind them at 24 was another escort with Owain Evans driving and Arfon Griffiths taking care of map duties. At 30 was Alan Gaunt I a newly purchased Vauxhall astra who had Jordan Dziaduleewicz navigating for him. At 34 were Steffan Daniels and Wayne “tar” Jones out in a Peugeot 206 GTI, and right behind them at 35 was another Peugeot pair of Jonathon Davies and Owen Rowcliffe.  Navigating in car 47 was Christian Coleman who was out with Rob Price, they were using an MG ZR 160 model. Navigating in car 55 was Andrew Davies for Arwel “cilgwyn” Jones in another Peugeot 206.

                With signing on taken care of it was off into the lanes of Mid Wales for a night of action. The first section of the route was to take place just north of Clarach but was scrubbed so the next section was to be the first that counted. It began on a white road just north of Dol-y-bont and finished just north of Tal-y-bont where Time Control 4 was located and was to be the first tight section of the night. Here it was Kevin and Dafydd that were best amongst club members with an excellent time that saw them only gain 19 seconds of penalties, a great start to their event. Next up were Gari and Ryan in their escort also doing very well with 29 seconds gained. George and Cadog were next on 31 seconds and right behind them on 32 were James and Irfon. Steffan Daniels and Wayne “tar” also set a very respectable time of 44 seconds, closely followed by the other Peugeot crew of Jonathon and Owen who had 47 seconds here. Another Peugeot crew was right behind them and that was Arwel and Andrew who were going for semi expert honours. Alan Gaunt and Jordan were next with Alan familiarising himself with the new car they achieved a penalty of 58 seconds here. Owain and Arfon managed 1 minite and 1 seconds in their escort and rounding off club members were Rob and Christian with 1 minute and 10 seconds. It was an early night for the crew of car 2 with Andy’s Subaru overheating they decided to call it an early night rather than risk causing serious damage to the engine of IDZ.

                There followed another tight section where the route passed by Tre’r-Ddol and headed south back towards Tal-y-Bont where Time Control 6 was located at the end of. James and Irfon were really pushing here and were rewarded with a time of 1 minute and 24 seconds for their efforts, great going by them with the newly rebuilt engine clearly working well! Matching them here were Owain and Arfon in the escort. Great going by them. One seconds behind them with 1 minute and 25 were George and Cadog, doing very well in their escort. Another pair doing very well and well and truly in the battle for semi expert class were Arwel and Andrew who had an excellent time here of 1 minute and 27 seconds. Kevin and Dafydd were next in the corolla with 1 minute and 40 seconds of penalties and following them were Gari and Ryan with 1 minute 50. Then it was Alan and Jordan on 2 minutes and 2 seconds, with Jonathon and Owen right behind on 2 minutes and 3. Ryan and Christian managed 2 minutes and 12 seconds, and rounding off club members at this control were Steffan and Wayne on 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

                Then followed a section that was timed to the minute which saw competitors travel along the lanes to the east of Bow Street and back up towards Tal-y-Bont, where many here managed to go through without picking up any penalties Although Alan and Jordan picked up a minute as did Rob and Christian. Jonathon and Owen picked up 2 minutes here. Then time control 9 followed which was just outside of Bontgoch and was back to being timed to the second, and was another tight section where almost everyone gained penalties. James and Irfon did best here among club members and only picked up 15 seconds with Kevin and Dafydd also doing well and receiving 28.

                The route then took competitors over the famous Nant-y-Moch road on the way to the petrol halt at Ponterwyd where Kevin and Dafydd were best among club members as they lay in fourth overall with a penalty count of 2 minutes and 27 seconds. George and Cadog were next in tenth with a penalty count of 2 minutes and 52 seconds showing there was very little separating the top crews and all was still to play for. Gari and Ryan were one second behind on 2 minutes and 53 seconds so they held eleventh overall. Owain and Arfon were in thirteenth on 2 minutes and 59 seconds. Steffan and Wayne were in twenty-fourth with 4 minutes and 19 seconds and Alan and Jordan were in thirty-second with 4 minutes and 38 seconds. Jonathon Davies and Owen were in fifty first with 6 minutes and 51 seconds. James and Irfon were in fifty ninth having picked up a fail, a great shame as time wise they were within the top 5 with the performance they had put on. Also, in the fail zone of the results sheet were Arwel and Andrew who had one and Rob and Christian who also had one so they lay in sixtieth and sixty third overall.

                The second half began in the lanes just off of Goginan where a cluster of lanes made a twisty section for competitors to negotiate. Time control 12 was in this section and was another control timed to the minute and all club members picked up a minute of penalties here. Time control 13 was at the end of this section and most club members managed to pass through without picking up any penalty although Steffan and Wayne received 2 seconds, Arwel and Andrew had 13 seconds and Rob and Christian received a minute and 6 seconds. Alan and Jordan’s rally came to a premature end and they retired in the second half as did Jonathon and Owen who unfortunately were also out.

                The route then passed through Capel Bangor where a short but tight section which took competitors out to the A4120. Time control 15 was located at the end of here and again penalties were picked up here, with Kevin and Dafydd picking up 9 seconds, George and Cadog receiving 15 as did Owain and Afron. James and Irfon received 20 along Gari and Ryan. Arwel and Andrew were still going strong and managed 25 seconds as were Steffan and Wayne who had 31 seconds. Rob and Christian had 1 minute and 2 seconds.

                From here the route crossed the A4120 and went through New Cross before finishing just outside of Rhydyfelin. This was another very tight section with Time control 18 located at the end of it. Here Kevin and Dafydd put in an excellent time and only picked up 29 seconds of penalties, great going by them. Also going well over this section were George and Cadog who had 47 seconds here. Steffan and Wayne managed 55 seconds and both GAri and Ryan as well as Arwel and Andrew had 56 seconds. James and Irfon received 1 minute here and Owain and Arfon had 1 minute and 6 seconds. Rob and Christian managed 1 minute and 39 seconds.

The route then saw used the lanes just to the east of Blaenplwyf before crossing the A487 and finishing the competitive section just outside of Rhydyfelin where Time control 21 was placed. Most competitors passed through this section without picking up any penalty although Rob and Christian received 30 seconds. From here it was then a short drive to Aberystwyth football club for the finish and a well-earned breakfast for everyone where results were declared.

Finishing in an excellent third overall and second in class were Kevin “Penclaw” and Dafydd Evans in their Toyota with a total penalty count of 4 minutes and 5 seconds. An excellent result for them after a night of consistently good times. Next were George Williams and Cadog Davies who finished in sixth overall and fifth in class with 4 minutes and 54 seconds of penalties. Gari Evans and Ryan Griffith ended their night in eighth overall and second in class with 5 minutes and 9 seconds and just outside of the top ten in eleventh overall and fourth in class were Owain Evans and Arfon Griffiths with 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Steffan Daniels and Wayne Jones finished in a highly respectable eighteenth overall and ninth in class with 6 minutes and 44 seconds. James Davies and Irfon Richards were in fifty-fifth due to their first half fail although their penalty count was only 4 minutes and 31 seconds, and Arwel “cilgwyn” Thomas and Andrew Davies were one behind in fifty sixth, again due to a fail in the first half. Their penalty count was 5 minutes and 31 seconds. Rob Price and Christian Coleman also had a fail so they were in sixtieth overall and their penalty count was 10 minutes and 37 seconds.

Many thanks must go to Joseph John Gilbertson for the use of his photograph and Cadog Davies for the route information.