Gari Autumn

           On the 28th and 29th of September Carmarthen motor club held their Autumn road rally, a road rally that made up the eighth round of the welsh road rally championship as well as being a round in Lampeter’s own road rally championship. It was a rally that returned to the calendar six years ago after a twenty-seven-year break. This year’s rally would consist of some 100 miles made up on OS maps 145, 146 and 159 and started and finished from the cattle market in Carmarthen. The rally had attracted a very strong entry and in among them were several club members, with the first being Dafydd Evans who was once again partnered with Kevin “Penclaw” Jones in Kevin’s Toyota corolla. They were seeded at five. Anther navigator followed and that was Cadog Davies at seven who was again with George Williams in George’s Mk2 Ford escort. George and Cadog haven’t been having the best luck in this year’s championship but they were hoping to turn that around on this event and get some big scores in for the final rounds of the season. Stefan “DR” Davies was at nine in his regular Mk2 Ford escort, he had Justin Davies on map duties. There was a trio of Lampeter members at twelve, thirteen and fourteen with Malcolm “tar” Jones and Rhys Jones taking twelve in their GTI 180 specification Peugeot 206. Right behind them were Gari Evans and Marc Hughes in Gari’s immaculately prepared Mk2 Ford escort. Rounding off the trio was Wayne Jones who had Richard Williams with him, they would be in Wayne’s Peugeot 206 GTI. At twenty-seven was Daniel Williams I his regular BMW 318Ti, he had regular navigator Shaun Richards with him. Andrew Davies was navigating for Arwel Thomas at fifty-five in another GTI 180 specification Peugeot 206. Daniel Parsons was another navigator at sixty-one in an escort. Rounding off club members was Mark Station was also navigating, in car seventy-six for Ben Saunders in a

Peugeot 205 GTI.

                With signing on and scrutineering taken care of it was off to the lanes for a night of action, with the first section taking place just outside of Carmarthen, near the village of Peniel. From here the route then crossed the A485 and used the maze of lanes to the north of Nangaredig and Whitemill. The the route swapped back and forth between Maps 146 and 159 as competitors passed through the village of Felingwmuchaf before heading up towards Brechfa. Gari Evans and Marc Hughes were setting the standard among club members with some excellent times on these opening sections, but hot on their heels were Stefan “DR” Davies and Justin Davies who were also doing well.

                Unfortunately, it was to be an early night for George Williams and Cadog Davies who put their escort on its side, although damage was minimal and both crew members were completely fine, they were unable to continue. Kevin “Penclaw” Jones and Dayffyd Evans were also another crew that would join the retirements sheet. From Brechfa the route went even further up map 146 as the competitors crossed the B4310 and over LLanybyther mountain, before heading back down the map back towards Brechfa.

                There was a refuel halt at Windy corner where competitors refuelled ready for the second half which would see competitors cross over to map 145 after passing through Pencader. Gari and Marc were still setting excellent times as were Daniel Williams and Shaun Richards who were in the top ten in their BMW. The route now went from Pont-Tyweli before heading back down South passed Rhos, then back towards the finish in Carmarthen. It had been a very challenging night with the weather doing its best to make to disrupt but the organisational skills of Carmarthen motor club made sure that the disruption was kept to a minimum throughout the event.

                After a hard night it was Gari Evans and Marc Hughes who went on to win the expert class and finish in an excellent third overall in their escort after setting excellent times all night long, their penalty count was 4 minutes and 35 seconds. Finishing in fifth were Stefan “DR” Davies and Justin Davies in their escort with 5 minutes and 9 seconds of penalties. Daniel Williams and Shaun Richards had an excellent run so they finished in eighth overall with 5 minutes and 47 seconds of penalties. Malcolm “Tar” Jones and Rhys Jones picked up two fails so they finished in forty-eighth overall with a penalty count of 4 minutes and 56 seconds. Ben Saunders and Mark Stainton finished their rally in fifty-third overall with twelve fails gained, they time penalty was 1 hour, 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Arwel Davies and Andrew Davies unfortunately went OTL so they did not manage to qualify as finishers. Wayne Jones and Richard Williams retired as did Paul Davies and Daniel Parsons.

                It had been a tough but enjoyable night for everyone and credit must go to the organisers for putting on an enjoyable challenge despite the atrocious weather conditions

                Many thanks must go to Joseph John Gilbertson for the use of his image for this report.