Daf agbo

Gareth Bevan and Dafydd Evans sliding their way to a class win on the AGBO (IF images Cymru)

The weekend of the 19th/20th of March saw a welcome return of the Mervyn Hughes memorial Rali Llyn to the rallying calendar. Organised by Harlech and district motor club, this popular event, sponsored by Motorsport-tools, saw a 110 mile route on OS map 123. Entries filled very quickly with a large selection of well known faces in the road rallying community were among those entered.

Among the 86 crews gathered at Glasfryn Parc in Pwlleli was regular navigator Cadog Davies, who again was to be sat with George Williams in their familiar Mk2 ford escort. They were seeded at 8 in a top ten where the Mk2 ford escort featured heavily. They were hoping to keep up with the locals crews after having a lot of success with each other the last couple of years. Also venturing up to the peninsula was Owen Rowcliffe, he would be navigating for John Lewis in a Subaru impreza, they would start at number 60.

The first half saw some 60 miles to be undertaken. Out of Pwlleli the first competitive section began just north of the village of Y Ffor and went east towards Llanstumdwy. The first of the tight sections came here at selective finish 3 where everyone picked up penalties, George had Cadog 38 seconds here at this clock. Unfortunately it was to be a short event for John and Owen who retired in the first half of the event.

The route headed north from here, near the village of Pant Glas, and included a few not as map sections on the passage controls. Selective finish 6 was located at the end of this piece of road, and here George and Cadog would pick up another 11 seconds. More tight sections followed as the route ran around the maze of lanes making up the peninsula, including a tight section just outside of Llanllyfni, where selective finish 9 was located. Here George and Cadog stopped the clock on 35 seconds.

The petrol halt was located in Pwlleli, and at the halt George and Cadog held fourth overall and third in the masters class with a penalty count of 3 minutes and 19 seconds.

Refuelling done it was back out into the lanes for the next half, The first section of the half began just outside of Pwlleli and went north through Llannor before going through Pentreuchaf. Selective finish 22 was located here and was the first tight section of the half where penalties were gained, George and Cadog set an excellent time of 37 seconds here keeping them well inside of the top ten placings. 

From here the route went west along some twisty and technical lanes towards Dinas. Time control 24 was in this section, and once again competitors would pick up penalties, here George and Cadog would receive 44 seconds. The route then followed the peninsula south before looping back around to the maze of lanes around Ganfadryn. Selective finish 28 was located here and was to be another tight one, with George and Cadog gaining 48 seconds. This was to be the last time they picked up penalties although it wasn't the last section of the route, with one small section just north of Myntho to run before heading back to the finish venue.

Back at the finish venue it was declared that George and Cadog finished in an excellent fifth overall and fourth in the masters class among some very stiff competition, they had a penalty count of 7 minutes and 7 seconds. It had been an excellent rally fuel of tricky yet enjoyable sections that competitors love. 

The llyn wasn't the only rally contested on the weekend, as on Sunday the 20th of March the popular AGBO stages rally, held by Owen motoring club once again took place at Weston Park. Club chairman was once again navigating and for this event would be with Gareth Bevan in an immaculately prepared historic specification Mk2 ford escort. They were seeded at number 26. The rally would be made up of ten short stages in and around the park, although stage 8 was to be cancelled, this still left plenty of competitive miles for everyone to enjoy.

Gareth and Dafydd set an excellent pace from the word go, as on the day’s opening stage they set the tenth fastest time with 2 minutes and 50 seconds. They went even better on the second stage and set the joint eighth quickest time with 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

This is very much how their rally went, setting very quick times throughout the day and mixing with the more powerful modern specification cars. They went on to finish the event in an excellent sixth overall, winning their class in the process. They had a total time of 22 minutes and 40 seconds. They also managed to come within a second of the quickest time of the day on two stages, a great achievement for a pair that havent rallied together before.

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