night owl marc

Marc Hughes guides Lewis Morgan around to a top 10 on the NIght owl (Joseph John Gilbertson)

Once again it had been a very busy weekend for club members over the 23rd and 24th of April, with action taking place in the welsh lanes on the Aberystwyth motor club organised Tomos Lewis Body Repairs Night Owl Road Rally. This ever popular event starting from Aberystwyth would include some 80 miles of competition over OS maps 135 and 146. The event attracted a full entry of 75 cars and included several names from Lampter and district motor club. First on the entry was Marc Hughes who was navigating for Lewis Morgan in a Mk2 ford escort. Lewis is a former winner of the event and with Marc Hughes their local knowledge would put them among the favorites on the entry. They were seeded at number 2. Next was Cadog Davies who once again was navigating for George Williams in George’s familiar Mk2 ford escort, this pairing have enjoyed great success with each other and would no doubt be one of the favorites here too. They would start at number 5. Another navigator followed at 10, this was Dorian Evans who for this rally would be sat with Steven John Williams, they are both very successful competitors with a number of wins to each of their names and would also be in contention of victory here. They were also using the ever popular Mk2 Ford escort. At 23 was Alan Gaunt in a Peugeot 206 GTI, he had Kieran Price navigating for him. Huw Rowcliffe and Edryd Evans were at 29 in Huw’s Toyota corolla, and at 32 was Andrew Davies who would be navigating for Ben Ruff in Ben’s Vauxhall corsa. Rounding off club members was Arthur Jones at 69 in his Ford fiesta. He had Tudur Williams navigating for him. 

With signing on and scrutineering seen to it was off into the lanes for the first half. The competitive section began just south of the village of Blaenplwyf and ran between Llanddeiniol and Llangwyryfon. Time control 3 was located on this section, and was the first tight section of the night where competitors picked up penalties, although unfortunately Lewis and Marc had gained 3 minutes at the earlier controls, although they were still in the running at this early stage. At time control 3 they achieved the best time out of every one with 7 seconds gained. George and Cadog were going very well in their escort, they managed a time of 28 seconds, the second best time out of anyone. Steven John and Dorian achieved a respectable 1 minute and 6 seconds here at Time Control 3, and Huw and Edryd achieved 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Ben and Andrew achieved 2 minutes and 30 seconds and rounding off the club members Arthur and Tudur achieved 5 minutes and 31 seconds, they had also picked up a minute at Time control 2. It was unfortunately a short rally for Alan and Keiran who retired in the first half of the event. 

From here the route went through trefenter where Time control 4 was, and again penalties were gained here. This time it was George and Cadog that did best as they only gained 27 seconds of penalties, This gave them the overall rally lead, a lead that was sadly to be short lived, as despite not picking up any more penalties in the first half George put the car on its side just before the halfway halt, both crews members were totally fine but they were forced into retirement. A great shame as they would have held a fairly strong lead. From here the route dropped down onto 146 where to where Time recovery was located. Here at halfway it was Steven John and Dorian that were doing best among club members as they sat in sixth overall with 3 minutes and 18 seconds of penalties. Lewis and Marc were next in eleventh overall with 3 minutes and 58 seconds, great going considering their troubled start. Ben and Andrew were next in twenty ninth with 7 minutes and 22 seconds. Huw and Edryd had picked up a fail for not collecting a codeboard signature. They were fiftieth overall with 5 minutes and 16 seconds. Arthur and Tudur were in fifty sixth as they had missed a few controls, they had 13 minutes and 48 seconds.

With the first half done and dusted competitors then proceeded to take on the second half, with the first section being a short loop under the village of Penuwch. This was followed by another section near Tyncelyn before the route went back up to map 135. From here the route went parallel to the A485 towards Lledrod. Time control 13 was located here and was another place where penalties were gathered. Lewis and Marc were really pushing here and were rewarded with a time of 15 seconds for their efforts. Steven John and Dorian also did well here and achieved a time of 26 seconds. Just one second down on them were Huw and Edryd with 27 seconds. Ben and Andrew did very well here and achieved a time of 20 seconds in the little corsa. Arthur and Turur were still going well and achieved 1 minute 29 seconds. 

The route carried on north to Trawscoed where the section finished, and from here there was one final section that ran from New Cross to finish just outside of Rhydyfelin. This is where the rally came to an end, and following a tough but enjoyable event competitors headed back to Aberystwyth football club for a well earned breakfast and the event results. 

At the finish it was declared that best among club members, finishing in an excellent seventh overall was Marc Hughes, he and Lewis Morgan achieved a total time 4 minutes and 13 seconds, a great result for them. Andrew Davies was next, he had guided Ben Ruff around to a very respectable 17th overall, with a total time of 8 minutes and 8 seconds, they also won the award for the best under 1400cc engine class. Steven John and Dorian picked up a fail in the second half so they finished in forty-seventh overall with a penalty count of 4 minutes and 51 seconds. Huw Rowcliffe and Edryd Evans were right behind in forty eighth with a fail, they had a penalty count of 7 minutes and 12 seconds. Arthur Jones and Tudur Willaims finished in fifty-third after having gained 16 fails in the first half. They had a penalty count of 17 minutes and 41 seconds. It had been a very enjoyable event and credit must go to the organisers.

Thanks must go to Joseph John Gilbertson for the use of his image in this report.