Daf argyll

Steve Ormond-Smith and Dafydd Evans getting air on their way to a strong result on the Argyll (Solin Smith)


Once again it's been a busy weekend for club members with events running all over the country. The first event was the Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally, organised by Mull car club. This 12 stage event gave competitors around 60 miles of competitive motoring. The event attracted a couple of club members, with the first being Chairman Dafydd Evans would be navigating for Steve Ormond-Smith in his Mitsubishi Lancer evolution 9. This was a last minute spin for Dafydd and they together had not managed to complete a recce of the event so would be on a steep learning curve of the rallies stages. They were given number 33. Also out were Jonathan Davies and Wayne Jones, they were out in a Vauxhall Astra GTE and were seeded at number 117. 

The rally began with four stages on the Friday evening, followed by eight more the following Saturday. The first two stages were a quick sprint in Dunoon, followed by Kinlochruel, and then a longer stage, Otter Ferry, to round off the opening day. On the short opening stage Steve and Dafydd got off to a great start as they completed the stage in 56 seconds, this put them in joint thirty-first, a place they held with three other crews. Jonathan and Wayne also did very well, completing the stage in one minute, they held joint fifty-seventh, a position they shared with many others. 

The stage was then repeated and Steve and Dafydd managed to knock a second off their time, while Jonathan and Wayne recorded the same time over it. For the third stage Steve and Dafydd set another great time of 2 minutes and 49 seconds and Jonathan and Wayne tied on 3 minutes and 14 seconds. The final stage of the day, Otter Ferry was by far the longest at some 14 miles. By now it was dark and the weather had made a turn for the worse, even so Steve and Dafydd charged into the stage, Dafydd relying on his many years of road rallying experience to guide him. The stage was made more difficult for them as 2 miles in the lamp pod on the Mitsubishi gave up and left them with far less light, this didn't stop them from catching the car in front though! Jonathan and Wayne received a nominal time on this stage.

At the end of the opening day Steve and Dafydd lay in thirtieth overall, and Jonathan and Wayne held sixty-seventh, but there were a lot of stage miles still to do on the second leg of the event. 

The second leg of the day would consist of four stages repeated, with a service in between at Dunoon. The stages would be Glendaruel, Bealach Maim, Loch Fyne and Whistlefield. Together these stages would make nearly 40 miles of competition. On the day’s opening stage, Glendaruel 1, Steve and Dafydd managed a very respectable time of 5 minutes and 15 seconds. This was good enough for thirty-seventh overall. Jonathan and Wayne also did very well and achieved a time of 5 minutes and 42 seconds. This was the joint seventy-seventh quickest time. 

For the next couple of stages Both crews continued to push on, with Steve and Dafydd constantly knocking on the door of a top thirty times, excellent going considering their lack of a recce. Jonathan and Wayne were gathering their pace and broke into the top sixty on numerous stages. By the time both crews arrived at the service halt Steve and Dafydd had managed to get their Mitsubishi into twenty-sixth overall, and Jonathan and Wayne were holding a very respectable fifty-fifth.

The second loop of stages began, and here on the second run over Glendaruel Steve and Dafydd managed an excellent time of 4 minutes and 58 seconds. This was an improvement of 17 seconds over their first run of the stage, and good enough for twenty-fourth overall here. Jonathan and Wayne also improved considerably, as they set a time of 5 minutes and 18 seconds over the second running of the stage. This saw them joint forty-seventh. 

Bealach Maim 2 was next, and once again Steve and Dafydd were comfortably in the top thirty with the twenty-fifth fastest time. Jonathan and Wayne continued to climb the leaderboard as they set the forty-third quickest time here. Sadly this was to be their last stage as they retired on the following, a great shame as they were holding fifty-first overall and will no doubt have broken into the top fifty with the times they were setting. This left Dafydd Evans as the only club member still running, he and Steve continued to set excellent times on the remaining stages of the event. They would go on to finish the rally in an excellent twenty-sixth overall, with a total time of 1 hour and 53 seconds. A very respectable finish for them.

Also taking place over the weekend was the Newtown and District Automobile club organised Select Security Services Time Trial, held at the Sweetlamb motorsport complex. This event would consist of a 3.9 mile stage repeated twice in one direction, then ran a further three times in the opposite direction. This was another event that attracted club members, with the first being Andy Davies, who originally was going to use the day as a test for the R5 specification fiesta, however a last minute change of plan saw his switch to the old faithful IDZ Subaru Impreza. He had Alan James on navigator duties, together they were seeded at number 3. Also entered were Dylan Davies and Dorian Evans who were out in Dylan’s R5 specification Skoda Fabia. They were given start number 37. 

 Dylan and Dorian were immediately in a battle for the overall lead as they set off with a blistering pace, setting the second quickest overall on the opening run with a time of 4 minutes and 24 seconds, only 1 second down on the overall fastest time. Andy and Alan were also doing very well with 4 minutes and 56 seconds. For the second pass Dylan and Dorian went one better and set the quickest overall time, knocking ten seconds off their previous time, Andy and Alan did the same and also knocked ten seconds off their first run. On the final run before changing direction Dylan and Dorian were again quickest with their time being 4 minutes and 16 seconds. Andy and Alan also achieved an excellent time of 4 minutes and 49 seconds. 

With a quick service break the test was then run in the opposite direction, and here it was Andy and Alan that did best among club members with a time of 4 minutes and 52 seconds. Dylan and Dorian had troubles so they had a time of 5 minutes and 44 seconds, this was in fact the last run they had as they retired on the following sprint, a great shame as they had been setting excellent times up to that point. This left just Andy and Alan, who continued the event and set excellent times in the process, good enough to finish in an excellent fifth overall and the first road rally car. They had a total time of 29 minutes and 9 seconds. Despite some very challenging weather conditions it was a very enjoyable day and many were looking forward to the next running of the event.

Thanks must go to Colin Smith for the use of his image in this report.