Davies/Furniss finally get a break    


Dylan Davies/Dale Furniss on the Plains Rally - Photo Courtesy of James Hatfield Photography


     The Plains Rally, based in Welshpool, saw Dylan Davies and Dale Furniss finally get their campaign in the Subaru Impreza pay off with an excellent 10th O/a and third in the Group N class. After taking some time getting used to the new car which has been hampered by mechanical issues on a few events this year, it all clicked on an event which had a very strong entry of four wheel drives crews in WRC, B13 and Group N machinery.

     Seven stages lay ahead of the crews heading through the classic stages of West Wales once again. At the mid-day service halt after four of the seven stages, Davies/Furniss were lying in a respectable 14th o/a. So close was the competition, just 50 seconds lay between 7th O/a and 21st O/a at the mid-day service. Eryl Evans, co-driving for Keith Parry, was lying just a bit further back in 24th O/a. Gareth Jones was lying 50th O/a in service but he would be forced to retire in service with mechanical problems on his Ford Escort whilst Damien Thomas and Anthony Litchfield were holding 67th O/a and fourth in class B10.

     The three remaining stages of the day sent the crews through Hafren, a repeat run of Gartheiniog and finally, the spectator special stage held in "Mad Mick's" Woodyard near Welshpool. Davies and Furniss managed to move up the leaderborad a further four places to finish 10th O/a and third in Group N just ten seconds adrift of the class winner. Elfyn Evans had penultimate stages dramas in Gartheiniog when he and Keith Parry rolled in the stage. They did however make it to the finish in 32nd O/a. Damien Thomas and Anthony Litchfield also climbed up the leaderboard finishing 60th O/a but remained fourth in their class.

     Anthony Litchfield and Dale Furniss made the longhaul journey to Kelso, Scotland, to compete on the Jim Clark Memorial Rally. Dale Furniss was making his debut in the BRC on the Jim Clark co-driving for Builth Wells driver Jason Pritchard in a Subaru Impreza. A new partnership and stepping up to International level, the new partnership got off to a brilliant start on the six stages of Friday night when they headed into the overnight halt in an excellent 5th o/a. The opening three stages of Saturday saw the crew gain a place to move up to fourth overall on SS8 but were pushed back down to fifth on SS9. Unfortunatly, a mechnical fault with a diff on the Subaru which caused a driveshaft to twist, sent the crew careering off the tarmac and into the scenery ending in an early retirement from the rally.

     Anthony woudl again be co-driving for Christian South but this time in his newly built C2 R2 Max in the national section of the event. The event would be a learning curve for the pairing as being the only closed rally on mainland Britain, it would be only their second event together and their first time making their own pacenotes. There was also the issue of Christian using a left hand drive car for the first time competively and three night stages to contend with. A cautious start to the event on the Friday night saw them head into the Saturday stages 60th O/a and 11th in class.  Ten stages lay ahead of the pairing on Saturday and they crept up the leaderboard throughout the day to finish 37th O/a and 6th in class.

     Meirion Evans has also been flying the flag for the motor club in Junior rallying. Set up for competitors between the ages of 14-17 to get an early start in the rallying world, they compete in 1000cc cars on single venue rallies. A freshly built Nissan Micra has seen Meirion struggle on the opening rounds of this year with some small mechanical issues but was much happier on the recent TSH stages when he finished 5th O/a. A hairy moment on the second corner of the event saw a high speed spin at around 90 mph which saw the car spin twice but fortunatly saw them come away unscathed but losing a fair amount of time. An overshoot on SS5 saw another handful of seconds lost but Meirion left the event much happier knowing he was back on the pace of the leading pack and the car was at it's full potential.

Meirion_Evans_-_Down_Ampey_2011Meirion Evans competing at the TSH stages in his J1000 Micra - Photo courtesy of Rally Mad Photorgraphy