Rally time trial produces dramatic battles

WINNER of 2013’s event Bob Morgan had to settle for second overall on this year’s Forest of Dean Motor Clubs Richard Cole Contracting Rally Time Trial after a titanic battle with Lampeter duo Andy Davies and Dale Bowen – driving an ex Bob Morgan Subaru Impreza.

This years event offered nearly 30 miles of fast and furious action in the Sweet Lamb motorsport complex near Aberystwyth for the near capacity 38 crews.

Morgan stopped the clocks a second quicker than Davies on the opening test in the Winner Garage Skoda Fabia, Davies then took the second back on the next test, the duo continued to swap seconds on the next pair of stages.

It could’ve gone either way, until a spin for Morgan on stage five gave the Lampeter duo a 10 second lead; a lead which was extended to 14 seconds at the end of the sixth and final stage.

“I am gutted not to have won, the spin cost us, I had to use reverse gear,“ stated Morgan.

“Perhaps I should have kept my old Subaru!”

Victor Andy Davies was delighted to have won: “I am over the moon, we had a great battle with Bob, but what a fantastic format and the stages were great fun to drive and well thought out.”

Geoff Jones and Steve Pugh finished in third overall and were the top two-wheel-drive in the GJM Pinto engined Escort.

Another local crew to go well were father and son team Dave and Colin Jenkins in their immaculate Escort RS1800. Together for the first time, they had an excellent run to eighth overall and first in class despite breaking a shaft half a mile from the end of the last stage, losing around 30 seconds.

Just one place behind was Dave’s younger brother Nigel who had Chris Ridge alongside, out for the very first time in a GJM hired Impreza. His times improved with every stage as the Bream based driver got used to four-wheel-drive for the first time.

Just outside the top ten, other local crews produced equally good results. Spencer Price and Chris Hands took an excellent 11th overall and fifth in class in their ex M-Sport Freelander. Cinderford duo Jason Worgan/Mark Wheeler took 12th overall and first in class in the Town and Country Peugeot 205 GTI.

Just 11 seconds behind in 14th overall were Ross Leach and Rebecca Goatman who took yet another victory in the Gwynnespeed Citroen C2 Challenge.

Those who didn’t make the finish included Tom Marrott and Ann Embling in the BMW 325. Marrott was the star of the show, holding a superb nineth overall first in class after stage four with some spirited entertaining driving, but sadly a heavy roll on stage five left the crew unhurt but the BMW looking very secondhand and ended a very good drive.

Nigel Drew and Pauline Nash in the NPD Plant Impreza broke a shaft on stage three while holding sixth place, while event sponsor Richard Cole co-driven by Simon Cox were another crew to break a shaft in the Escort RS on stage three.

James Dunkley and Dan Sayce in the Vauxhall Corsa retired on stage five with mechanical issues.

The event received tremendous plaudits from competitors who thoroughly enjoyed the event held in glorious sunshine.

One of Wales finest drivers and preparation expert Geoff Jones said: “This was an absolutely fantastic event, we do need more events like this.

“Credit must go to the organisers for giving everyone a great days rallying.”