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Cambrian 09 (10)With a host of extras out testing from the WRC, as well as all the titles still to be decided, the 2009 Cambrian Rally promised to be something special. Taking the victory laurels were Mads Ostberg & Jonas Andersson in the final works specification Impreza S14 WRC after a scintillating drive, swapping times with the 0 car of Mikko Hirvonen. Everyone else was battling for second place overall and initially Andy Burton & Shelley Rogerson (Peugeot Cosworth) held that place, even beating Ostberg by one second on stage 2, a fair achievement for the home built car now over 12 years old! It all came to nought on stage 4 though with retiremnet in Penmachno North. 2008 Cambrian Rally winners Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank (Focus WRC) had edged in front of Steve Perez & Paul Spooner (Focus WRC) to hold second place at the end of stage 4. A small slide on the final stage for Perez ensured the 2008 BTRDA Gold Star champions finished with second place overall.

However none of these figured in the 2009 BTRDA Gold Star battle which was between Will Nicholls (Impreza WRC) and David Wright (Lancer Evo IX). Nicholls just needed to finish seventh or higher but a big off on stage 1 saw him lose over ten minutes. Another loss of time on stage 2 compounded the issue before another off on stage 3 finally but paid to his title aspirations. Wright subsequently retired on stage 4, his first DNF of the season, but was crowned 2009 Gold Star champion.

In the Silver Star a rod through the engine block on stage 1 put paid to Mick Jones efforts, leaving Will Onions & Tim Hobbs (Escort MkII) clear to take top championship points and the title with 2nd overall. The most spectacular crew of the 2009 event, Ieuan Rowlands & Kelvin Savage, took the 2WD win with 9th overall in their Volvo engined Escort MkII.  Completing the 2WD podium were Jon Ballinger & Alistair Douglas (Manta).

At the head of the field the 1400’s saw Darren Pinchin & Karen Watts (Satria) take the lead on stage 2 and extend it to over half a minute on stage 3, seemingly destined to take the title. Still pushing hard on stage 4 Pinchin left the road leaving Graham Middleton & Ella Flynn (Nova) in 1st place and Middleton 1400 champion, (the first person to take the Gold Star, Silver Star and 1400 titles in BTRDA history).  David Bennett & Alistair McNeil (Corsa) took second place and top spot in the rally first battle, with Callum Black & Paul Wakely (MG ZR) third and top MG ZR challenge crew.

With the growing popularity of historic rallying the historic section was split into historic rally cars and then post-historic and classic cars for the first time. In the historics Gwilym Roberts & Lowri Davies (Lotus Cortina) took 1st place from the Mini Cooper S of Andrew O’Hanlon & Emma Roberts, with the similar car of Ken Pryce & Don James third. In the post-historic/classic rally Paul Griffiths & Sam Collis (Escort MkII) had a very fruitful pre-RAC practice with victory by 25 seconds over Andrew Haddon & Mark Crisp (Porsche 911), finishing second highest 2WD crew in the event. Ernie Graham & Den Golding (Escort MkII) completed the top three after several fancied crews had retired from the event.

Highlights from the action in two quite good corners of Clocaenog Main –

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