Skip navigation

WWRS Mid Wales 13aNick Elliott and Dave Price were the big winners on the opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, yesterday’s Rally Marketing Mid-Wales Stages (Sunday 3 March).

The Cheltenham crew took victory by just 3.7s after a glorious battle of the Ford Escort Mk2s with Marty McCormack and Phil Clarke. “He’s too quick,” said Elliott of his rival after a battle that ebbed and flowed across five epic stages. Into third came Ryan Barrett to make it two drivers from Northern Ireland in the top three.

With records crowds of spectators packing into the stages and a real buzz around the opening event of the WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship season, it could not have been a better start to the championship. A fabulous atmosphere among the crews and fierce competition on some of the finest gravel stages in the country was a truly winning combination.

Elliott and McCormack went head-to-head for the first time and Elliott thought that an overshoot on SS2 Myherin had wrecked his day. But he battled back and took time from McCormack on the 16-mile Hafren stage. McCormack flew the final Pikes Peak stage and clawed the gap back to less than four seconds after a wonderful contest. However, victory went to Elliott both in overall terms and in the Rob Smith Rallying Series Three.

On a day when the pace was ferocious, Barrett and Barry Ferris had a great run on unfamiliar stages to take third as just 20 seconds covered the next five Escort Mk2s. In among them should have been Geoff Jones and Andrew Edwards, but a first stage puncture cost them a chance of rivalling Barrett for third. Instead, Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies, Jason Pritchard/Dale Furniss, Will Onions/Dave Williams and Kevin Davies/Eurig Davies packed out the top seven, with Pritchard going exceptionally well on his first rally in an Escort.

Fresh from contesting the previous day’s Malcolm Wilson Rally in their Ford Escort, Peter Smith and Patrick Walsh won class D3 in their Opel Kadett. “It was all good until the last stage when we lost the rear brakes,” said Smith. However, they had been chasing the Escort Mk2 of Guy Woodcock/Cliffy Simmons until cam belt failure ended Woodcock’s rally on the penultimate stage. Lynden Jones and Bryan Glass won class D2 in their Talbot Sunbeam Ti.

In the Capital Construction Series Two, Chris Browne and Ali Cornwell-Browne drove a mighty rally to take the spoils. “I’ve been smiling all day,” said Browne as they finished clear of class C3 winners Iwan and Aled Rees in their Escort Mk1. However, the Welsh crew had to push hard to stay ahead of class rivals Dick Slaughter and Geoff Dearing, with only five seconds in at the finish.

Robin Shuttleworth and Ron Roughead had a trying day on the way to taking class C2 in their Escort Mk1. Starter motor failure forced them to keep the car running or bump start it through the day and a spin or overshoot could have ended their rally.

The new Holton Homes-backed ‘pre ’87 Series Five fell to the BMW 325 of Simon Wallis/Graham Wride, who reported a trouble free run on fantastic stages, while Nev Jones and Chris Davies bagged the Martin Jones Transmissions Series Four for FIA Appendix K cars. In Series Seven, for other pre ’87 cars, Dylan Davies and Llion Williams came home in front their Escort Mk1, though Mark Spencer and Steve Pugh chased hard in their Mk2 and could have been even closer had they found more suitable rubber for the early stages.

“The car was as good as gold and the driver was average,” said Alfa Romeo Junior driver John Everard after taking victory in the Walker Diecastings Series One. Their main rivals were Chris and Jo Tooze in their Singer Chamois, but an electrical gremlin stopped the engine four times in Hafren and they collected a maximum. However, Tooze was more than pleased with his first event in the car. “That’s one of the best days on gravel I’ve ever had,” he said.

%d bloggers like this: