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Rali Bro Dyfi 1997

Sponsored by Mike Evans Adeiladwr

Dovey Valley Motor Club

1st/2nd February 1997

Clerk of the Course: Phil Pugh

Route: 150 Miles

Maps: 124 & 135

Starters: 51

Winners: Clive Williams/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta)

A start number of thirteen proved no obstacle for Clive Williams/Patrick Walsh as they took their road standard Fiesta 1.3 to victory on Dovey Valley Motor Club's Rali Bro Dyfi. The only crew that came close to their pace was the Toyota Corolla of Geraint Davies/Emyr Jones, they were almost a minute and a half behind at the finish but this was six minutes clear of the rest of the field.

Rali Bro Dyfi 1997

Clerk of Course Phil Pugh and his team had put together a demanding 150 mile route in the Machynlleth and Dolgellau areas, using a large number of farm tracks some of which they'd specially prepared for the event. The rally was the first round of both the West Midlands Road Rally and Welsh Border Car Club Championships.

The fifty-one starters faced seven sections, eight had been planned but the third was cancelled when one track was made impassable by the preceding day's rain. The first two sections used the lanes and tracks to the west of the start venue at Machynlleth, before crews moved north to the petrol halt at Gwyndaf Evans' garage at Dolgellau. The second half started with a run through the 'Maze', and then moved back south via the Tywyn area.

The route for the first section was issued at MC1 and crews had the run out to plot it. The next section was plot and bash with instructions being handed out at the start and again at the ITC preceding the tie breaker section. Navigators then had the luxury of being able to plot the Dolgellau Maze section during the Petrol halt, before one last plot 'n bash run, with the last three sections being issued at the end of the fifth.

Two well known stage rally crews, who had been fancied to do well prior to the event, went out of the running on the first test. Iwan Roberts/Ian O'Neal retired after missing to find PC4 (768 027). Geoff Jones/Shaun O'Gorman picked up a fail when they booked in early at the section's finish control. They continued and set a time that would have given them third bar for the fail.

Also out by Petrol were 1996 winners, Huw James/Owen Dodd, the navigator had an uncharacteristically off night and they withdrew after picking up a substantial number of penalties. Meanwhile 1996 JJ Brown winner Ian Jones, partnered by Alan Williams, picked up penalties after failing to get signatures for four passage boards.

By the end of the second section the pecking order had been set with Williams/Walsh dropping only 2m 03s at the one control timed to the second; Davies/Jones could only manage 4m 30s but no one else got under the six minute mark. The Fiesta crew were to drop a further minute on the tricky fifth section south of Dolgellau which Davies/Jones cleaned, however neither crew incurred any further penalty on the remaining three sectors, giving Willaims/Walsh an outstanding victory. Third place and top Welsh Border Championship points went to the Sunbeam of reigning WBCC champions Cyril Crook/Chris Ware. They were eight minutes clear of their nearest championship rivals, Richard Roe/Paul Middleton (Talbot Sunbeam), who finished sixth overall.

Two of the leading West Midland Championship crews retired in the Dolgellau Maze. First to go were Graham Evans/Ian Mills, who had been lying in fourth at Petrol. They got only a short way into the second half before sustaining substantial damage to their Manta when they went off on a greasy hairpin in the Maze. Meanwhile Pete Cotton/Dave Pitchford were lying fifth when a halfshaft broke on their Escort. This left top AWMCC points to John Jones/Chris Rowlands who brought their Renault 11 home in seventh place. The corner that claimed Evans/Mills also saw offs for the Corollas of Peter Zjalic/Richard Preece (Toyota Corolla) and Will Morgan/Carl Williamson (Toyota Corolla).

The Semi-Expert class and fifth overall was taken by the local crew of Arial Jones/Steve Jones in their RS2000. The novice award went to the Escort of Carwyn Evans/Steven Roberts, an encouraging return to the sport after an eighteen month lay off for the navigator; they finished eleventh overall out of the twenty six finishers.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Clive Williams Patrick Walsh Ford Fiesta 3m 03s
2 Geraint Davies Emyr Jones Toyota Corolla 4m 30s
3 Cyril Crook Chris Ware Talbot Sunbeam 10m 14s
4 Will Parry Iestyn Leyshon Ford Escort 14m 04s
5 Arial Jones Steve Jones Ford Escort 17m 29s
6 Richard Roe Paul Middleton Talbot Sunbeam 18m 30s
7 John Jones Chris Rowlands Renault 11 Turbo 25m 13s
8 Nigel Thomas Phil Stocking Ford Escort 26m 22s
9 Jason Hardy Alan Jones VW Golf GTi 29m 30s
10 Paul Pritchard Brian Jenkins Ford Escort 32m 45s
11 Carwyn Evans Steven Roberts Ford Escort 37m 49s
12 Hugh Jones Michael Evans Vauxhall Astra 43m 58s
13 Steve Lyons Phil Wilkins Toyota Corolla 61m 30s
14 Owain Pugh David Jones Ford Fiesta 1F 7m 57s
15 Kevin Roberts Keith Davies Ford Escort 1F 38m 38s
16 David Marston Sarah Preece Toyota Corolla 1F 39m 20s
17 Geoff Jones Shaun O'Gorman Ford Escort 2F 10m 34s
18 Peter Zjalic Richard Preece Toyota Corolla 2F 18m 33s
19 Huw Jones Hywel Davies Toyota Corolla 4F 14m 15s
20 Ian Jones Alan Williams Peugeot 205 4F 18m 37s
21 Wayne Morris Steve Price Ford Escort 5F 20m 24s
22 Kev Nunns Nigel Roberts Toyota Corolla 11F 43m 00s
23 Chris Wilson Roger Fildes Vauxhall Astra 23F 16m 17s
24 Jim Paterson Martin Jones Audi 80 23F 42m 33s
25 John Jones Dylan Jones Ford Escort 23F 52m 38s
26 Nigel Hunt Howard Pridmore Vauxhall Astra 30F 74m 35s