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Gremlin Rally 2005

Sponsored by Dennis Motorsport

Brecon Motor Club

26th/27th March 2005

Gremlin Rally 2005

Clerk of the Course: Denis Cardell

Route: 180 Miles

Maps: 146, 147 & 160

Starters: 93

Winners: John Davies/Neil Bevan (Vauxhall Astra)

The 2004 Welsh Road Rally Champions, John Davies and Neil Bevan, took their first win of 2005 on Brecon MC’s Gremlin Rally. The 180 mile event used its now traditional format of marked maps sections over the Epynt Ranges and Abergwesyn plus two Jogularity sections. It was these two latter sections that were to decide the rally.

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Bob Gibbons/Mick Valentine (Ford Escort RS2000)
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Wes Massam/Shon Gosling (Volvo Amazon)
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Geoff McGladerry/Anthony Harris (Ford Anglia)
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Roy Gillingham/Peter Blackett (Reliant Sabre 6)
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Ding Boston/Alan Coombs (Riley 1.5)

The Gremlin had originally been scheduled for 5th/6th March but had to be delayed due to military operations on Epynt. It was put back by three weeks and ran on Easter weekend. It still attracted 93 entries, incluidng 20 for the Historic Rally.

The rally opened with the first Jogularity, which required a 30mph average for most of its length. It used the lanes to the east of Brycheiniog Forest before finishing on the Concrete Road. There were six Intermediate Time Controls.

Gerwyn Jones/Ceri Davies put in the best performance, picking up a total of 29 seconds at the final two ITCs. This was the high point of the their event however; they picked up a puncture before the fourth TC of the Epynt section and then got a Wrong Approach at TC12. They completed the rally in 34th position.

Chris Bowen-Smith/Andy Card had been two seconds behind Jones/Davies on Regularity 1 and cleaned the first 90 minute Epynt section, which contained 23 TCs. They therefore arrived at the first petrol halt at Llandovery with a lead of four seconds in front of Merfyn Hughes/Graham Dance, with John Davies/Neil Bevan a further four seconds further back in third.

In the Historic Rally, Terry Pickering/Mark Appleton had put in the best performance over the Jogularity, but dropped six minutes at various controls on Epynt. Wes Massam/Shon Gosling had been on 1m 08s after the regularity and cleaned the TC section to give them a lead of over a minute at Petrol.

Mike Biss/Cath Woodman and Roger Holder/Owen Dodd were already on the retirement list. Brian Cope/Graham Carter were also out after their Mini suffered clutch failure. Meanwhile Geoff McGladdery/Anthony Harris had gone OTL after going off route and getting stuck.

After Petrol crews tackled the second Jogularity, which used the roads around Llyn Brianne and had three ITCs. Graham Middleton took a break from stage events and brought a standard Hyundai Coupe to the Gremlin. With Raymond Davies put in the best performance over the second regularity, however they'd dropped 37 minutes over Epynt. They went on to finish in 38th position.

Middleton's penalty of 8 seconds over the Jogularity was matched by John Griffiths/Mike Burrows in their Volvo. Large penalties on other sections saw them take 32nd place at the Finish.

Amongst the leaders, Smith-Bowen/Card dropped down the order as they collected over two minutes of penalties. Merfyn Hughes/Graham Dance took the slender lead; they ended the section seven seconds ahead of John Davies/Neil Bevan. Martin Leonard/Kevin Chaffey were third 17 seconds off second. Steve Head/Graham Raeburn were now fourth, 50 seconds off the lead.

There was no respite for competitors as the Jogularity was followed by a Time Control over Abergwesyn. Four forestry loops added to the challenge. There were 12 TCs and 11 Route Checks. All the time controls were timed to the minute. It was to prove a cruical section.

Critically, Merfyn Hughes/Graham Dance dropped a minute on the Devil's Staircase section. John Davies/Neil Bevan and Steve Head/Graham Raeburn cleaned all the controls, although the latter crew only just survived a near scrape with the barriers as they decended the Staircase. Davies/Bevan now had a 43s lead from Head/Raeburn, with Hughes/Dance 10s behind in third.

In the Historic Rally, both Wes Massam/Shon Gosling and Bill Wyatt/Paul Robinson cleaned Abergwesyn and maintained their top two places.

After a second petrol halt back at Llandovery, there was just another run over Epynt for crews to deal with. This time fourteen crews cleaned all 24 time controls, these included the top three and so the final top three placings were the same as they had been after Abergwesyn.

In contrast there was a major shake up in the Historic Rally. Long time leaders, Wes Massam/Shon Gosling, dropped five minutes at various controls and dropped to third. Bill Wyatt/Paul Robinson lost two minutes, but were vaulted by Bob Gibbons/Mick Valentine, who were clean at all TCs and took the win by 37s.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 John Davies Neil Bevan Vauxhall Astra 1m 13s
2 Steve Head Graham Raeburn Vauxhall Nova GTE 1m 56s
3 Merfyn Hughes Graham Dance Subaru Impreza 2m 06s
4 Martin Leonard Kevin Chaffey VW Golf GTi 2m 30s
5 Robert Wilson Dylan Jenkins Peugeot 205 GTi 3m 07s
6 Huw Evans Patrick Walsh Ford Escort RS 4m 19s
7 Chris Smith-Bowen Andy Card Ford Escort RS2000 4m 44s
8 Paul Heal Matt Heal MG ZR 5m 11s
9 Bob Gibbons Mick Valentine Ford Escort RS2000 6m 40s
10 David Jones Glyn Price Peugeot 205 GTi 6m 54s
11 Bill Wyatt Paul Robinson Triumph TR4 7m 17s
12 Scott Jonas Andy Ballantyne Ford Escort 7m 37s
13 Wes Massam Shon Gosling Volvo Amazon 8m 10s
14 Chris Jenkins Tony Brooks Austin Mini 8m 30s
15 Elgan Jones Anthony Davies Vauxhall Astra 8m 37s
16 Alyson Acreman Byron Jones Honda Civic VTi 10m 16s
17 Terry Pickering Mark Appleton Mini Cooper S 10m 22s
18 Keith Jenkins Matt Fowle Saab 96 V4 10m 59s
19 Rob Price Mark Coleman Vauxhall Astra GTE 12m 05s
20 Neville Frampton Mike Grey Mini Clubman 1275GT 14m 11s
21 Anthony Gluyas Richard Preece Opel Manta 15m 50s
22 Martin Higgins Peter Chappelle Ford Fiesta 16m 26s
23 Mark Hatton Robin Moses Peugeot 205 GTi 18m 38s
24 Phil Kendall David Coles Peugeot 309 GTi 18m 48s
25 Gareth Edwards Andrew Edwards Suzuki Swift GTi 21m 12s
26 Wynne Jones Don James Volvo Amazon 21m 46s
27 Neil Lewis Simmon Lassam Lancia Integrale 21m 55s
28 Roy Gillingham Peter Blackett Reliant Sabre 6 22m 11s
29 Ding Boston Alan Coombs Riley 1.5 22m 37s
30 Andy Lane Stan Appleton Triumph TR4 23m 35s
31 Allan Alford Ted Williams Peugeot 205 GTi 26m 57s
32 John Griffiths Mike Burrows Volvo 144 28m 14s
33 Gareth Reed David Bradley Toyota Corolla 30m 41s
34 Gerwyn Jones Ceri Davies Ford Escort 36m 00s
35 Robert Davies Ian Cooke Peugeot 205 GTi 36m 04s
36 Martin Evans Alun Probert Nissan Micra 37m 19s
37 Nigel Phillips James Morgan Peugeot 309 40m 56s
38 Graham Middleton Raymond Davies Hyundai Coupe 55m 30s
39 Ian Orford Peter Barnard Proton Compact LSi 55m 48s
40 Roger Hicks Mark Hamilton Ford Escort RS2000 56m 18s
41 Steve Wood Peter Collins Vauxhall Astra GTE 61m 11s
42 Steve Durbin Jon Davies Peugeot 205 GTi 92m 50s
43 Paul Swindels Dick Howatt Triumph TR7 130m 23s
44 Roger Powley Leigh Powley Hillman Imp Super 174m 51s
45 Steven Powell Dave Sanderson Austin Healey Sprite 216m 17s
46 Robert Brown Gwawr Hughes Peugeot 309 GTi 216m 33s
47 Wayne Arrowsmith Chris Shapland Ford Fiesta 226m 17s
48 Gareth Morris Kelvin Hughes Ford Escort RS 256m 24s
49 Paul Edwards Phillip Crisp Peugeot 205 GTi 398m 12s
50 Bob Holloway Andrew Holloway Peugeot 205 GTi 675m 04s
51 Matthew Jones Richard Morris Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 787m 43s
52 Stephen Hier L A Hier Vauxhall Nova SR 854m 20s