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Holrus '97 Road Rally

Newtown & District Auto Club

29th/30th November 1997

Clerk of the Course: Graham Evans & Mark Hill

Route: 120 Miles

Maps: 136 & 137

Starters: 54

Winners: Graham Evans/Ian Mills (Toyota Corolla)

Graham Evans/Ian Mills used their extensive local knowledge to good affect to take victory on their home club's Holrus Road Rally. The Newtown & District AC event was the final round of both the Welsh and West Midlands Championships and took crews through 110 miles of slippery lanes in Mid-Wales.

Holrus '97 Road Rally

The organisers had done well to find a challenging route after their available territory had been severely restricted by two national events, the RAC Rally and the Le JOG, running in close proximity. With a 'pre-plot' format they kept the pressure on crews by using a large number of controls on the rally's six sections.

Cyril Crook/Chris Ware were expected to put in a strong performance but their largely unsuccessful season came to a miserable close when their Sunbeam ground to a halt with clutch failure after only a few miles. They were joined on the retirement list by Geraint Davies/Sarah Gluyas who slid their Corolla off the road and into some soft ground near the start of the second section.

Meanwhile engine maladies accounted for the Renault of John Jones/Chris Rowlands, the Sunbeam of Phil Turner/Neil Spiers and the Escort of Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh. More dramatically Wayne Morris/Paul Middleton had to abandon their Escort when a loose fuel line caused a fire in the engine compartment.

Evans/Mills had to struggle after their Corolla lost its spotlights after just four miles, however this didn't prevent them from taking their second win of the year with almost a two minute victory margin at the end. The result secured for them the Standard Production Award within the Welsh Championship. Their only challengers, Peter Zjalic/Richard Preece, picked up a fail and a puncture and thus could only manage a 15th place finish..

The only crew to match the winners' pace was the Escort of Des Phasey/Maurice Leach. They had shared the lead at the petrol halt with Evans/Mills, but then suffered an off in the second half which dropped them five minutes; they eventually finished sixth

Pete Cotton/Dave Pitchford came home second with Dennis Quinn/Andrew Thomson in third. This result was enough to assure Thomson of the West Midlands navigator's crown, but Quinn had needed to be one place higher to prevent Baron Glaze from taking the Welsh and West Midlands driver's title double. Glaze and navigator Pete Davies had a disappointing event after initially being delayed by Cyril Crook's stricken Sunbeam and then picking up three fails after missing to get signatures for three code boards.

The battle for the Semi-Expert class award was a Telford AC affair with the Nova of Chris Painter/Steve Quine finally beating the Escort of Jon Ross/Dave Stocking. In the Novice class Neil and Ian Matthews took victory by a comfortable margin in their Nova. They had been chased hard in the early stages by Kevin Andrews/Nigel Hall, however the latter crew fell back in the second half and had to be content with the runners up award. Of the 54 starters, 38 made it to the finish at Llandinam.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Graham Evans Ian Mills Toyota Corolla 1m 12s
2 Pete Cotton Dave Pitchford Ford Escort 2m 53s
3 Dennis Quinn Andrew Thomson Ford Escort 3m 01s
4 Andy Sheppard Mike Hart Toyota Corolla 4m 13s
5 Richie Lewis Phil Clarke Toyota Corolla 4m 17s
6 Des Phasey Maurice Leach Ford Escort 7m 36s
7 Mal Acott John Youd Toyota Corolla 8m 50s
8 Richard 'Tyson' Morris Owen Dodd Talbot Samba 11m 29s
9 Chris Wilson Roger Fildes Vauxhall Astra 11m 59s
10 Neil Griffiths Carl Williamson Ford Escort 14m 09s
11 Chris Painter Steve Quine Vauxhall Nova 14m 40s
12 Jon Ross Dave Stocking Ford Escort 17m 39s
13 Robert Thomas Iestyn Leyshon Ford Escort 17m 45s
14 Neil Matthews Stan Matthews Vauxhall Nova 20m 59s
15 Peter Zjalic Richard Preece Toyota Corolla 1F 19m 23s
16 Dave Painter Chris Lightburn Opel Manta 1F 24m 07s
17 Steve Warrington Paul Entwhistle Ford Sierra 1F 48m 27s
18 Jon Stobbs Stephanie Lomax Alfa Romeo 33 2F 16m 43s
19 Glyn Price Nigel Roberts Ford Escort 2F 19m 09s
20 Adrian Higman Cyril Jones Talbot Sunbeam 2F 27m 52s
21 Tony Watkin Medwyn Evans Mini 1275GT 2F 49m 40s
22 Baron Glaze Pete Davies Ford Escort 3F 7m 03s
23 Michael Pedley David Pedley Hillman Avenger 3F 12m 56s
24 Simon Price Alan Lovett Ford Escort 3F 16m 54s
25 Wyn Owens Hefin Owens Ford Escort 3F 23m 12s
26 Trevor Pritchard Paul Hughes Vauxhall Carlton 4F 27m 14s
27 Neil Arden Paul Stocking Ford Escort 4F 36m 42s
28 Kev Andrews Nigel Hall Ford Escort 4F 48m 42s
29 Roger Harries Beth Evans Vauxhall Astra 5F 29m 14s
30 Martin Bradley Andy Oakes Ford Escort 6F 37m 35s
31 Tim Elvins Jim Quinn Ford Escort 7F 39m 24s
32 Gareth Davies Andy Hutchings Vauxhall Chevette 7F 55m 35s
33 Alan Thompson Neil Boyd Toyota Corolla 8F 22m 22s
34 Duncan Edwards Matthew Preece Ford Escort 9F 61m 16s
35 Alan Ridge Simon Ridge Ford Escort 11F 47m 42s
36 Neil Stubbs Brian Stubbs Ford Escort 18F 59m 58s
37 Oliver Davies Andrew Rousell Peugeot 205 GTi 31F 41m 00s
38 Paul Benton Matthew Warner Vauxhall Astra 32F 63m 10s