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Malky Road Rally 1996

Blackwood & District Motor Club

26th/27th October 1996

Clerk of the Course: Byron Jones

Route: 140 Miles

Maps: 161 & 171

Starters: 35

Winners: Bob Gibbons/Stuart Cardell (Ford Escort RS2000)

Bob Gibbons/Stuart Cardell took their Escort to victory on Blackwood & District's Malky Rally on a night of atrocious weather, where heavy rain and fog hampered the competitors and made life miserable for the brave marshals. This was the second running of the Malky Rally and it was being observed not only for upgrading to National B status but also for inclusion in next year's West Midlands Championship. The competence of the organisers ensuring that both aims are likely to be achieved.

Malky Road Rally Rally 1996

Clerk of the Course, Byron Jones, laid out a demanding route starting and finishing at the club's home town but in between taking in the sodden lanes of south east Powys and northern Gwent. The 140 mile route was divided into eleven sections, the ninth of which was a regularity test. There was a single route handout and this was issued at the start control; the novices had the luxury of photocopied maps showing the whole route. Unusually for Welsh rallies there were to be time penalties rather than fails for missing passage controls.

The rally started with a short four mile test, however it was long enough for Andy Hill/Ian Thomas who were making a return to rallying after a ten year lay off, their Escort suffered diff failure less than half a mile in. The event then moved north for three sections looping around the Hay-on-Wye area before halting for petrol at Bronllys. The early pace had been set by last year's winners Nigel Gardener/Tim Samuels, however they crashed out as they approached the final control of the first half as their Peugoet's brakes failed.

This left a tie for the lead as four crews claimed three minutes penalty. These four crews were to have varying fortunes in the second half.

Malky Rally 1996
Winners: Bob Gibbons/Stuart Cardell (Ford Escort RS2000)
Photo: Russell Gardener

Least lucky were Alan Gaunt/Michael Roach who retired on the seventh section, while on the same sector Clive Wakely/Justin Davies wrong slotted and lost five minutes after becoming stuck in a field. They continued, stopping on the ninth section to help Mike Morgan/Dave Howells, who had become stuck on a white. It was a worthwhile move as the two crews had entered the team award together, they duly finished and took the prize.

Of the other half time leaders Toby Adams/Neil Spiers had a steady run through the lanes either side of the Heads of the Valleys road to finish in second place. Bob Gibbons/Stuart Cardell increased the pace to take a five minute victory margin to give the driver his first event win in seventeen years of rallying. Ex-Welsh Champion Julian Todd, partnered by Jamie West, could have challenged them as they were fastest on time at the end however they dropped to 15th overall as a result of booking in early at two controls.

Carl Davies/Phil Jones were third, a respectable result considering that Davies hadn't driven his hired Corolla until just before the event, while Gareth Jones/Iestyn ap Dafydd took fourth and the Semi-Expert class in a similar car. The novice award went to the last car on the road, the Metro of navigator-turned-driver Steve Reed, who had after a last minute arrangement got Kevin Chaffey alongside; they finished a highly commendable sixth overall. The winners of the mixed crew trophy were Toby Down/Mikki Bouchard who survived becoming stuck on no fewer than three occasions. Of the 35 starters there were 21 finishers.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Bob Gibbons Stuart Cardell Ford Escort RS2000 27m 22s
2 Toby Adams Neil Spiers Ford Escort 32m 05s
3 Carl Davies Phil Jones Toyota Corolla 39m 04s
4 Gareth Jones Iestyn ap Dafydd Toyota Corolla 41m 18s
5 Simon Down Huw Morgan Opel Manta 88m 58s
6 Steve Reed Kevin Chaffey MG Metro 140m 05s
7 Jim Keogh Dave Bradley Ford Escort 147m 00s
8 Nick Broadway Andy Oakes Ford Sierra 1F 60m 55s
9 Brian Davies Jayson Brown Ford Escort 1F 61m 39s
10 Clive Wakeley Justin Davies Ford Escort 1F 70m 12s