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E Roberts (Ffestiniog) Memorial Rali Meirion 2002

Sponsored by John Roberts (Ffestiniog) Ltd

Harlech & District Motor Club

14th/15th September 2002

Clerk of the Course: Chris Evans

Route: 120 Miles

Maps: 123 & 124

Starters: 68

Winners: Haydn Davies/Owen Dodd (Subaru Impreza)

Harlech & MC dropped the title Rali Bro Cader for the 2002 event, the route used for the rally had moved further north in previous years and no longer used the roads around Cader Idris. For the 2002 event the title of Rali Meirion was resurrected and was fully declared as the E Roberts (Festiniog) Memorial Rali Meirion, in memory of a great club patron who died earlier in the year.

Rali Meirion 2002
Winners: Haydn Davies/Owen Dodd (Subaru Impreza)

The event attracted 68 competitors to the start at the Leisure Centre in Porthmadog. They were to tackle a 120 mile route, which started with a regularity around Rhyd, before zig zagging down Map 124 via Llanwuchllyn, Trawsfynydd and the Dolgellau Maze. Crews then moved back to the North, finishing the rally over the tight stone lined lanes of the Lleyn Peninsula.

The rally turned into a tight battle between the Escort of Steven Roberts/Darren Garrod and the Subaru Impreza of Haydn Davies/Owen Dodd. Entering the last section Roberts/Garrod were just a few seconds ahead, however with less than two miles to go they misjudged a 90 right and crashed heavily into a wall. This allowed Davies/Owen to finish, taking the victory over two minutes ahead of the field.

Howard Price/Carl Williamson took the runner up spot to put themselves in a very strong position in the Welsh Championship with just two rounds remaining. Their campaign being aided by the fact that their main rivals for the title, Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh, failed to complete the rally.

Rali Meirion 2002

Evans/Walsh had suffered fuel feed problems on their Escort during the opening sections and had stopped in a neutral section to affect repairs. This process had included re-jetting the carbs and had pushed them close to their maximum lateness. They resumed but then slid off the road on a hairpin junction in the Dolgellau maze. By the time they’d recovered the road, they were OTL.

The 1300cc Class of the Welsh Championship was decided on the Meirion, Steve Rogers/Ian Cooke clinching the title by bringing their VW Polo into fifteenth place.

The first regularity section was eventually cancelled after a heavy accident involving the Escort of Iwan Williams/Gwion Pryderi. This had a fortunate affect for two crews who had problems on that section. Gary Jones/Dave Pitchford had lost twelve minutes with a mystery electrical problem, the problem disappeared as suddenly as it appeared and never occurred again. After the opening section was scrubbed they found that they had finished third. Equally lucky were Carl Hawkins/Iain Tullie who had gone off the road and lost two minutes early on, with those penalties removed they were classified fourth.

Stuart Newby/Paul Holmberg finished fifth to maintain their challenge for the North Western title, Newby now lay fourth in the drivers' table, while Holmberg maintained his lead in the navigators' series, although Carl Williamson had closed the gap with his second place finish. The drivers' table was led by Simon Cottrell, who partnered by Marcus Watmough, brought his Subaru Impreza into eighth place on the Meirion.

Rali Meirion 2002
Long time leaders: Steven Roberts/Darren Garrod (Ford Escort)

Elfyn Richards/Carwyn Evans managed to finish sixth despite having to nurse their VW Golf to the finish after an engine mounting broke. Jason Hardy/Alan Jôs missed out on a top placed finish after losing eight minutes at one point when the coil lead came loose on their VW Golf; they eventually finished thirteenth. Mark Whitford/Michael Ogram made the journey from North Yorkshire and finished in twelfth place despite damaging the front of the car when they hit a steel gatepost - the gatepost remained undamaged.

Top seeds Gerallt Davies/Michael Evans made the Finish although the clutch failed on their Escort on the final section, however they were then excluded for baulking after complaints from several of their fellow competitors.

Gerwyn Jones/Ceri Davies entered the Meirion chasing Welsh Championship points but failed to make the Finish after the fuel pump failed on their Escort. Tudor Morris/Gerallt Davies posted yet another retirement, they damaged their Escort's exhaust manifold on a section through a quarry near to the driver's home.

The Semi-Expert class was won by the last minute pairing of Dave Edwards/Cyril Jones, who took their Ford Escort to eighteenth overall. Four places further back were Dafydd Edwards/Clive Bayley, who won the Novice Class.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Haydn Davies Owen Dodd Subaru Impreza 4m 41s
2 Howard Price Carl Williamson Toyota Corolla 7m 16s
3 Gary Jones Dave Pitchford Toyota Corolla 7m 27s
4 Carl Hawkins Iain Tullie Vauxhall Nova 8m 14s
5 Stuart Newby Paul Holmberg Subaru Impreza 8m 25s
6 Elfyn Richards Carwyn Evans VW Golf GTi 9m 43s
7 Dave Jones Baz Green Vauxhall Astra 10m 15s
8 Simon Cottrell Marcus Watmough Subaru Impreza 12m 26s
9 Dewi John Williams Eilir Jones Peugeot 205 GTi 12m 49s
10 Brynli Thomas Roger Evans Peugeot 205 GTi 14m 04s
11 Gwynfor Roberts Stephen Kerr Peugeot 205 GTi 14m 17s
12 Mark Whitford Michael Ogram Toyota Corolla 15m 20s
13 Jason Hardy Alan Jôs VW Golf GTi 15m 37s
14 Eurig Thomas Rhun Ellis Toyota Corolla 16m 11s
15 Steve Rogers Ian Cooke VW Polo 16m 52s
16 Shaun Hardy Steve Herbert Toyota Corolla 17m 24s
17 Ian Evans Caren Williams Vauxhall Cavalier 20m 40s
18 Dave Edwards Cyril Jones Ford Escort 21m 16s
19 Darren Jones Heddwyn Jones Vauxhall Nova 22m 38s
20 Endaf Wilson Barry Griffiths Peugeot 309 GTi 24m 20s
21 Noel Hughes Gwawr Hughes Ford Escort 26m 53s
22 Dafydd Edwards Clive Bayley Vauxhall Astra 26m 54s
23 Paul Jenkins Aled Richards Ford Escort 27m 18s
24 Andrew Williams Wyn Davies Vauxhall Astra 28m 23s
25 Lee Evans Anthony Williams Vauxhall Nova 29m 07s
26 Dylan Williams Martin Chidley Hillman Avenger 29m 49s
27 Arwel Williams Tomos Edwards Ford Escort XR3 34m 58s
28 John Robyns Alan Parry Peugeot 205 GTi 36m 27s
29 Bleddyn Jones Daniel Richards VW Golf 43m 07s
30 Ashley Morris Michael Hardwick Peugeot 205 GTi 48m 13s
31 Huw Parry Christopher Jones Mitsubishi Colt 1F 45m 12s
32 Rhys Roberts Dafydd Roberts Vauxhall Nova 1F 64m 29s
33 Rhys Williams Colin Williams Ford Escort 3F 29m 00s
34 Jim Paterson David Jones Subaru RX Coupe 5F 28m 35s
35 Mark O'Leary Paul Dolby Ford Escort 5F 28m 53s
36 Dyfed Morgan David Johnson Ford Fiesta XR2 11F 33m 01s
37 Chris Owen Stephen Campbell Vauxhall Astra 17F 50m 20s
38 Tony Watkin Medwyn Evans Vauxhall Nova 29F 36m 20s