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Mel Harries Memorial Rally 2002

Ammanford Motor Club

7th/8th September

Clerk of the Course: Rob Richardson

Route: 110 Miles

Maps: 159 & 146

Starters: 57

Winners: Gareth Lloyd/Ryland James (Ford Escort)

The Mel Harries Memorial Rally reappeared after a three year absence and it proved to be a great success with competitors. They tackled a 100 mile route in the Llandeilo-Carmarthen-Ammanford area.

Proceedings started with a three and a half mile section to warm crews up. This was followed by a 40 mile section with a number of ITCs which took crews to the petrol halt. The second half was just one 50 mile section, again with ITCs and finishing with a tour of farm yards, including that of the event secretary Rob Richardson. One uphill white near Brechfa had to be scrubbed prior to the start due to the heavy rain on Friday night.

Mel Harries Memorial Rally 2002
Leaders at Petrol: Ceri Richards/Aled Jones (Ford Escort)

The loss of the white meant that many crews arrived at Petrol with only small amounts of penalties; Ceri Richards/Aled Jones were clean, Gary Jones/Nigel Nelson had dropped just one second and Gareth Lloyd/Ryland James were on two seconds. The matter wasn't decided until the final section when Lloyd/James snatched the win with a victory margin of just nine seconds; significantly they were running on tarmac tyres, while Jones/Nelson, were running on M&S covers.

The tracks had dried a great deal since Friday night's deluge and mud tyres seem to have been the wrong choice. The win was a notable success as it was Ryland James' first road rally in five years. Richard/Jones didn't figure in the final placings as they had an altenator bolt snap which caused the fan belt to break. A replacement belt also sheared and the pair called it a night.

Other crews who failed to make it to the Finish were Mark Jukes/Dyfan Davies, who withdrew after the navigator became unwell, and Chris Davies/Ian Cooke, who were lying twelfth overall when they had an argument with a bank.

There was a dead heat on time penalties for the win of the Semi-Expert class with Alan Hands/Melanie Hands taking the class win over Mike James/Richard Evans on the furtherest clean decider.

Julian Smith/Chris Short won the Novice Class award and finished in sixth overall, in front of all Class Two contenders. Their Corolla hadn't responded well to an agressive driving style on the opening section; the clutch slipped, the brakes boiled and the tyres refused to grip. A steadier approach for the rest of the event proved ideal and they achieved their top six finish.

Paul Tod/Iestyn ap Dafydd were non-starters after their Peugeot 205 suffered an engine failure on the way to the start.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Gareth Lloyd Ryland James Ford Escort 1m 52s
2 Gary Jones Nigel Nelson Toyota Corolla 2m 01s
3 Jon Stobbs Gary Robbins Toyota Corolla 3m 42s
4 Daneil 'Lwni' Jones Daniel Maclachlan Ford Escort 4m 15s
5 Andrew James Matthew Maidment Vauxhall Chevette 5m 08s
6 Julian Smith Chris Short Toyota Corolla 7m 16s
7 Alan Hands Melanie Hands Vauxhall Chevette 7m 59s
8 Mike James Richard Evans Vauxhall Astra GTE 7m 59s
9 Andrew Thomas Hefyn Thomas Peugeot 205 GTi 8m 02s
10 Richard James Eurig Davies Vauxhall Chevette 14m 24s
11 Barry John Paul Morris Ford Escort 15m 34s
12 Doreen Davies Anthony Davies Vauxhall Astra 16m 09s
13 John Summers Simon Summers Ford Escort 16m 36s
14 Dafydd Walters Ian Nicholls Ford Escort 16m 43s
15 Garry Jenkins Eric Tong Peugeot 205 GTi 18m 19s
16 Richard Jones Andrew Thomson Ford Escort 19m 20s
17 Fred Davies Afan Thomas Peugeot 205 GTi 27m 18s
18 Bryan Thomas Michael Maddox Vauxhall Astra 29m 51s
19 Clive Bayliss Steve Roderick Opel Manta 30m 20s
20 Paul Roberts Anthony Lemon Vauxhall Astra 46m 37s
21 Adam John Rhidian Jones Ford Escort 1F 10m 19s
22 Ian Williams Colin Hughes Ford Escort RS 1F 15m 34s
23 David Wilmer Mark Powell Ford Escort 1F 20m 34s
24 Robert Howells Nick Murfin VW Golf 1F 34m 39s
25 Robert Price Lionel Plant Vauxhall Astra GTE 1F 39m 57s
26 Alun Cole Euros Lloyd Ford Escort 1F 47m 55s
27 Gerwyn Jones Ceri Davies Ford Escort 2F 4m 39s
28 Sion Jones Simon Cartwright Vauxhall Astra GTE 2F 38m 24s
29 Andrew James Steve Jaiazial Vauxhall Nova 2F 39m 40s
30 Gavin Lewis Cai Ferriday Ford Escort 2F 39m 49s
31 Alun Probert Raymond Davies Ford Sierra 4F 10m 19s
32 Thomas Henderson Criss Lewis Audi 90 Quattro 4F 27m 37s
33 Steven Richards Nicholas Roberts Citroen Visa 4F 30m 43s
34 Chris Williams Adrian Brown Peugeot 106 4F 43m 21s
35 Mike Roberts David Roberts Ford Escort 9F 46m 33s
36 Carwyn Evans Mark Andrew Vauxhall Astra 17F 29m 50s