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Mid Wales Stages 2003

Sponsored by Rally Marketing

Newtown & District Auto Club

15th June 2003

Clerk of the Course: Richard Edwards & Graham Evans

Stages: 8 (39 Stage Miles)

Venue: Sarnau & Hafren

Starters: 88 + 10 Classic & 7 Historic

Winners: Graham Middleton/John Morgan (Toyota Corolla WRC)

Graham Middleton/John Morgan took their second successive win on the Rally Marketing Mid Wales Stages. Shaun Gardener/Dave Brick led initially but had to give best to Middleton/Morgan, with the Corolla pairing finishing the Newtown & District AC event thirty seconds ahead.

Mid Wales Stages 2003

The rally consisted of eight stages, two stages in the Sarnau complex (Cwmcynydd & Cwmysgawen) and two in Hafren (Maesnant & Hafren North); these made up a loop which was tackled twice, giving 39 competitive miles.

Middleton started cautiously having just had the engine rebuilt and this allowed Gardener, returning after an 18 month lay off and competing in the ex-Mick Jones Lancer E5, to open up a lead of four seconds after SS2.

Third place after SS2 was held by Rob Dick/Baz Green (Ford Escort). They slipped back to fifth by the finish, but this was enough to garner a good collection of North Western Championship points and claim the Over 2-litre Class.

Mick Jones had a miserable day in his Lancer E3. Third fastest through Cwmcynydd, he picked up a puncture in Cwmysgawen and dropped 15 seconds to the leaders. He was holding fifth place when the car came to a halt in Hafren with a turbo failure.

Stage One claimed two of the top ten starters; John Ashton/Mark Lewis (Ford Escort) rolled heavily, while Paul Jackson/Patrick Walsh (Mitsubishi Lancer E3) were stopped by transmission problems. James Sparrow/Phil Pickard were struggling with a slipping clutch on their Ford Escort Cosworth. This problem persisted and later in the day they started to have engine management issues and had to switch off the anti-lag. As a result they trailled home in 18th place at the Finish.

Middleton was fastest through the first Hafren stage and moved into a one second lead. Fastest time on all the remaining five stages meant that Corolla pilot came home 33 seconds ahead of the field. This was despite a big moment, which he just managed to catch, on Stage Four.

Shaun Gardener/Dave Brick lost their intercom on SS5, but this didn't stop them matching Middleton's time. They finished the event in a secure second place. Bob Morgan/Adrian Williams (Ford Escort Cosworth) had a clutch fluid leak throughout the day, losing all the fluid on SS4. They survived to take the last podium place behind Middleton and Gardener.

The first time pairing of Ieuan Rowlands/Huw Lewis improved their position in both the Miller Oils Welsh Clubmans and North Western Championships by taking the 1600cc class win and fourth overall.

The 1600cc to 2000cc Class provided an interesting competition. Gareth Edwards/Stuart Darke (Vauxhall Nova) were the early pace setters, despite suffering from overheating problems, they held fourth place overall at the halfway service halt. However they rolled into retirement on Stage Five.

The class lead was then held by the Escort of Dave Harris/Neil Bevan, but they came to halt with a blown engine on SS7. This should have meant that Geraint Mills/Jonny 'Tad' Evans (Opel Manta) took the lead, but they were slowed on the latter stages by a rear diff problem; this gave them one wheel drive for the last stage. They finished four seconds behind the class winners, Tim Jones/Don James (Ford Escort). The latter had had a fuse blow on their fan during the first loop of stages, but this was fixed at Service and they lost no time.

Malcolm Bayliss/Mark Roberts led the Historic Rally going into the last stage, however they had the battery on their Mexico go flat in the stage and they took a meximum. This allowed Hugh Currell/Brian Thomas to take the category win in their Cortina. Gareth Lloyd/Dilwyn Llewellyn comfortably won the Classic Rally despite their Escort’s gearbox failing on SS8.


Paul Tod/Iestyn ap Daffydd leapt to the head of the Peugeot 205 Challenge series when they won the category on the Mid Wales Stages. A spin on the first stage, which cost them twenty seconds, was the only blot on their copy book as they finished eleven seconds ahead of Chris Davies/Nathan Parry.

The strength of this series was underlined by the fact that forty-four 205 Challenge crews contested the event. This was the third round and the first forestry event in the series. For many of the crews it was their first taste of gravel rallying. To give the competitors a target to aim for, Mark Higgins drove Kevin Furber’s ex-works 205 on the rally and, despite the car being only a 1300cc model, he finished sixth overall.

Tod/ap Daffydd had been in third place in the championship prior to the event, but their second successive win put them at the top with four rounds remaining. Previous leaders Jason Stone/Paul Davenport rolled their car on SS5 and came home well down the order. Ben Colley/Andy Bull led the Challenge after two stages but a severe accident on SS5 put them out of the event.

Despite losing out on the win, Davies/Parry had the consolation of taking maximum points in the beginners class, while Pete Johnston/Oli Gardiner won the Novice category. Chris Reid/Doddy Farmer lost a great deal of time when they had to stop on the first stage and re-wire a failed fuel pump, however they bounced back to take two fastest stage times later in the day.

Despite an overshoot, when they were blinded by the dust of a slower car on SS4, Matt Barker/Dave Pitchford once again dominated the 1900cc Scholarship. They came home in 13th place overall, three minutes clear of their nearest challenger.


Pos Driver Co-Driver Car Penalty
1 Graham Middleton John Morgan Toyota Corolla WRC 41m 55s
2 Shaun Gardener Dave Brick Mitsubishi Lancer Evo5 42m 28s
3 Bob Morgan Adrian Williams Ford Escort Cosworth 43m 42s
4 Ieuan Rowlands Huw Lewis Ford Escort 43m 49s
5 Rob Dick Baz Green Ford Escort 43m 59s
6 Mark Higgins Kev Furber Peugeot 205 45m 15s
7 John Rowlands E G Jones Ford Escort 45m 44s
8 Andrew Kenny Gary Kenny Mitsubishi Lancer E3 45m 55s
9 Tim Jones Don James Ford Escort 46m 15s
10 Geraint Mills Jonny 'Tad' Evans Opel Manta 46m 15s
11 Martin Kenny Dave Stocking Ford Escort 46m 20s
12 Paul Pritchard Vern Brown Ford Sierra 4x4 46m 37s
13 Matt Barker Dave Pitchford Peugeot 205 46m 39s
14 Dan Humphreys Richard Jerman Talbot Sunbeam 46m 53s
15 James Young David Young Vauxhall Astra GTE 46m 57s
16 James Belton Paul Williams Ford Escort RS 47m 19s
17 Keith Parry Martyn Quant Vauxhall Nova 47m 24s
18 James Sparrow Phil Pickard Ford Escort Cosworth 47m 57s
19 Richard Yorke Rob Large Vauxhall Chevette 48m 01s
20 Paul Tod Iestyn ap Dafydd Peugeot 205 48m 01s
21 Chris Davies Nathan Parry Peugeot 205 48m 12s
22 Gareth Hockley Gareth Vickers Vauxhall Nova 48m 16s
23 Tim Griffiths Penny Norman Subaru Impreza 48m 37s
24 Simon Moore Chris Purvis Peugeot 205 48m 42s
25 Thomas Curtis Michael Harris Peugeot 205 48m 46s
26 Pete Johnston Oli Gardiner Peugeot 205 48m 56s
27 Ian Winstanley Neil Bye Peugeot 205 49m 04s
28 Richard McLachlan Matthew McLachlan Peugeot 205 49m 15s
29 Chris Gittins Stuart Humphreys Ford Escort 49m 16s
30 Juline Brine Bob Rose Peugeot 205 49m 25s
31 Michael Curtis David Curtis Peugeot 205 49m 37s
32 Ian Tippet Liam O'Kane Peugeot 205 49m 39s
33 Anthony Hutchings Kevin Hutchings VW Golf 49m 45s
34 Alan Walker Peter White Ford Escort 49m 52s
35 A R Hepworth Jonathan Turnbell Subaru Impreza 49m 55s
36 Mick Bradley Ron Bradley Peugeot 309 50m 07s
37 Nik Blackhurst Richard Brunning Peugeot 205 50m 20s
38 Simon Taft Stewart Foley Peugeot 205 50m 20s
39 Noel Kelly James Kelly Ford Escort 50m 22s
40 Phil Madden Geoff Nash Peugeot 205 50m 34s
41 Chris Wilson Corin Redman Vauxhall Astra 50m 41s
42 Chris Reid Doody Farmer Peugeot 205 50m 46s
43 Craig Schofield Zoe Schofield Peugeot 205 50m 50s
44 Mark Turner Mark Oliver Peugeot 205 50m 51s
45 George Thomas Graham Hopewell Peugeot 205 50m 57s
46 Pete Hamer Nik Griffiths Talbot Sunbeam 51m 13s
47 Andy Streton Ian Harden Peugeot 205 51m 14s
48 Jason Stone Paul Davenport Peugeot 205 51m 17s
49 Arthur Orme Guy Farrant Subaru Impreza 51m 29s
50 Richard Cook Edith Hunter Peugeot 205 51m 44s
51 Mark Gamble Shane Gamble Peugeot 205 51m 46s
52 Chris Bayliss Paul Fisher Peugeot 205 52m 05s
53 Steve Riley Peter Taylor Peugeot 205 52m 05s
54 Stuart Peterson Adrian Jacobs Peugeot 205 52m 08s
55 Michael Nippers Stuart Powell Peugeot 205 52m 10s
56 James Alexander Steve Brockington Peugeot 106 52m 14s
57 Michael Green Phil Pearce Peugeot 205 52m 38s
58 Chris Paulson Andrew Dover Peugeot 205 52m 46s
59 Huw Davies Martin Jones Peugeot 205 52m 53s
60 Mark Sayer Paul Edwards Peugeot 205 52m 58s
61 Geoff Whiston Steve Owen Ford Escort 53m 25s
62 Steve Rogers Pete Gill Peugeot 205 53m 29s
63 Tristran Pearce Dave Cox Peugeot 205 53m 54s
64 Stephen Luscombe Andrew Jol Peugeot 205 53m 54s
65 Gareth Forknell Nichlas Forknell Peugeot 205 54m 52s
66 Paul Smith Alan Smith Peugeot 205 55m 41s
67 Peter Hopkins Nicky Cadwallander Peugeot 205 55m 56s
68 Chris Hamblett Carolyn Hamblett Talbot Sunbeam 56m 17s
69 James Watkins Matthew Perkins Peugeot 205 57m 27s


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Hugh Currell Bryan Thomas Ford Lotus Cortina 55m 25s
2 Kevin Holley Dan Holley Hillman Avenger GT 56m 22s
3 Richard Pugh Liz Pugh Volvo 122S 57m 13s
4 Nigel Kelsall Peter Davies Fiat 124 Special 57m 55s
5 Martin Taylor Peter Nash Ford Escort Mexico 1h 00m 14s
6 Malcolm Bayliss Mark Roberts Ford Escort RS 1h 00m 15s


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Gareth Lloyd Dilwyn llewellin Ford Escort 46m 17s
2 Dave Cobb Allen Craven Toyota Corolla 51m 34s
3 Rick Oliver Colin Ellis Ford Escort RS 56m 26s