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Night Owl Rally 1998

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Aberystwyth & District Motor Club

25th/26th April 1998

Clerk of the Course: Wyn Jones & John Whitehurst

Route: 130 Miles

Maps: 135

Starters: 75

Winners: Huw James/Patrick Walsh (Vauxhall Cavalier)

Having retired while leading the Greenleaves Rally earlier in the month, the Aberystwyth pairing of Huw James/Patrick Walsh made amends by taking victory on their club's home event, the Night Owl Rally. They led from Start to Finish.

Night Owl 1998

The rally was Round Four of the Welsh Road Rally Championship and attracted a full entry of 75 starters. The compact route never strayed far from its base at the Welsh seaside town and saw a remarkable 71 crews make it to the petrol halt, while 59 of these went on to complete the course.

From the off there was little doubt as to the outcome of the rally. James/Walsh set a blistering pace from the start. They took the tight second section by the impressive margin of over a minute from their nearest rivals, and went on to dominate the event by being the quickest crew throughout the night. They eventually took victory by just over two minutes.

In contrast there was a titanic battle for second place, with six crews being within 18 seconds of each other at the end. Dennis Quinn/Andrew Thomson, having contended all night with electrical problems, took the runner up spot to consolidate their hold on the Welsh Championship. Gethin Lewis/Aled Jones were third, adding to their ever increasing list of notable results.

Meanwhile Nigel Lloyd/Owen Dodd and Graham Evans/Ian Mills tied on 3m 06s, the matter being resolved in the former crew's favour on the furtherest clean principle. Toby Adams/Pat Gadsby were just two seconds further back in their Mark 1 Escort.

Other crews weren't so fortunate. Gareth Lloyd/Dorian Evans withdrew at Petrol after their Escort showed worrying signs of failing oil pressure. Once again Peter Zjalic/Richard Preece looked to be in a strong position at the halfway point, they were in second place, 1m 08s behind James/Walsh. However they lost almost 25 minutes on the penultimate section; they picked up a puncture and went off the road. Cyril Crook/Chris Ware finished 20th after being delayed by a time consuming puncture and Pete Cotton/Dave Pitchford were slowed once again by steering problems on their Escort.

The Semi-Expert Class award went to the Nova of Casso Davies/Mark Howells, while the leading Novices were Ian McKenzie/Wyn Lewis in their Fiat Uno Turbo; both crews having led their classes from before the Petrol halt.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Huw James Patrick Walsh Ford Escort 0m 47s
2 Dennis Quinn Andrew Thomson Ford Escort 2m 53s
3 Gethin Lewis Aled Jones Ford Escort RS 2m 57s
4 Nigel Lloyd Owen Dodd Ford Escort 3m 06s
5 Graham Evans Ian Mills Toyota Corolla 3m 06s
6 Toby Adam Pat Gadsby Ford Escort 3m 08s
7 Neredith Roberts Mark Lloyd Vauxhall Cavalier 3m 11s
8 Adrian Davies Marc Jones Ford Escort 3m 19s
9 John Edwards Deian Rees Ford Escort 3m 54s
10 Kev Nunns Neil Spiers Toyota Corolla 4m 08s
11 Arwyn Thomas Gareth Price Ford Escort 7m 45s
12 Geraint Davies Sarah Gluyas Toyota Corolla 9m 29s
13 Martyn Evans Ceri Davies Nissan Micra 9m 52s
14 Nick Evans Alan Hands Ford Escort 11m 33s
15 Ian McKenzie Wyn Lewis Fiat Uno Turbo 13m 49s
16 Emyr Morgan Carwyn Lloyd Ford Sierra Sapphire 15m 45s
17 Damian Cole Byron Jones Peugeot 205 16m 13s
18 Cyril Crook Chris Ware Talbot Sunbeam 18m 11s
19 Eirwyn Davies Brian Jenkins Ford Escort 21m 01s
20 Meirion Evans Hefin Owens Ford Escort 21m 11s
21 Casso Davies Mark Howells Vauxhall Nova 22m 36s
22 Geraint Hughes Glyn Evans MG Maestro 26m 29s
23 Peter Zjalic Richard Preece Toyota Corolla 26m 35s
24 Karl Hancocks Steve Durbin Ford Escort 30m 08s
25 Dorian 'Chubb' Davies Stephanie Lomax Ford Fiesta 34m 30s
26 Robert Rees Ann Rees Ford Escort 36m 42s
27 Wayne Morris Paul Middleton Ford Escort 1F 6m 47s
28 Dave Boucher Jon Stobbs Ford Escort 9m 17s
29 Kevin 'Steaky' Morgan Rob Duke Ford Escort Van 1F 9m 52s
30 Roddy Daniels Anthony Evans Vauxhall Astra GTE 1F 16m 48s
31 Hefin George Daniel Thomas Mazda 323 Turbo 1F 18m 26s
32 Alan Thomas Tony Davies Ford Escort 1F 21m 18s
33 Alan Davies John Evans Opel Ascona 1F 21m 55s
34 Ryan Leary Debra Joseph Ford Fiesta 1F 28m 27s
35 Pete Cotton Dave Pitchford Ford Escort 1F 31m 04s
36 Aled James Philip Griffiths Ford Escort 1F 31m 19s
37 Robert Price Rhys Davies Vauxhall Astra GTE 1F 31m 52s
38 Iwan Williams Matthew Picton Ford Escort 1F 44m 04s
39 Gareth Jones Matthew Warner Ford Escort 2F 25m 21s
40 Simon Chandler Darren Manning Ford Escort 2F 29m 03s
41 Robert Fern Hefyn Thomas Toyota Corolla 2F 37m 24s
42 Alan Jones Barry Davies Ford Escort 2F 47m 48s
43 Bernie Harrison John Rees Ford Escort XR3i 3F 12m 27s
44 Huw 'Joe 90' Jones G Edwards Volvo 440 Turbo 3F 28m 34s
45 Philip Jones A Morgan Vauxhall Nova 4F 41m 43s
46 C J Gibbons Merlin Whiteland Volvo 240 GLT 15 32m 45s
47 David Rhys Jones Gwilym Hughes Ford Escort 5F 35m 39s
48 Jeremy Davies Meredith Davies Ford Escort 8F 46m 13s
49 Nick Giles James Martin Ford Sierra 6F 30m 19s
50 Jason Harries Geraint Mayes Ford Escort 6F 39m 27s
51 Selwin Jones Sean Crowley Ford Escort 7F 24m 39s
52 Jim Paterson David Martin Jones Talbot Sunbeam 12F 33m 01s
53 Michael Rowlands R Jones Ford Escort XR3i 18F 47m 19s