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Night Owl Rally 1999

Sponsored by Wood Building Supplies

Aberystwyth & District Motor Club

24th/25th April 1999

Clerk of the Course: Wyn Jones & John Whitehurst

Route: 130 Miles

Maps: 135

Starters: 75

Winners: Dennis Quinn/Andrew Thomson (Ford Escort)

After a disappointing start to the season Dennis Quinn/Andrew Thomson improved their chances of retaining the Welsh Road Rally Championship by taking victory on Aberyswyth MC's Night Owl Rally. The pair took an easy win but only after early pace setters, Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh retired.

Night Owl 1999

The Aberyswyth based event, the fifth round of the Welsh Championship, attracted a maximum 75 car entry. The 135 mile route took the crews across Map 135 using the classic dam roads at both Nant-yr-Moch and Elan Valley, with a liberal sprinkling of tracks included.

The 1998 winning driver, Huw James, failed to make the start so Phil Turner/Owen Dodd took the top seed position. However they had a short run, missing a time control, before an off damaged the sump on their Sunbeam and forced them out after only two sections.

It was Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh, making use of their local knowledge, that set a blistering pace. They arrived at Petrol over a minute clear of the rest of the field, but they got no further as a broken dry sump bracket forced their Escort to a halt.

Quinn/Thomson had emerged from a gaggle of runners to be in a clear second place at the halfway point, this turned into a comfortable victory margin after Evans' retirement. Richie Lewis/Richard Preece, the driver returning after a three month lay off, took the runner up spot, with Rali Bro Tiefi winners, Arwyn Thomas/Andy Bowen in third.

Eirwyn Davies/Jon Hands were the only crew to clean the second half and this allowed them to move into fourth at the Finish. Martyn O'Connor/Peter Collins brought their Astra into fifth and secured the Standard Production Award.

Sixth place was not quite enough to allow Neil Griffiths/Carl Williamson to regain the top position in the Welsh Championship, as Toby Adam/Pat Gadsby finished just behind to keep the narrowest of leads as the series entered a three month break.

Alun Gaunt/Shaun O'Gorman had a miserable event which was topped by a fail as a result of a wrong approach at the very last control. Elgan Jones/Byron Jones withdrew after being penalised for a jumped start and Jon Gwilym/Neil Spiers retired with a broken exhaust on their Escort.

The Semi-Expert and Novice class winners were the only runners in their respective classes to be clear of fails at the end - these were Richard Briddon/Edryd Evans and Kevin Price/Geraint Jones.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Dennis Quinn Andrew Thomson Ford Escort 2m 21s
2 Richie Lewis Richard Preece Toyota Corolla 4m 09s
3 Arwyn Thomas Andy Bowen Ford Escort RS 5m 02s
4 Eirwyn Davies Jon Hands Ford Escort 6m 47s
5 Martyn O'Connor Peter Collins Vauxhall Astra GTE 7m 40s
6 Neil Griffiths Carl Williamson Ford Escort 8m 51s
7 Toby Adam Pat Gadsby Ford Escort 8m 53s
8 Hefin George Daniel Thomas Mazda 323 Turbo 9m 53s
9 Geraint Davies Sarah Gluyas Toyota Corolla 11m 03s
10 Steve Rogers Paul Jones Rover Mini 11m 21s