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Night Owl Rally 2002

Sponsored by E&M Motor Factors

Aberystwyth & District Motor Club

27th/28th April 2002

Clerk of the Course: Eryl Rees & Aneurin James

Route: 130 Miles

Maps: 135 & 146

Starters: 75

Winners: Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh (Ford Escort)

Huw Evans/PatrickWalsh reinforced their lead of the Welsh Rally Championship by taking victory on the fifth round of the series, the Night Owl Rally. The pair, who had held third place at the petrol halt, were fastest through the second half to win by almost a minute.

Night Owl Rally 2002

The Aberyswyth MC event, which was supported by E&M Motor Factors, attracted a capacity 75 car entry, 52 of these were to made it back to the finish. The rally started and finished at at the club's hometown and used a 130 mile route.

The first half took crews through Tal-y-bont, Pendam, Capel Seion and Ystumtuen to the petrol halt at Ponterwyd. The second half went as far south as Bethania and included a run through the complex lane system at Trefenter. Route definition was by photocopied maps.

Torential rain fell for two hours before the event but the worst, bar for a few heavy showers, was over by the time competitive motoring got underway. The wet weather did make one white impassable and this resulted in penalties being scrubbed for two controls.

At the petrol halt top seeds Aled 'Cacen' Evans/Eryl Evans held a slender lead of three seconds over Martyn O'Connor/Peter Collins, the eventual winners were fifteen seconds further back in third. Everything changed on the section after the halt as Evans/Evans put their Sierra through a hedge and were out of the rally.

Evans/Walsh cleaned the section while everyone else dropped at least fifty seconds. The local crew took the lead they weren't to loose. O’Connor/Collins continued a good run of results by taking second place just under a minute behind at the end.

Howard Price/Carl Williamson took third having struggled with a set up on their Corolla that was too low for some of the whites that were used on the Night Owl. Gary Jones/Dave Pitchford were fourth. The win meant that Evans/Walsh extended their lead in the Welsh Championship, but the pressure was still on with Price/Williamson and Jones/Pitchford maintaining the challenge.

As usual not everyone had a clear run. Toby Adams/Ian Cooke lost five minutes with a wrong slot and then were further delayed when they picked up a puncture; they withdrew at Petrol.

Two other crews in the top ten failed to make the halfway halt - Rali Bro Teifi winners Hefin George/Dilwyn John were halted by head gasket failure on their Nissan Sunny, while leading Welsh Championship contenders Jason Stone/Paul Holmberg had their Peugeot 205's clutch fail.

Night Owl Rally 2002
Winners: Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh (Ford Escort)
Photograph: Paul Mount

Dafydd 'Budgie' Williams/Dyfan Davies had the shortest run of the night, their Sunbeam grinding to a halt with elctrical failure just three miles into the first section; the problem was finally traced to the rev counter shorting out the coil.

Punctures seemed to be a common affliction during the night with a number of crews reporting delays caused by them, these included Dennis Quinn/Rob Richardson, Ceri Richards/Aled Jones, Steve Rogers/Paul Jones and John Stobbs/Gary Robbins - the latter two crews both suffering more than one during the night, in Stobbs/Robbins case, picking two up at the same time. Gremlin Rally winners Gerwyn Jones/Ceri Davies lost time when their Escort drowned out in the first white.

Dafydd Edwards/Deian Rees were fifth overall and took the Standard Production Award. Andrew Phillips/Dalis Ifans were the runaway winners of the Semi-Expert class, finishing in sixth place overall, seven minutes clear of their nearest class rivals, Paul Davies/Phil Ralphs.

The Novice class was won by Geraint Jones/Don James who were 20th overall, with Dewi James/Sion James and Geraint Davies/Steffan Evans taking the other Class 3 awards.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Huw Evans Patrick Walsh Ford Escort 6m 02s
2 Martyn O'Connor Peter Collins Vauxhall Astra GTE 6m 53s
3 Howard Price Carl Williamson Toyota Corolla 8m 18s
4 Gary Jones Dave Pitchford Toyota Corolla 8m 32s
5 Dafydd Edwards Deian Rees Ford Sierra 4x4 9m 43s
6 Andrew Phillips Dalis Ifans Ford Sierra 9m 59s
7 Gary Evans Iestyn Leyshon Ford Escort 10m 21s
8 Ceri Richards Aled Jones Ford Escort 10m 26s
9 Elgan Jones Byron Jones Vauxhall Astra 10m 31s
10 Dennis Quinn Rob Richardson Ford Escort 11m 31s
11 Steve Rogers Paul Jones VW Polo GT 13m 04s
12 Wayne Morris Paul Middleton Ford Escort 14m 39s
13 Owen Edwards Dorian Davies Vauxhall Astra 16m 01s
14 Huw Myfyr Jones Carwyn Evans VW Golf GTi 16m 31s
15 Paul Davies Phil Ralphs Ford Escort 16m 48s
16 Darren Williams Dylan Jones Vauxhall Astra 17m 26s
17 Wayne Elliott Nigel Nelson Toyota Celica GT 20m 06s
18 Gareth Owen Aled Richards Ford Escort 20m 49s
19 Gavin Perry Carwyn Jones Ford Sierra 4x4 20m 55s
20 Geraint Jones Don James Ford Escort 22m 19s
21 Aled Garner Dylan Garner Toyota Corolla 22m 42s
22 Aled Williams M Davies Peugeot 205 23m 42s
23 Steve Wynn Chris Wynn Ford Escort 24m 15s
24 Stephen Davies Elgan Davies Ford Escort 25m 34s
25 Jon Stobbs Gary Robbins Toyota Corolla 28m 31s
26 Islwyn Watkins Martin Jones Vauxhall Astra 30m 05s
27 Andrew Williams Wyn Davies Vauxhall Astra 31m 13s
28 Mei Jones Dylan 'Tir' Jones Vauxhall Astra 31m 44s
29 Dorian Davies John Gilbey Vauxhall Astra 32m 10s
30 Simon Chandler David Manning Ford Escort 33m 08s
31 Roger Hunt Peter Barnard Peugeot 205 GTi 33m 14s
32 Kevin Price Jane Harris Vauxhall Nova 35m 11s
33 Gerwyn Jones Ceri Davies Ford Escort 35m 17s
34 Criss Lewis Bryan Thomas Ford Escort 36m 59s
35 Dewi James Sion James Honda CRX 38m 13s
36 Paul Williams Roger Harris Vauxhall Astra 39m 11s
37 Ashley Morris Michael Hardwick Peugeot 205 40m 51s
38 Mike Davies Alan Lloyd Ford Escort 53m 36s
39 Geraint Davies Steffan Evans Peugeot 205 61m 07s
40 Sean Crowley Rob Duke Vauxhall Nova 1F 17m 51s
41 Dewi John Stephen Roberts Peugeot 205 GTi 1F 23m 29s
42 Andrew Thomas Hefin Thomas Peugeot 205 GTi 1F 26m 47s
43 Simon Macczak Amanda Macczak Ford Escort 1F 48m 14s
44 Willy Whitehurst Lucy Errington Vauxhall Astra 2F 40m 17s
45 Adam John Rhidian Jones Ford Escort XR3i 2F 44m 49s
46 Irfon Richards Gareth Edwards Citroen AX GT 2F 79m 11s
47 Dafydd Edwards Clive Bayley Vauxhall Astra 3F 41m 14s
48 Arwel Hamer Martin Griffiths Ford Escort 3F 44m 00s
49 Geraint Hughes Aled Roberts Ford Sierra 4x4 5F 46m 51s
50 Paul Davies Cherry Bailey Talbot Sunbeam 8F 57m 29s
51 Robert Pardoe Delyth Brown Toyota Corolla 8F 76m 41s
52 Richard Hill Robert Thomas VW Golf GTi 9F 46m 14s