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Night Owl Rally 2003

Sponsored by E&M Motor Factors

Aberystwyth & District Motor Club

26th/27th April 2003

Clerk of the Course: Eryl Rees & Aneurin James

Route: 110 Miles

Maps: 135 & 146

Starters: 72

Winners: Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh (Ford Escort)

Huw Evans/Patrick Walsh repeated their success of 2002 when they won the E&M Motor Factors Night Owl Rally.

Night Owl Rally 2003

The Aberyswyth MC event, Round Five of the Welsh Road Rally Championship, used a compact 110 mile route to the south and east of the club’s home town.

The first section encircled Llanddeiniol, looping as far as Llangwyryfon; it had four intermediate time controls. Adrian Davies/Dorian Evans (Ford Escort) were fastest to the first of these, eight seconds ahead of Evans/Walsh. Davies/Evans couldn't maintain this pace, losing time at the cleanable TC at the end of the section and then, in the second half, losing a minute after a wrong slot. They finished in tenth place.

Most of the route to the second ITC was a run down the B-road to Llangwyryfon and was cleaned by most of the top runners. However it proved a disaster for Gareth 'Gog' Jones/Eurig Evans; misreading their time card, they booked in almost a minute early and then a minute late at the next ITC. With double penalties for an early arrival, they added three minutes to their total. They were the second quickest crew through the second half, dropping just nine seconds, but their earlier mistake meant that they finished in 13th place.

Evans/Walsh were quickest to the third ITC and grabbed the lead, a position they weren't to lose. Winners of the Night Owl in 2000, Aled Evans/Eyrl Evans (Ford Sierra 4x4) were now in second place, while Dennis Quinn/Pat Gadsby (Ford Escort) moved into third position. These top three standings weren't to alter for the rest of the event, only the time between the three would change.

Already out of the fray were Martyn O'Connor/Peter Collins (Vauxhall Astra GTE) who suffered a broken exhaust and Ceri Richards/Aled Jones who had damaged the steering on their Escort.

Night Owl Rally 2003
Runners Up: Aled Evans/Eyrl Evans (Ford Sierra 4x4)

The second section snaked further south leading to the fuel halt at Tygwyn. It passed the winning driver's home and it was surprising that Evans/Walsh arrived at the fuel halt with a lead of 13 seconds. Things were closer behind them, Evans/Evans and Quinn/Gadsby were separated by two seconds.

The longer second half started near Pennant. It initially went east, before turning north via Trefenter and finishing with a run around Ystumteun.

Evans/Walsh dropped time at just one control, a section past the mast near Llanilar, where they added two seconds to their total. This meant that they finished with a victory margin of 36 seconds. Despite worrying clutch problems, Evans/Evans pulled away from Quinn/Gadsby, who were themselves slowed by a broken spring. The two crews were separated by 29 seconds at the Finish.

The Welsh Championship reached its halfway point on the Night Owl, it seemed clear that the leading contenders for the title would be Gary Jones/Andy Oakes and Gerwyn Jones/Ceri Davies. These two crews finished in fourth and fifth places respectively; Jones/Davies having been the third fastest crews over the second half.

The Semi-Expert class was won by Steve Wood/Wyn Lewis (Vauxhall Astra GTE), who put in an impressive display to finish in sixth place overall exactly five minutes ahead of their nearest class rival. Dorian Davies/Avs Conner were holding second in class at Petrol, but retired soon afterwards with a punctured petrol tank.

The leading Novice crew were Gareth Harries/Carwyn Jones (Honda Civic). They had a class lead of over two minutes at Petrol and extended this by another minute by the Finish. Wayne James/Jenny James (Peugeot 205) were the quickest Class 3 crew in the second half, but had lost over 5 minutes on the opening section and could only claim third in class.

Andy Sheppard/Justin Brookes retired after persistant electrical problems with their Vauxhall Astra. Meanwhile Dafydd 'Budgie' Williams/Dyfan Davies (Talbot Sunbeam) were excluded after being reported by the Police.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Huw Evans Patrick Walsh Ford Escort 0m 55s
2 Aled Evans Eryl Evans Ford Sierra 4x4 1m 31s
3 Dennis Quinn Pat Gadsby Ford Escort 2m 00s
4 Gary Jones Andy Oakes Toyota Corolla 2m 23s
5 Gerwyn Jones Ceri Davies Ford Escort 2m 25s
6 Steve Wood Wyn Lewis Vauxhall Astra GTE 2m 52s
7 John Davies Neil Bevan Vauxhall Nova GTE 3m 13s
8 Marc James Anthony Davies Ford Sierra 4x4 3m 16s
9 Jason Hardy Alan Jôs VW Golf 3m 18s
10 Adrian Davies Dorian Evans Ford Escort RS 3m 31s
11 Eilir Morris Byron Jones Vauxhall Astra GTE 3m 37s
12 Delfryn Owens Jeff James Renault Clio 5m 16s
13 Gary Robbins Jon Stobbs Renault 5 5m 38s
14 Gareth 'Gog' Jones Eurig Evans Ford Escort 5m 52s
15 Kevin Morgan Paul Bevan Subaru Legacy 5m 54s
16 Kevin Jones Dave Pitchford Ford Sierra 4x4 6m 32s
17 Kevin Price Jane Price Vauxhall Nova GTE 6m 39s
18 Aled Garner Wyne Davies Toyota Corolla 7m 40s
19 Arwyn Williams Glyn Evans Ford Exscort XR3i 7m 52s
20 Gary Jenkins Eric Tong Peugeot 205 GTi 8m 58s
21 Mark Daniel Hywel Ifans Peugeot 205 GTi 9m 32s
22 Mike James Eurig Davies Vauxhall Astra GTE 10m 39s
23 Aled Jones David Jones Vauxhall Astra GTE 10m 41s
24 Jason Jones Elgan Davies Ford Escort 11m 40s
25 Simon Chandler David Manning Ford Escort 12m 48s
26 Gareth Harries Carwyn Jones Honda Civic 12m 59s
27 Hefin Thomas Paul Morris Vauxhall Astra 14m 00s
28 Iwan Jones Adam Stevens Peugeot 205 GTi 15m 59s
29 Ian Orford Peter Barnard Mazda 323 4x4 16m 38s
30 Wayne James Jenny James Peugeot 205 18m 57s
31 Alan Hands Melanie Hands Vauxhall Chevette 19m 34s
32 Darren Leeson Ian Hewlett Ford Escort 20m 29s
33 Islwyn Watkins Alun Probert Vauxhall Astra GTE 20m 47s
34 Paul Davies Geraint Wheeler Ford Escort 24m 00s
35 Peter Smith Pete Seabourne Ford Escort 25m 03s
36 Geraint Jones Don James Ford Escort 1F 18m 31s
37 Arwel Hamer Martyn Griffiths Ford Escort 1F 22m 20s
38 Robert Pardoe Delyth Brown Toyota Corolla 1F 26m 08s
39 Roger Harris Chris Winn Vauxhall Astra GTE 2F 11m 19s
40 Paul Williams Amanda Macczak Vauxhall Astra 2F 33m 56s
41 Dai Hands Richard Davies Honda CRX 3F 20m 02s
42 Gareth Edwards Irfon Richards Suzuki Swift 3F 23m 37s
43 Steve Goodwin Andrew Singleton Ford Sierra 4x4 4F 15m 52s
44 Aaran Herratt Deano Tedaldi Vauxhall Astra 5F 22m 24s
45 Gavin Lloyd Gavin Perry Ford Escort 5F 30m 33s
46 Huw Morris Laura Morris VW Golf 7F 25m 23s
47 Van Roy Barber Steve Major Ford Escort RS 8F 36m 35s
48 Simon Bevan Karen Morgan Ford Escort XR3i 9F 50m 06s
49 Nick Giles Glenys Giles Vauxhall Nova 10F 22m 20s
50 Owen Edwards Dorian Davies Vauxhall Astra SRi 14F 14m 52s