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Night Owl Rally 2004

Sponsored by E&M Motor Factors

Aberystwyth & District Motor Club

24th/25th April 2004

Clerk of the Course: Eryl Rees & Aneurin James

Route: 110 Miles

Maps: 135 & 146

Starters: 75

Winners: Steve Wood/Aled Richards (Vauxhall Astra)

Steve Wood/Aled Richards took a clear victory on Aberyswyth MC’s Night Owl Rally. They finished the event over a minute clear of their only real challengers of the night, John Davies/Steve Herbert.

The 110 mile rally was the fourth round of the Welsh Championship and attracted a capacity 75 car entry.

Night Owl Rally 2004
Winners: Steve Wood/Aled Richards (Vauxhall Astra)
Photograph: Brian Gilbert

The first half consisted of a single regularity section, which had eleven timing points. It started with a run around virtually every lane in the Ystumtuen area. From there it used the rough track to drop down into and then across the Rheidol Valley. It reached its most southern point at the tracks at Llanafan Forest, before finishing on the B-road just outside Devils Bridge.

Petrol was taken at Ponterwyd. The second half opened with the tight lanes of Pendam. A short non-competitive through Penrhyncoch moved the action back to a long run through Taliesin Forest. The fourth and final test was a short standard section to the south of Borth.

John Davies/Steve Herbert (Vauxhall Astra GTE) were the fastest crew to ITC2. Top seeds Howard Price/Dorian Evans were competing in the car that Huw Evans had taken to victory on the two previous Night Owls, and were two seconds behind. Their event began to go wrong at ITC4, where they booked in 35 seconds early. They then bent a wheel and the clutch started to slip; this latter problem, plus a bent stub axle, caused their retirement in the second half.

Dai John/Paul Bevan (Toyota Corolla) were third fastest to ITC2, five seconds behind Davies/Herbert. Kevin Morgan/Deian Rees (Subaru Legacy) were fourth at this stage. These two crews had swapped positions by ITC5, and, although closely matched throughout the night, Morgan/Rees held on to take third place at the Finish, with John/Bevan in fourth.

Already in trouble early on were Kevin Jones/Dilwyn John (Ford Sierra), Hefin George/Daniel Thomas (Nissan Sunny GTR) and Mark Price/Roger Evans (Ford Escort), who all picked up a fail for a wrong approach to the time control at ITC3. None made it to the Finish. Jones/John picked up more punctures than they had spare tyres, while an off put George/Thomas out.

Also out at an early stage were Martyn O'Connor/Peter Collins, whose Vauxhall Astra GTE suffered a ignition problems.

Steve Wood/Aled Richards (Vauxhall Astra GTE) had been sixth fastest to ITC2, but were the quickest crew to ITC4, this moved them up to second place, two seconds behind Davies/Herbert. By the time that competitors had reached the Rheidol Valley, Wood/Richards had taken the lead.

Night Owl Rally 2004
Fourth Placed: Dai John/Paul Bevan (Toyota Corolla)

At Petrol Wood/Richards were on 1m 32s, while Davies/Herbert had penalties of 1m 56s. Morgan/Rees were almost a minute further back in third place on 2m 45s.

Wayne Morris/Paul Middleton (Ford Escort) were in fourth at the halfway halt on 3m 26s. However they were destined to finish in thirteenth place after losing time with punctures in the second half.

Welsh Champions, Gerwyn Jones/Ceri Davies (Ford Escort), lost over three minutes searching for a PC located on a small loop near Ystumtuen. They finished in 16th place.

Davies/Herbert grabbed a second back on the leaders over the Pendam section, then, at the start of the third section, which used the track through Penycefn in SQ 6585, they retook the lead. They were on time at ITC18, while Wood/Richards dropped 44 seconds.

However Wood/Richards were over a minute faster to ITC22, near Furnace, and then took another 29 seconds off Davies/Herbert at the next control above Tre'rddoll. With the last section being easily cleanable, this performance took them to a convincing win.

Their was a notable performance from the top Semi-Expert crew, Tomas Davies/Huw Jones (Ford Escort), who finished in fifth place. Gareth Morgan/Ceredig Morgan (Vauxhall Nova) were the leading Novices, they finished three minutes ahead of their nearest class rivals.

With his second place, John Davies led the Welsh Championship after the Night Owl, but Steve Wood had now joined a number of others amongst his main challengers. Andy Oakes, who navigated Gary Jones to sixth on the Night Owl, led the Navigators' table, but numerous others were still in the running for the title at the series's halfway point.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Steve Wood Aled Richards Vauxhall Astra GTE 6m 31s
2 John Davies Steve Herbert Vauxhall Nova GTE 7m 49s
3 Kevin Morgan Deian Rees Subaru Legacy 9m 19s
4 Dai John Paul Bevan Toyota Corolla 10m 10s
5 Tomas Davies Huw Jones Ford Escort 10m 16s
6 Jason Hardy Alan Jôs VW Golf 10m 35s
7 Gary Jones Andy Oakes Toyota Corolla 11m 22s
8 Marc James Anthony Davies Subaru Impreza 11m 47s
9 Owen Edwards Mark Lloyd Vauxhall Astra 13m 16s
10 Aled Jones Andrew Phillips Vauxhall Astra 13m 32s
11 Huw Myfyr Gwawr Hughes VW Golf GTi 13m 35s
12 Dennis Quinn Paul Holmberg Ford Sierra 4x4 13m 49s
13 Wayne Morris Paul Middleton Ford Escort 13m 59s
14 Timothy Evans Alun Probert Nissan Micra 14m 51s
15 Dafydd Lewis Dalis Ifans Ford Escort 15m 58s
16 Gerwyn Jones Ceri Davies Ford Escort 17m 41s
17 Robert Pardoe Delyth Brown Toyota Corolla 18m 00s
18 Wayne James Jenny James Peugeot 205 18m 28s
19 Simon Chandler Dave Manning Ford Exscort 19m 07s
20 Gareth Harries Carwyn Jones Honda Civic 20m 42s
21 Mike James Richard Evans Vauxhall Astra GTE 20m 46s
22 Paul Jenkins Brian Thomas Ford Escort 21m 09s
23 Mark Daniel HYwel Ifans Ford Escort 21m 49s
24 Jason Jaer Eurig Davies Ford Escort 22m 58s
25 Richard James Chris Wheeler Vauxhall Astra 25m 44s
26 Gary Brown Geraint Wright Peugeot 205 GTi 29m 01s
27 Alan Hands Melanie Hands Vauxhall Chevette 30m 32s
28 Alan James Rhydian George Vauxhall Astra 34m 39s
29 Gareth Morgan Ceredig Morgan Vauxhall Nova 35m 29s
30 John Gilbey Michael Gilbey Ford Escort 38m 20s
31 Simon Bevan Alex Crowley Ford Escort 39m 00s
32 Gavin Roberts Gareth Edwards Vauxhall Astra 1F 26m 53s
33 Kevin Regan Irfon Richards VW Golf 1F 31m 23s
34 Max Jones Geraint Mayes Ford Sierra 1F 37m 22s
35 John Williams Jack Fowler Vauxhall Astra 1F 56m 51s
36 Gavin Lloyd Gavin Perry Ford Escort 1F 57m 48s
37 Rob Chell Clive Phillips VW Golf 2F 34m 01s
38 Matthew Griffiths Tom Henderson Peugeot 205 GTi 3F 38m 35s
39 Mark Andrews Edwin Venville Peugeot 205 GTi 4F 13m 48s
40 Keith Daniels David Roberts Vauxhall Nova 4F 20m 05s
41 Arwel Davies Llinos Jones Ford Escort 4F 49m 43s
42 Rhys Jeremiah Leyton Perry Vauxhall Astra 5F 49m 14s
43 Huw Morris Laura Morris Proton Compact 6F 48m 57s
44 Wedros Jones Emyr Evans Ford Sierra 7F 54m 36s
45 David Howells James Morgan Peugeot 309 GTi 15F 30m 58s