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Saw and Weld Novice Road Rally 1999

Sponsored by Saw and Weld Ltd

Telford Auto Club

2nd/3rd October 1999

Clerk of the Course: Kevin Hutchings

Route: 100 Miles

Maps: 126 & 127

Starters: 50

Winners: Lee Bartlett/Richard Edwards (Ford Fiesta)

Saw & Weld Novice Road Rally 1999

Lee Bartlett/Richard Edwards took victory on Telford AC's Saw & Weld Novices Rally.

The event was only open to novices and beginners, but despite this restriction the 50 car entry was over subscribed. Competitors were faced with 100 mile route in the Shropshire lanes to the north of Telford and Shrewsbury.

Although the weather stayed dry for most of the actual event, the previous fortnight of heavy rain made the going difficult for the majority of crews. A muddy track on the first section brought the first major problem of the rally. The Astra of Kevin Price/Geraint Jones became stuck, it took fifteen minutes to get the car going again and clear the way for other crews. Most competitors, although severely delayed, then got through. However for a number of the later runners the track proved impassable - Graham Sturrock/Chris Davies, Joe Woodward/Chris Wallett and Dave O'Reagan/Paul Woods all retired at this point.

Only three miles later competitors were faced with a flooded lane with water over two feet deep. Many cars emerged from this obstacle with severe misfires. The water caused the retirement of Dean Hetherington/Dominic Delaney, as their Corolla's fuel pump wiring was dislodged by the force of the waves.

The field was further depleted when Keith Jones/Gareth Appleby and Gary Thomas/Matt Phipps both crashed out, the latter after the throttle on their Escort stuck open. Graham Holmes/Graham Buckley retired with a broken exhaust on their Fiesta, while Dave Williams/Ian Jones withdrew after dropping a huge amount of time on the whites.

The result was that by the petrol halt there were only 31 crews still running, this was to be reduced further in the second half so that of the 50 starters only 24 were classified as finishers.

Top seeds Bartlett/Edwards made the most of being first on the road and brought their Fiesta home in first place, eight minutes clear of their nearest rival. They hadn't however had a totally clear run as they were held up when the course car became stuck on a second muddy white just prior to Petrol.

Graham Caley/Richard Schofield came home second making it a Fiesta 1-2. They survived the early hold ups and a broken handbrake cable to take the runner up spot. The top beginners award went to Claire Evans/Mark Hill, who were third and the last crew to finish fail free.

Michael Bradley/Dean George were the fastest crew on the night and would on outright speed have been three minutes in front of Bartlett/Edwards, however a missed signature for a route check meant they picked up a fail and finished fourth. A similar mistake meant that Brandon Smith/Steve Herbert were fifth at the end rather than second.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Lee Bartlett Richard Edwards Ford Fiesta 20m 33s
2 Graham Caley Richard Schofield Ford Fiesta 28m 31s
3 Claire Evans Mark Hill Vauxhall Nova 55m 53s
4 Michael Bradley Dean George Peugeot 309 1F 17m 00s
5 Brandon Smith Steve Herbert Opel Manta 1F 21m 58s
6 Peter Yapp Richard Askew Citroen AX 1F 32m 07s
7 Bob Ward Paul Biddle Ford Sierra 1F 42m 15s
8 Kevin Hardwick Andy Howdle Talbot Sunbeam 1F 55m 13s
9 Ian Jarman Dave Lewis Ford Escort 2F 30m 07s
10 Ian Furniss Russell Roberts Peugeot 205 2F 38m 16s
11 Simon Bentley James Franklin Mini 3F 61m 37s
12 Peter Gabbatiss Anthony Sims Toyota Corolla 4F 31m 38s
13 Martin Phasey Gary Gittins Ford Escort 5F 48m 35s
14 Mike Cooper Jonathan Taylor Ford Escort 5F 61m 28s
15 Paul Price Vicki Price Volvo 6F 24m 02s