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Welsh Marches Showground Stages 2003

Sponsored by The Old Forge Garage

Herefordshire Motor Club

13th September 2003

Clerk of the Course: Len Evans

Stages: 10 (30 Stage Miles)

Venue: Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd

Starters: 70

Winners: Dai ‘Dot’ Davies/Steve Pugh (Vauxhall Chevette)

Welsh Marches Showground Stages 2003

Dai ‘Dot’ Davies/Steve Pugh took their Vauxhall Chevette to victory at the Royal Welsh Showground, coming home a narrow five seconds ahead of the field.

The Herefordshire MC Welsh Marches Showground Stages saw a capacity entry of 70 cars tackle ten stages at the Mid-Wales venue. There was uncertainty whether the Royal Welsh Society, unhappy with damage done to the grass, would allow rallying to take place at their showground after the end of 2003, therefore the event was publicised as possibly the last rally to run there.

Ten stages were tackled, with five different lay outs. The two stages, with the same route, were run one after the other, with a service halt between each set of stages.

Carl Fricker/Wyn Griffiths claimed that they were taking it steady in their 1300cc Nova as they had only managed to complete a single stage at the venue before, but they were still fastest by four seconds over the opening 2.8 mile stage. Davies was second, but was struggling as he had increased the Chevette's tyre pressures from those he normally used and he found the result to be "like driving on ice".

Ian Evans failed to provide co-driver Shelley Rogerson with a suitable 18th Birthday present as their Suzuki Ignis suffered gearbox failure a quarter of a mile from the end of SS1. Ed Lloyd/Eric Tong also failed to get out of the stage, their Metro 6R4 stopped with a failed clutch.

Despite limited experience of the venue, Ian Godney/Alun Evans, in their Nissan Sunny F2, were third fastest on both SS1 and SS2. Eric Weaver/Andrew Sankey were 11 seconds off the lead after the opening test, after spinning their Davrian. However they fought back and were fastest on SS2.

Welsh Marches Showground Stages 2003
Winners: Dai ‘Dot’ Davies/Steve Pugh (Vauxhall Chevette)

Davies/Pugh were second quickest again on SS2 and took the lead. Then, happier with lower tyre pressures, took fastest time on SS3 to maintain a lead they weren't to lose.

Ian Godney took fastest time on SS4 and was then in the top three for all but one of the remaining tests. This allowed him to take second place, 27 seconds ahead of third placed Eric Weaver. The Davrian driver might have been closer, but for another spin on SS7.

Top seeds Carl O'Grady/Steve Angel had struggled with brake problems on SS1 and then had a drive shaft break on SS2. This left them outside the top thirty after SS3, where they had lost further time with an overshoot. However they took fastest time on all of the last six stages and finished in tenth place overall.

Welsh Marches Showground Stages 2003
Runners Up: Ian Godney/Alun "Timo" Evans (Nissan Sunny F2)

Les Skeet was using his familiar rear-wheel drive Peugeot 205. The car suffered overheating problems while in service, but was fine out on the stages. He finished in fourth place.

As ever at the Showground, the smaller engined cars were prominent amongst the top places and a close tussle developed for the win in Class 1. Fricker's exuberant driving style propelled him to the overall lead on SS1, but, having dropped to third after SS2, an overshoot on SS3, saw him fall to seventh and third in Class 1.

James Wozencroft/Nic Morris (Vauxhall Nova) had been fourth fastest on SS1, while Julian Wilkes/Shane Bowen (Vauxhall Nova 16v) were less than half a second behind them. By the end of SS3 these positions had been reversed, with Wilkes leading. Fricker was back in front by six seconds after SS5, but then hit a rock and lost 15 seconds on SS7.

At the Finish Wilkes was in fifth place and won the class, with Fricker in sixth, one second behind. Wozencroft finished in seventh, 11 seconds behind Fricker. Wozencroft had had a problem with the alternator catching the bodywork in the afternoon.

Welsh Marches Showground Stages 2003
Third Placed: Eric Weaver/Andrew Sankey (Davrian T9)

Graham Middleton/John Morgan entered in their Corolla, but a five second per mile 4WD penalty and a ban on anti-lag saw them struggle to nineteenth place.

Howard Penry/Matthew Thomas were comfortable winners of Class 2 in their Peugeot 205. However their was a titanic battle for the win in Class 4, with Ray Williams/Brian Davis (Ford Escort) beating Richard Edwards/Darren Edwards (Ford Escort) by just four seconds.

Daniel 'Lwni' Jones/Kevin Lewis (Ford Escort) had been in seventh place after SS2, but then had a head gasket fail on SS3, putting them out. Gareth Hockley/Richard Bennett went out on the same stage; their Nova suffered a broken alernator after a heavy landing.

Fifty-three crews made it to the Finish of what proved not to be the last event at the Royal Welsh Showground.


Pos Driver Navigator Car Penalty
1 Dai 'Dot' Davies Steve Pugh Vauxhall Chevette 41m 17.4s
2 Ian Godney Alun 'Timo' Evans Nissan Sunny F2 41m 22.3s
3 Eric Weaver Andrew Sankey Darrian T9 41m 49.1s
4 Les Skeet Mark Ellis Peugeot 205 RWD 42m 05.7s
5 Julian Wilkes Shane Bowen Vauxhall Nova 16v 42m 12.0s
6 Carl Fricker Wyn Griffiths Vauxhall Nova 42m 13.4s
7 James Wozencroft Nic Morris Vauxhall Nova 42m 24.1s
8 Brian Lee Neil Davies Peugeot 205 42m 28.3s
9 Bernhard Charles Chris Phillips Ford Escort 42m 49.1s
10 Carl O'Grady Steve Angel Vauxhall Corsa 42m 54.5s
11 Howard Penry Matthew Thomas Peugeot 205 42m 54.7s
12 Eian Pritchard Martin Jones Ford Escort 42m 57.4s
13 Ray Williams Brian Davies Ford Escort 43m 10.1s
14 Richard Edwards Michael Watkin Ford Escort 43m 19.2s
15 Pete Buckle Justin Brooks Vauxhall Corsa 43m 21.2s
16 Theo Bengry Pete Ammonds Peugeot 206 GTi 43m 34.0s
17 Neil Price Dawn Price Vauxhall Nova 43m 34.9s
18 Peter Roach Rob Thomas Ford Escort 43m 47.2s
19 Graham Middleton John Morgan Toyota Corolla 43m 55.8s
20 Brian Dennis Russel Joseph Mini Cooper S 43m 56.6s
21 Wayne Lloyd Martin Williams Ford Escort 44m 04.5s
22 Trevor Ridge Richard Weaver Ford Escort 44m 13.1s
23 Clive Mapp David Mapp Ford Escort 44m 21.5s
24 Chris Jones Peter Jones Peugeot 205 RWD 44m 43.9s
25 Kevin Jones Roderick Bowen Vauxhall Nova 44m 47.4s
26 Eurwyn 'Wiggy' Davies Kath Curzon Talbot Sunbeam 44m 49.0s
27 Justin Pounder Philip Edwards Ford Escort 45m 02.4s
28 Richard Jerman Gareth Edwards Ford Escort 45m 08.6s
29 Steve Duggan Jeff Cottle Vauxhall Nova 45m 12.7s
30 Wayne Evans Fran Davies Vauxhall Nova 45m 29.9s
31 Gareth Nutt Kevin Haven Ford Escort 45m 31.8s
32 Dai Bowen Garry Brown Peugeot 205 45m 33.2s
33 Sean Crowley Gareth Morgan Ford Escort 45m 35.2s
34 Neil Evans Paul Davies Vauxhall Nova 45m 45.3s
35 Mark Wallace Christopher Davies Ford Escort 45m 58.6s
36 Kevin 'Tex' Morris Martin Morris Vauxhall Chevette 46m 10.7s
37 Les Allfrey Simon Pain Mini Cooper S 46m 16.8s
38 Carey Roberts Jimmy Hicks Ford Escort 46m 21.0s
39 Steve Wilks Caroline Wilks Ford Escort 46m 40.3s
40 Paul Williams Karen Morgan Vauxhall Astra 47m 01.3s
41 Paul James David Jones Talbot Sunbeam 47m 03.4s
42 Andrew Williams Simon Chandler Ford Escort 47m 07.9s
43 Philip Jones Mike Harris Talbot Sunbeam 47m 14.7s
44 Huw Jones Glenn Latham Rover 214si 47m 37.3s
45 Phil Skipp Bob Skipp Mini Cooper S 47m 43.1s
46 Martin Lambeth Phil Williams Rover Metro 47m 43.6s
47 Kevin Pugh Mike Pugh Vauxhall Nova 47m 47.2s
48 Mark Lively Richard Lively Talbot Sunbeam Ti 47m 51.9s
49 Ashley Morris Eifion Page Peugeot 205 47m 55.3s
50 Mark Chappelle Daniel Curtis Peugeot 205 48m 43.2s
51 Russell Shailes Colin Shailes Vauxhall Nova 48m 56.2s
52 Gareth Jones Christopher Spry Nissan Micra 49m 27.3s
53 James Chappelle Peter Chappelle Morris Mini 51m 09.8s