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Clerk of the Course: Hywel Thomas
Route: 180 Miles + 19 Primes
Winners: Pat Flynn/Stuart Powell (Peugeot 205)
For the second running of their Welsh Endurance Rally, Amman & District MC decided to run the event completely within the confines of the Caerwent MOD base. Crews were to tackle 10 tests, called Primes, on Saturday afternoon, this was followed by ‘road rally’ section during the night - basically a long prime in the dark - with 9 more primes on Sunday morning, the last of which was 14 miles long.
There was no requirement to use a control tyre on the rally, although competition only covers were outlawed.
The rally was a round of the Peugeot 205 1400cc Challenge and series coordinator Pat Flynn, the fastest driver on the first Welsh Endurance, had brought a car along to demonstrate the pace possible. Indeed it was Flynn, who was being navigated by Stuart Powell, who took fastest time on the opening prime. They were 25 seconds faster than anyone else, it was an indication of how things were to carry on, the pairing were in first place, a position they were to maintain for the rest of the rally. This was achieved despite the fact that they were running on a Matador tyre, the control tyre for the 205 Challenge, that proved to be less than suitable for the wet conditions.
Owen Turner/Andrew Dadswell led the chase. They closed to within two seconds of Flynn/Powell on the second prime, but it was as close as they were going to get. By the end of the ninth test they were exactly a minute behind the leaders, then on the final daytime prime of Saturday they picked up a puncture in one of the Marangoni tyres, they lost over three minutes and fell from second to fourth.
Classic Rally Association officials Martin Clark/Bob Rutherford were going well in their works built MG ZR, they had worked their way up to third, which became second after Turner punctured, but this was over two minutes behind Flynn/Powell as they embarked on the night section.
Mike East/Roger Davidson had just found the pace, taking third fastest time on Prime 3, when their 205’s gearbox failed on the next test. Peugeot Challenge crews Ashley Morris/Michael Hardwick and Robert Kucia/John Jones were excluded for using hand cut tyres.
The road rally proved to be a tough test, only eight crews completed it without missing at least one contro or code boardl. Flynn/Powell were one of these eight, they were second fastest just 20 seconds behind Mark Appleton/Anthony Preston. This pairing had had a troubled afternoon, they had to stop on seven of the ten tests for the navigator to be ill and were outside the top twenty at the start of the night; taking fastest time pushed them up to seventh, which is where they were to finish.
Paul Heal/Matt Heal were another crew to have a good run in the dark, they equalled Flynn’s second fastest time and held second overall at the start of the Sunday primes, but they were almost six minutes behind the flying 205. Troubled by boiling brakes in the later stages they fell back to fourth at the Finish. John Cotton/Jill Cotton, whose Citroen AX was stuck in second gear for the first loop of tests, took fourth fastest time on the road rally section to move them into third, seven seconds behind Heal/Heal.
Clark/Rutherford picked up six minutes penalties in the night, five of these for a missed code board, they fell to fourth. They were another crew to suffer brake problems during Sunday but clawed their way back to second on the last prime, demoting Cotton/Cotton to third by ten seconds. Turner/Dadswell, feeling the affects of not having competed on a rally for some months, had a poor run through the dark, they missed two boards and fell to tenth. Their Sunday morning run was hampered slightly by their Metro jumping out of gear, but four fastest test times saw them move back to sixth at the Finish.
It was a very nervous Flynn and Powell who embarked on the Sunday primes. On Saturday they had taken seven fastest times, now it was time for caution and, under strict control from Powell, Flynn drove with reserve, there were no more fastest times but there was enough pace, they were never out of the top five on any test. This masterful driving meant that by the Finish the pairing had extended their lead from six to over eight minutes, giving Flynn his first overall rally win in twenty years of competing.
Heal/Heal finished in fourth and took the 1300cc class win, while Kevin Wilson/Paul Caunt finished one place further back to take the Non-Expert 1400cc class win. They had to content with a lack of brakes on Saturday and their AX jumping out of gear on Sunday, the latter problem being due to the engine moving as a mounting became loose. It was a creditable performance by the relatively inexperienced crew, they had taken fastest time on four primes.
Hannah Morgan/Lisa Whitney won the Non-Expert class for under 1300cc cars and were twelfth overall. Christopher Valentine/Colin Valentine took their Hillman Imp to victory in the under 1000cc category.
Japanese driver Yasuyuki Munakata, under the guidance of Stefan Arndt, was the first 205 1400 Challenge driver home, he finished in ninth place overall.
|1||Pat Flynn||Stuart Powell||Peugeot 205 XS||2h 48m 28s|
|2||Martin Clark||Bob Rutherford||MG ZR||2h 56m 42s|
|3||John Cotton||Gill Cotton||Citroen AX GT||2h 56m 52s|
|4||Paul Heal||Matt Heal||Proton Satria||2h 57m 45s|
|5||Kevin Wilson||Paul Gaunt||Citroen AX GT||2h 59m 01s|
|6||Owen Turner||Andrew Dadswell||Rover Metro||3h 04m 48s|
|7||Mark Appleton||Anthony Preston||Peugeot 106 Rallye||3h 06m 34s|
|8||Andy Bown||Mike Knott||Peugeot 106||3h 09m 12s|
|9||Yasuyuki Munakata||Stefan Arndt||Peugeot 205||3h 09m 33s|
|10||Dougie Brown||Alan Pettit||Vauxhall Nova||3h 16m 19s|
|11||Drew Goodspeed||Tony Brooks||Citroen AX GT||3h 16m 38s|
|12||Hannah Morgan||Lisa Whitney||Vauxhall Nova||3h 34m 35s|
|13||Sophie Robinson||Adrian Robinson||VW Polo||3h 35m 40s|
|14||Iain Freestone||Preston Ayres||Peugeot 205||3h 49m 17s|
|15||Jon Senior||John Upton||Peugeot 205 Rallye||3h 50m 12s|
|16||Ben Byrom||Jason Byrom||Rover Metro||3h 55m 59s|
|17||Dennis Watts||Oliver Chappell||Skoda Felicia||4h 03m 01s|
|18||Kevin Duncan||Gareth Duncan||Vauxhall Corsa||4h 31m 14s|
|19||Roger Stevens||Michael Stevens||Seat Ibiza||4h 36m 25s|
|20||Paul Ashton||William Warmisham||Peugeot 205||4h 40m 25s|
|21||Ann Weir||Brian Weir||Skoda Felicia||4h 45m 48s|
|22||Philip Young||Andy Gibson||Rover 25 Streetwise||4h 59m 01s|
|23||John Pearce||Trevor Gibbons||Peugeot 309||4h 59m 59s|
|24||Robert Stein-Rostaing||Gordon McCree||Peugeot 106||5h 03m 27s|
|25||Sean Withingshaw||Mark Beadle||VW Golf||5h 19m 54s|
|26||Eddie Grayson||John Ball||Rover Metro||6h 02m 01s|
|27||Trudi Silvey||Alan Bale||Rover Metro||6h 54m 24s|
|28||David Laddin||Dennis Lenihan||Mazda 323 H\B||7h 02m 06s|