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Harlech Stages

Sponsored by Harlech Toyota

Harlech & District Motor Club

26th May 2013

Clerk of the Course: Arthur Jones

Stages: 6 Stages (50 Stage Miles)

Location: Llanbedr Airfield

Starters: 65

Winners: Lyndon Barton/Andrew Bowen (Ford Escort)

Lyndon Barton/Andrew Bowen the Toyota Harlech Stages, the inaugural event at the Llanbedr Airfield, on a tie break. After almost an hour of competition they and Mark Jones/Christopher Brierley finished with the same total time. The matter had to be decided by the times on SS1 where Barton was four seconds faster than Jones.

In fact Barton led throughout the day and after four stages was 16 seconds ahead of Jones, who was in third place. Jones gained six seconds back on the penultimate stage and, when Barton was delayed by contact with a chicane, made gone the difference and the two crews ended level.

Tom Cave/Ieaun Thomas and Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss were using the event as a shake down for the Jim Clark Rally. Cave had an unhappy start struggling with the brake balance on his DS3 over the early stages, as witnessed by his several collisions with barriers. However he soon found the sweet spot and took fastest time on SS5 on his way to third.

Pryce had a disastrous first stage as the turbo pipe came loose and he lost almost two minutes to the leaders. However he recovered to take fastest time on the next two stages and moved from 48th place after SS1 to fourth at the Finish.

Wil Owen/Rob Hopewell had been as high as second at one point and were in third place entering the last stage, but their Escort suffered a gear linkage failure soon after the start of the test and they had to complete the rally in fifth gear. This dropped them to ninth at the Finish.

Oliver Davies/Chris Jones had held second place after SS3 but then picked up a stage maximum after missing out a chicane on SS4.

Jason Wilson/Emma Roberts put in a class winning performance in their Chevette despite suffering from a loss of brakes over the later stages. These problems allowed their nearest class rival, Meilyr Evans/Lowri Haf Thomas, to close to within 14 seconds at the close.

The venue proved to be tough on both engine and brakes; no fewer than eight crews retired due to failed engines.