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Rali Goffa James Trenholme

Harlech & District Motor Club

23rd/24th November 2019

Winners Photo
Winners: Alan Parry/Tim Parry (Ford Escort)
Photograph: Duncan Littler

Organiser: Harlech & District Motor Club

Date: 23rd/24th November 2019

Clerk of the Course: Huw Manion

Route: 75 Miles

Maps: 113

Starters: 51

Alan Parry/Tim Parry took away the premier award from the Rali Goffa James Trenholme, an event aimed at novice and beginner crews.

Harlech & District MC’s late autumn road rally was, as ever, based at Sarn Mellteyrn at the lower end of the Llyn Peninsula. Fifty-one crews took the start; of these, 15 were Semi-Experts, who weren’t eligible for the overall awards. The remainder of the field consisted of 31 Novices and 5 Beginners; the latter could not have started more than three road rallies and not won an award on any of these events.

The opening test was a 38 minute section, with five timing points. It got underway just outside Botwnnog. After an easy start the route moved south to the coast at Plas yn Phiw, which was the location for MTC2; the “M” signifying that the control was timed to the minute. All competitors were clean at that control. However, all clean sheets were lost by STC3, which was timed to the second. This ran around Mynydd Rhiw, with a loop via Ty Egan. Thomas Jones Thomas/Gwilyn Wyn Evans were fastest on 25 seconds, Daniel Jones/Gavin Edwards were on 35 seconds, while Euros Hughes/Marc Roberts dropped 45. Top seeds Dafydd Davies/Gareth Daves and Ifan Bryn Jones/Gwion Richard Davies were tied, two seconds behind Hughes/Roberts. Alan Parry/Tim Parry were the leading Novice crew. This was a lead they weren’t to lose.

Already out of the fray were Dewi Jones/Ceri Hick, who hit a fence soon after MTC2, the damage being too sever for their Mazda MX5 to continue.

The more relaxed run down to MTC4 just north of Llanfaelrhys caught out a few crews as they booked in early, the penalty being a fail per minute for such an offence. There was then a hectic passage to STC5, which included a pass through the small bridge, with a rock on the inside to catch the unwary, at Ysgo. Jones/Edwards were fastest on 42 seconds and took the lead of the Semi-Expert category; they were four seconds ahead of Thomas/Evans. Hughes/Roberts remained in third, 18 seconds off the lead. Parry/Parry were now the clear leaders of the Novice category, 38 seconds behind Jones/Edwards.

The opening section ended with a not to demanding run to SS6F, however it had a significant effect on the overall positions as Deio Glyn Jones/Staffan Kelliher booked in early at the TC; without the resultant fail, they would have taken second place and the Novice class win.

After a non-competitive, which by-pass Aberdaron, there was a section that was just about on and indeed was cleaned by Jones/Edwards, while Thomas/Evans dropped just one second. The latter crew narrowed the gap at STC10, when they took two seconds back. Then on the tight section to the west of the start venue, Thomas/Evans took the lead and arrived back at the halfway halt with a nine second margin over Jones/Edwards. Ifan Bryn Jones/Gwion Richard Davies were in third, but only a second ahead of Davies/Davies. Euros Hughes/Marc Roberts were in fifth.

Alan Parry/Tim Parry now had a lead of almost two minutes in the battle for the overall honours. Staffan Roberts/Tomos Roberts were the leading Beginners; they were seven minutes in front of Matthew Dean/Alex Jones.

Twelve cars failed to make it to the halt. These included the highest seeded Novices, Guto Lewis Thomas/Owain Llyr Thomas, whose VW Golf had broken a shaft. Meanwhile Gethin Eifion Jones/Tomi Williams had been stopped when their Mazda MX5 broke an alternator bracket. Keith Griffiths/Gavin Thompson withdrew their Ford Puma as the navigator was unwell. Clutch problems had caused the retirement of Aron Jones/Iwan Llyr Jones.

Daniel Jones/Gavin Edwards dropped further time on the section after the restart; this was a five minute test running parallel to the north coast through Tyddyn. Jones/Edwards dropped to fifth place. Both Euros Hughes/Marc Roberts and Ifan Bryn Jones/Gwion Richard Davies cleaned the section to close the gap to the leaders; they were now in fourth and second place respectively, with Dafydd Davies/Gareth Davies in third.

The route now wound its way across the Llyn, reaching just north of Llanbedrog at SS18F. All crews dropped time at STC17 in the middle of the section. Thomas/Evans still led, but Hughes/Roberts were fastest to the control and were now nine seconds off the lead. In turn they had a recovering Jones/Edwards just one seconds behind, Jones/Davies having fallen back.

The final results weren’t determined until the last control of the night. This four minute section ran through Tyddyn Hen to finish just east of the rally’s base at Sarn. Euros Hughes/Marc Roberts were the only crew to drop under a minute and thus secured the Semi-Expert Class win, 31 seconds ahead of Thomas Jones Thomas/Gwilyn Wyn Evans, who in turn were just four seconds in front of Dafydd Davies/Gareth Davies.

Alan Parry/Tim Parry came home with a victory margin of over three minutes in the Novice Class and took the event’s overall award. They had been the fastest Novice crew on almost everyone of the rally’s demanding sections. Sera Glyn Jones/Dafydd Bryn took second place, a minute and a half ahead of Llyr Williams/Jamie Atherton.

Staffan Roberts/Tomos Roberts maintained their lead in the Beginners Class; they were the only crew in that category to finish fail free.

It had been a classic Llyn rally, with a tight route and numerous controls at which time was lost. Thirty-four of the 51 starters made it to the Finish.