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Powys Lanes Rally

Sponsored by DG Jones Agri Ltd

Epynt Motor Club

9th/10th November 2019

Winners Photo
Winners: George Williams/Cadog Davies (Ford Escort)
Photograph: Brian Gilbert (Photosport)

Organiser: Epynt Motor Club

Date: 9th/10th November 2019

Clerk of the Course: Ceri Davies & Jamie Pickup

Route: 120 Miles

Maps: 147 & 148

Starters: 64

After being delayed on the opening section, George Williams/Cadog Davies recovered to take an empathic win on the Powys Lanes Rally.

Sixty-four crews lined up at the start, which, as usual, was at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd. Another standard feature of Epynt MC’s counter for the Welsh Road Rally Championship are the slippery condition of the lanes, made worse this year by sleet and snow on the higher ground. Amongst the non-starters were Craig Judd/Dan Stone, whose Peugeot 306’s clutch broke as it was loaded onto the trailer.

Competition opened near Aberedw, with a run up the Edw valley, including a loop up to Glascwm, before the section finished near Hundred House. There were three intermediate time controls, before the final TC. The Astra of Matthew Jones/Osian Davies was quickest to the first TC; they were three seconds faster than Paul Morgan/Jamie Mills. The latter took the lead at the end of the section as they dropped the least time and now led Jones/Davies by 16 seconds. They extended that margin by a further five seconds at the first TC on Section 2, which ran from Camnant to Bettws. However, their rally ended soon afterwards as their Honda Civic suffered a gearbox failure.

There was drama amongst the top runners on the opening section as Daniel ‘Lwni’ Jones/Gerwyn Barry hit a bank, blocking the road for Mark Lennox/Ian Beamond and the eventual winners George Williams/Cadog Davies. Both crews were delayed by over a minute.

Lennox/Beamond, who had both competed on the Showground Stages at Llanelwedd during the day, were looking to secure the Welsh series. They had only to finish amongst the top eight series contenders on the Powys Lanes to make sure of the title. Kevin ‘Penclawdd’ Jones/Dafydd Evans had a mathematical chance of denying them the series win, but went out of the rally with failed diff soon after the start. When Morgan/Mills retired, Lennox/Beamond were assured of their first Championship title.

Steve King/Rob Bryn Jones were the only crew to clean the control at the end of the second section, which was near Llandegley, and now led the field from Jones/Davies by 19 seconds, with Mike Roberts/Dafydd-Sion Lloyd in third, 14 seconds further back. Christopher Williams/John Aspland held fifth place and were the leading Semi-Experts, over a minute and a half ahead of their nearest class rivals. George Meakins/Alan James failed to make it to this point having suffered alternator woes with their Escort.

The third Standard Section started just north of Bleddfa and ran to Dolau Junction; all of the four time controls were timed to the minute. George Williams/Cadog Davies cleaned all of them, the only crew to do so, and at Petrol found themselves in second place, eight seconds behind the BMW of King/Jones. However, Matthew Jones/Osian Davies were just one second behind in third. Nic Morris/Robbie Pugh were fourth, but after the break failed to note down a code board, the resultant fail dropped them well down the order at the Finish. On the driver’s second road rally, Ioan Lloyd/Dai Roberts had been as high as fifth at one point but retired at Petrol as the navigator was unwell.

The short fourth section ran south from New Radnor and saw all crews dropping time at the finish. Williams/Davies dropped just nine seconds and took the lead, eleven seconds ahead of King/Jones, who had Jones/Davies two seconds behind. Jones/Davies were quickest on Section Five, which started near Gladestry and finished north of Hay-on-Wye. This moved them into second place, fourteen seconds off the lead. King/Jones were now in third, 30 seconds further back.

The sixth section proved significant. It was in the lanes south of Painscastle, with a tight loop towards Llowes. King/Jones rolled their BMW and lost ten minutes. They got going again and were to finish in twelfth position. The battle for first and second places was little affected by this section; Williams/Davies dropped one second, while Jones/Davies cleaned it.

Section 7 used the familiar tracks around Llanstephan. Williams/Davies were one second late at the end, but Jones/Davies were 33 seconds behind their time. At this point Mike Roberts/Dafydd-Sion Lloyd were safely in third, a minute and a half off second place, but a similar distance in front of Matt Barker/Jordan Dziadulewicz, who were in fourth.

The final section used the lane to the west of the A470 from Little Hill to Dollynwydd. Williams/Davies once again were fastest here, five second ahead of Jones/Davies, giving them a final victory margin of 1m 46s. Roberts/Lloyd and Barker/Dziadulewicz maintained their pace to take third and fourth. Lennox/Beaumont finished fifth, but first in the Welsh Championship.

Christopher Williams/John Aspland won the Semi-Expert Class, finishing in eighth place overall, over eight minutes ahead of the second in class. The First Novice Award went to David Ginn/Carwyn Roberts, they were the only contenders in their class to finish fail free.

It had proven to be a tough event; only 38 of 64 starters being classified as finishers. The list of non-finishers was increased by the fact that three crews were disqualified for driving standards offences after failing to stop at give way junctions.

Once again the prize of a free entry on next year’s Powys Lanes for a winner in a car other than a Ford Escort remained unclaimed. It was the ninth year in a row that Boreham’s best had taken victory.