Organiser: Harlech & District Motor Club Date: May 03 Where: Llanbedr Airfield Championships:
ANWCC Stages: 8 Starters: 26.
Wil Owen/Rob Hopewell dominated the Toyota Harlech Stages on Sunday, coming home
almost a minute and a half ahead of the field to record their second successive victory
on the North Wales event.
There were just 26 starters; the low number being partly accounting for by the event
being dropped from the Welsh Championship after its forced change of date from the
end of the month.
Wil Owen was fastest by 12 seconds on SS1 and increased the lead to over a minute
after SS3. He went on to take fastest time on six stages, losing out on SS5 when
he indulged in three spins and on the final test when victory was assured.
The chase was led all day by Lyndon Barton/Simon Hunter. Barton was competing in
the Ace Suspension Escort which he used to own, after his planned BMW steed developed
engine problems. Slowed by understeer problem initially he got things sorted and
after lunch kept the gap to the leaders stable at just over a minute and took fastest
time at the end of the day on SS8.
Rob Hughes revelled in the power of his Millington powered Focus on the wide open
spaces of the airfield and came home third, half a minute ahead of Brandon Smith’s
Gary Ollerenshaw put in an impressive performance, finishing fifth overall in his
Honda Civic on his first stage rally.
Emyr Owen/Eilir Williams, running on cut slicks despite the drizzle, had put their
1600cc Peugeot 106 into third place by SS4, but then, after a Judge of Fact’s report
had been received, foundthemselves relegated down the order for straight lining
a chicane. They underlined their speed by taking fastest on SS5, before withdrawing
from the rally.
Conrad Law was another driver penalised for missing a chicane; a penalty that cost
him a fifth placed finish.