Cambrian Road Rally
Sponsored by Edwards Buildings
Tregaron Motor Club
Winners: Huw Rowcliffe/Owen Rowcliffe (Peugeot 206 GTi)
Photograph: Joseph John Gilbertson
Organiser: Tregaron Motor Club
Date: January 18/19
Clerk of Course: David Owen
Route: 60 Miles + 1 Test
Maps: 135 & 146
The father and son team of Huw and Owen Rowcliffe took a narrow victory on a short but dramatic Cambrian Road Rally.
The Welsh season opener attracted a capacity 60 car entry to the Pavilion at Pontrhydfendigaid
on a night that promised to provide a severe challenge as a heavy frost gripped central
Wales. Competition opened at 22:40 with crews making the short trip across the road
to the Mid Wales Activity Centre for the test that opened competition. The test was
one lap of the mountain circuit run in an anti-
With the heavy frost the roads were treacherous, however all 60 cars survived the
test. Quickest was the Peugeot 206 of Dafydd Morgan/Dafydd-
After this brisk warm up crews moved to the plotting area, which was situated just outside Tregaron. This section was to have the most dramatic effect on the final overall results. The section was defined in the time schedule as a neutral, where any lost time could not be recovered. The test had a minimum time of three minutes, therefore crews who, for example, finished the test in a time over five minutes, which most had, would be two minutes behind their scheduled time at the end of it. The target time from the end of the test to the start of the road sections was 72 minutes. Crews should therefore have added this to the time at which they finished the test to give them their due time at MC2, which started the road section after the plotting break.
The top four crews misunderstood this and booked into MC2 at their scheduled time, that is, the Car 0 time plus their start number. This meant that they had only taken 70 minutes to complete the section and they were awarded two fails for booking in early. Gerwyn Barry, navigating in Car 5, was the first navigator to correctly interpret the regulation and booked in at his correct time, as did the remainder of the field.
All of the top four crews completed the route and, without the fails Malcolm ‘Tar’ Jones/Dafydd Evans would have won, with Cerith Jones/Deian Rees second. However, their fails demoted them to 32nd and 33rd at the Finish.
The road part of the rally opened with a two mile/four minute section which ran from
Penllwynbedw to Rhyd-
The next section was the meat of the rally; a 34 mile non-
A number of leading crews had disappeared from the fray by this point. Early leaders,
The first section timed to the second started at 581¼658, this used the bridal way
to Pigyn Uchaf, it then ran through a couple of triangles at Garn Fach before a TC
just before Rhydroser. All crews dropped time here. There was no time to relax before
another two mile section timed to the second, which ran along the very twisty lane
from Penfor fawr, crossing the B-
The long section ended with the tightest part of all through the Cnwc y Barcud. By the end of this the lead was held by the small but fast Corsa of Dafydd Jones/Gareth Parry. Unfortunately for them they were running low on fuel and had to miss out the final section to get to the Finish.
The final section took crews back toward Pontrhydfendigaid, running south from Dolfor to Brynarth. Once again Rowcliffe/Rowcliffe and Owens/Evans tied on the same penalty and so the father and son team beat the son and mother combination by one second. Jonathan Davies/Andrew Gaunt came in third almost a minute further back.
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