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Barcud Road Rally

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Barcud Motor Club

12th/13th August 2023

Barcud Road Rally 2023
Winners: Stefan 'DR' Davies/Kieran Price (Ford Escort)
Photograph: Brian Gilbert

Organiser: Barcud Motor Club

Date: 12th/13th August 2023

Clerk of the Course: Paul Jones & Paul Rooke

Route: 82 Miles + 1 Test

Base: Tregaron

Starters: 86

After a four year absence caused by CoVid and then a National Eisteddfod, the Barcud Road Rally returned. The 2023 edition was another short but sharp rally; it was 82 miles in length, with only a few non-competitive miles and 113 controls.

With a number of late withdrawals, it was 86 crews that took the start. This was from an entry that at one point had a dozen reserves.

Proceedings opened with a three mile test on the outskirts of Tregaron, the rally's base. Despite a half spin, Ieuan Evans/Dafydd-Sion Lloyd (Escort) were fastest, stopping the clock two seconds faster than Stefan 'DR' Davies/Kieran Price (Escort). Iwan Jones/Andrew Lowe were third quickest, five seconds behind Evans/Lloyd.

A number of crews encountered problems on the test; most notably, Richard Jerman/Alan James crossed the finish line with a very sick engine in their Escort. They retired. They were not alone; five other cars were out by the finish line.

Another top ten crew in trouble were Philip Luxton/Edward Luxton, they put their Rover 25 off the road and only just managed to get it back on to the tarmac and complete the test within the 15 minute maximum.

After almost two hours of plotting time, the first cars departed for the first road section, which was a 25 mile marathon, starting near Llandewi Brefi and, after looping over Ffarmer and through Llanfair Clydogau and Olmarch, to finish just south of Capel Betws Lleucu. There were nine timing points.

For the top crews the first challenge was the run over the Ffarmers mountain road to TC4S, where there were six three metre controls. Arwel Hughes Jones/Dylan John Williams (Escort) were quickest here and this put them into a lead; they were now seven seconds ahead of Evans/Lloyd, while Davies/Price dropped to third, 21 seconds off the lead.

Car 26, Matthew Davies/Dion 'DL' Lewis (Escort), were second fastest to TC4S. They remained within the top ten until they missed the last route check on the section; this code board was in a field and five other crews also failed to find it.

Owain Rowlands/Jamie Mills (Mazda MX5) had been the only non-Escort in the top ten fastest cars over the test; they had been sixth quickest. However, their rally came to an end in a hedge on the first road section.

TC6S, at the lower end of the Sarn Helen Roman Road, was the next control at which all crews dropped time. Hughes/Williams lost first place on this section after getting stuck for a minute on a triangle. They dropped to seventh.

Davies/Price were best here, 15 seconds faster than anyone ese, and moved into a lead that they were to maintain until the Finish. Evans/Lloyd remained in second, while top seeds, George Williams/Cadog Davies (Escort) took over third place.

The leaders were quickest again at TC8S, which was near Gogyan, which was the next tight sector, the last one the first section. This meant that at the first Neutral, Davies/Price led Evans/Lloyd by ten seconds, while Williams/Davies were 14 seconds further back.

Jones/Lowe were in fourth, 47 seconds off the lead, but only four seconds ahead of Mark Lennox/Ian Beamond (Escort), who were fifth.

Barcud Road Rally 2023

The second road section started on the Llangeitho Showfield; it was nine miles long and snaked either side of the Llangeitho-Llundain B-Road. There were three timing points, one timed to the second.

Hughes/Williams were the only crew under a minute late at TC12S; they moved back to fourth as a result. Williams/Davies were 24 seconds faster than Evans/Lloyd, who had a tyre deflating; they had to stop and change it, losing four minutes at the next time control, where all other leading runners were on time. Evans/Lloyd were now outside the top ten.

By the end of the section, Davies/Price had extended their lead to over a minute. Richy Williams/Daniel Jones (Escort) had moved up to second and were now 17 seconds ahead of Williams/Davies, who were third.

The action now moved further north to the tight maze around Penuwch, and contained two control timed to the second. On home ground Williams/Jones continued their surge and beat Davies/Price over the section by five seconds, but were still a minute off the lead. Hughes/Williams were back up to third.

Three shorter sections completed the event; the first of these used the familiar roads around Trefenter, before the route moved back towards the Tregaron finish, via Bronant and Lledrod.

The top positions remained unchanged until the final miles, where a tricky two mile section was the most testing of the night, with three triangle controls and a farmyard to tackle. Once again Williams/Jones were fastest, but Davies/Price were only four seconds behind them; they two crews finished 1 minutes 7 seconds apart.

Williams/Davies were third quickest and this allowed them to displace Hughes/Jones and claim the final podium position by nine seconds.

Gareth Price/Liam Evans (BMW 318Ti) finished in seventh place and were the only non-Escort in the top nine finishers. Evans/Lloyd recovered from their puncture to take ninth place.