Rali Mike Darowen Bro Ddyfi
Sponsored by R Keith Price Haulage & Tsalta Motorsport
Dovey Valley Motor Club
14th/15th October 2023
Winners: Rheinallt Davies/Telor Pugh (BMW 3218)
Photograph: Duncan Littler
Organiser: Dovey Valley Motor Club
Date: 14th/15th October 2023
Clerk of the Course: Linda Thomas & Rhodri Evans
Route: 750 Miles (Maps 124, 125, 135 & 136)
After a five year break, Dovey Valley Motor Club returned to running road rallies with a novice oriented event, with a group of largely young organisers.
Thirty-two Novice crews and four Beginners took the start, also the entry list included ten Mentor crews, where an experienced crew member partnered a novice.
Competitive motoring started just outside the event's 'Machynlleth base, on the B-road through Llanwrin. This was a gentle start and most competitors were clean of penalties until TC4 at Cemmaes, which was timed to the minute. There then followed a tight section, timed to the second, to the section finish on the A470 at the Gwern-y-Bwlch Caravan Park.
Seven Novices were still clean at this point, Max Hughes/Zak Hughes (Peugeot 206 GTi), a last minute entry, were the only Mentors on zero here.
The road from Llanbrynmair, through Pandy, to the A458 made up the next section, with a farmyard control in the middle; Declan Mason/Tom Williams (Ford Escort) were the only crew to miss this. At the finish control, TC 8, there were still six novice crews, plus Hughes/Hughes, on zero penalties.
The mid-point break, with a time recovery, was taken at Foel; there was no petrol halt. Timing at all but two controls in the first half had been to the minute, which helped contribute to the seven clean sheets. In the second half all the competitive TCs were to the second.
Forty-five crews made the halfway break, the only retirement to that point being Clare Hookham/Dafydd Roberts in their Vauxhall Corsa.
Competition restarted a short distance from MC3, using the tight lanes south-west of Llangadfan, before running over the classic road from Llanerfyl to Talerddig, and then crossing the A470 to finish at Pont Dolgadfan.
All clean sheets had disappeared by the first TC on the section, although top seeds, Dion Bee/Osian Trefor Jones (Ford Cortina) dropped just one second.
Even more traditional Bro Ddyfi roads made up the remainder of the event, which consisted of two sections. The first started at Commins Coch, included a loop around Darowen, home of the eponymous Mike, before finishing near Abercegir. Despite the challenge, most crews arrived at TC15F on time.
By this point the leading Mentor competitors, Hughes/Hughes, had retired.
The final section was virtually a reverse of the opening test on the original Rali Bro Ddyfi, run as a novice event in 1982. It was a complex route and ran from Tay-y-Wern, through Melinbyrhedyn, to Aberhosan and finished at Forge.
Unfortunately, a PR issue caused many in the mid-field to be significantly delayed and the penalties to TC17, a significant dropper, had to be cancelled.
The final timing point was to have a major impact on the overall results as Bee/Jones, still on one seconds penalty, cleaned the section, but booked in 26 seconds early; the penalty for early arrival was 2 seconds per 1 seconds. This gave the team 53 seconds at the Finish, which put them in fifth place.
Rheinhallt Davies/Telor Pugh (BMW 318) had been 13 seconds late at TC10, the Llangadfan section, but then cleaned the remainder of the event. This gave them the overall win, finishing 17 seconds ahead of runners up Dafydd Huw Jones/Moi Williams (Nissan Micra). Jones/Williams having dropped time at TC10, plus the final TC.
The leading beginners crew were Sion Lloyd-Jones/Mici Lloyd-Jones (Ford Escort), who were classified in a magnificent ninth overall.
Only two Mentors finished fail free. Thomas Bayliss/Jamie Mills (Nissan Micra) took the class win; notably they would only have been placed eleventh if eligible for overall awards.
After an excellently pitched route, twenty-six Novices completed the event, while all four Beginners made it to the Finish.
- Overall Positions
- Award Winners
- Class Positions
- Time Penalty Details
- Fail Penalties
- Overall Positions at MC2
- List of Starters