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Rali Goffa Dilwyn Jones

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Bala & District Motor Club

30th July 2023

Rali Goffa Dilwyn Jones 2023
Winners: Iwan Roberts Jnr/Moi Williams (Toyota Corolla)
Photograph: Joseph John Gilbertson

Organiser: Bala & District Motor Club

Date: 30th July 2023

Clerk of the Course: Chris Evans

Route: 15 Tests (12½ Test Miles)

Base: Trawsfynydd Ranges

Starters: 69

Bala & District Motor Club renamed their Rali Cwm Cynfal to Rali Goffa Dilwyn Jones to honour the memory of a highly respected club supporter, who had died earlier in the year.

The 70 car starting places were filled within 15 minutes of the entry opening. With one late withdrawal, it was 69 cars that took the start.

The event consisted of 15 tests, starting and finishing at the Trawsfynydd Ranges. That venue hosted the first two tests, before the route headed, via farm tracks tests, to the lunch halt at Bala. Crews then retraced their steps finishing with the longest test of the day, which was a combination of the two opening tests.

Top seeds, Dewi Jones/Daniel Jones (Mazda MX5) were fastest by one second on Test 1, with Deion Atkinson/Dylan Richards (BMW 318) and Owain Rowlands/Kieran Price (Mazda MX5) one second behind. The second test ran from the Triangle to the Forest End and was cleaned by 23 cars.

Action then moved a short distance away to the one mile challenge at Dolgain, just above the Trawsfynydd Holiday Village. All dropped time here and after it there was a three-way tie for the lead; Atkinson/Richards and Rowlands/Price were joined at the front by the immaculate Mark One Escort of Tom Williams/Iwan Thomas. Erstwhile leaders, Jones/Jones, were now fourth, but only one second behind.

By this point Tomos Roberts/Rhys Williams were out; they'd parked up their Peugeot 206 after Test 2 with clutch problems. Also on the retirement list at this early point was the Mazda MX5 of Gethin Jones/Osian Griffith.

Two familiar venues in the Ffestiniog area were tackled next; these were Cwm Cynfal and Felen Rhyd, the second having a treacherously steep downhill section, this was made trickier by the recent wet weather. Rowlands/Price took a clear lead of two seconds on Test 4, but were joined on the top spot by Williams/Thomas after Felen Rhyd.

A run along the main road towards Bala took competitors to Test 6 at Aernig; a site used for many years, including on road rallies. The extra traction of four wheel drive must have proved useful here as the Subaru Impreza of Alun Morris/Osian Richards now took over the lead; they were now eight seconds ahead of four crews who tied for second place. This was a tight battle for the win.

Another regular Bala test was next; this was at Hendre Mawr, just north of Bala. Morris/Richards maintained their lead, but it was cut to four seconds as Rowlands/Price and Iwan Roberts Jnr/Moi Williams (Toyota Corolla) now shared second place.

One test remained before the lunch break, this was at Ty Uchaf over a one mile farm track. On time Morris/Richards held their lead, but they had hit a cone and the resultant ten second penalty dropped them to second place.

At the mid-point halt Williams/Thomas held a one second advantage over Morris/Richards, who were tied with Roberts Jnr/Williams. However, the battle was too tight to call, with six cars within nine seconds of first place.

Ty Uchaf saw the demise of Brynli Thomas/Caian Williams, who had been in the top ten throughout the event; their Peugeot 206 broke a shaft and they were out.

Rali Goffa Dilwyn Jones 2023

The afternoon was a reverse of the morning tests, with the six farm tracks being repeated, before the two and a half mile final test on the Ranges.

The weather had been cloudy by largely dry during the first half of the rally, but at Lunch it began to rain, this became heavier as the afternoon progressed. This led to the cancellation of Test 13, the second visit to Felen Rhyd, after the course car, an Isuzu, went off the track.

Williams/Thomas and Roberts Jnr/Williams shared fastest time over Ty Uchaf 2; they were therefore still one second part. Morris/Richards fell back by two seconds, but were still in third.

It was on Test 10, Hendre Mawr 2, that Roberts Jnr/Williams hit the front; they were six seconds faster than any other car over the tight and twisty half mile test. They now held a lead of seven seconds over Williams/Thomas who had been third fastest.

Roberts Jnr/Williams extended their lead to 12 seconds on Test 11 and four more on Test 12. The focus was now on the battle for second with Williams/Thomas and Morris/Richards swapping the place. Morris/Richards snatched the runner up spot on Test 11, but Williams/Thomas were back in front on Test 12.

However, the top positions were shaken up on Test 14, the tricky Dolgain 2. Roberts Jnr/Williams still led after the test, but had their advantage cut to ten seconds. It was Atkinson/Richards who stormed through to grab second, while Williams/Thomas now in third and Morris/Richards having dropped to fifth behind Rhys Jones/Andrew Baines (Subaru Impreza).

This was how the positions were to remain as almost everyone cleaned the final test on the Ranges; the quickest, Atkinson/Richards, beating the bogey by 50 seconds.

Although there was one change in the top ten; the Mazda of Rowlands/Price ground to a halt on the test and they were towed to the finish by another competitor. They incurred a maximum and finished in 33rd place.

Thus, having taken their first win the previous month, Iwan Roberts Jnr/Moi Williams, doubled up and made it two wins from two Targa starts.