FMP Round 10, the Rali Bae Ceredigion lived up to its hype and was blessed with great weather. The Organisers really brought the sport into the public eye with Scrutineering taking place on Aberystwyth sea front amongst throngs of onlookers on the day before the start.
The fight to have the honour of being the first winners of the first closed road rally in Wales went to a delighted Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss – pictured right making history.
Top seeded FMP Contender Meirion Evans had an early bath when their Skoda Fabia R5 left the road on Stage Two. They weren’t the first to hit problems as Baz Jordan with 2nd placed Arwel Jenkins put the Avenger through a hedge on SS1. Marcus Pagett / Rhys Stoneman also went no further than Stage Two meaning the two leading co-drivers failed to finish.
The honour of being first FMP Contenders home went to the Citroen C1 Max crew of Rhidian Daniels and Tomos Whittle (pictured below left) along with a Class victory at 14th overall. Fellow Ammanford MC member Ian Taylor was 33 seconds behind, co-driving in the Mitsubihi Evo 9 of Craig Jones (pictured below right)
A good fight was anticipated in the 1400 class but Dan Evans / Jess Hockly had fuel pump failure at the start of the second stage. Things were a lot more serious for the Nova crew of Will Mains / Iwan Griffiths when Iwan became unwell, spending some time with Ambulance staff. We wish him a speedy recovery. With 5 consolation points for a non finish, Will now ties on points with Steve Deeley but is ahead on paper being ‘furthest cleanest’ with Class victories on every previous Round.
Not content with taking the class, Lloyd Morgan / Marc Clatworthy fought on for a strong overall result in the Mike Morgan Rallying Nissan Micra. Despite joining about 20 cars in a field after the flying finish of SS2, many of which went no further, and a moment on SS7 when they did a little ‘grass cutting’ after a blind brow, the crew finished just outside the Top Thirty.
After a string of Class podium positions on gravel, Machynlleth Builder Hywel Davies and Simon Jones made their first appearance on a Tarmac Round in their well turned out Mk. 2 Escort. Their 3rd in Class now elevates Hywel to the top of the leader board with Simon currently sixth and third Junior Co-driver.
Four contenders have nominated overseas events before the October deadline. Kalvin Green debuts his Zakham Engineering built Escort with current Junior Champion Osian Owen co driving on the Escort Rallye Special in Belgium. Jamie Vaughan has also nominated the event and current champ Will Mains goes to Ireland for the Clare Stages .
Right: Ready for his Belgian debut, Kalvin Green with Car Builder, Alwyn Bickham and left: giving his escort a good test drive.
Photos courtesy of Mike Frayne