Saturday June 4th
Not a great day for Brecon Motor Club crews, Jason Pritchard had been trailing the leaders after three special stages but went into a ditch on the the fourth in Radnor in what probably would have been a 'Pritchard attack'. Malcolm Rich was looking forward to the stages in his Escort but was sucked into a ditch and rolled on stage one Gwibedog. Bob Gibbons was hoping to challenge for Category 1 honours but limped into service with an ailing gearbox in the Mk2 Cortina but he did at least finish. Dai 'Block' Jones and Glyn Price were the only other BMC crew to finish in their traditional reliable way but even so a problem on the last stage plunged them down the order. So some work required before the Harry Flatters Rally at the end of July for Jason and Malcolm whilst Bob will have to ponder Cortina power or Escort power for his outing.
Before we start on the crews competing remember that the club will be marshalling the Service in and out controls on the Mini Epynt Stages on Sunday (5th June) at the Rifle Ranges - anyone who would like to help will be welcome.
The day before, on Saturday, some of the usual suspects will be out and about on the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages trying to score points for their respective championships. Jason Pritchard will be hunting for overall victory in the historic rally in his Escort RS1800 and hoping for better luck than last time out in Cumbria where he was caught out by some patchy ice. Malcolm Rich will be looking to reel in a few competitors who usually beat him as his learning curve in the Escort goes on. A different co-driver, Paul Wakeley will be with him on this occasion. Bob & Dale Gibbons will wheel out the Cortina looking for Category One honours having missed the previous championship round. In the modern event Dai 'Block' Jones and Glyn Price will uphold the honour of the older generation in the familiar 'yellow peril' BMW.
On Sunday the Hereford Motor Club Mini Epynt Stages takes place and gluttons for punishment Jason Pritchard and Bob Gibbons are out for a second day of action. All being well Jason will pop the car back into the workshop after the Severn Valley and set the car up for tarmac. His next championship round will be the Harry Flatters Rally so if the set up is satisfactory all will be ready. Bob and Dale will bring the Escort out and will be hoping for some dry weather testing ahead of the Flatters. Rounding off the entry list will be James & Lisa Chappelle in the green Mini. After losing places with power loss on their last event the pair will be hoping for a clean run this time!
Brecon Motor Club members were out and about yesterday competing and marshalling. In mid Wales Dai 'Block' Jones and Glyn Price were hoping to get the better of a fast learning Craig Jones. Both were out in the same class in their respective BMWs and what a day it turned out to be! Craig took the advantage early on but on stage 4 a front strut popped up through the mounting and despite the service crews best efforts it could not be fixed. Driving a quickly as he dared over the final three stages Craig battled to the end to find that they had lost second in class to another rival by 2 seconds and had exactly the same penalty as Dai & Glyn. A faster time on the first stage gave Craig the advantage and third in class. Back to the workshop now.....................
Ecurie Cymraeg organised another cracking Leukemia Rally and various BMC people were assisting. Dave McIntyre and his good wife manned a number of main controls, James Chappelle and Liam Griffiths piloted the course car until a lack of brakes curtailed their day, Chris and Gethyn Phillips and their respective good ladies Jane and Emma were manning regularity controls, Roger Simons was controlling traffic and Martin Leonard, Bob Gibbons and his partner Gill covered two special test finish controls. A great day was had by all and a few photos from the event are below.
Brecon Motor Club wishes Brian Dennis a very happy 80th birthday, still going strong and still competing! Club president Brian has had a full and active life in business and motorsport, rallying and latterly hillclimbing. His earlier days were shaped using a Mini that he still owns today, the beloved 'ABX' which has probably seen more action than most rally cars in existence. The Gremlin Rally was a part of the famous Motoring News Road Rally Championship in the seventies and in 1976 Brian, ably assisted by Gus Jones took a famous win with that very car. Almost thirty years later, again with the same car, Brian led the Harry Flatters Rally outright on the Epynt Ranges in wet and difficult conditions.
More recently hillclimbing has been the focus of 'Team Dennis Motorsport' as he and son Tim have blitzed hill records at Shelsley Walsh and at other famous hills. Dennis Motorsport has also been the sponsor of the Epynt hillclimb since its inception in 2008 and just to liven thing a little Brian became the first and only person to roll whilst attempting the climb! It was no ordinary roll either as the car tumbled four times before coming to rest. Amazingly damage was relatively light and Brian walked away unhurt and unflustered. This of course wasn't an isolated incident and a huge accident on an early Welsh Rally saw Brian hitting a tree hard in Radnor Forest, a story best told by Brian and if you haven't heard it be sure to ask him about it!
Sponsoring the Gremlin Rally has been a large part of Brian's commitment to the club and there will be many shed and garage doors displaying rally plates from the 'The Old Forge Garage Gremlin Rally'.
There are many more stories that could be told but through all the years Brian has been a stalwart supporter of Brecon Motor Club, sponsoring events, providing vans and other vehicles and generally taking an interest in the running of the club. For this we thank him and look forward to the next ten years.
Brian, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Below is a small selection of photographs that we have, this is by no means the whole story................................................
Jason Pritchard travelled to the Isle of Man for the Manx National Rally last week looking for a third straight win in the North Road Garage Focus WRC. As it turned out he needn't have worried too much as he took a resounding win. It wasn't a start to finish victory however, he had to wait until stage 4 before his authority could be asserted as Ashley Field and Simon Bowen trumped him on the two short Ramsey stages and then a beaten bogey spoilt the party on stage 3. Thereafter Jason set fastest time on every stage bar one to claim a historic hat trick of wins with regular co-driver Phil Clarke.
Elsewhere in the lanes of the Welsh borders some BMC members were out doing it under the cover of darkness on the Border 100 road rally. Will Arrowsmith has built himself another Mk2 Escort 4 door rally car and it made its debut with a 12th overall finish assisted by usual navigator Ceri Davies. Not bad for a new car and a rusty driver in that part of the world. Jon Hawkins was out navigating with Jamie Pickup in his Peugeot 306 and a very useful 15th overall was the result. Jordan Gullick was a non finisher for reasons unknown in his Micra and Evan Shepherd appears to have non started with Ross Truszkowski.