Brecon Motor Club crews suffered mixed fortunes at Weston Park recently,there were two events held over one weekend with historic cars and crews running on the Saturday and moderns on the Sunday. Brecon Motor Club was superbly represented on the Saturday with Bob Gibbons and Jon Harris seeded at number one in the lovely Mk2 Cortina. Seeded at number two were Mike Simpson and Dale Gibbons, Mike has now bought Bob's orange Escort Mk1 and this was its debut. Also out was Kenny Owen co-driving for Stuart Anderson in his stunning Chevette HSR.
Unfortunately things didn't get off to a great start for Bob and Jon, the slippery tar of Weston Park offering little grip and sending the Cortina off across the grass and through a fence. Despite a stage maximum the car was relatively undamaged and the rest of the day served as a good test. Mike and Dale on the other hand were rusty on stage one but thereafter challenged for the overall lead all day eventually having to settle for a highly commendable second overall, not a bad debut it has to be said. Kenny Owen had a good day too finishing fifth overall and they all look forward now to the Dixies Challenge in May when battle will recommence. (Chevette photo credit Paul Lawrence)
Sunday saw Josh Jones and Tom Davies out in Josh's Peugeot 205 GTi after club member Jonathan Davies damaged his Darrian on the Tour of Epynt. The new pairing were into their stride straight away and they finished a very decent 22nd overall.
An epic weekend for Brecon Motor Club whether competing or marshalling, Jason Pritchard took the overall win with Phil Clarke in his 05 Focus WRC which was almost predictable considering Jason's top form at present. What wasn't as expected was the pace of Craig Jones with Shaun Layland in the familiar orange Mitsubishi. Lying as high as fourth overall a small mistake led to a 20 plus seconds time loss and sixth place was the eventual result. Nevertheless they punched above their weight and learnt lots. Craig's brother Josh was out on Epynt for the very first time and with the experienced Mike Bartlett brought their Peugeot 205 GTi home in a commendable 29th overall despite suffering with a lowly seeding. Jonathan Davies was enjoying a very good run in his revamped Darrian but unfortunately an Epynt sheep stepped out at the wrong time resulting in a substantial amount of damage to the fibreglass flyer.
Marshalling was a proper challenge with rain, hail and high winds but a number of members were representing the club at service in and out, as radio cars and as spectator marshals. Special thanks is due as it was most inhospitable.
Many thanks to the twenty six marshals who volunteered their time to help on this year's Rally of the Tests, it was a great day and the event was eventually won by Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton in their Alfa Romeo Guillueta Sprint. Below are some images from the day from Mark Griffin & Martin Leonard.
Alright don't get excited, it's a clean story of a boy and a girl who went to Caerwent for the first time with their rally cars, nothing else. BMC members don't have a big history of competing at Caerwent but for the Patriot Stages Craig Jones and Lisa Chappelle both popped their cherries. Craig, accompanied by Ian Taylor was out to try the newly installed Drenth gearbox in the EVO9 and immediately posted his intent with a fifth fastest overall time. A few teething issues with the new 'box for the rest of the day saw a bit of movement up and down the leader board but sixth overall was the fine final result.
Lisa Chappelle wheeled out the familiar white and pink Saxo and also had a new co-driver in Ryan 'Sheep' Jones who kept things on the boil. Passing two cars on stage one boosted confidence for the day and 48th was the result with a good few cars in their wake.
After a tremendous season in the BHRC Malcolm Rich and Arwel Blainey had an eye on the main prize of Category One only for mechanical issues to intervene on the final championship round, the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire. They were always going to be up against it in their relatively under powered car and that was the case before retirement as the long straights favoured the Lotus Cortina of octogenarian Bob Bean with Miles Cartwright. The intrepid pair hadn't given up though and were not too far adrift should Bob have slipped up or had a problem. Unfortunately a fuel issue caused a misfire which meant retirement on stage 4. It has nevertheless been a great year and if they were told that they were in with a shout for category honours at the start of the year they wouldn't have believed it. Arwel hadn't co-driven ever before the first round which makes it all the more remarkable but he picked it up quickly and others had misfortune and rallies were cancelled and that's how it ended up as it is!