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Tour of Epynt - 22 Feb 09

Posted: February 23, 2009 3:57 PM - 7751 Hits

Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt 2009
Round 1 - 2009 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship
Round 1 - 2009 BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series

  • Melvyn Evans/Gareth Roberts win Epynt 09


Posted: February 23, 2009 4:22 PM

MELVYN EVANS (Subaru Impreza S11) made his intentions abundantly clear at the weekend with a convincing victory on the Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt, the first round of the 2009 Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. The Llanwrda driver’s Subaru Impreza WRC set a blisteringly fast time on the opening stage of the day, 16s quicker than his nearest rival, and followed it up with five more to maintain a lead that had built up to more than a minute-and-a half by the finish.

Defending MSA Asphalt Champions, DAVID KYNASTON/ ANDY RUSSELL were 3rd overall in their Audi A3 Quattro – the pair breaking Evans’ run of FTDs to go quickest on the final stage. The result sees Russell at the head of the Co-drivers’ table at this early stage.

2008 giant-killers SIMON MAUGER/BRIAN CAMMACK are back in their Ford Escort MkII and 5th overall, in amongst some very impressive four-wheel drive company, would seem to indicate that we are in for a repeat performance this year.

Former National Gravel Champions DAVID MANN/ALUN COOK, who are starting their second season of asphalt events, brought their Impreza WRC home in 6th place, one ahead of the Hyundai Accent WRC of 2007 Asphalt Champion STEVE SIMPSON. Co-driven by PATRICK WALSH, the pair had had a hectic time just getting to the start on Epynt. Contesting the Blackpool-based North West Stages the previous day, the car had retired with ominous noises coming from, they thought, the gearbox. The whole team travelled from Blackpool to their workshops in Grimsby to effect a gearbox change from Simpson’s gravel specification car. However, the problem did not go away and further ‘swopping’ from one car to the other was necessary before they were able to begin crossing the country once again as they headed for the start in Llandovery. No sleep there then!…

Along with JOHN STONE/LEE CARTER, MARK JASPER/DON WHYATT now form part of a very smart two-car team of MG Metro 6R4s prepared by Legend Motorsport. Unfortunately, the Stone car was forced out with clutch failure, but Jasper’s version finished an excellent 8th overall.

2008 Richard Egger Insurance BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series champions CHRIS JONES/RICHARD WILLIAMS carried on where they left off with 9th place – and top Series points – in their Ford Focus STI. 2007 winners, ADRIAN SPENCER/MARK HEWITT, are back for more and their Subaru Impreza was next up less than a minute behind. The signs are that we are in for a good fight before this year’s winners are identified!..

Young Scots crew ROSS HUNTER/EILDON HALL are embarking on their first season of MSA Asphalt Championship events and have recently moved up from a Peugeot 205 to a Lancer EVO4. On unfamiliar territory, the pair finished 13th overall and were awarded the John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performance’ salver for their efforts.

Between them, contenders for the MSA Asphalt Championship & BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series made up almost 50% of the total entry and, as one would expect, experienced vastly differing fortunes!

* Gary Le Coadou/Paul Hollingham Toyota Celica GT4 15th
* Meirion Evans/Paul Wakely Ford Escort MkII 16th
* Pete Hughes/Chris Evans Ford Escort MkII 18th
* Richard Clews/Barry James Ford Fiesta ST 27th/1st class
* Paul Boxall/Teresa Butler Peugeot 205 28th
* Rod Bennett/Val Thompson Fiat S1600 Punto 29th/1st class
* Graham Watkins/Mark Powell Ford Escort MkII 30th
* Geoff Glover/Charlie Turner Vauxhall Astra RWD 31st
* Roger Donnan/Phil Peak Ford Puma 32nd
*Paul Price/Vicky Williams Peugeot 106 34th
* Ian Copping/Dave Rowley Ford Fiesta RWD 41st
* Neil Dodd/Nicholas Cunnington MG ZR 48th/1st class
* Martin Newson/Peter Morris MG ZR 51st
* Tim Daltry/Paul Ohren-Bird Peugeot 205 GTI 52nd

Meanwhile, in addition to John Stone/Lee Carter, the list of those for whom Epynt was not the happiest of events includes :

* Washington James/Dai Roberts Darrian T90 GTR Suspension
* Chris Marshall/Simon Hunter Mitsubishi Lancer Rear Diff.
* Graham Hollis/Ashley Trimble Ford Escort MkII Steering
* David West/Keith Hounslow Peugeot 306 Maxi Lost Wheel
* Tommi Graham/Mike Bailey Mitsubishi Lancer Front Diff.
* David Hardie/John McCulloch Subaru Impreza Engine
* Chris Rice/Lee Harding Subaru Impreza Off Road
* Lee Perry/Tony Bassett Ford Escort Cosworth Rear Diff.
* Ray Read/Stuart A-Peters Audi Quattro Off Road
* Paul Culverwell/Kevin Harbour Peugeot 205 RWD Retd.
* Graham Muter/Stephen Prince Ford Escort MkII Head Gasket
* Richard Egger/Pat Egger Vauxhall Nova Engine
* Andrew Turner/Dennis Turner Peugeot 106 Retd.
* Roland Jones/Kate Gamez MG ZR Driveshaft

The BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series continues on Sunday 29th March with the Tour of Caerwent, while the MSA Asphalt Championship moves on to the Circuit of Ireland National Rally over Easter weekend.


Posted: February 23, 2009 3:57 PM

Full Results & Times

Posted: February 23, 2009 12:02 AM


Posted: February 11, 2009 12:07 PM

Contenders for both the 2009 Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and Richard Egger Insurance BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series meet on the opening round, the Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt on Sunday 22nd February. Last season’s Championships were held in a very friendly and highly competitive atmosphere with neither title being claimed until the last moment. We can only hope that a similar situation is created as the new season unfolds.

The Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt sees competitors facing over 80 miles of special stages on the Epynt Military Ranges in the Brecon Beacons and, in deference to their 2008 victory, the first car away from the start will be the Darrian T90 GTR of John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones. The speed of this two-wheel drive car, especially if it is dry, must not be underestimated and another victory is a strong possibility.

The organisers, Port Talbot Motor Club Ltd, have attracted an excellent entry of 85 cars and, amongst them, there is a plethora of driver/car combinations that are also perfectly capable of winning an event at this level. Melvyn Evans (Subaru Impreza WRC), co-driven on this occasion by Gareth Roberts, only appeared on one round of the MSA Asphalt Championship last year, the Manx National – and won it outright!

Defending MSA Asphalt Champions, David Kynaston/Andy Russell, return in their Audi A3 Quattro and it was a maximum points score on the Tour of Epynt last year that set them on their way to the title. Steve Simpson (Hyundai Accent WRC) won the event in controversial circumstances in 2007 but, nevertheless, went on to take the title that year. A subdued day on Epynt this time last year saw Steve and co-driver Patrick Walsh return to the finish in Llandovery in 12th place but, by mid-season, he was leading the charge again.

A second Hyundai, in the hands of Damian Cole starts at No.6. The former multiple Welsh Tarmac Champion is a proven winner on Epynt and his co-driver, Martin Henry, knows his way around as well!

Other Championship interest in the Top 10 comes from the two MG Metro 6R4s of Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt & John Stone Lee Carter. Both crews are contesting the Blackpool-based North West Stages Rally the previous day and face a hectic time transferring their resources from one venue to the other.

A newcomer to the MSA Asphalt Championship this year, Washington James’ Darrian T90 GTR had had considerable success in Ireland in the last twelve months, including an outright win on the Cork ‘20’ National Rally.

Meanwhile, further down the list, Ross Hunter/Eldon Hall are also embarking on their inaugural Championship and will be bringing their Mitsubishi Lancer down from their homes in the Scottish Borders. The good-natured rivalry between Graham Hollis/Ashley Trimble & Pete Hughes/Chris Evans (both Ford Escorts), Geoff Glover/Charlie Turner (Vauxhall Astra RWD) and Ian Copping/Dave Rowley (Ford Fiesta RWD) is renewed as they begin the fight for supremacy in Class B11 and the ‘Rear-Wheel Drive’ category. Martin Newson/Peter Morris and Roland Jones/Kate Gamez bring their respective Group A MG ZRs, while Neil Dodd’s Group N version will also be present.

Richard Clews/Barry James have replaced their Renault Clio with an ex Ford Fiesta Challenge car in their pursuit of ‘Front-Wheel Drive’ honours, and the winners of the BTRDA Asphalt Series ‘Two-Wheel Drive’ trophy in 2008, Graham Muter/Stephen Prince, have made the move up to the MSA Championship in their 1300cc Escort this year.

The BTRDA Series promises to be a real hot-bed of competition, with defending Champions Chris Jones/Richard Williams (Ford Focus STI) joined by both 2007 winners and runners-up, Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt (Subaru Impreza) & Gary Le Coadou/Paul Hollingham (Toyota Celica GT4). Last year’s second-placed driver Mark Welch will be joining the fray later on but his Ford Escort Cosworth will not be ready in time for Epynt.

Milkman Ray Read goes from one extreme to the other as he and co-driver Stuart Anderson-Peters climb aboard his original Audi Quattro and Stuart Deeley will be hoping for better luck this season in his Lotus Europa.

There are Ford Escorts for James & Helen Thompson, Steve Leonard from Jersey and Welshmen Graham Watkins/Mark Powell, while the Peugeot 205 brigade are headed by Paul Boxall/Teresa Butler and Paul Culverwell in his re-engineered RWD version. Paul Price has swopped sides and starts Epynt in the driving seat of his Peugeot 106 with an as-yet unnamed co-driver – could it be one of the family?..

Series sponsors Richard & Pat Egger will be looking to a more productive season than last in their Vauxhall Nova and all we can do is wish them, and all their fellow competitors, luck as another season of the best asphalt events in the UK – and beyond! – kicks off.

The Top 10 Starters on the Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt are as follows :

1 John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones Darrian T90 GTR
2 Melvyn Evans/Gareth Roberts Subaru Impreza WRC
3 David Kynaston/Andy Russell Audi A3 Quattro
4 Peter Lloyd/Graham Handley Subaru Impreza WRC S12
5 Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh Hyundai Accent WRC
6 Damian Cole/Martin Henry Hyundai Accent WRC
7 Bob Fowden/TBA TBA
8 Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt MG Metro 6R4
9 John Stone/Lee Carter MG Metro 6R4
10 Washington James/Dai Roberts Darrian T90 GTR

Spectators are welcomed on the Fix Auto Swansea Tour of Epynt, although they are asked to access the rally ONLY via the ‘Dual Carriageway’ from the A40 at Llywel. A charge of £10 per car will be levied and proceeds will go to charity.

The first car leaves the start at 9.00am on Sunday 22nd February and arrives back at the finish in Llandovery at 4.45pm that afternoon.

There will be 10 special stages in total and the first car will pass the Spectator Point at the following times:

SS1 – 09.07/SS2 – 09.21/SS3&4 – 10.32/11.48/SS5&6 – 13.36/14.53/SS7 – 16.00

List of received entries

Posted: February 4, 2009 11:07 AM

Regulations Available

Posted: January 13, 2009 4:40 PM

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