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Tour of Epynt - 11 Mar 12

Posted: March 13, 2012 1:04 PM - 5336 Hits

Round 1 - 2012 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship


Posted: March 13, 2012 11:15 AM

2009 MSA Asphalt Rally Champion Melvyn Evans returned to the series in fine style at the weekend to win the Tour of Epynt in his Subaru Impreza WRC. Accompanied by Aled Davies who was victorious with Steve Simpson last year, Evans began the day with an incorrect tyre choice for the opening couple of stages but, having moved on to some softer rubber, set about giving a master class to the assembled multitude (spectators were out in huge numbers!) to win the opening round of the REIS – Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship by over a minute.

The largest entry for years – 109 – included 75 Championship-registered crews who were led away from the start on the Epynt Military Ranges by Steve Simpson, co-driven this time by Patrick Walsh, in his Impreza WRC. Next was defending Asphalt Champion Damian Cole, with Dave Engwell ensconced in the passenger seat of his Ford Focus WRC for this event. It was a one-off appearance by Engwell who finished third overall in the 2011 Championship with John Indri but who is unable to commit the time to it this year. Having led after the first couple of stages, Cole/Engwell were forced to give best to Evans but should be well-pleased with runners-up spot in such erudite company. Another former Epynt winner, Peter Lloyd had the experienced Ryland James to guide his familiar Impreza to 3rd place, while Simpson/Walsh were fourth this time.

The Ranges were shrouded in thick fog at the start of the day but the unseasonal fine weather soon saw it disappear, although it did leave the asphalt somewhat slippery on the early stages. Cole was fastest on the opener, Lloyd on the next before Evans took control and set FTD on each of the remaining five stages.

John Indri/Janice Moore brought their Darrian T90 GTR back to the Llandovery finish in 5th to take a class win and maximum points in the newly-instigated Millington Darrian Challenge. Rounding off the Top Six were Championship newcomers Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick (Ford Focus WRC) who acquitted themselves very well on their first visit to the area.

Mark Morgan/Tony Fisher won the battle of the Group N crews, their Lancer finishing just inside the Top Ten, with second-place Asphalt Championship class points going to Rob Tout/Dan Holley in their EVO9. The T90 GTR of Washington James/Llinos Jones-Davies took the second Millington Darrian award, while the Mark IIs of Graham Hollis/Alan Jones and Steve Cressey/Sam Collis were first and second respectively in the Escort Challenge.

Also new this year is the AB Motorsport Peugeot 205 Challenge, with Tim Daltry/ Emma Morrison getting the better of Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett in the points on this particular occasion.

The John Horton Motorsport Management ‘Star Performer’ trophy was awarded to Wiltshire’s Stuart Spyer who, ably assisted by Peter Williams, won the 1300cc class in his Vauxhall Nova – by ten minutes!... Other class winners on the day were Kevin and Charles Tappin in their 1600cc Escort, Graham Butler/Jamie Vaughan (Ford Puma), Martin Newson/Julian Riley (MG ZR) and Chris Wheeler/Yan Griffiths (Ford Fiesta MS1).

On a warm dry day on Epynt, the retirement rate was predictably high – over 40% of the original starters didn’t make it back to Llandovery. However, the Top Ten starters remained remarkably unscathed apart from, that is, the Darrian of Mark Straker/Keith Hounslow which departed the fray on the fifth stage.

Following the major engine maladies with his Skoda Fabia WRC last year, John Stone will have been hoping that his ‘investment’ in the car over the past six months would have paid off. However, fifth fastest on Stage 1 was followed by tenth on the next but, by then, the clutch was on its way out and retirement in service ensued.

Following a break of several weeks, the REIS – Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship heads for the Manx National Rally (11/12th May). Melvyn Evans won it last year for the third time, and Paul Bird took victory in 2009 & 2010 – this will be some fight!...

The film crew from ‘Special Stage’ are recording the action on each round of the Championship for future broadcasting on Motors TV – the Epynt programme is scheduled for Friday 30th March at 21.30.

Swift Delighted To Conquer Epynt

Posted: March 12, 2012 12:30 PM

It may not have been the most spectacular result of his relatively brief rally career but Darlington's Paul Swift was more than happy with a top 30 placing on the opening round of the REIS/Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship today.

The season-opening Tour of Epynt, based in Llandovery and consisting of over 80 miles on the notorious military roads, was always going to be a test for the seven-times British champion and professional precision and stunt driver but despite a couple of minor moments, he and Welsh co-driver Stuart Powell came away with a creditable 29th place overall and seventh in class.

After the low cloud had lifted, the 2.0 litre Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 pairing held 63rd place after the opening seven mile stage but once he was into his pace, Paul climbed inside the top fifty by half distance.

Continuing his progress into the afternoon, Swift, seeded at number 32, upped his speed and mixing caution with aggression, he brought the car home to record a deserved finish on his debut on the event.

Paul commented:
"The first priority today was to get to the finish and to very nearly hold our seeding was an extra bonus as Epynt needs treating with the utmost respect. We had a couple of big moments which could have ended in disaster but luck was on our side today. The first time was a steep downhill section with minimal grip and I ended up being wedged on a bridge with a little front and rear end damage and the second time, I had all four wheels on the grass after a blind crest and was very lucky to hit nothing. It's been more good time in the car and I'm happy with our performance for my first time there."

The second round of the 2012 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship takes place with the Manx National Rally in the Isle of Man in May but at present, Swift is unsure as to whether he will be able to contest the event scheduled for May 11/12th.

"We still have to find the budget to do that rally but I'm hopeful that we can find the necessary finances to be on the start line as it's a unique event and one which would suit the car very well," said Paul.

Paul would like to thank his sponsors and partners for their help and looks forward to another successful season in 2012.

Main Sponsors
Smith and Allan Classic Oils www.smithandallan.com
Smart Independent Financial Advisors www.smartifa.co.uk
Evalu8d learning and development www.evalu8d.com
Carpet Time www.carpet-time.co.uk
Rockliffe Hall www.rockliffehall.com

Other Rally Partners
James Bean Motorsport
Motoscope www.motoscope.co.uk
Sign Design
Pirelli Tyres www.pirelli.com
Cleveland Motorhomes www.clevelandmotorhomes.co.uk
Welund Training Solutions www.welundtraining.com
Avo Suspension www.avouk.com

Top Six For Bird On Tour Of Epynt

Posted: March 12, 2012 10:59 AM

Penrith driver Paul Bird saw his 2012 REIS/Get Connected MSA Asphalt Rally Championship campaign get underway with a battling sixth place finish on today's Tour of Epynt.

Driving the Fuchs Titan, Rapid Solicitors and Kick Energy-backed FBP Ford Focus WRC08, Bird was making his debut on the popular Llandovery based event which consisted of over 80 miles on the notorious military roads and knew from the start he faced a challenge.

Along with Scottish co driver Kirsty Riddick, the British Superbike and MotoGP team boss made a cautious start to hold eighth place after the opening stage which he maintained for the opening loop of stages. Bird then upped his pace in the afternoon and courtesy of a string of top six times, clawed his way to sixth place overall to bag important points in his championship bid.

Paul Bird:
"To think I had to drive as hard as I did for a sixth place finish and to be off the pace by nearly two minutes is a little disappointing on one hand but given the experience some of the drivers in front of me have on these ranges over the years, I shouldn't be too harsh on myself. It was my first time on Epynt and I made no mistakes so was hoping for a top four position at least but these are important points in the bag. Let's see how we get on when we get to the Isle of Man for the next round as I know my way round there OK!"

Indeed Bird has taken victory on the Manx National Rally on two occasions in 2009 and 2010 so will be hoping for a maximum points haul on the event which takes place on May 11/12th.


Posted: March 12, 2012 10:56 AM

1 Melvyn Evans/Aled Davies (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:09:57
2 Damian Cole/Dave Engwell (Ford Focus WRC) 1:11:03
3 Peter Lloyd/Ryland James (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:11:17
4 Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:11:38
5 John Indri/Janice Moore (Darrian T90 GTR) 1:11:53
6 Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick (Ford Focus WRC) 1:12:43
7 Graham Coffey/Howard Pridmore (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:13:38
8 Bob Fowden/Jason Sugden (Subaru Impreza WRX) 1:15:17
9 James Belton/Mark Glennerster (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:15:40
10 Mark Morgan/Tony Fisher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 1:16:21

Seeded Entry List

Posted: March 6, 2012 2:00 PM

No Driver/Co-Driver (Car) [Class]
1 Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
2 Damian Cole/Dave Engwell (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
3 Melvyn Evans/Aled Davies (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
4 Peter Lloyd/Paul Morris (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
5 Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick (Ford Focus WRC) [B14]
6 John Indri /Janice Moore (Darrian T90 GTR) [B12]
7 Washington James/Llinos Jones Davies (Darrian T90 GTR) [B12]
8 Mark Straker/Keith Hounslow (Darrian T90 GTR) [B12]
9 Bob Fowden/Jason Sugden (Subaru Impreza WRX) [B13]
10 George Mackey/Don Whyatt (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [B13]
11 John Stone/Rob Fagg (Skoda Fabia WRC) [B14]
12 Christopher Jones/Ashley Trimble (Ford Focus STi ) [B13]
14 Graham Coffey/Howard Pridmore (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
15 Andy Fenwick/John Vance ( ) [B14]
16 James Belton/Mark Glennerster (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
17 Mark Worley/Hamish Campbell (Subaru Impreza WRC) [B14]
18 Rob Tout/Dan Holley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
19 Tim Wilson/Elgan Davies (Ford Escort RS) [B12]
20 Nigel Gibbard/David Jones (Darrian T90) [B11]
21 Geoff Kitney/Ken Gibbard (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [B13]
22 Nigel Mummery/Fiona Scarrett (Ford Escort WRC) [B14]
23 Mark Morgan/Tony Fisher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) [N4]
24 Nigel Jones/Tracy Giddings (Subaru Impreza) [N4]
25 Graham Hollis/Alan Jones ( ) []
26 Michael Glendinning/Josh Davison (Subaru Impreza) [N4]
27 Chris Marshall/Simon Hunter (Mitsubishi Evo 5) [B13]
28 Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
29 Richard Merriman/Kath Curzon (Darrian T90) [B11]
30 Ian Caddy/Alan Thomas (Ford Escoret Mk II) [B12]
31 Philip Turner/Paul Williams (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
32 Paul Swift/Stuart Powell (Ford Escort MK2 RS1800) [B11]
33 Pete Rayner/Den Golding (Ford Escort Mk2) [B12]
34 Paul Alexander/Paul Wakely (Ford Escort) [B11]
35 Wayne Palmer/Mathew Farr (Darrian T90) [B11]
36 Richard Clews/Barry James (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
37 Lee Vivian/Rob Hannah (Subaru Imreza) [B14]
38 Roger Moran/Joy Hoyle (Ford Escort MkII) [B12]
39 Gareth 'Kipsy' Reed/David Bradley (BMW 325I) [B12]
40 Darren Underwood/Sue Underwood (Vauxhall Nova) [B10]
41 Jeremy Straker/Chris Davies (Darrian T9) [B11]
42 Toby Addam/Steve Roderick (Ford Searra) [B12]
43 Roland Llewellin/Eurig Evans (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [N4]
44 Simon Chapman/Tony Graham (Austin Rover Metro 6R4) [B13]
45 Neal Arden/Giles Corbett (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
46 Steve Hollis/Tim Currie (Mitsubishi Evo) [B13]
47 Richard Felgate/Mark Mason (BMW M3) [B12]
48 Richard Batten/Mike Jones (Mitsubishi Evo 5) [B13]
49 Andy Frasier/Lee Carter (Darrian T9) [B12]
50 Mark Spencer/Geoff Skillen (Ford Escort MkII) [B12]
51 Lee Perry/Hu Kent (Ford Escort Cosworth) [B13]
52 Wynne Watkins/Sherryn Roberts (Subaru Impreza) [N4]
53 Michael English/David Roberts (Ford Escort Mk2 RS) [B11]
54 Alex Laffey/Jack Morton (Ford Fiesta R2) [A6]
55 Steve Cressey/Sam Collis (Ford Escort) [B12]
56 Kevin Pappin/Charles Pappin (Ford Escort Mk2) [B10]
57 Thomas 'the biscuit' Lloyd/Craig 'the gunner' maggs (Peugeot 205 GTi) [B10]
58 Dave Allmark/Leight Woodington (Ford Escort mk2) [B11]
59 Ian Kenvin/Ian Meakin (Ford Escort Mk1) [B11]
60 Graham Watkins/David Percival (Ford Escort Mk2) [B11]
61 Graham Hicks/Steven Hicks (Ford Escort mk2) [B11]
62 Kevin Monaghan/Chris Purvis (Vauxhall Corsa) [B10]
63 Kevin Davies/Nathan Davies (Mitsubishi Evo 9) [N4]
64 Emyr Evans/Wyn Thomas (Darrian T9) [B10]
65 Wayne Bonser/Richard Aston (Ford Escort RS2000 mk1) [B11]
66 Paul Rees/Bryan Hull (VAUXHALL ASTRA MK2) [B9]
67 Matt Beebe/Paula Swinscoe (MG ZR 190) [B11]
68 Adrian Drury/Peter Mclachlan (Peugeot 106 S16) [A6]
69 Martin Newson/Julian Riley (MG ZR) [N3]
70 Leighton Smith/Mark Powell (Peugeot 205 Gti) [B11]
71 Gwilym Owen/Rhodri (Talbot Sunbeam) [B10]
72 William John/Iwan Griffiths (Vauxhall Nova) [B9]
73 Hywel Greves/Rob Leeman (Volkswagen Polo) [B9]
74 Geoff Glover/Keith Barker (VAUXHALL ASTRA mk3 (RWD)) [B11]
75 Chris Wheeler/Yan Griffiths (Fiesta MS1) [N2]
76 Christopher Daykin/Daniel Megannity (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
77 Adam Clews/Peter Williams (Ford Puma S1600) [A6]
78 Graham Butler/Jamie Foster (Ford Puma) [N2]
79 Stuart Spyer/Peter Williams (VAUXHALL CORSA) [B9]
80 Martin Jones/Tudor Jenkins (Vauxhall Corsa) [B9]
81 Steve Griggs/Marc Clatworthy (Morris Mini Clubman) [B9]
82 Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett (Peugeot 205 GTI) [B10]
83 Tim Daltry/Emma Morrison (Peugeot 205 GTi) [B11]
84 Daniel Taylor /Andy Russell (BMW Compact maxi) [B12]
85 Stuart Bliss/tba (Honda Civic) [B10]
86 Dyfed Pritchard/Aled Pennant (Vauxhall Nova) [B9]
87 Michael Pugsley/Dale Clatworthy (Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000) [B11]
88 Steve Marriott/Dave Mclachlan (Subaru Impreza) [B13]
89 Leon Morgan/Richard Suter (Vauxhall Corsa) [B10]
90 Dylan Thomas/Eilir Williams (Peugeot 106 GTI) [B10]
91 Richard Bliss/Jamie Vaughan (Honda Civic) [B10]
92 Jason Douglas/Corrie Douglas (Vauxhall Nova) [B10]
93 Alex Kirk-Willey/Sasha Heriot (Vauxhall Corsa) [B10]
94 Richard Williams /Arwel Jenkins (Ford Escort mexico) [B10]
95 Geraint Mathias/Dan Thomas (Ford Escort MK2) [B11]
96 Roland Jones/Kate Gamez (MG ZR 190) [B11]
97 Dave Waples/Sheila Harvey (MG ZR) [B9]
98 Andrew Turner/Dennis Turner (Peugeot 106) [B10]
99 Andrew Saunders/Phillip Saunders (Citroen AX) [B10]
100 Rhidian Daniels/Tomos Whittle (Vauxhall Nova) [B10]
101 Nick Jarvis/Alan Carfrae (Suzuki Swift) [N2]
102 Kevin Harbour/Dave Tortoishell (Peugeot 205 gti) [B10]
103 Max Hartley/Peter Grant (MG ZR105) [N1]
104 Wynne Owens/Jenny Evans (Ford Escort Mk2) [B12]
105 Stephen Brown/Paul Stringer (Nissan Micra) [B9]
106 Nathan Long/Tom Wood (Austin Mini) [B9]
107 Alison Lock/Russell Joseph (Citroen Saxo) [N2]
108 Mark Rowlands/Robert Holding (Ford Escort mk2) [B11]


Posted: March 1, 2012 12:04 PM

With REIS & Get Connected jointly taking on the mantle of headline sponsors, the 2012 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship gets underway on 11th March with the traditional season-opener, the Tour of Epynt. Following its temporary move to Brecon last year, the rally returns to its base at the Castle Hotel in Llandovery once again as the town prepares to welcome an entry that, in both quantity and quality, is the best it has seen for years!

Each individual competitor who registers for the Asphalt Championship will not only avail themselves of the television coverage that proved to be so popular during its inaugural year in 2011, but will also benefit from a ‘goody bag’ put together by the sponsors which contains an REIS cap, an ‘Asphalt Championship’ mug and a Get Connected pay-as-you-go mobile phone with £70 worth of credit.

The first car away from the start on the Epynt Ranges at 8.55am on Sunday morning will be the Subaru Impreza WRC of last year’s winner, Steve Simpson. The Manchester driver’s season took a dive after that early promise and a string of retirements ensued. However, a second place for him and co-driver Patrick Walsh on the final round of the 2011 Championship, the Cheviot Keith Knox Stages, give grounds for cautious optimism for the new campaign.

Behind them is the defending MSA Asphalt Champion Damian Cole who has Dave Engwell sitting beside him in his Ford Focus WRC on this occasion. Having won it in 2010 & 2011, Cole is setting out on what he hopes will be a third consecutive title fight and, if successful, he will be only the second person to do this in the series’ 30-year history, the first being Pete Doughty between 1994 & 1996. Cole’s co-driver for Epynt is Dave Engwell who navigated John Indri to 3rd overall in last year’s Championship while Indri, partnered by Janice Moore, is at No.6 in his Darrian T90 GTR.

Two more former Tour of Epynt winners follow Cole – Melvyn Evans (2009) has last year’s winning co-driver Aled Davies installed in his Impreza WRC while Paul Morris is with Peter Lloyd (2010) in his particular example.

Embarking on his first full season of asphalt events is Paul Bird (Ford Focus WRC) whose Manx National Rally wins in 2009 & 2010 more than suffice as suitable credentials to rate him as a serious contender for the title. However, with Kirsty Riddick, whose motorsport CV includes winning both MSA English & Scottish Rally Championship Co-driver titles in the same year (2008), Paul will need to play himself in on events such as Epynt as he gains experience of what, to him, is new terrain.

Following the success of the Millington Escort Challenge in 2011, Roy Millington has extended his involvement this year to include a similar concept for Darrians. John Indri is the highest-placed such driver and is immediately followed by the similar cars of Washington James/Llinos Jones-Davies and Mark Straker/Keith Hounslow.

Runaway winners of the Escort Challenge last year, Simon Mauger/Brian Cammack, are missing from the opening event of the series this time but have indicated that they will be joining us for the second round on the Isle of Man. So, who will lead the early charge? Pete Rayner and Paul Swift are back in their respective Mark IIs and will be looking to take command of the situation, while Steve Cressey joins them in his 2.3 litre-engined example.

Also new for this year is the AB Motorsport Peugeot 205 Challenge. Andy Baker’s preparation company is putting up end-of-season vouchers for drivers of such cars, with the likes of 2011 Front-Wheel Drive category winners Craig Jose/Nigel Hewett, Tim Daltry/Emma Morrison and Kev Harbour/Dave Tortoishell looking to capitalise on the initiative.

Following seven special stages, totalling 80 miles, on the Epynt Military Ranges, the first car is due back at the Castle Hotel finish at 4.30pm on the Sunday afternoon.

Provisional Top 10

Posted: March 1, 2012 12:02 PM

    1. Steve Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
    2. Damian Cole/Dave Engwell (Ford Focus WRC)
    3. Melvyn Evans/Aled Davies (Subaru Impreza WRC)
    4. Peter Lloyd/Paul Morris (Subaru Impreza WRC)
    5. Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick (Ford Focus WRC)
    6. John Indri/Janice Moore (Darrian T90 GTR)
    7. Washington James/Llinos Jones-Davies (Darrian T90)
    8. Mark Straker/Keith Hounslow (Darrian T90 GTR)
    9. Bob Fowden/Jason Sugden (Subaru Impreza WRX)
    10. John Stone/Rob Fagg (Skoda Fabia WRC)

Entries Received

Posted: February 7, 2012 11:37 AM

Available at:

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 31, 2012 4:17 PM

Port Talbot Motor Club Ltd welcomes you to the opening round of the 2012 REIS-Get Connected MSA Asphalt Championship.

This year’s rally will also form part of the 2012 Steve Harkness Competition Tyres Welsh National Tarmacadam Championship, The 2012 King of Epynt supported by Collins Developments.

For 2012 the event is moving its base back to the Castle Hotel in Llandovery. The route will consist of approximately 80 special stage miles over 7 stages, with one central Service Area. The event will Start on the Epynt Ranges & Finish at the Castle Hotel Llandovery, where the awards ceremony will take place.

Port Talbot Motor Club Ltd have kept the same entry fee for a number of years, but with continual increases we face from all suppliers, it is with regret we have had to increase the entry fee by 6% to £345.

We look forward to welcoming both old and new competitors to the event and we would like to wish everybody a successful and enjoyable day’s rallying.

Regulations available at:

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