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Severn Valley Stages - (Sat) 15 Jun 13

Posted: June 27, 2017 5:50 AM - 763 Hits

Irish Eyes Smile in Welsh Rally Championship

Posted: June 27, 2017 5:50 AM

Ireland’s Connor McCloskey took victory on Saturday’s (15th June) Severn Valley Stages to close the gap to championship leader Luke Francis from Rhuddlan to nine points in the battle for the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.

Despite anticipating dry dusty conditions, competitors were greeted with torrential rain as they left the Builth Wells start on Saturday morning and all the drivers reported treacherously slippery conditions on the forest tracks over which the event was fought out.

At the end of the first of six stages it was Winsford’s Alex Allingham and co-driver Chris Williams who held the early lead in their Subaru Impreza ahead of the Mitsubishi Evo of Newcastle Emlyn based duo Sebastian Ling and Aled Rees in their Mitsubishi Evo. In third place was Sara Williams but the Brecon driver, along with co-driver Dai Roberts from Carmarthen, would fall foul of the difficult conditions when their Impreza slid off the road on the very next stage.

That second stage also saw Allingham and his co-driver suffer communication problems when their intercom failed, dropping them to second place behind Ling, McCloskey now running third. With Luke Francis in fourth place, the top five was completed by Osian Pryce, the Machynlleth driver and co-driver Dale Furniss from Llanfyllin getting some gravel mileage under their belts in their Citroen DS3 in readiness for the next round of the British Rally Championship, the Scottish Rally. Their rally was destined to entire prematurely, however, due to mechanical problems.

Positions were unchanged when competitors returned to Builth Wells for a service halt after the following stage but, despite complaining of a problem with his handbrake that had also plagued him on the previous event, stage 4 saw McCloskey claim his first fastest time of the day and move ahead of Allingham.

In fact, the Irishman would take fastest time on the two remaining stages as well to claim the outright win ahead of Ling. Allingham reported that he pushed hard on stage 4 before easing off to pick up third place overall as well as Group N honours for near showroom specification cars. With fourth place and top driver under 25 in the bag, Francis described the rally as “one of the toughest rallies I have done”, while Worcester duo Paul Davy and Roger Allan beat Wug and Max Utting to fifth place.

The Championship award for top two wheel drive car went to the Ford Escort of Haverfordwest’s Ben Llewellin, son of double British Rally Champion David Llewellin, and co-driver Chris Davies from Port Talbot.

Event Website

Posted: February 24, 2017 6:46 AM

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