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Mewla National (Epynt) - 30 Aug 09

Posted: September 1, 2009 9:50 PM - 8323 Hits

Round 6 - 2009 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2009 BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series

  • Peter Llyod/Graham Handley win wet Mewla

Photo: cmwi.net

Video Clips

Posted: September 1, 2009 9:50 PM


Posted: September 1, 2009 9:09 PM

The Eventsigns Mewla Rally, on August Bank Holiday Sunday, brought contenders for both the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship & BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series together for the first time since the beginning of the season and the combined might of the two series was responsible for a quarter of the capacity entry of 120 cars. Whilst MELVYN EVANS was confirmed as 2009 MSA Champion in Sligo two months ago, all the other major titles are still to be decided and such was the nature of the Mewla that they still are! A wet and windy day in the Brecon Beacons caused the rally organisers, Epynt Motor Club, enough operational dramas that would have seen a less-experienced team throw the towel in. However, overcoming some unavoidable delays, the event ran to its conclusion – which is more than can be said for a third of the crews who passed under the ‘Start’ arch!

While Melvyn Evans’ Asphalt Championship season has already reached a successful conclusion, his co-driver SEAN MULLALLY still needs another good points score to ensure that he joins him on the list of this year’s winners. Although he didn’t have things all his own way, by the time six of the nine stages had been completed, Evans was leading the rally in his Subaru Impreza WRC. However, by the end of the next, the car’s recently rebuilt engine had begun to tighten and the crew withdrew before any further damage was inflicted.

Already on the list of retirements, though, were the only crew who could deny Mullally Championship victory. DAVID MANN/ALUN COOK were making their debut in a recently-acquired ex Petter Solberg WRC-winning Impreza, but contact with a large rock on virtually the first corner of the rally damaged the car’s rear suspension sufficiently to force instant retirement. So, the ‘Battle of the Co-Drivers’ now goes to the final round, the Cheviot National Rally, on the Otterburn Ranges at the end of October.

Keeping clear of all the dramas around them, although without the benefit of power-steering on occasions, 2008 Asphalt Champions DAVID KYNASTON/ANDY RUSSELL came through to take their first maximum score of the season with 4th place in their Audi A3 Quattro.

Meanwhile, by the halfway stage of the rally, defending BTRDA Asphalt Series champion CHRIS JONES, with ASHLEY TRIMBLE reading the notes on this occasion, had put his Ford Focus STI into an impressive 4th overall, only to have a rear driveshaft fail on Stage 7. This was the second consecutive retirement for the car and, with two rounds still to go, it throws the Series wide open! Nine points separate the top five drivers, with PAUL PRICE (Peugeot 106) still leading the table after another good run at the weekend.

2007 BTRDA Series champions ADRIAN SPENCER/MARK HEWITT took a Top 10 finish – and top BTRDA points – in their Subaru Impreza, narrowly edging out CHRIS MARSHALL/SIMON HUNTER whose Mitsubishi Lancer EVO5 was freshly rebuilt after a coming-together with an unforgiving tree on the Jim Clark Rally.

Spencer moves up to 2nd place, behind Price, with MARK WELCH/ANDY WYNN bringing their Ford Escort Cosworth back to the finish at the Royal Welsh Showground, in Builth Wells, in 12th place overall. This result puts Welch into 3rd and Wynn 2nd in their respective categories, with GARY LE COADOU/PAUL HOLLINGHAM (Toyota Celica GT4), who were 16th on Epynt, breathing down their necks!

In the face of some serious four-wheel drive turbo-charged opposition, ROGER DONNAN/KIM BAKER have set about putting in a string of accomplished drives in their Ford Puma S1600 to the point that, following a class win on the Mewla, Donnan lies in 2nd place overall in the MSA Championship Drivers’ table and Baker, who missed the trip to Sligo through injury, is 4th Co-driver. There is still a good deal of jockeying for position to be undertaken before the curtain comes down on the 2009 season!

After what can only be described as a dire start to the season, caused in the main by a series of transmission problems, ROLAND JONES/ KATE GAMEZ returned to the MSA Championship on the Mewla in their MG ZR to take a convincing class win in their 1400cc car. For his efforts, Roland was awarded the ‘John Horton Motorsport Management Star Performance’ salver at the Prize-Giving that evening.

Other MSA Championship & BTRDA Series contenders to feature in the results of the Eventsigns Mewla Rally were as follows :

21st/5th in class PETE HUGHES/CHRIS EVANS Ford Escort MkII
26th/8th in class PAUL BOXALL/TERESA BUTLER Peugeot 205
31st/9th in class GRAHAM WATKINS/MARK POWELL Ford Escort
32nd/2nd in class RICHARD CLEWS/BARRY JAMES Ford Fiesta
33rd/2nd in class ANDREW TURNER/DENNIS TURNER Peugeot 106
41st/5th in class STUART BLISS/RICHARD MARSH Honda Civic
47th/6th in class PAUL CULVERWELL/Kevin Harbour Peugeot 205 RWD
50th/15th in class GEOFF GLOVER/CHARLIE TURNER Vauxhall Astra RWD
54th/4th in class TIM DALTRY/PAUL OHREN-BIRD Peugeot 205 GTI
61st/12th in class ANDREW HICKS/RICHARD BLISS Peugeot 106 GTI
76th/4th in class ALISON LOCK/Mike Bartlett Mini
78th/5th in class CHRIS DAYKIN/STEPHEN LLOYD Vauxhall Nova

whilst those who, for various reasons, were not to see the finish line were :

GRAHAM MUTER/Mike Quinn Ford Escort ?
Andrew Egger/VAL THOMPSON Vauxhall Nova Accident
MEIRION EVANS/Kevin Lewis Ford Escort MkII ?

The Richard Egger Insurance BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series continues with the Patriot Stages, at Caerwent, on Sunday 27th September, before joining the MSA Championship for the finale on Otterburn at the end of October.


Posted: September 1, 2009 7:06 PM

Full Results

Posted: September 1, 2009 7:05 PM

Entry List

Posted: August 27, 2009 12:45 PM


Posted: August 19, 2009 9:53 AM

Once again, contenders for both the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship & Richard Egger Insurance BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series meet in Builth Wells for the formalities prior to the Eventsigns Mewla Rally and, as the season moves towards its conclusion, one title has already been confirmed and the other is still far from resolved!

Following his fifth consecutive maximum points score of the season in his Subaru Impreza WRC, Melvyn Evans confirmed his position as the 2009 Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Champion on the Sligo Stages Rally in early July. With each contenders five best scores from the seven qualifying rounds to count, Melvyn takes the Championship with a ‘full-house’ – a feat unrivalled for many years! However, for his regular co-driver, Sean Mullally, life is not that simple. Due to a clashing event in Ireland, Sean was absent from the opening round of the series, the Tour of Epynt back in February, and, while he currently tops the co-drivers’ table, it is possible for the Limerick man to be overhauled before the end of the season. So, the pair start behind the Hyundai Accent WRC of last year’s winner, Damian Cole, as they attempt to become the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship winning ‘crew’!…

2008 MSA Asphalt Champions David Kynaston/Andy Russell have had a disappointing season so far. Retirements on both the Manx National & Jim Clark virtually put paid to their aspirations of back-to-back titles, but their Audi A3 Quattro usually goes well on Epynt. They are past Mewla winners and cannot be discounted for further success, especially given that they have no Championship constraints to hold them back.

Former MSA Gravel Rally Champions David Mann/Alun Cook, in another Impreza WRC, currently occupy the runners-up spots in their respective categories and now need another good result on the Mewla to maintain the pressure as, indeed, it is Cook who could end the year as Champion Co-driver. This would be his second such title as, partnering Richard Moore, he won the EARS/Motoring News Championship in 1995!…

The Mewla also sees the return of the 2007 Asphalt Champions Steve Simpson/ Mark Booth in their Hyundai Accent WRC. Business commitments have kept them away from the stages for much of the season but, barring a lack of ‘match practice’, their speed is proven and should be a force to be reckoned with.

John Stone is the only representative of the Legend Fires team and he is partnered on this occasion in his always immaculate MG Metro 6R4 by the Epynt Challenge Co-ordinator Chris Davies. Making a rare appearance on a Championship event this year, Simon Mauger returns to the Epynt Ranges in his extremely rapid Ford Escort MkII. He retired from 8th overall on the Mewla last year and knows he can do better than that!..

The Mewla marks the start of the second half of the Richard Egger BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series and, as he arrives in Mid-Wales, Paul Price is ‘King of the Castle’ in his Peugeot 106 – just! A 100% finishing record so far sees him a mere one point ahead of defending champion Chris Jones in his Ford Focus STI who starts at No.10 with Ashley Trimble reading the notes for him.

While Jones failed to finish the last round, the Rally of the Midlands, Mark Welch/Andy Wynn won the event outright in their Ford Escort Cosworth. They now find themselves just ahead of Gary Le Coadou/Paul Hollingham whose Toyota Celica GT4 also disgraced itself in the Midlands when its carbon-fibre propshaft disintegrated on a stage-start line. All three crews need good results to keep their Series aspirations alive.

Chris Marshall/Simon Hunter are back in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO5 after an off into a tree on the Jim Clark National Rally left the car in a rather sorry state. The pair’s combined knowledge of the stages on Epynt should stand them in good stead, as is the case with 2007 BTRDA Series winners Adrian Spencer/Mark Hewitt (Subaru Impreza).

Pete Hughes/Chris Evans (Ford Escort MkII) just require a finish to claim both Class B11 and the ‘Rear-Wheel Drive’ category in this year’s MSA Asphalt Championship, but Geoff Glover/Charlie Turner (Vauxhall Astra RWD) will have other ideas! Another crew for whom a finish would be nice are Richard Clews/ Barry James. Clews took his Group N ex Ford Fiesta Challenge car all the way to Sligo – which, in itself, was a catalogue of disasters! – only for something to punch a hole in the gearbox casing during the first loop of stages.

Andrew & Dennis Turner’s BTRDA Series has not been a happy one to date – retirement from the Tour of Epynt in their Peugeot 106 followed by the loss of Millbrook has knocked their plans for six but, undaunted, they are back for more on the Mewla.

Paul Boxall/Teresa Butler are 5th= in the BTRDA Series table and have manoeuvred their Peugeot 205 into a narrow class lead over the Escort of Graham Watkins/Mark Powell. There will be no quarter asked or given as each tries to establish supremacy at this important stage of the season.

Scotsman Roger Donnan has burst on to the scene this year in his Ford Puma S1600 and, by dint of a series of excellent drives, finds himself in 3rd place overall in the points table. He has long since put both the up to 1600cc class and the Front-Wheel Drive category to bed and is now concentrating on his standing in the Top Ten. Depending, obviously, on the fortunes of others, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a two-wheel drive 1600cc car could take the runner-up spot in the series overall – and it’s been a good while since that happened!

Graham Muter/Steve Prince performed wonders in the 2008 BTRDA Series in their 1300cc Ford Escort and have moved up to the MSA Championship this year. No such fireworks yet, but the Epynt Ranges could just be the place to start!..

Two BTRDA Series crews from Weston-Super-Mare, Stuart Bliss/Richard Marsh (Honda Civic) and Andrew Hicks/Richard Bliss (Peugeot 106), will be joined by the Typhoon Rally Team Vauxhall Nova of Chris Daykin/Stephen Lloyd and the Peugeot 205 of Tim Daltry/Paul Ohren-Bird. Having opened their account in the points on the Rally of the Midlands, Series sponsors Richard & Pat Egger return with their Vauxhall Nova as they attempt to make up some lost ground.

In the good-natured MSA Championship battle of the MG ZRs, Martin Newson/ Peter Morris and Roland Jones/Kate Gamez are back to renew their rivalry although such is the state of play prior to the start of the Mewla that Newson/ Morris cannot now be headed for the class.

Alison Lock drives a lone Austin Mini in this year’s event, but all the BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series contenders will be spurred on in the knowledge that, as the Mewla marks the start of the second half of the season, not only is the overall title still up for grabs, but none of the classes is yet secure either!…

The entry list for the Eventsigns Mewla Rally numbers 120 and, from the foregoing, it is not surprising to learn that, between them, the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Championship & BTRDA Asphalt Series are responsible for more than a quarter of this impressive number. The first car leaves the start on the Epynt Ranges at 8.00am on Sunday 30th August and, nine stages and ninety miles later, the survivors will begin arriving back at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, at 5.00pm that afternoon.

Provisional Top Ten:

Posted: August 19, 2009 9:51 AM

1. Damian Cole / Martin Henry / Hyundai Accent WRC
2. Melvyn Evans / Sean Mullally / Subaru WRC WRC
3. Peter Lloyd / Graham Handley / Subaru WRC WRC
4. David Kynaston / Andy Russell / Audi A3 Quattro
5. David Mann / Alun Cook / Subaru Impreza WRC
6. Steve Simpson / Mark Booth / Hyundai Accent WRC
7. John Stone / Chris Davies / MG Metro 6R4
8. Simon Mauger / Tracy Giddings / Ford Escort Mk II 2.3
9. David Turnbull / Aled Davies / Subaru Impreza WRC
10. Chris Jones / Ashley Trimble / Ford Focus STI

Full Entry to be released Monday 24th August.

Regulations / Details

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

The event will offer 90 tarmac stage miles with two of the stages twenty-one miles long to test even the best!
The organisers, mindful of current financial situations and in an attempt to help and support competitors have decided to set this year’s entry fee at the same level as 2008 without reducing stage mileage. So for the third consecutive year, the entry fee will be held at £299.

Regulations are now available

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