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Gilbey Two Rallies Two Weekends & Two Wins - Rali Gogledd Cymru 2018

Posted 13 February 2018

Rhyl & District Motor Club hosted it’s annual National B Road Rally last weekend based on Maps 116 and 117. The event started from the St.Asaph Leisure Centre and headed out from there with 95 miles of route covering Denbighshire and Flintshire. The competitors were given two hours before competition commenced to plot their references defining the demanding route ahead. Different from previous years of the Rali Gogledd Cymru, the route would consist of 100% metalled roads with the exception of three meter controls. This new format seemed to attract a small 41 car entry but it was enough for the event to run without any financial loss. Although it was a small field of entries, it had quality.

The Organisers were nervous of what the weather was going to do. Just 48 hours before the event, 60% of the route was mainly covered in snow and ice, which made driving conditions in a 4x4 vehicle somewhat interesting. Luckily the forecast was right for the weekend and were fortunate enough to see warmer but windy conditions for the night. The competitors didn’t need the wintry conditions to make it any more difficult than what it was with the roads being exceptionally muddy and plenty of standing water to add into the mix.

The very first section started under the A55 at Rhuallt with a short two mile blast to the next time control in the hope that the roads would catch competitors out and drop some time from the off. Surprisingly only one car was clean and this was the pairing of Car No.5 Gavin Wyn Edwards & Michael Gilbey in the Tsalta Motorsport prepared MkII Escort. Michael fresh from a victory the weekend before with Kevin Davies in an Escort MkII was clearly wanting to continue his winning ways with Gavin at the wheel and his pace from the start showed that the pairing meant business. Some crews would pick up fails as early as PC1C for failing the correct way on the first NAM.

Section three was then the next section for some crews to receive fails for wrong approach to PC3C. Car No.3 of Gary Roberts / Darren Ikin was one crew to fall foul at this point and put the pair out of contention for a win.

There were a total of five sections completed in the first half covering a total of 40 miles before petrol in Shell New Brighton, where the crews would take a well earned 50 minute break before the second half of the rally.










Second half of the event sent the crews south of the map from Mold over the west side of 117 and later coming back onto 116 for the final jaunt of the later part of the route.

Weather conditions started to change before the cars left MC2out as rain and sleet was now in the mix with winds gusting up to 45mph, muddy roads and standing water. Rali Gogledd Cymru was becoming a challenge for all crews having to take extra caution driving and the navigator being spot on with the map reading. It was also a greater challenge for all the brave marshals standing out in the poor conditions.

Cars made their way from Llanarmon-yn-Ial towards Ruthin over what’s commonly known in the road rally scene as ‘The Shelf’. Probably the highest point on the whole route. Luckily no snow but plenty of gusting winds and driving rain. A nice 12 mile section started the next section at the foot of the Clwydian Range and taking the competitors over Moel Arthur back onto the Mold to Denbigh road for the last three.

The very last section was a 3.5 mile run back into Tremeirchion for breakfast at The Salusbury Arms, with first car expected back soon after 04:30hrs. The Clerk of the Course has put this last one down as a certainty to catch all crews out and for them to lose time. And as Paul Jones (Club Chairman & Event Clerk of the Course) suspected, he was right, but only just.

Local pairing Ian Lloyd / Cyril Jones in the immaculate MkII Escort dropped only 5 seconds with rally leaders being next and losing 23 seconds and that being all that they dropped all night. What an incredible performance of driver and navigator to have an almost faultless night in the conditions that you were presented.

Sadly Max Freeman navigating for Guto Ifan couldn’t repeat his 2015 success and managed a very respectable second overall. Local pairing Martin Lloyd / Rob Lloyd failed to repeat their 2014 success and also had to settle for sixth overall.

At MC3 (Salusbury Arms) the results were posted as provisional at 05:25hrs and made final at 05:55hrs.





 


 

 




Top ten interim results at MC2in (Petrol):-

Mins/Secs

1st

5 - Gavin Wyn Edwards / Michael Gilbey

Escort MkII

00:00

2nd

1 - Guto Ifan / Max Freeman

Escort MkI

00:50

3rd

6 - Mal Acott / Roger Evans

Escort MkII

00:55

4th

2 - Martin Lloyd / Rob Lloyd

BMW Compact

00:56

5th

7 - Simon Summers / Alan James

Escort MkII

00:58

6th

4 - Ian Lloyd / Cyril Jones

Escort MkII

01:41

7th

9 - Chris Farrell / Rob Bryn Jones

BMW Compact

02:07

8th

14 - Stuart Kelso / Ashley Owen

VW Golf GTi

02:14

9th

19 - Rhys Morris / Catrin Jones

Vauxhall Nova

02:45

10th

15 - John Jones / Tom Jones

Vauxhall Nova

02:47

The top ten finishers at MC3 (Salusbury Arms):-

Mins/Secs

1st

5 - Gavin Wyn Edwards / Michael Gilbey

Escort MkII

00:23

2nd

1 - Guto Ifan / Max Freeman

Escort MkI

01:25

3rd

7 - Simon Summers / Alan James

Escort MkII

01:47

4th

4 - Ian Lloyd / Cyril Jones

Escort MkII

01:49

5th

6 - Mal Acott / Roger Evans

Escort MkII

01:49

6th

2 - Martin Lloyd / Rob Lloyd

BMW Compact

01:50

7th

9 - Chris Farrell / Rob Bryn Jones

BMW Compact

03:26

8th

14 - Stuart Kelso / Ashley Owen

VW Golf GTi

04:58

9th

22 - Mike Webber / Nick Meredith

BMW Compact

05:18

10th

20 - Steven Owen / Al Gwiliam

Subaru Impreza

05:34

Full results can be downloaded at http://rhyldmc.co.uk/2018-Gogledd-FINAL_RESULTS.pdf


Rali Gogledd Cymru 2018 - Clerk of the Course (Paul Jones) would like to thank


Congratulations / Llongyfarchiadau to Gavin Wyn Edwards / Michael Gilbey on the win. You clearly were the best crew on the night and worthy of the win. Well done to all award winners and finishers of this year’s event. Commiserations to those who were not so successful in finishing, maybe next time.

I hope to see you all next year for Rali Gogledd Cymru 2019.