The partnership of Reigning Champion Will Mains and inaugural Champion Co-Driver Claire Williams got off to a blistering start with the crew taking a gigantic seven and a half minute Class win over fellow contenders Neal James and Kevin Jones.
The result in the WCS / Emyr Jones sponsored Nova gets full points on the board toward Will’s hat-trick attempt. It’s a very busy time for Claire who will have competed in three rallies in three countries by St. Patricks Weekend. She nominated the Sandblast Rally in the USA where she competed with the experienced Chris Greenhouse. Chris invited her over after hearing of her rally exploits from social media.
The pair hit bad luck unfortunately after power steering failure caused them to hit a tree. The car was repairable but the allowed service time was not enough. However, the five consolation points she earned for a non-finish put her at the top of the leaderboard following her Epynt success.
Reigning FMP Tarmac Cup holder Richard Merriman and 2018 podium finisher Kath Curzon also took victory in their class with 12th overall in the Darrian T90. Eleven seconds quicker and finishing tenth were the Mitsubishi Mirage crew of Ollie Hopkins and Ammanford Motor Club’s Ian Taylor. Ian has nominated the forthcoming West Cork Rally to score points along with fellow AMC members Rhidian Daniels and Tomos Whittle who were another crew to win their class. This makes five contenders so far who have nominated the rally to score points including Llandysul MC member Sion Jones who had a good run with Llyr Jones in their two litre Escort to clinch third in class at the weekend.
Geno Cook and 17 year old Dylan Fowler Bishop were amongst the competitors signing up for the Rally Challenge bringing the total to 90 competitors registered. Unfortunately it was an early bath for them both as on the first stage they took the approach to Mc Whirter Bridge too quickly and left the road.
Mike Pugsley and Maesteg DMC’s Marc Clatworthy on their way to 2nd in class.
Photos courtesy of Nigel Pratt of Black Mountain Media