Strong line up on course for the Cam­brian

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

THIS week­end’s Visit Conwy Cam­brian Rally looks like be­ing one of the most closely con­tested in re­cent years with a high class en­try fea­tur­ing some of the cream of Bri­tish ral­ly­ing. The event is a round of the both the Bri­tish Tri­als and Rally Driv­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s na­tional cham­pi­onship, and the Welsh For­est Rally Cham­pi­onship.

First car away from the start on Llan­dudno prom­e­nade on Satur­day morn­ing will be the Ford Fi­esta World Rally car of 2017 Bri­tish Tri­als and Rally Driv­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Gold Star Cham­pi­onship win­ner, and English Rally Cham­pi­onship ti­tle holder, Stephen Petch and co-driver Michael Wilkin­son.

They head a strong line up which fea­tures five Fi­esta R5s in the top six seeds, plus a Ford Fo­cus World Rally Car, in­di­cat­ing that spec­ta­tors can an­tic­i­pate a tight bat­tle for hon­ours.

Fol­low­ing Petch away from the start line, will be 2012 and 2016, Cam­brian win­ner Luke Fran­cis from Rhud­d­lan and co-driver John H Roberts from Llysfaen, who will be mak­ing their first com­pet­i­tive out­ing in a Ford Fi­esta World Rally Car.

Fran­cis has pre­vi­ously suc­cess­fully driven a Mit­subishi Evo 9 in both the BTRDA, and Welsh For­est Cham­pi­onships, and says he is look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge of re­peat­ing that suc­cess in the Fi­esta.

In car 4, Matt Ed­wards from Col­wyn Bay, is a ris­ing star of Bri­tish Ral­ly­ing. In 2017 Matt, and nav­i­ga­tor Dar­ren Gar­rod, com­peted in the Swift Rally Team, Ford Fi­esta in the Pre­stone MSA Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship for the first time, and gained an amaz­ing third place over­all.

This sea­son their tal­ent has been recog­nised by the mighty M-Sport Rally team, and Matt will be driv­ing an M-Sport works Fi­esta in the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship, while con­test­ing the BTRDA Cham­pi­onship, of which the Cam­brian is the first round, in the Swift Rally Team Fi­esta.

And sure to put in a chal­lenge for the over­all win will be 2008 Cam­brian win­ner, Ruthin-based Hugh Hunter who is con­test­ing the BTRDA Cham­pi­onship se­ries this year in a Ford Fi­esta World Rally Car with ex­pe­ri­enced co-driver Rob Fagg on the notes.

Head­ing the front wheel drive en­try is up and com­ing Ul­ster driver, 18-year old William Creighton who took the run­nerup spot in the 2017 Pre­stone Mo­tor­sport News Ju­nior Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship.

And sure to en­ter­tain the crowds with a foot to the floor per­for­mance, while hop­ing for hon­ours in the two-wheel drive cat­e­gory, are Ieuan Row­lands from Ffes­tin­iog and Emyr Hall from Cer­ri­gy­druid­ion who, in a change from their usual Ford Es­cort, will be in a Hill­man Avenger.

The rally starts on Llan­dudno prom­e­nade at 8.01am on Satur­day and takes in com­pet­i­tive timed stages in the Conwy Val­ley, Pen­machno, and at Llyn Al­wen near Cer­ri­gy­dru­dion, be­fore fin­ish­ing at Llan­dudno.

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