Strong line up on course for the Cambrian
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.