Francis and Howells take North Wales wins
Northwales Rally Services Rally Northwales
Organiser: Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Car Club When: April 2 Dolgellau Championships: Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship; Land Rover Defender Challenge: ASWMC Loose Surface Championship; ANWCC Forest Stage Championship Stages: 5 (National B); 6 (National A) Starters: 46 (National B); 16 (National A)
Where: After setting fastest time on every stage, Luke Francis/john Roberts took a dominant win on the National A section of Rally North Wales in their Mitsubishi Lancer E9. Behind, Ieuan Rowlands/ Emyr Hall held on to the runner- up spot in their Ford Escort Mk2 despite a strong challenge from Andy Davies/max Freeman in a Subaru Impreza.
Francis/roberts made a great start, setting quickest times on the first two stages in Dyfi before making it a hat-trick of fastest times in Gartheiniog, despite running without anti-lag.
On the first stage, Stephen Simpson/patrick Walsh equalled Francis in their Ford Fiesta S2000, only to spin on stage two, before retiring with a broken driveshaft. Also making an early exit were Dylan Davies, whose Subaru suffered an engine fire, and Wug Utting with damaged suspension on his Impreza.
As a result of Simpson’s woes, Rowlands/ Hall moved into second place in their Escort Mk2 in spite of a misted screen and a stage three spin. Just nine seconds behind was Andy Davies, who was struggling with a car which kept locking up under braking.
There were no dramas for Francis/roberts who rounded off with fastest times on the final two stages. Behind them, Rowlands/ Hall pushed hard to maintain second position, ahead of Davies/ Freeman, who were happier with their Impreza’s handling after locking the differential.
With their Escort’s brakes restored, Boyd Kershaw/mark Fisher moved up the field to finish a class-winning fourth overall as road penalties dropped John Rowlands/glenn Latham to ninth and Andrew Jones/dale Furniss survived a spin to finish fifth and win their class in a Ford Escort.
David Howells/robin Hernaman topped the modern runners in the National B rally headed by the historics. They had to overcome a misted up screen and catching cars in their Impreza. They finished 30 seconds ahead of Brendan Cumiskey/gerry Mcveigh who were getting used to their new Ford Fiesta R5 on its first forestry outing. Third went to Brian Bell/jamie Edwards in their Ford Focus WRC.