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34 North Wales Ral­ly­ing leg­end

He’s al­ways ral­lied Es­corts “I did a few sin­gle venues to learn and then moved into the forests, al­ways with Ford Es­corts. I sold my first Es­cort to buy my house and then built the his­toric car in 2007. I pre­fer his­torics be­cause it is a level play­ing field; same gear­boxes, tyres, sus­pen­sion. My car runs a Hol­bay en­gine, which is a slightly less revvy en­gine than a BDG.”

He had a fa­mous roll “I rolled on the Bull­dog in 2012 in Garthein­iog. It was very out of con­trol by the time I came into the view of the TV cam­eras. But I drove it 52 miles home after­wards with no glass and I couldn’t open the doors.”

Tyres are a big fac­tor “I’ve not done many events lately due to lack of time. Some of the forests are get­ting so rough and in 2013 on the Sev­ern Val­ley I did six stages and got through 14 tyres. It was a hot day and it killed the tyres. I’m a plumb­ing and heat­ing en­gi­neer and I’ve got to earn the money be­fore I spend it. I can do 150 stage miles on the Isle of Man and use one set of tyres.”

There is a new car com­ing “I did the Manx in 2015 and the en­gine dropped a valve. We had the en­gine re­built but since then I’ve got an­other car to do an­other Group 4 his­toric bodyshell to FIA spec­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause I’ve al­ways wanted to run a BDG en­gine. That’s the plan and the shell is in primer. I don’t know when it will be fin­ished as there’s no rush. I’ll sell the cur­rent car even­tu­ally if I get the right money but if not I might keep it for the forests. I pre­fer the forests but at the mo­ment it is too rough.”

He loves the Isle of Man “The Isle of Man is one of the best ral­lies I’ve ever done and I’ll keep go­ing back. If I only did one rally a year, that would be it. I’ve done it four times now. David Stokes once told me if I only ever did one rally, do the Isle of Man and he was right. We were fifth his­toric crew this year. I love my ral­ly­ing and my dad Dei and my mates all come and help. Dad does a lot of the prepa­ra­tion for me and they all help out in re­turn for some beer.”

Row­lands is an Es­cort fan

OCTOBER 5 2016

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