FOWDEN WINS FOR TARMAC TITLE Robinson takes plucky Pembrey win
Organiser: Carmarthen Motor Club When: October 23 Where: Pembrey Circuit, Carmarthenshire Championship: Welsh National Tarmacadam Championship; Junior 1000 Championship; Formula 1000 Stage Rally Challenge; Gwynnespeed Rally Challenge Stages: 5 Starters: 70
Following a faultless drive where he was fastest on four of the five stages, Bob Fowden took victory on the Peter Lloyd Rallying Stages in his Subaru WRC, retaining his Welsh Championship crown in the process and giving his co-driver Paul Wakely his first Welsh title.
In dry conditions, Fowden was quickest on SS1, seven seconds faster than Philip Hopkins/david Jenkins in their Mitsubishi Lancer E6. Father and son pairing Rob and James Tout were third fastest in their E10.
It was a short rally for Phil Turner/ Simon Anthony, who retired their Lancer E9 with transmission issues, as Nigel Gibbard/ Dorian Jones pulled out with a misfire in their Darrian GTR.
The longer stage two included the Beach Road, and Fowden/wakely blew away the opposition, setting a time 16 seconds quicker than anybody else. Tout was second quickest with Oliver Hopkins/ian Taylor following in their Lancer E9. Things weren’t so good for Hopkins’ brother Philip, who retired from second place after going off into a ditch, breaking a driveshaft on his Mitsubishi.
SS3 was another Fowden benefit, as the Subaru driver took another 14s out of his rivals, despite putting the Subaru on two wheels after clipping a tyre. Ian Kenvin/phil Williams set the second fastest time in their Ford Escort Mk2. Third quickest time enabled Oliver Hopkins to move up to second, as Tout made a rare mistake, his Mitsubishi going off into a bank on the circuit.
After losing time behind a slower car on stage two, Thomas Cooper/paul Williams made amends on stage four, where they were fastest by a second from Fowden in their Mitsubishi Lancer E8. Kenvin/williams were third quickest, one second ahead of Wynne Watkins/ashley Trimble whose Subaru Impreza was in-turn one second ahead of their Group N championship rivals Hopkins/taylor.
Fowden reminded everybody who was boss, by setting another fastest time on the final stage as he and Wakely completed a dominant performance. Behind the winner, it was all change however. Kenvin flew over the final test, moving up to second position as a result, overtaking Cooper/williams, who were third fastest and secured the final podium spot as a result. The biggest losers were Hopkins/ Taylor, who dropped from second to fourth, though importantly managed to keep ahead of rivals Watkins/trimble, who finished fifth.
On the debut outing of his recently acquired Darrian T90, Richard Merriman quickly got to grips with his new car after a long lay-off. He and Kath Curzon had a day-long battle for class honours with Carl O’grady/tom Wood in their Nissan Sunny F2, with just one second separating the pair before the final test. Ultimately, it was Merriman who took the category laurels, beating his rival by eight seconds at the end.
Rhys Wyn Davies/dylan James overcame gearbox problems to win the 1400cc class in their Vauxhall, with fellow Nova crew Matthew Curzon/steve Hopkins taking the 1600cc honours.
Llyr Jones/sion Jones won their class as Chris Jones/darren Jones secured the road rally class in another Ford Escort.
In the Junior 1000 category, Josh and Tommy Mcerlean won following a class battle with Tommi Meadows/gareth Hooper. Zak Hughes did his championship hopes no good, rolling his Citroen C1 into retirement on the first stage.