A second successive maximum points score means that Scott Faulkner leads the 2019 Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship by a single point as the series reaches its Halfway stage.
Having taken top points score on the previous round, the Rallynuts Stages, a similar performance on the weekend’s Plains Rally, organised by Knutsford and District Motor Club, moved Scott clear at the top of the table while co-driver Gareth Parry moves into second place overall in his part of the Championship.
From the start in Oswestry, competitors tackled five special stages in Dyfnant, Aberhirnant and Llangower. Scott and Gareth took the lead among the championship contenders on the opening stage ahead of Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy in a similar Group N specification Mitsubishi Evo IX. Third place was held by joint series leaders going into the event, Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear but they would be among a number of competitors to suffer punctures in stage 2, Aberhirnant 1.
That promoted Richard Hill and Patrick Cooper to third place in their Subaru Impreza although they conceded it to the Mark II Ford Escort of Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall on the following stage. Hill and Cooper reclaimed the position on the following stage, holding on to it to the finish.
Fourth place was enough to ensure that Matthew Hirst left the event just one point adrift of Faulkner while his co-driver Declan Dear continues to lead that section of the Championship two points clear of Gareth Parry.
Another strong run in the Historic specification Ford Escort means that former series leader Tom Llewellin lies in third place, four points off the lead.
Faulkner and Parry also lead the Group N Championship, five points clear of Surrey based duo Wug Utting and Bob Stokoe in their Subaru Impreza.
Tom Llewellin leads the driver standings in the two-wheel drive section from Chris Powell and Perry Gardener although it was Callum Black and Michael Gilbey who took top two-wheel drive points for the second event running in their MG ZR. Top two-wheel drive co-driver is Jim Lewis ahead of Caron Tomlinson and Keaton Williams.
Tom Llewellin also tops the junior drivers category from Gethin Price and Zak Hughes. Leading the junior co-driver standings is Tom Murphy with a five point advantage over both Keaton Williams and Rhys Stoneman.
It is Llewellin as well who leads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers ahead of Perry Gardener and Tony Simpson. Heading the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers is Tom Murphy from Keaton Williams while Ian Bevan and Tom Woods are in joint third place.
The next round of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Red Kite Stages. Based in Resolven in the Neath Valley and organised by Amman and District Motor Club, the event takes place on June 23rd.
Following Round 4 the Plains Rally the latest championship tables have been uploaded to the website and can be found by following this link or clicking on the Results Tab https://bit.ly/2WxSVsB
Competitors in the 2019 Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship reach the half way point in the series this weekend when they take on the 53rd running of the Plains Rally organised by Knutsford and District Motor Club.
As they head to the start of the event in Oswestry, two of the youngest drivers in the Championship currently share the overall series lead. 2018 Junior champion Matthew Hirst took his first outright rally win on the second event of the series, the North Wales Rally, but missed out on making it back to back maximum points scores by just one second on the next event, the Rallynuts Stages.
An overshoot by Hirst in his Mitsubishi Evo VI on the penultimate corner of the event cost him the top points tally with that going to Scott Faulkner in a similar, but Group N specification, car. While that moves Faulkner up to third place in the standings, Hirst shares the lead with 18-year-old Tom Llewellin. Tom, son of double British Rally Champion David Llewellin, has put in some impressive performances in his less powerful, historic specification Mark II Ford Escort to hold that joint lead.
In the co-driver category it is Declan Dear who tops the table with a seven-point advantage over Gareth Parry while Jim Lewis lies third, a further eight points back.
There is also a tie at the top of the Group N table, Faulkner sharing the lead with Surrey driver Wug Utting while Rhydian Price trails them by just a single point. Their respective co-drivers make up the top three in that category, Gareth Parry and Bob Stokoe sharing the lead, one point clear of Stephen Brown.
The strongly supported two-wheel drive class is headed by Tom Llewellin, followed by Chris Powell and Hywel Davies. Top two-wheel drive co-driver is Jim Lewis ahead of Simon Jones and Tom Murphy.
Llewellin also leads the junior driver category from Gethin Price and Zak Hughes while the Junior co-driver standings are topped by Rhys Stoneman from Tom Murphy and Keaton Williams.
It’s also Llewellin who leads the way in the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers with Hywel Davies second and Josh Taylor third. Simon Jones heads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers four points ahead of Tom Murphy with Jonny Tad Evans in third place.
Competitors will set out from the Wynnstay Hotel in Oswestry from 8.00am to tackle five classic Welsh forest stages in Dyfnant, Aberhirnant and Llangower.
Spectator information is available on the event web site, www.plainsrally.co.uk while more information about the Pirelli Motorsport UK Forest Rally Championship can be found at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook pages and on Twitter @WnRC.
A thrilling third round, The Rallynuts Stages Rally, of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship saw Scott Faulkner and Gareth Parry take maximum points by just a single second following 45 miles of special stages.
It was round two winners Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear who took the lead on the opening stage in their Mitsubishi Evo IX, two seconds ahead of Faulkner and Parry in their Group N version of the same car. Third place was held by Richard Hill and Steff Evans in their Subaru Impreza. The stage spent the end of the rally, however, for round one winners Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy, who rolled their Mitsubishi.
Hirst and Dear extended their lead by a further second on stage two only for Faulkner and Parry to pull that second back on stage three. As the cars came into the service halt at the Royal Welsh Showground following four stages the gap was back out to three seconds. Into third place by this point were Graham Middleton and Steven McPhee, the pairing starting to get to grips with their R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage they were destined to hold that place to the finish.
A puncture for Faulkner and Parry on stage five saw them drop a further six seconds but the rally was finally decided on the penultimate corner of the final stage where a spin by Hirst and Dear saw their rivals slip through to take the win by the narrowest possible margin.
That victory moves Scott Faulkner into third place in the overall championship standings, five points back from Matthew Hirst and Tom Llewellin who are tied for the lead. Declan Dear tops the co-drivers’ table ahead of Gareth Parry with Jim Lewis in third place.
As well as topping the overall standings on the event, Scott Faulkner and Gareth Parry also claimed maximum points in the Group N category for less modified cars. He is tied at the top of the Group N table with Wug Utting who finished second in the category on the event. Their respective co-drivers, Gareth Parry and Bob Stokoe are also tied at the top of their table.
An Impressive performance in the 1400cc MG ZR saw Callum Black and Michael Gilbey take maximum points among a strong two-wheel drive field but it’s Ford Escort driver Tom Llewellin who continues to top the driver standings ahead of Talbot Sunbeam pilot Chris Powell who is two points clear of Hywel Davies. Jim Lewis leads the co-driver category by just two points from Simon Jones with Tom Murphy a further three points back.
Tom Llewellin also leads the junior driver category ahead of Gethin Price with Zak Hughes third while among the junior co-drivers, Rhys Stoneman holds a five point lead over Tom Murphy while Keaton Williams is third.
It’s Llewellin who also leads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers, currently some 19 points clear of Hywel Davies while Josh Taylor is four points further back in third place. Things are closer in the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers where Simon Jones holds a four points advantage over Tom Murphy who, in turn, is six points clear of Johnny Tad Evans.
The next round of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship is the Plains Rally on May 11th. More information about that can be found at www.plainsrally.co.uk while there is information about the Championship at wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter, @WnRC.
- Ends -
Issued 15th April 2019
Credit for the image : Rallysportmedia.com
Issued by Peter Hughes Media on behalf of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship