It’s showdown time this Saturday (9th November) for competitors in the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship. The crews will head out from the start of the final Championship round, the Winner Garage Skoda Wyedean Stages Rally with the overall Welsh title, along with many class awards, still at stake.
The fight for overall honours is effectively a two-way battle between Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy and Matthew Hirst/Declan Dear with both crews in Mitsubishi Evo IXs.
Tom Llewellin has already clinched the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers but 2 nd and 3 rd places and the prize fund that go with them could go to any over four drivers. It’s Andy Fox who currently holds second place ahead of Josh Taylor but Hywel Davies and Perry Gardener remain in contention.
In the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for co-drivers, it’s Tom Murphy who has sewn up top honours but any of the next eight co-drivers in the standings could end up in the top three.
Tom Llewellin has also claimed overall Two Wheel Drive honours but both front and rear wheel drive titles remain to be decided. Chris Powell, Andrew Fox, Hywel Davies and Andrew Davison could all still take the rear wheel drive crown, although Powell has opted to enter this event in a four-wheel drive Subaru Impreza. In front wheel drive the battle is between Perry Gardener, Callum Black, Tony Simpson, Steve Black and Dan Evans.
Any of the top three rear wheel drive co-drivers could still take that category with the battle similarly open among the front wheel drive co-drivers.
In class 4 for cars up to 1400cc, the fight is between the top 4 drivers and co-drivers while in Class 4, Martin Walters and Steve Deeley are battling it out for the title with the top 4 co-drivers in contention.
Hywel Davies and Simon Jones have secured the titles in Class 5 but Escort driver Ron Morgan or Volvo man Ken Davies, whose company KGD Industrial Services is supporting the Wyedean could still finish as second placed driver.
Class 6 is the most open class in the Championship with any of the top 7 drivers and the top 9 co-drivers while in Class 7 the fight is between the top 8 drivers and top 7 co-drivers.
In Class 13, matters are complicated by the destination of the overall title. Josh Taylor leads the way, but he is just a single point clear of Matthew Hirst but if Hirst takes the overall drivers’ title he will not be eligible for a class award. Keith Gapper, meanwhile, in his second season in the Championship could secure a second trip to the end of season awards evening.
Declan Dear appears favourite to secure class 13 co-drivers’ honours but could still be pipped at the post by Heather Merrison.
Finally, in class N4, Russ Thompson and Wug Utting are tied on points and, with drivers counting only their six best scores from the season’s eight championship rounds the mathematical permutations are many and varied.
As competitors face up to six classic Forest of Dean stages, therefore, there is still plenty to play for. Spectator information about the event, organised by Forest of Dean Motor Club, can be found on the official event web site, wyedeanstages.co.uk
. More information on the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship can be found at wnrc.wamc.org.uk
, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.
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ISSUED 4TH NOVEMBER 2019