ABERYSTWYTH co-driver Gareth Parry said he was delighted to take maximum points alongside Scott Faulkner at the third round of the 2019 Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship.
Cambrian News reported “In the tightest of finishes at the Rallynuts Stages, they took Championship honours by just a single second following 45 miles of special stages – and Parry said the win will serve as a massive confidence boost.
“Scott and I had a brilliant day,” said co-driver Parry. “Trading close seconds with Patrick Naylor for the NR4 class victory and Matthew Hirst for the Welsh Championship win kept us on our toes.
“A puncture on the penultimate stage lost us valuable seconds, but a tremendous performance on the 13.4 mile Hafren and Sweet Lamb stage saw us take the NR4 win and Welsh Championship victory by only one second, seventh overall.
“It was a great battle all day with both Pat and Andrew Lawrence, and Matt and Declan Dear made rallying what it is!
“As for the team, C1-R Motorsport have done an amazing job with the car set-up which gave us the confidence to do what we did in SS6 and prove our pace. We have come a long way in 12 months and we’re proud of what we have achieved.
“It was great stage conditions throughout the day and faultless organisation by Midland Manor MC. A massive thanks must also go to all of the marshals who have kept the day running smoothly. Once again, a huge thank you must also go to all of our sponsors and supporters, we couldn’t do this without them.”
Faulkner was full of praise for his navigator after they held their nerve to take a fine victory in the Professional Motorsport World backed C1-R Motorsport Evo 9.
“That was a great result,” said Faulkner at the finish. “It’s been hard today, with the puncture we thought we’d thrown it all away, but to take the win in both Group N and the Pirelli Welsh Championship by one second is fantastic. It looks like this season is going to be very close.
“We were trading seconds all day with Pat and Andrew, and Matthew and Declan, but the puncture two miles from the end of the penultimate stage put us on the back foot for the final 13 miles through Sweet Lamb. A big push in the last stage was needed – Gareth was spot on with the notes, and the car was excellent to drive.
“To win the BTRDA Rally Group N battle by such a close margin, and to take the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship victory by one second ahead of Matt was a great feeling and something very, very rewarding for all the hard work and effort that the whole team have put in this year. We’ll now look forward to the Plains Rally.”
PIRELLI MOTORSPORT WELSH FOREST CHAMPIONSHIP
A THRILLING third round of the Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship saw Scott Faulkner and co-driver Gareth Parry take maximum points by just a single second, following 45 miles of special stages.
Round two winners Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear took the lead on the opening stage of the Builth Wells-based RallyNuts Stages 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 for round one winners Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy, who rolled the Mitsubishi.
Hirst and Dear extended their lead by a further second on stage two, only for youngsters Faulkner and Parry to then pull that second back on the third stage.
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, with the pairing starting to get to grips with their R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage, and they were destined to hold that place right 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 Championship win by the narrowest of margins.
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 currently lying third position.
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, 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 currently in third place.
It’s Llewellin who also leads the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge for drivers, currently some 19 points clear of rival Hywel Davies, while Josh Taylor is four points further back in third after three rounds.
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” here.