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Stephens and Jones take night rally

 
Created on 14/08/2019 @ 08:11
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The roads around Welshpool were alive on Saturday night with the sound of 60 cars taking part in the Pandy Butchers Classic Lanes Road Rally 2019.

Local rally fans were treated to a superb night of sport which was organised by the Welsh Border Car Club and in memory of Gill Wood, who's passion for the sport was infectious and left a legacy for the team to live up to after she lost her bravely fought battle with cancer in 2016.

The race got underway from the livestock market just after midnight with local man Jake Hilditch, together with navigator, Darren Ikin, leading the event after the first four sections in their Peugeot 205.

But Aled Stephens and Clive Jones kept within touching distance throughout the early selectives and on section five, just outside Meifod, were able to move into the lead at the halfway petrol halt at Harding’s, Guilsfield. The pair of Bowler and Whittall had moved into second with Hilditch and Ikin in third.

But with Bowler, Hilditch and the experienced crew of Mark Lennox and Max Freeman retiring early in the second half due to mechanical failures, Llanfyllin driver Glyn Price, partnered by navigator Ryan Griffiths, were able to take full advantage and move themselves up the order to second overall in their Ford Escort Mk2.

The pairings of Bolver/Evans and Jones/ Summers were also able to post some strong times to move themselves into the top four overall as the event moved into the last few stages around Llanfair Caereinion and Caste Caereinion.

The top placed Novice crew of Zac Lewis and Alun Horn built on a cautious first half performance with some excellent times in the second half and rounded off the top five as the event moved to the finish back at Welshpool Livestock Sales at around 4am on Sunday morning.

Scooping up first in the Semi Expert class at the end of the rally were Danny Hanson and Lucy Norbury in their Citroen Saxo.

Despite some late drama, when the leading crew picked up a puncture going into the last section of the event around Trefnant Hall, the team of Stephens/Jones were able to hold onto the lead through the cushion they had built themselves throughout the rest of the rally.

“Events like this don't happen without a great deal of support - more than 70 marshals gave up their time to ensure the night ran safely and smoothly (they were all pleased the rain held off for most of the night!” said a spokesperson.

“The organising team can’t thank the community enough for their continued support. From homeowners on route, to families who visited the start, making Welshpool Livestock Market a hive of activity all night, it's great to see a local event growing year on year. 

“As always, we like to give something back, and this year we raised a fantastic £700 for Cancer Research UK.”

Top 10 Overall Results:

Stephens/ Jones 3:16

Price/ Griffiths 3:59

Bolver/ Evans 4:42

Jones/ Summers 6:27

Lewis/ Horn 7:37

Leach/ Thompson 7:51

Atkinson/ Jones 8:03

Parkes/ Jackson 8:04

Williams/ Atkins 8:38

Dart/ Andrew 8:53

PICTURED: The organising team along with overall winners of the Classic Lanes 2019, Aled Stephens and Clive 'Selwyn' Jones.

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