By Paul Evans
Sam Davies won the Hansford Plant Hire Builth Showground Stages yesterday for the second time in as many years, but the final result had to be decided on a tiebreak after he finished on exactly the same time as rival Ian Evans.
Davies set the fastest time on the opening stage, but was overtaken by Evans as the two duelling Vauxhall Nova drivers battled for victory over the asphalt and loose surface roads on the Stockman Hill area of the Showground.
Evans and co-driver Justin Brooks had opened up a slight lead by mid-distance, before a charging Davies, navigated by Martin Lasper, saw him reduce the gap as darkness fell on the closing stages. By the end of the 14th and final stage, the two drivers were tied on time – with the tiebreaker going in favour of the Llanigon man.
Kevin Davies/Annie Green finished third, 50 seconds behind in their Ford Escort, while Nigel Mee/Reg Davies (Subaru Impreza) were fourth, Theo Bengry/Lez Forsbrook (Ford Escort Mk2) fifth and Dan Evans/Jess Hockly (Suzuki Swift) completing the top six.
On his first rally in an Escort, talented 17-year old Tom Llewellin finished 14th overall and second in class, with Dale Bowen co-driving.
The winner of the first two Builth Showground Stages in 2013 and ’14, Damian Cole, won his class and finished 20th overall. He was co-driven by Michelle Shaw in his Get Connected road rally spec Escort.
Llandysul’s youngest and most experienced competitors teamed up together, with 16-year old Formula 1000 Rally Championship frontrunner Ioan Lloyd co-driving for William Mains. Unfortunately, their rally came to an end on the opening stage, when their Vauxhall Nova hit a large rock.
2016 event winners John Perrot/Keaton Williams retired their Ford Escort MK2 on SS7, Alun and Kate Horn retired when their Subaru blew its engine, William Bradford/Matt Lloyd parked their Escort when it broke its differential and Josh and Craig Jones broke a driveshaft in their Peugeot 205.
Builth Showground Stages – top 10 finishers
1. Sam Davies/Martin Lasper (Vauxhall Nova)….42mins 24secs
2. Ian Evans/Justin Brooks (Vauxhall Nova)….42mins 24secs
3. Kevin Davies/Annie Green (Ford Escort)….43mins 14secs
4. Nigel Mee/Reg Davies (Subaru Impreza)….44mins 42secs
5. Theo Bengry/Lez Forsbrook (Ford Escort Mk2)….44mins 43secs
6. Dan Evans/Jess Hockly (Suzuki Swift)….44mins 46secs
7. Phil Jones/Clive Jones (Ford Escort)….44mins 49secs
8. Conrad Law/Sophie Law (Ford Escort Mk1)….45mins 02secs
9. Wayne Lloyd/Bryan Barrell (Ford Escort)….45mins 04secs
10. Gary Thomas/Linda Thomas (Ford Escort)….45mins 05secs