By Paul Evans
You’d have never thought that Julian Reynolds hadn’t rallied for 18 months, as the Narberth driver returned to competition by finishing an excellent second in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship on the opening round of the 2018 series, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, in a new Ford Fiesta R5.
Julian is a well-known and highly regarded competitor, having started rallying back in 1989. A long and illustrious career has seen him rally Peugeot GTIs, Honda Civics, Mitsubishi Lancers and Subaru Imprezas – although in recent years he has driven historic Escort Mk2 and a Fiat 131 Abarth, as well as his ex-Marcus Gronholm 2006 Wales Rally GB winning Focus WRC.
Best known for rallying in the UK forests, the Pembrokeshire driver has also contested 10 rounds of the World Rally Championship – including Sweden, Finland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as his home Wales Rally GB.
Co-driven by Patrick Walsh, Julian was on top form again on the Llandudno-based Cambrian Rally, setting some impressive times in an unfamiliar car in the tricky slippery conditions.
“After eighteen months out of rallying, and only three rallies in a four-wheel drive car in the last ten years, it was great to get back to it and sample an R5 Fiesta for the first time on the Cambrian Rally,” said Julian.
“We gradually learnt to drive again as the day progressed and were happy to finish fifth overall and second Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship crew. Thanks to the Dom Buckley RSC team for the excellent car and to Patrick Walsh for a great job on the notes as ever.”
Julian’s next event in the car will be the Malcolm Wilson Rally in the Lake District on 3 March.