Bumper Entries See Rallying Thrive As Two Major Welsh Championships Begin This Weekend

Dylan Davies will be aiming for a winning start to his Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship campaign on Saturday. Picture by Paul Mitchell Photography.

Bumper Entries See Rallying Thrive As Two Major Welsh Championships Begin This Weekend

By Paul Evans

Rallying is thriving in Wales. That’s the encouraging post-pandemic prognosis based on the quality and quantity of competitors for this weekend’s two big rallies, with a total of almost 140 cars entered for the opening rounds of Welsh forest and asphalt championships.

And that’s in addition to the 86 cars that contested the recent Rali Llyn road rally.

157 cars will descend on Dolgellau on Saturday for the WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales, the opening round of the Pirelli Ravenol Welsh Rally Championship.

Another 82 cars will head to the Marshall & Hicks Print Ltd Tour of Caerwent, based at the MOD’s Monmouthshire training camp (no spectators allowed), on Sunday for the first round of the 2022 J D Tyres Welsh Tarmacadam Rally Championship.

The famous rallying forests of Dyfi and Pantperthog will begin the bumper weekend, with Dylan Davies one of the favourites for victory on Rally North Wales.

He won the event and the Welsh drivers’ title in 2018 and will be co-driven this weekend by Mark Glennerster in a Škoda Fabia R5+.

The 2019 Welsh junior champion Tom Llewellin will be aiming for the top step of the podium as he and Dale Bowen tackle the gravel event in their Brace’s Bakery Mitsubishi Mirage.

Roland Llewellin/Jamie Edwards have swapped their trusty Mitsubishi Evo 10 for a state-of-the-art Hyundai i20 R5 and are set to make their competition debut in the Hyundai Power Products-backed car.

Other drivers on the star-studded entry list include triple British rally champion Matt Edwards driving a historic-spec Fiat Abarth 131, the always rapid Tom Cave in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI and James Bond stuntman Mark Higgins who has a licence to thrill in a Land Rover Bowler Defender.

Meanwhile at Caerwent, the big guns aiming for victory include Bob Fowden/Aled Davies in their Comline Auto Parts Subaru Impreza S11 WRC and Damian Cole in his Get Connected Škoda Fabia R5+.

Former Welsh champions Rob Tout/Terry Martin (Mitsubishi Evo 10) and Richard Merriman/Kath Curzon (Vauxhall-engined Darrian T90) are also on the Caerwent starting list.

In addition to a buoyant Welsh forest, asphalt and road rally championship, let’s not forget that Wales will host three (out of seven) rounds of this year’s British Rally Championship this year – the Nicky Grist Stages in Builth Wells on 9 July, the Aberystwyth-based Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion on 3/4 September and the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally in Llandudno on 29 October.

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