By Paul Evans
Damian Cole has set a new record for the greatest number of wins recorded by a driver over the famous Epynt military range when he won the RJ Matthews Haulage Dixies Challenge Rally on Sunday.
The record-breaking win was made all the more special as Cole was co-driven by his daughter Charlotte in their Get Connected Škoda Fabia R5+.
The Abergavenny driver had been tied on 23 wins with the late John Price ever since his last victory on Epynt, which was the Mewla Rally back in August 2019.
It was also Cole’s fourth consecutive Dixies Challenge victory.
Gareth James/Steffan Evans finished second, completing the wet and slippery 10 stage/42 stage miles Dixies Challenge 45 seconds behind Cole in their Blue Sky Engineering-backed Ford EscortMk2.
They were challenging Cole for victory until a slight off on SS8 cost them 14 seconds.
First 👀 at the Get Connected / TCL Ford Fiesta R5+ that Damian Cole/Andrew Roughead will drive on this Sunday’s Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Otterburn 👍🎉 @Protyre @BTRDARally @ourmotorsportuk pic.twitter.com/5QVvyJsM0S
— Protyre MUK Asphalt Rally Championship (@AsphaltRallying) October 21, 2021
With just two stages remaining, James decided to easy off – content with second overall and victory in the historic section.
Anthony Morgan/Jonathan Hawkins managed to hold on to third in their Darrian T90 , despite a late charge from Thomas Cooper/Simon Anthony which saw the Mitsubishi Evo 9 crew finish just one second off the final podium position.
Toby Adam/Ian Meakin enjoyed a good drive to fifth in their Ford Escort Mk1, while Mike Williams/Tom Bishop completed the top six with a magnificent class winning drive in their MG ZR.
Experienced co-driver Ian Taylor jumped into the driver’s seat of a Mitsubishi Evo 6.
The Carmarthen man bravely started the event on slick tyres and promptly spun the car in the wet on SS2.
Having survived that and many more moments, he and his son Lee did brilliantly well to finish 11th overall.
William Mains/Claire Williams won their class by over four minutes, and finished 12th overall, in their WCS/Roy Thomas & Son-sponsored Vauxhall Nova.
Richard Stepney hadn’t competed on Epynt for 25 years – but together with co-driver Dean Wiltshire he returned to win the road rally class in a BMW Compact.
“Chuffed to bits is an understatement,” said Stepney.