Evans Leads Wales 1-2 On Closed-Road Stage Rally

By Paul Evans

Melvyn Evans scored his second major rally win of the season when he secured victory on the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton – the first closed-road stage rally to take place in England.

Co-driven by Sean Hayde, the experienced Lampeter driver won by 12.5 seconds after another faultless performance in his Subaru Impreza WRC S12. And it was a Wales 1-2 in Essex, as Ruthin’s Hugh Hunter (co-driven by Rob Flagg) came home second in their Ford Fiesta WRC.

“The event was brilliant to be fair,” said Evans. “To win the first closed-road stage rally in England was pretty special for us. We led almost from the start and to maintain it was a bit of a struggle, but we kept it going. Hugh was pushing hard, but we kept our nose clean and got it to the end. The event was great, the spectators were amazing and everything ran like clockwork. Let’s hope this is the start of a new era for rallying in the UK.”

Evans’ son, Meirion Evans, was going well in his Ford Fiesta R5 until an issue with the crankshaft pulley forced him out of a close fight for a top five position on the penultimate stage.

“I’m really pleased to have been so close to the front, having never driven the car properly before this morning as well as having not driven a four-wheel drive car in eighteen months,” said Evans Jnr. “It was starting to come together nicely towards the end as we learned what the car was capable of, which is positive for the future. Well done to Dad and Sean on the win and to Hugh and Rob on a fine second. Also a huge well done to Chelmsford Motor Club for putting on a fantastic event that was fully embraced by the locals.”

A gearbox sensor failure stopped the Get Connected Ford Fiesta WRC of Damian Cole (Abergavenny) and co-driver Jamie Edwards (Wrexham) – although they plan to bounce straight back as they start this Sunday’s Dixies Challenge Rally on Epynt as hot favourites.

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