Malcolm Jones and Rhys Jones

Malcolm Jones and Rhys Jones flew over the Epynt ranges. Pic: Black Mountains Media

Malcolm Jones Flies To First Overall Rally Victory On Epynt

By Simon Gronow

The change from a Peugeot 207 to a Darrian T90 GTR is proving to be a very successful one for Malcolm Jones/Rhys Jones, who have quickly adapted to their new car.

After finishing second on the first round of the Welsh Tarmacadam Championship, the Tour of Caerwent, the pair went one better as they won the opening round of the King of Epynt Challenge, the Dixies Challenge Rally.

After completing the ten special stages on the Epynt ranges, the pair were almost a minute ahead of their nearest rivals, setting fastest time on each of the stages as they recorded their first ever outright rally win.

Their day had been problem free, and they had made some good tyre choices in the wet conditions.

Another driver with a new car for the year is Rob Tout, who has moved from his previous Mitsubishi Lancer to a Ford Fiesta R5.

Whilst finding the cars four-wheel drive to be beneficial in the slippery conditions, he is still getting used to his new car, but nonetheless he and co-driver Terry Martin were second contenders to finish.

Things didn’t start well for Phil Turner following a second stage incident, but he enjoyed his despite finding the chicanes a bit tight to manoeuvre around in his Škoda Fabia, but he finished the day as third Challenge driver.

Going into the final two stages of the day, Richard Merriman/Kath Curzon were leading the two-litre class in their Darrian T90 only to lose time on the last loop when they struggled on the wet roads.

Class rivals Phil Lloyd/Dean Wiltshire revelled in the slippery conditions however, and with their Ford Escort sporting a new engine, the pair overtook Merriman to secure the class win, by just four seconds, despite some power steering issues during the day.

Third in the class went to the Vauxhall Astra GTE crewed by Neil Jones/Alan Thomas.

Leighton Smith/Karen Phelps had a good run, beating fellow Peugeot 205 GTi David and Paul Boxall to win their class, whilst Christian Prynne was first of the 1600cc runners to finish in his Suzuki Ignis and Richard Stepney/Alun Ginn won their class in a BMW.

Thomas Cooper was the sixth challenge contestant to finish, despite his Mitsubishi Lancer being slowed with a down on power engine, and he was followed home by Terry Brown/Angharad Williams who were second in their class in their Ford escort to Wayne Jones.

First of the Historic crews to finish were Peter Jones/Gareth Davies in their Triumph TR7 V8.

Unfortunately, reigning champions Damian and Charly Cole failed to finish following a huge accident in their Škoda Fabia R5.

Eurwyn Davies also failed to reach the finish, thank to engine problems in his Ford Escort, and Phil Evans whose Mitsubishi Lancer suffered clutch issues.

Co-driver Jonathan Hawkins was in line for a top ten finish before he and Kevin Tappin dropped down the order when their Darrian T90 suffered a broken earth strap.

Bob Fowden Chased Hard For Welsh Supremacy On Tour Of Epynt

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