By Paul Evans
Jason Pritchard will give the stunning new Scott Williams Motorsport-built Ford Escort Mk2 its competition debut on Sunday’s Aberystwyth University-based Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion.
Co-driven by Phil Clarke, the three time British Historic Rally and defending Protyre Asphalt Rally Champion has been seeded at number 10 in the new car, which will be one of the many star attractions on Wales’ first closed road stage rally.
“I couldn’t really turn down the opportunity to compete on the first closed road rally in Wales, it’s an opportunity not to be missed,” said Pritchard. “The effort and preparation from the organising team is second to none so it was an easy decision to support the event. I have no experience of the stages apart from my Dad telling me stories about them over an ice cream in Aberystwyth when I was a child. But, from the videos, they look tricky and very easy to make a mistake. The scenery is stunning and I’m sure it will be an enjoyable event.
“To say I’m excited to get behind the wheel of this stunning Mark 2 Escort would be an understatement. It has been built by the boys at Scott Williams Motorsport immaculately and in such a short space of time. Having been down to the workshop to see the build progressing, it is easy to see that the team really do have a passion for their work and the attention to detail is superb. Once again I can’t thank Scott enough for giving me the chance to drive his car on this event.”
Tom Cave/Dale Bowen will lead a 120 car capacity field away in the number one seeded Hyundai i20 R5, followed by Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss, who are contesting their first event in a Hyundai i20 R5 – and their first event for two years in a pukka R5 car.
Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (Mini JCW WRC) line up at number three, with event sponsor Damian Cole/Max Freeman at four in their Get Connected/Energizer-backed Ford Fiesta WRC. Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson contest their first rally on home turf in their Melvyn Evans Motorsport-tuned Škoda Fabia R5 and are seeded at five, while Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg wheel out their ex-works Ford Focus WRC05 at number six.
Such is the quality of the entry, that seeded outside the top 10 are big names such as John Dalton (Darrian T90 GTR), Jamie Jukes (Mitsubishi Mirage), Nigel Jones (Subaru Impreza WRC S9), Rob Tout (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X), Huw Reed (Darrian T90 GTR) and Phil Turner (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9).
Spectating on this historic event is strictly by ticket only, and there will also a park and ride system in operation which departs from Aberystwyth every 15 – 20 minutes. There are three strategically positioned Fan Zones, providing spectators with a great viewing experience on SS1 (repeated as SS5), SS3 (repeated as SS7) and SS4 (repeated as SS8).
Rali Bae Ceredigion – top 10 seeds
1. Tom Cave/Dale Bowen (Hyundai i20 R5)
2. Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Hyundai i20 R5)
3. Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (Mini JCW WRC)
4. Damian Cole/Max Freeman (Ford Fiesta WRC)
5. Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson (Škoda Fabia R5)
6. Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Focus WRC05)
7. Martin McCormack/Barney Mitchell (Proton Iriz R5)
8. David Stephen Wood/Keith Moriarty (Ford Fiesta)
9. Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Ford Fiesta R5)
10. Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort MK2)
Saturday 7 September
Scrutineering: Aberystwyth Bandstand – 12:00-17:00
Sunday 8 September (times for car #1)
Start: National Library – 09:30
SS1: Caws Cenarth Bont-goch 1 – 09:58
SS2: Spencer Nant y moch 1 – 10:25
SS3: Palletforce Ystumtuen 1 – 10:44
SS4: Stakraft Pendam 1 – 10:58
Service: Aberystwyth University – 12:00
SS5: Caws Cenarth Bont-goch 2 – 13:26
SS6: Spencer Nant y moch 2 – 13:53
SS7: Palletforce Ystumtuen 2 – 14:12
SS8: Statkraft Pendam 2 – 14:26
Finish: National Library – 15:00