Following a day long battle where the leading two crews were closely matched all day, it was Damian Cole/Ian Davis who won the opening round of the J D Competition Tyres Welsh National Championship, the Tour of Caerwent Rally in their Skoda Fabia R5.
They opened up a ten second lead on the first stage ahead of Dave Willett/John Davies driving a Mark 2 Ford Escort, only for Willett to reduce Cole’s advantage to just one second after the second of six special stages at the MOD site at Caerwent.
Over the next three stages, the pair were never more than three seconds apart, with Cole setting fastest time on two of the three tests, before wrapping up victory with fastest time on the final stage to end the day 11 seconds ahead of Willett.
For Willett/Davies, they had the satisfaction of taking maximum Welsh Championship points on their first attempt at the Series. Half a minute behind in third place were Wayne Jones/Jonathan Davies who had a great run on only their third outing in their recently acquired Darrian GTR, setting a fastest time on one stage on their way to the final podium position.
Thomas Cooper/Paul Williams were a fine fourth in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, ahead of two former multiple Welsh champions, Bob Fowden and Richard Merriman driving their respective Subaru Impreza WRc and Darrian T90, as Chris Simmons/Andy Moss took third in class and ninth overall in another Darrian.
Once again Will Mains put in a giant killing performamce, as he and James Williams finished in an impressive class winning tenth overall in their 1400cc Vauxhall Nova, and they were followed home by Dean Davies/Cameron Wheatley in a Ford Escort and 2021 Welsh National Tarmacadam Champions Neil Jones/Alan Thomas who were out in a Vauxhall Astra.
Ben Grenter was first of the Championship contenders in the 1600cc class in his Toyota Yaris, whilst Michael Pugsley had a good run to finish first in class 3 in his Ford Escort Mk1.
Not having such a good day were Phil Turner/Simon Anthony who retired their Mitsubishi Lancer after it went off the road, whilst throttle issues prevented Marcuss Pagett/Ellie Williams from finishing in their Nissan Micra Kit Car and Chris Butcher/Jonathan Hawkins retired their Nissan Sunny with suspension problems.
The championship positions after round 1 have been uploaded to the site and can be downloaded from here
John of J D Tyres has very kindly agreed to donate 4 Hancock tyres on each event during the 2022 championship. All Drivers registered for the championship, and who run Hankook tyres all round on their vehicle, and who finish the event will have their names placed into a draw, and the first two names out will each receive 2 Hankook tyres.
For any further information please contact John on 07968020546
Unfortunately Carmarthen Motor Club have not been able to find an alternative date to run the Merlin Rallying Stages at Pembrey so the championship will now be made of 9 rounds with the best 6 scores to count for the overall award.
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