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Get Jerky Rally North Wales Preview

The 2024 West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Challenge gets underway this weekend with the first round, the Get Jerky Rally North Wales, which is based in Welshpool and using the surrounding forests. A very healthy will be amassed and the Stage Masters contenders will be keen to eke out an advantage early in the season.

Highest seeded Challenge crew is Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver who will use their familiar class D5 Ford Escort. The 2023 Challenge champion is next, Baz Wheeler and John Pickavance no doubt hoping to emulate their success in their Metric Services RS1800.Jonathan Brace and Paul Spooner were the dominant force in Class C5 last year and will be keen to do well again although Jonathan will need to bite the bullet and contest a tarmac round if he wants to win the Challenge overall in the Brace’s Bread Mk1 RS1600. Directly behind them will be the rapid father and son crew of Ben and Steven Smith, son Ben being the driver in their C3 Mk1 Escort. Andy Stokes and Jonny Tad Evans are back for more in their C5 Escort and will be keenly promoting the ‘David Stokes Award’ which has been put up by the Stokes family and will be decided at the season end.

Lee Ashbury is a mate of Baz Wheeler and has been persuaded to join us this year. He has the vastly experienced Ian Jones sat with him and are possibly the Challenge dark horses. John Morgan and Llinos Jones-Edwards registered last year but a change of plans meant no rounds were contested in an eligible car. They are, however, back and looking forward to their first gravel event in many years in a recently acquired RS1800. Stuart Anderson is also back and this year has Adam Houston sat alongside in his Vauxhall Chevette HS which brings welcome variety. Bob Gibbons and Jon Harris will be out to impress in their beautiful RS1600 but will have to find some good pace to mix it with Brace and Stokes.

Paul Holmes and Elizabeth Beesley are also newcomers to the Challenge but have much experience behind them which will put them and their Escort in good stead. Tony Jardine follows in his Avenger and will trying his hardest as ever. Graham Thatcher and Tim Samuel are also newbees but bring a roaring beast to the forests in the shape of a Triumph TR7 V8, a great sight for everyone. Rounding off the Challenge contenders are the evergreen crew of Bill Douglas and Dave Tearl who bring their big Volvo 244GL into the mix. It looks as if it will be another great year and we wish all crews the very best of luck.