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Pitstop Garage Dixies Challenge Stages

Round 3 of the West Wales Rally Spares Stage Masters and small but equally determined group converged on Epynt to do battle. It was to be a strange day as the application of notional times due to the indiscretions of other competitors meant the overall results were not a totally true record of the days proceedings.

The day before at scrutineering the sun shone brightly for the first time in a while and crews basked patiently as the queue slowly meandered around the buildings at Fedw farm. Everyone was optimistic and a good days rallying was in prospect, especially if it stayed dry.

Sunday dawned bright enough and the cars were fired into the first stage at the leisurely time of 9:30. First of our crews away were Mike Simpson and Dale Gibbons but their hopes of a good first stage were dashed when they happened upon 2 Darrians that had gone off in the same spot. Mike and Dale were straight out to assist in getting the crew out of the one overturned car and the following Challenge crew of Toby Adam and Ian Meakin proceeded to the next radio point to report the incident. Luckily there were no major injuries, just injured pride and wallets. It should be added that these crews acted admirably and in a text book fashion which ensured the incident was dealt with efficiently. Notional times were awarded and Adam and Meakin were first on scene at a later incident too which ultimately possibly affected the result overall. From a Challenge perspective it didn’t make any difference as Toby and Ian took maximum C3 points and Mike and Dale second place points in D5. The D5 winner was John Morgan with Llinos Jones-Edwards in a beautifully built Mk2 Escort RS1800. They managed to avoid the carnage throughout the day but somehow bent the axle at some point and the crossmember after a heavy landing. They were however delighted with the car and finished a fine fifth overall with Adam and Meakin just 4 seconds in arrears, the notional times could have affected the result but they are final now so it is academic.

Elsewhere Stuart Anderson and Adam Houston were looking forward to a run out before the Manx but a damaged oil seal on the dry sump system put them out early on, the ex-works Chevette HSR being a difficult car to get parts for easily.  Eric Davies and Russell Joseph don’t usually have much luck on the Dixies Challenge but this year were surprised when their Mini Clubman was still going well at lunchtime and there was the prospect of finishing!  Finish they did though and a trouble free day yielded maximum class C2 points. HRCR committee member Steve Powell wheeled his Hillman Avenger out for this and was going well before a ‘fuel issue’ halted their progress at Four Ways bridge. Any questions about this subject should be directed to Steve directly but they did nevertheless get going again and, despite missing a couple of stages, were classified as finishers and scooped points for being second in class C2. Overall it was a hectic but enjoyable for the crews overall and despite a few drops of rain at one point it was a predominantly dry day, a rare pleasure on Epynt!