Sponsor Melvyn Evans and new co-driver Mark Glennerster in their Subaru Impreza WRC won Sunday’s Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt, opener of the 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, writes Roger Gale.
They set identical times to the Damian Cole / Jamie Edwards ‘Get Connected’ Ford Fiesta WRC on both the opening two stages of the Port Talbot MC event and managed to gradually pull away over the remaining five stages to win the seven stage event by thirty-nine seconds.
Builth Wells North Road Garage driver Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke recovered from early understeer problems, and a lack of Epynt experience in contrast to their opposition to take third in their Ford Fiesta S2000 after Bob Fowdens accident.
Just off the podium were late entries Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh, who came home fourth in their CA1 Sport-run Fiesta RS. Llanelli driver Bob Fowden and Swansea co-driver Aled Davies were third before they slid their Comline Auto Parts – NGK Subaru Impreza WRC off the road on a particularly treacherous corner at ‘Farm’ bend near the end of the long fifth stage , and got stuck in the muddy soil bordering the road, unable to resume the fight for that final podium spot.
The Llanelli driver had a firm grip on a third place, that might have been bettered, and looked set to extend his lead in the JD Tyres Welsh Championship. Phil Turner and Simon Anthony – the leading PTMC crew at the time – also retired their Mitsubishi Evo with clutch failure on that same stage – a problem that had also stopped the Mini WRC of Nigel Feeney/Sean Donnelly earlier in the day.
Lampeter MC duo Malcolm and Rhys Jones took a class win in their Peugeot 207R2, Forresters Darrian T90 pair Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon taking their class win by a single second, PTMC’s Rhys McLoughlin / Mike Gilbey also winners in a Peugeot 205 Maxi, as were Bridgend MC / PTMC pair Huw Reed / Anthony Hackett in a Darrian T90GTR.
Gareth James and Steffan Evans of Teify Valley took the Historic win with their Ford Escort Mk.2.
Less fortunate were locals Rob Tout, the former Welsh Tarmacadam champion retiring his Mitsubishi on stage six, Jamie Jukes Mitsubishi Mirage another stage five victim, Swansea pair Lee Sparrowhawk / Sam Myers out with Subaru Impreza engine failure also on stage five, to name but a few of the thirty seven retirements.
© Images courtesy of vgpics