Mitcheldean in the Forest of Dean is saturday’s venue for the final round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, the Winner Garage Skoda Wyedean Rally, says Peter Hughes.
Although the overall titles have already been secured by Rhuddlan driver Luke Francis and co-driver John H Roberts of Colwyn Bay there are still plenty of Championship issues to be settled, not least the destination of the runner up spot.
Just seven points separate Andrew Jones and Wug Utting with a possible 30 up for grabs and they will be going head to head over the classic Forest of Dean stages.
Jones has already clinched the Vital Equipment Junior title for drivers under 25 and will also be looking to secure the two wheel drive category in his Mark II Ford Escort. His strongest opposition in that category is likely to come from the BMW Compact of Ludlow duo Colin and Martin Griffiths.
Meanwhile Surrey’s Wug Utting will want to tie up Group N honours, for less modified cars, in his Subaru Impreza (left).
Among his rivals on this event will be outgoing Group N champions Paul Davy and Roger Allan in their Impreza. Both Davy and Simon Dalton could still claim the Group N runner-up spot, currently held by Andy Davies. No fewer than seven co-drivers retain a mathematical chance of finishing second in the overall co-driver standings including Utting’s co-driver Bob Stokoe. The man currently lying second, Mark Glennerster, will be partnering the hugely experience Melvyn Evans in his Impreza World Rally Car while Caron Tomlinson sits next to Mark II Escort driver Gavin Edwards.
A number of competitors not in contention for overall honours will also be looking to end the season on a high note. Sara Williams has only competed on a limited number of events this season but the Brecon driver should be in contention for top honours in her Impreza as should Martyn and Dawn England in their R5+ specification Ford Fiesta.
Jake McKenna will want to secure second place in the Vital Equipment junior driver category as well as clinching Class 2 in his Peugeot 206 while Rhydian Price will be after Class 3 honours in his Ford Ka.
Also still to be settled is the Ravenol Welsh Challenge. With a prize fund valued at over £3000 provided by the hi-tech lubricants company, the Challenge is currently led by Andrew Jones but he could still be overhauled by, among others, Colin Griffiths and Wug Utting.
Base for the rally is Vantage Point Business Village in Mitcheldean with competitors leaving there from 10am on Saturday to tackle six special stages. Full spectator information is available on the event web site, www.wyedeanstages.co.uk while you can find out more about the championship at www.wnrc.wamc.org.uk, on the championship Facebook page and on Twitter, @WnRC.
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