A puncture in Dyfi forest, however, had dropped Jim out of touch, while Russell was really letting the Talbot have its head. After the Cambrian, he said: Then Pond’s TR7 had a puncture, changed it and finished the stage. The Toyota again collected a puncture, but the main delay here was a plate in the fuel injection system which stuck and took some time to rectify. At the end of 25 miles of Hafren, the stories were plentiful.

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Lunch at Machynlleth, followed by stages further north in Dovey, a return to the rather bleak service area at Dylife and re-runs through the opening stages was the recipe.

Double Victors

After a day of enjoying the forests, Ronnie took the exclusion extremely well, but for others who would have been highly placed the control remained a problem. One more would put him level with the record fellow Cumbrian Bill Dobie set over 30 years ago so with the added incentive of maximum BTRDA points on offer, it could provide the incentive needed.

It had all the makings of being a repeat performance: At the time, Bird said: But, if the weather was cold, the competition was undoubtedly not. John Weatherley also had fuel problems, although his were confined to a simple lack of petrol due to a pipe leaking. He impressed everyone with his very neat style, considering he is far more used to pace note events in Europe.

Especially the Datsuns as my dad has one himself. Ahead of Sol RB18, he is even more determined: A further puncture meant real problems for the Triumph crew as, in Tony’s words: In fact, on Tarenig 2, Tim Brise got the Fiesta into a top 10 time, making up slightly for the disappointment of having to tackle the two Dyfi stages with no brakes when a pipe was smashed at the start of the first test in the forest.


Image courtesy of James Ward Chicane Media www. Now happily relieved of all his troubles, Jim had been supplied with 15ins rims and A2 tyres for the tests after the lunch halt, and found them quite good, the car benefitting on the dry sections, but losing out when in wetter, muddier, conditions.

Malcolm Wilson had his Total car, “testing suspension settings and driver’s ankles. With over 30 miles of stages completed, the runners headed for first service; McRae changed the gearbox, most teams played with suspension tuning, and British Leyland changed tyres for the first time of the day.

Bird Takes Second On Tricky Wyedean Opener

Over the hill stages, all seemed quiet, as gaps appeared between the top runners with so many of the fancied runners now out of contention; it would take a problem for anyone to move a position. In contrast to the erratic progress of the Cliffords Talbot one name firmly in the top 10 was that of Phil Collins. For an event with so much importance attached all seemed strangely under control.

The organisers had chosen to ban all 1: Dobie was quick and David Grainger, in another Ford Escort, was well into the top 10 on this section, heading for a very commendable result. Jackson’s Crystals-supported car dropped a valve, while Churchill’s car retired with the gearbox unfit for further work. World Champion Bjorn Waldegaard treated he day as a real test exercise, but was hampered by injection problems, while Malcolm Wilson, star of the previous round, had a troubled outing with his car, and eventually slipped off the road.

When the decision was made to penalise drivers for a wrong approach to a control it, too, was conducted in a vague manner, all of which contributed to delay results considerably.

Photo Gallery

Ian Cathcart brought his car from Rallly and was partnered by John Daniels for the day; it was Ian’s first forest event, and the first rally he had tackled since his huge accident in Donegal earlier this year. The rally was, however, a fitting test for the final round of the National championship, with superb Welsh forest roads, limited servicing, and a real element of endurance.


Not everyone was trying for positions, however, and Waldegaard took the Toyota to some quick times behind Pond over the final tests. Punctures in Hafren settled the National championship, when Hill was forced to stop and change a tyre early in the stage.

Considering he had watched the mechanics torque up the wheels immediately before the test the failure came as a real puzzle and a real disappointment.

The conditions were very difficult but given all the problems they ralpy been having down here, the fact that the organisers got the rally on was fantastic. Thorburn then encountered rallyy leaving the battle for the victory between multiple Scottish and former British champion Bogie and Langwathby driver Bird over the final few stages.

Blue Sky Design Studio. Hill knew the odds now but accepted them and would do all he could for the rest of the day, while the top teams were quite relaxed about the whole affair.

Dobiee everyone was to see the delights of Hafren, however, as both Mike Jackson and Jeff Churchill, two of the championship’s characters, continued their disastrous runs, retiring early.

The car stopped close to spectators who willingly replenished the Talbot’s supplies and sent him on, although his progress, often very rapid, was slowed by punctures. Hopefully we can carry the momentum into the next round.

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