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Melvyn Evans on the way to winning the Corbeau seats rally (JNAS photographic)

The 22nd of April was a day of firsts, as Chelmsford Motor club held the first ever closed road rally in England. It had been a very much eagerly awaited rally and attracted a strong entry that filled very quickly, with competitors from all over the country descended down to Clacton and Tendring to compete on the Corbeau Seats Rally Tending and Clacton. Members from Lampeter and district motor club were included on the entry list, with car 1 going to multiple event and championship winner Melvyn Evans out in a World Rally specification Subaru Impreza. He had Sean Hayde on pace note duties. Melvyn’s son Meirion took number 6 with regular navigator and fellow club member Jonathon Jackson. They were out in an R5 specification Ford Fiesta. Mark Glennerster was navigating in car 9. He was navigating in a Ford Fiesta for Michael O’Brien. Andy Davies was making his tarmac debut in his group N Subaru Impreza at 16, he was partnered once again by Lee Taylor having competed on many road rallies together over the past few years. In all the rally attracted 111 entries with 107 of them starting.

The first closed-road event organised under new legislation in England takes place on Sunday (22 April) when competitors from across the UK tackle the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton.

The Essex-based event is just two shy of a capacity 120-car entry, with crews coming from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland. First into the stages will be asphalt ace Melvyn Evans, who is seeded at number one, fresh from his victory in the opening round of the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship.

Evans and his fellow competitors will tackle 45 competitive miles across five stages on the Tendring Peninsula. There are two designated spectator areas and the rally will pass them three times during the day. Spectators will also be able to watch the cars being worked on in the Service Park, sited along Marine Parade West in Clacton.

David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “This weekend’s Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton will be a landmark event for UK motor sport. After years of campaigning, the MSA and event organisers can now take motor sport to the people, engaging with new audiences and delivering a real boost to local communities. We must give credit to Chelmsford Motor Club for leading the way and getting this initiative off the ground just a year after the new legislation was passed.”

Cllr Neil Stock OBE, leader of Tendring District Council, said: “This rally, the first of its kind in England, is a brilliant opportunity to showcase our area, and adds a different dimension to what is currently on offer in Tendring. We are delighted to be bringing such a high-profile event to Tendring, and I would like to thank the rally organisers, Chelmsford Motor Club, for working so diligently with ourselves and partners to ensure this event runs smoothly, causes minimal disruption, and brings maximum benefit to everyone.”

Chelmsford Motor Club’s Tony Clements, Event Director, said: “I am very pleased that we have received such a first-class entry, not only in terms of quantity but also quality. It should all make for an exciting day’s sport with close competition.”

Important spectator safety information is available on the event website here. Programmes – also featuring spectator information – will be on sale at Rally HQ (Clacton-on-Sea Bowling Club) on Saturday and Sunday, then at the Service Area and the two spectator stages on Sunday.

Image: Melvyn Evans in action, courtesy of rallygallery.com

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Dylan Davies and LLion "Tractor" Williams on their way to a dominant victory on Rally North Wales

The weekend of the 24th and 25th of March was another busy weekend for members of Lampeter and district motor club as the rally season picks up the pace with the longer days and warmer weather that spring brings. Two events took place over the weekend, the first of which being rally North Wales, a gravel event that makes up the second round of the Welsh forestry rally championship and uses the Dyfi and Gartheiniog forests in North Wales. On the following Sunday action took place down south and on a change of surface on the tour of Caerwent stages which made up the third round of the welsh tarmac rally championship.

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Llion Williams guides Duncan Williams round the Irish lanes on their way to thrid overall in the West Cork Historic Rally

The weekend of the 17th and 18th of March was a busy one in the rallying calendar for Lampeter and district motor club members, with the Harlech and District motor club organised Merfyn Hughes memorial Rally Llyn taking place up on the peninsula as well as the Cork Motor club organised Quality Hotel West Cork Rally taking place over the water out in Ireland. Both rallies are very popular amongst competitors and enjoy a reputation for being well organised, no nonsense events that competitors greatly enjoy, and both saw club members competing.

Andy bro caron

Andy and Michael celebrate a well deserved victory

The weekend of the 24th and 25th of February was a big one for members of Lampeter and district motor club, as the club held its own rally, the Bro Caron, a rally which made up the second round of the welsh road rally championship as well as the second round of the club’s own road rally championship. Once again it was Marc Hughes who took care of clerk of the course duties and together with his organising team they put on a fun but enjoyable rally of some 95 miles in length all on OS map 146.

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Craig Judd with club navigator Dafydd Evans on their way to fifth overall on the Mike Darowen Bro Dyfi

The Mike Darowen Bro Dyfi rally was to be the first round of the welsh road rally championship of 2018, and once again featured a host of club members who ventured up to Machynlleth. Organised by the Dovey Valley Motor club who had promised a route of some 110 miles in the Dovey valley area made up on OS maps 124, 135 and 136 (which was provided in the route hand out). First club members on the entry list were Andy Davies and Cadog Davies in Andy’s Subaru Impreza IDZ, they were seeded at 3. Navigating in car 9 was Dafydd Evans in a Peugeot 306 gti6. He was navigating for Craig Judd. Another navigator in car 20 was LLion “Tractor” Williams who was navigating for Carwyn Pughe in a Vauxhall Astra GTE. Down in 52 was Daniel Williams in his BMW 318ti, he had Shaun Richards navigating form him. Rounding off club members were Owain Evans and Dion Phillips in a Vauxhall Nova, they were seeded at 63.

sean emma jaffa

                Saturday the 30th of December saw the first rally take place after the Christmas break, the ever-popular Jaffa Stages, organised by Carmarthen motor club. It is a popular rally that many use a test ready for the up and coming season in the new year to see how their cars are performing, whilst others just enjoy entering for the fun of it. It was also to make up the first round of the club’s tarmac championship, despite having a 2017 date.

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