severn valley evo
Another maximum points score on the Severn Valley Stages saw Luke Francis and co-driver John H Roberts consolidate their lead in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.
The Rhuddlan driver and his co-driver, from Colwyn Bay, were never headed by their championship rivals as they tackled the seven stage event in their Mitsubishi  Evo 9, with their biggest challenge coming from restricted visibility due to dust on the forest tracks on a warm, dry day.
Second place on the event and in the championship standings was claimed by Dylan Davies from Llanon in his Subaru Impreza. He took that place ahead of Sara Williams, the Brecon driver claiming Group N honours, for less modified cars, on her first appearance in this year’s championship and her first appearance on a rally in nearly seven months.
Fourth place overall and second in Group N went to Surrey driver Wug Utting, ahead of Worcestershire duo Paul Davy and Roger Allan.
There was disappointment for Andy Davies who slipped from second to fourth in the overall Championship standings after being forced to retire from the event with fuel pump problems on his Subaru Impreza. Despite that retirement, co-driver Max Freeman retains his second place in the overall standings and, along with Andy, continues to lead the Group N category. Max also keeps his lead in the Vital Equipment Junior Welsh Championship for co-drivers. Another pairing to go out of the event with mechanical problems were Martyn and Dawn England who retired their Ford Fiesta R5+ on the second stage.
Andrew Jones retains his lead in the Vital Equipment Junior Welsh Championship for drivers as well as in the two wheel drive category with a class winning performance in his Ford Escort. New Zealander Boyd Kershaw, however, was forced to retire his Escort after suffering a blown head gasket before the final stage of the event.
Meanwhile, the battle for the Ravenol Welsh Challenge, run in conjunction with the Championship, is heating up. With a prize fund valued at £3000 and points awarded based on drivers’ performances within their class, it’s Luke Francis who leads from Andrew Jones but four drivers are tied on points in third place with just two points separating the next four drivers.
The next round of the Championship sees competitors return to Builth Wells for the Nicky Grist Stages on July 9th. You can find out more about the event on their website, about the championship, which includes a full rundown of current Championship positions, on the Championship Facebook page and on Twitter @WnRC.