North Wales Car Club

Showdown Time for NWCC members

Posted on October 13, 2014

Rhuddlan’s Luke Francis starts the Llandudno based Cambrian Rally this weekend (October 18th) looking to emulate the efforts of fellow North Walian Matt Edwards in 2012 and take the 2014 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally title.

The battle for the title this weekend will be between two drivers. Competing close to home Luke driving a Mitusbishi Lancer Evo IX currently leads the series. He could still be overhauled, however, by Alex Allingham from Northwich, competing in a Subaru Impreza.

Alex took the title in 2010 and 2011 and, after just missing out on the championship to Northern Ireland’s Connor McCloskey on this event last year, the Cheshire driver would like nothing more than to claim the coveted trophy for a third time. On the other hand, while Alex has never won the Cambrian, Luke did take victory in 2012.

It’s not just honour at stake, either, since with the title comes a free entry on Wales Rally GB’s National Rally in November. The prize is part of the World Rally Championship event’s Road to Wales initiative which will see the 2014 Welsh Champion tackling stages that include some of those used this weekend in the company of the world’s leading rally drivers.

While Luke’s co-driver, John H Roberts from Colwyn Bay looks set to take the overall co-drivers title, Chris Williams from Daventry, who partners Alex, has already sewn up the award in Group N, for less modified cars and Alex should clinch the driver’s title in that category this weekend.

Yorkshireman Matthew Robinson looks on course to take the two wheel drive category but another Mark 2 Escort driver, Terry Brown from Carmarthen could still snatch the honour away from him with a dominant performance on this weekend’s classic forest stages.

If Matthew takes the two wheel drive title, then consolation should come for Terry in the form of the rear wheel drive award while the front wheel drive category looks to be heading the way of Penmaenmawr driver Rory Jones.

The MG ZR driver is also in a battle for the Junior, under 25, honours with Leominster’s James Hamer, driving a Subaru Impreza, and Thomas Bayliss from Newtown in his diminutive Nissan Micra.

Favourite to take the Junior co-driver honours is another Newtown competitor, Siobhan Pugh but Will Rogers from Cinderford, teamed up for this event with local driver Matt Edwards, could still make a late charge to snatch the award.

One of the tightest battles of the Championship is in Class 3, for 16 valve two wheel drive cars up to 1400cc where Rory Jones is fighting it out with Dogellau’s Sion Ellis and James Watkins from Welshpool, both in Nissan Micras and Vauxhall Nova driver Justin Lawson, from Warrington.

Among the bigger engined cars, there is a three way battle in Class 8 between the Metro 6R4 of Geoff Cottrill from Bromsgrove, the Impreza of James Hamer and the Mitsubishi of Radlett’s Simon Rogers.

There is, therefore, plenty to play for in the 2014 Pirellli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship and few events could offer a more challenging conclusion to a prestigious series than the Cambrian Rally.

Scrutineering for the event will take place in the multi-storey car park at Victoria Centre in Llandudno between 14:00 and 20:00 on Friday and competitors will leave the town centre start from 08:00 on Saturday. With eight stages to tackle in Crafnant, Elsi and Penmachno, they will return to Llandudno starting just after 15:00. Admission to the stages is free for spectators but there will be a car parking charge with funds going to local charities. You can find out more about the event on the website, and about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship at, on the Championship Facebook page, or on twitter, @WnRC.