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Success for Gibbard and Jones in Herefordshire Motor Club's Epynt stages
9:30am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Sport
HEREFORDSHIRE Motor Club’s Welsh Marches Mini Epynt stages rally, a challenging 45-mile route over asphalt roads near Brecon, brought a win for Nigel Gibbard and David Jones.
The pair experienced a case of deja vu as going into the final two stages they were four seconds ahead of Richard Merriman and Kath Curzon, both pairs using Darrian T90s, after an all-day battle.
In 2011, Gibbard lost out with engine failure on the final stage to Darren Underwood, but this year the luck ran out for Merriman who retired with mechanical problems near the finish, leaving Gibbard and Jones to take the win by one minute 45 seconds ahead.
Late entry Anton Shaw and Kevin Harris (Escort) had a rewarding day, finishing a second overall, just a second ahead of Pete Rayner and Den Golding (Escort).
Leading the field away on was 2011 winner Underwood, co-driven by Dewi Mason who had won the charity raffle to join the Nova driver for this event.
The Nova led a Subaru S14 WRC car crewed by Peter Lloyd and/Graham Handley plus other more powerful cars and did not get caught on the stages.
But due to their previous success on the ranges, neither qualified for an overall result.
Lloyd and Handley finished more than two minutes ahead of all the other competitors and were credited with a class win, while Underwood and Mason finished fifth in class, hampered by having no intercom on one stage and clearing sheep from the roads, which did nothing for their confidence when racing over blind crests.
Best Herefordshire Motor Club Crew, in a Mk II Escort, were Abergavenny duo Brian and Ian Davies who finished 23rd overall and fifth in class.
In another Escort were Rob Davies and Mark Robinson, who finished 12th overall. Hereford’s Peter Lewis and Alan Jones, in their immaculate Ford Anglia, were third in the historic section and 48th overall, despite Lewis being in pain and having his appendix urgently removed the following day.
In a Peugeot 306, James Young and Ben Rolph produced a good effort on their rallying debut to finish 41st overall and win the Best Novice Crew prize.
Apex Motor Parts sponsored the event and provided prizes for the volunteer marshals, while there was stage sponsorship from DUCE Motorsport, VW Campervan Hire, Hansford Plant Hire, Dennis Motorsport, John Wood Tyres, John Price Rallying and Bowyer Power.
“We’re grateful for everyone’s input and involvement, including the marshals and officials, who all contributed to a successful event,” said joint clerk of the course Mark Lively.
Around £1,700 will be donated by HMC to Wales Air Ambulance, Macmillan Renton Unit at Hereford County Hospital and Help the Heroes.
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