Kevin Davies, contesting the 2005 Silkolene BTRDA 1400 National Rally Championship with Geoff Jones Motorsport. 'First Class Davies makes his mark!' Young Welsh driver Kevin Davies got his 2005 BTRDA 1400 National Rally Championship campaign...
Kevin Davies, contesting the 2005 Silkolene BTRDA 1400 National Rally Championship with Geoff Jones Motorsport.
'First Class Davies makes his mark!'
Young Welsh driver Kevin Davies got his 2005 BTRDA 1400 National Rally Championship campaign off to a flying start this weekend on the Wyedean Rally, as the 20 year old finished 10th in the 1400 section, but also took a fine victory in the 'A5' category.
Driving his Geoff Jones Motorsport run Nissan Micra Kit Car, Davies, from Llanfihangel-ar-Arth (Llandysul) and co-driver Emyr Jones produced a cool and calculating performance on the rally, based in Chepstow. Using the slippery narrow tracks in the Forest of Dean, Davies was contesting only his second ever rally. An appearance on the Cambrian Rally at the end of last season netted an encouraging 3rd in the A5 Class, but the Wyedean was an altogether different challenge for Davies.
After completing a spectator friendly stage at the Chepstow Racecourse, Davies then moved into the forest stages, and was surprised at how slippy the roads really were. Struggling for confidence in the wet conditions, Davies was working hard to keep the Micra on the road at times over the morning loop of stages. Determined to keep on the road, Davies remained in contention for class honours throughout, and a change of tyres to a more open tread pattern at service worked wonders. The rapid Micra was now even more sure footed thanks to the new rubber, and Davies picked up his pace considerably.
Now involved in a close battle with Marcel Freling in a similar Micra, Davies asserted his authority at the front of the class over the next couple of stages, making it into the top ten in the ultra competitive 1400 series in the process. With the experienced Emyr alongside, the pair were then able to see it through to the end of the final stage and clocked up and excellent first in class and a superb start to the year in the process.
Davies was delighted with the result:
'It was a very tricky start to the day I must say. The car was working fine, but we were really struggling for grip - it was incredibly slippy in places, and a job to keep the car on the road at all. Fortunately at service we spoke to Geoff Jones and he recommended a more open tread pattern tyre, which we decided to go for. It transformed the feeling with the car - almost night and day!
We were able to really motor on in the afternoon stages, and as a result, we clawed back some time to the leader in the class, and we got past him with a couple of stages to go. We're now leading the A5 class in the BTRDA 1400 series and that's a great start to the season for me. The hard work begins now though, so its time to forget this result and learn entirely new stages when we go to the Malcolm Wilson Rally next month. Both Emyr and myself are looking forward to the challenge.'
Davies heads north up the M6 for his next rallying challenge. The Malcolm Wilson Rally, named after the current boss of the Ford World Rally Team is based in Cockermouth and will be a tough test for Davies. The Cumbrian forests are quite different in their nature to those of Kevin's native Wales, and the Welshman will be keen to learn all about them as he continues his excellent start to the season.