'Jamie finds the right Formula for success!' Wrexham rally driver Jamie Edwards took his maiden victory in the Formula 1000 Gravel Rally Championship this weekend, winning the class on the Gwynedd Rally, part of the International Rally of Wales.
'Jamie finds the right Formula for success!'
Wrexham rally driver Jamie Edwards took his maiden victory in the Formula 1000 Gravel Rally Championship this weekend, winning the class on the Gwynedd Rally, part of the International Rally of Wales. Jamie's first place now promotes him to the top of the Championship points table as joint leader with two rounds completed.
After a fine showing on the recent Astra Stages, where Edwards netted third, Jamie and co-driver Pamela Hilton from Farnborough were keen to put that increased in confidence to the test on the hilly gravel stages near to the rally base in Dolgellau.
With a mammoth 19 mile opening stage to tackle in Hafren and Sweet Lamb forests, Edwards decided to throw caution to the wind as he literally hit the ground running in the Ian Hughes Motor Body Repair Centre backed Nissan Micra 16v. Edwards was pushing the Micra hard over the rough terrain, but a watersplash near to the end of the stage was to have dire consequences on their stage time as Jamie explains:
'I was probably trying a bit too hard and I took a watersplash flat out. Unfortunately, the electrics began to play up, and the car lapsed onto 3 cylinders. Normally this would be bad enough, but we had to climb a really steep hill for well over a mile. The car was completely dead - not able to rev over about 2,000rpm. We lost a huge amount of time - at least half a minute if not more. Fortunately, the car kicked back into life after about 2 more miles and we were able to finish the stage. It was a very frustrating start!'.
Despite those problems, Edwards found himself lying second, although a time penalty to a rival crew meant that the Welshman was now leading the Formula 1000 contingent in the Matador Tyres backed car. Determined to press on in the long 16 mile Myherin stage, Edwards would this time find himself able to have a clear run at the stage, and both Jamie and Pamela were thrilled to notch up their first fastest time of the year in the process.
With one more stage to go, Jamie knew that victory was less than 6 miles away providing he could maintain his good pace. A solid 2nd fastest time in the Taliesin stage meant that Jamie and Pam had taken victory by eleven seconds from flying father and son duo Tristan and Alistair Dodd. Round One winner Chris Shaw completed the podium to make it a Nissan Micra 1-2-3.
Jamie was more than happy with his performance, as he explained at the rally finish back in the centre of Dolgellau:
'My aim at the beginning of the year was to try to finish in the top three of the series and to set a fastest stage time. We managed to set a fastest time in Stage 2 today, so that was a great feeling, and I'm just over the moon that we are jointly leading the Championship after two rounds. Its far beyond my wildest expectations to be honest! We had a few niggling problems with the car today - all of them electrical, so that was something we had to overcome to get to the finish.
We'd also had a problem with wheels in the run up to the event, as three of the wheels on the car from the last rally had to be scrapped due to problems with their construction. With all this in mind, to come away with a win is a huge bonus and has given me a major confidence boost for the rest of the year. We've shown today that we can put in very competitive stage times, and I hope we can carry that form into the next rally in June.'
Edwards now has a lengthy break before his next outing. The Mid Wales Stages takes place towards the end of June and will be the mid way point in the F1000 Gravel Rally Championship. After a strong performance in Dolgellau, Edwards will certainly be keen to keep up the points scoring on the Newtown based rally.