'Class win for Davies after tragic Wales Rally GB'
Welsh rally star Kevin Davies finished Wales Rally GB at his first attempt, and won the 'A5' class in the process. However there was no joy in accepting the award, as the event was over-shadowed by the death of a leading British competitor on the Cardiff based event, a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Driving a Nissan Micra Kit Car, Davies, from Llanfihangel-ar-Arth in West Wales would be up against stiff opposition on the event's popular 1400cc class, and had attracted new support for the rally. Jardine Lloyd Thompson and www.rallycarsales.net had both stepped in to help Kevin, along with season long supporters EXL Windows, KJ's Eden Tours, and David Harries & Co.
With Llandysul's Emyr Jones alongside as usual, Davies was keen to make a good start in the Geoff Jones Motorsport run machine. Unfortunately disaster was to strike for Kevin as the Micra hit transmission problems on the opening stage of the rally, and a broken driveshaft would be the cause. With another long stage to go before service and no chance of roadside assistance, Kevin had no option but to stop after the stage.
With the rally running to 'Super Rally' regulations, Kevin was able to take a time penalty for the stages he missed and rejoin for the Saturday leg of the rally. The young Welshman wasted no time in setting some impressive stage times as he mixed it with both the 1400cc and higher capacity cars on the stage times. Davies was able to keep everything together tidily and was looking forward to a final test of stages on the Sunday, until the fatal accident that would ultimately bring the rally to a respectful early finish.
The Yokohama and Silkolene backed ace enjoyed his first experience of a World Rally Championship round, but like every other competitor in the event, Kevin could find little joy after the rally had officially finished:
'A competitor losing their life is the worst possible situation that can be encountered on a rally, so of course both Emyr and myself are feeling very low at the moment. From our own point of view, the rally was a difficult and challlenging event, but we did enjoy the experience and gained a huge amount of knowledge from it. Longer stages and longer days meant that I had to be mentally and physically fitter than for a normal rally and I was pleased that the work I had done on fitness before the event had paid off. Of course I must say a big thank you to all my sponsors for this event who really did make the event a reality for us. Although we have taken the class win, there is nothing to celebrate from this weekend and our thoughts are with those who have more important things to consider today'.
Davies is likely to contest the Cambrian Rally on November 5th next. The Llandudno event will be the final outing of a successful year for the recently crowned Silkolene 1400 National 'A5' Class Rally Champion.