Ieuan sails to Mutiny success! Ieuan Rowlands took victory on the third round of the KUMHO Clubmans Rally Championship, but not before he and co-driver Andy Davies had fended off a magnificent challenge from James Potter/Andrew Hebron, taking ...
Ieuan sails to Mutiny success!
Ieuan Rowlands took victory on the third round of the KUMHO Clubmans Rally Championship, but not before he and co-driver Andy Davies had fended off a magnificent challenge from James Potter/Andrew Hebron, taking victory by just 19 seconds after seven stages in the forests of Mid Wales.
The Mutiny Clubmans Rally had attracted a strong contingent of KUMHO registered drivers for the event based in Llandrindod Wells. Tim Pearcey and Allan McDowall were the pace setters in the opening Gwibedog stage, but both drivers were unfortunate to retire on the second stage. McDowall having a very scary moment when a rear wheel sheared off, whilst Pearcey suffered mechanical problems.
Stage two saw Welsh wonder Rowlands take fastest time with Kent's Potter just 0.5 of a second slower. Third fastest on the stage were Hull pairing Andy Carter/Carl Briggs. Carter would later admit that he'd been too slow on the opening stages but his pace increased throughout the day.
Astra Clubman Stages winner Alistair Adams was having a fraught day in contrast. A mystery clutch problem was causing the Bewdley driver major headaches. The car was having trouble climbing the hills on road sections, but the gravel surface seemed to lessen the problem on the stages. It was fingers crossed for Alistair and Andrew all day!
Three other potential front runners would not make it to the end on this event. Steve Magson/Geoff Atkinson were looking to do well in their Vauxhall Astra RWD. The Pickering driver returning from a family holiday to contest the event. Unfortunately, a broken CV joint in SS4 meant that they were going no further. Yorkshire's Paul Bardon and Ludlow junior Joe Price suffered an even worse fate - both retiring their Escort and Sunbeam respectively with engine failure on the opening stage.
In Class One, the Mini of Steven Belcher/Richard May were on top form. The pair would later win their class by 5 minutes from Huw Littler-Jones/Geraint Lloyd Williams. Belcher was also rewarded for his second consecutive class win as he also received the KUMHO Competitor of the Meeting Award (Four KUMHO tyres) in recognition of his efforts.
In Class Two, Iain Shirlaw finished a fine second in the category in his Vauxhall Nova GSi. The Motorsport Direct man enjoying the stages all day and finding the changes made to the car pre-event were working very well indeed. A snapped alternator belt near the end could have spelt disaster, but thanks to a spare belt from class rival Ian McCulloch, Shirlaw brought the car home, with co-driver Martin Moore scooping maximum co-drivers points in the process.
Andy Carter/Carl Briggs had speeded up sufficiently in the afternoon to grab third overall and first in Class Three after another excellent performance in their Escort RS. Dick Slaughter and Geoff Dearing had also been going well in their similar machine, as they netted the runners up spot after a good day's work.
Out front, things couldn't have been closer as the crews entered the penultimate stage, Twyi. Potter lead Rowlands by 8 seconds going into the 14 mile stage. Around 15 minutes later - it was Rowlands who now headed the leaderboard after an inspired drive. Ieuan later admitted that he thought they were going off on many occasions, but the attack stunned Potter, who now found himself 20 seconds behind the Harlech driver.
With one short stage left, Potter pressed on again, taking two seconds out of Rowland's, but not enough to take the spoils. James has now taken the lead in the series once again, and despite only having a 1600cc engine, Rowlands kept it all together to take a brilliant win on a glorious day for many reasons in Mid Wales.
KUMHO Clubmans Championship Table - After Round Three, Mutiny Rally.
James Potter 61 points
Alistair Adams 60 points
Andy Carter 59 points
Ieuan Rowlands 47 points
Iain Shirlaw 43 points
Allan McDowall 39 points
Steve Magson 38 points
Iain McCulloch 37 points
John Rowlands 34 points
David Gratrix 34 points.