UK: Fiat Stilo Rally Cup Rally of Wales preview

Stilo Cup Goes To Wales Six Fiat Stilo Rally Cup contenders will make the journey to Dolgellau in mid-Wales for the classic super smooth stages of the International Rally of Wales. The 187bhp Group A cars will contest the second round of...

Stilo Cup Goes To Wales

Six Fiat Stilo Rally Cup contenders will make the journey to Dolgellau in mid-Wales for the classic super smooth stages of the International Rally of Wales.

The 187bhp Group A cars will contest the second round of the Kwik Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship, vying for the lucrative prize drive in a Fiat Punto Super 1600 car in 2005. The rally starts at 1pm on Saturday from Dolgellau town centre, following an early morning recce of the stages for all the crews.

Scots Willie Bonniwell and co-driver Ian Fraser had rallied the Stilo once in Scotland before their outing on the first round of the series. This could be why the pair went on to set five fastest times in Kielder during the Pirelli International Rally, allowing them to spray the champagne for the first time in their rallying careers.

Chris Davies and Nathan Parry hail from Abergavenny, so local support will be high. Davies took second place in Kielder, and with it the award for highest placed junior. He and his co-driver will be hoping the suspension problems that prevented them from having a charge on round one do not re-occur.

Power station fitter Shaun Woffinden will have the experienced Howard Pridmore alongside again, using his experience to improve on their third place on the Pirelli. The car will undergo a full systems check before the event to try to alleviate the intermittent misfire that plagued the pair on round one.

Dumfries based mechanic Tom Metcalfe and co-driver Roger Herron have a mountain to climb before the event, the car requiring serious bodywork repairs after Kielder. The forest's ditches lived up to their reputation and swallowed Metcalfe's car twice, leaving it looking decidedly secondhand, but they finished, albeit well down the order.

Catalan driver Joan Roca will rue the mistake he made on round one, ending the event unceremoniously stuck in a ditch on a road section between stages. Despite the efforts of team-mate Jordi Barrabes and the other Stilo crews, he remained there until the rescue crews came along, too late for them to re-start.

Davies' fellow countryman Paul Tod will be partnered by Iestyn ap Dafydd on home soil. The Welsh pairing had a great build-up to the season, holding a hugely successful gala evening to woo potential sponsors. Their season however, didn't get off to such a flying start, and they will be listening very carefully to the gearbox after it expired the last time out.

The central service area in Dolgellau on both days, and 105 stage miles of flat-out rallying is excellent for spectators. The event follows an ultra-compact 24-hour format, the first competitor finishing at 12.45pm on Sunday back in Dolgellau.

Watch out for the Fiat Stilo Rally Cup crews who will all be trying hard to take their share of the £2550 prize money available on each round.

The Fiat Stilo Rally Cup acknowledges support from Fiat Auto (UK), Hi-Tec, Toora Competizione, PIAA, Bardahl, Pirelli and media partner Motorsport News.

-fsrc-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Roger Herron , Jordi Barrabes , Paul Tod , Shaun Woffinden , Tom Metcalfe