Vauxhall Astra Stages Rally preview

Motorsport fans in North Wales are in for a rallying treat as the second round of the Kumho National Rally Championship, the Vauxhall Astra Stages Rally, comes to Llangollen on April 12th. As one of the best supported national series in the UK,...

Motorsport fans in North Wales are in for a rallying treat as the second round of the Kumho National Rally Championship, the Vauxhall Astra Stages Rally, comes to Llangollen on April 12th.

As one of the best supported national series in the UK, the Kumho Tyres backed championship saw 120 crews take part on the opening Rallye Sunseeker in Bournemouth, and an even higher number of crews are expected to tackle the ultra challenging stages in Clocaenog, Penmachno and Aberhirnant - classic North Wales forestry roads.

Entries for the day long test of rallying skill have been flowing in recently, but entries are still available. Championship leader and multiple National Champion Marcus Dodd will be looking to continue his run of form after victory on his home event in Bournemouth. Norfolk mushroom farmer David Mann will also be looking forward to the all gravel event in his Kumho backed Subaru Impreza, whilst crowd favourite Andy Burton brings his unique Peugeot-Cosworth up from Herefordshire, ably assisted by Conwy based co-driver John Roberts. Defending champion Mark Perrott from Leominster will be looking for better luck in Wales after gearbox failure in Bournemouth forced him to retire.

The Vauxhall Astra Stages is also a round of the extremely popular Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge, a one make championship specifically designed for the ubiquitous Mitsubishi Lancer Production Cup class cars. Leading the way after round one is Herts driver Paul Alexander, with Irishman Jakes Kelly on the pace notes. Alexander will be hotly pursued by another Irishman Brendan Crealey on the Astra Stages, but look out for Welsh driver Richard Davies. Davies is no stranger to the North Wales forests and is definitely a driver to watch on the event, with Anglesey's Dylan Jones calling the corners.

The Kumho Clubmans Rally Championship is also visiting North Wales, after its first round in Yorkshire. Designed to suit those on a lesser budget, but who still want to contest a competitive national series, the event is likely to be a battle of the venerable Ford Escort RS. Leading the way in Yorkshire was James Potter, but James will be expecting tough competition from the likes of Craig Dykes, Steve Magson, and Hull driver Andy Carter. Ludlow youngster Joe Price will also be looking to continue his good form from the Kall Kwik Rally in his Talbot Sunbeam.

The Rally is based in the popular town of Llangollen, with Rally HQ at the Royal Pavilion site. Scrutiny and documentation will take place at the Pavilion on the Friday afternoon and evening, before the crews start the event at 8am on the Saturday morning, returning to the same venue for the champagne celebrations from 3pm onwards.

The rally is also a round of the MSA Armajaro British Historic Rally Championship, and the Welsh National Rally Championship, making it one of the most successful rallies within the UK motorsport calendar.

-jemsport-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Andy Carter , Marcus Dodd