Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally,
Epynt Ranges, Wales -
The run up to this event had seen Andy Hawkins having to use different co-
The day before the event was an early start for Andy and Seb, leaving Newark in the dark morning hours to get to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. The good news though was that the sun was starting to burn through, with a possible promise of a good day weather wise for the recce. It wasn’t long after getting the car unloaded that the co-
I’V SEEN ENOUGH
First time together in a car and the recce of the stages went well. Some great technical sections around the German Village, used by the military to practise their FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Area) techniques, along with some long flowing bends and the obligatory jumps of the Epynt ranges. A few hours later and the crew were all re-
AND THEY’RE OFF
The event was based over fourteen stages, with five loops. Following the early morning ceremonial start at the showground the crew were straight off to the first stage, this was a great start for Andy and Peter; with no major dramas and the pair getting to grips with the notes. Stage 2 would see the golf flying for the first time on the day over a large crest, the car landing well and giving Andy the confidence for the same crest later in the day – when the stage would be run in reverse. The second part of the stage would see the crew traverse the Burma Road, a section that had almost caught Andy out early in the year and still sat in the back of his mind – it went well and although some nerves the pace was still good. The long third stage of the loop would be the first run through the German village, the surface was very slippy and the team worked well though the obstacles and buildings. Confidence in the car was building; however, a slight mistake over a crest had to be quickly corrected but no major issue.
Later on the stage Andy miscalculated a turn into a chicane and undershot the turn, costing vital seconds as he had to reposition and start again. All said and done the first loop was a great run and at a good pace, the team climbing two more places since the end of stage one and lying second in class.
LOOP 2 & 3
Following a slight issue in service, during a very short twelve minute stop, the car was forced to go out on the same tyres for the next loop of stages; a repeat of the first three. Again the car ran faultlessly and there were no major issues with the driver or co-
With the thought that someone could always tow them back on the road section Andy continued to push to the end of stage and then limp back to service. The golf made it back, but that could have been the type of error that could have cost the championship points.
FRESH BOOTS & REVERSE LOOPS
Fuelled up and ready to go, wearing fresh tyres, the team headed of for the first of the two afternoon loops of stages. These were to prove some of the best stages of the day. Stage nine, which took the pair back through the German village, felt fast and precise with the pair wearing silly grins by the end of it. Stage ten was another visit to the Burma Road and all was well, even with Andy taking the final jump a little too enthusiastically. However, the car landed well and was a great photo opportunity! Stage eleven would see their times be hampered by the catching up of the previous car on the narrow twisty lanes, staying behind it until an opportune moment to blast past after a hairpin turn – where Andy found a grass route around the struggling escort. A great loop of stages seeing them climbing up the leader board and remaining second in class at this stage heading into final service.
A quick nut and bolt check, after the “big air”, and all ready to go out for the final loop. This was to be a final push for the team and a hope of a finish to gain those all-
IN THE POINTS
A great days event saw the pair finish the event 2nd in class and leading the REIS Championship Class B11 by six points. Well done to all involved.
Big thanks go out to:
the organising club, Epynt Motor Club, the emergency crews, the marshals and volunteers
Nick for lending us his trolley jack
the service crew, Jem and Seb
o NAMIK Ltd.
o Newark Self Drive Hire
o JAZ Computer Services
o Max Sport Tyres