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Rally entry described as the best ever

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 19, 2013

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A SUPERB entry has been assembled for tomorrow's opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares RAC Rally Championship.

The field for the first event, the Amman & District Motor Club Red Kite Stages, is headed by top Welsh driver Julian Reynolds, with Mark Higgins and Nick Elliott in hot pursuit.

More than 50 WWRS-RAC Championship crews will line up in Llandovery for the first of seven rallies and the quality of historic entry has been described as the best ever seen for a British championship event.

A total of 29 BDA/BDG engined Ford Escorts in a field, which also includes cars from Volvo, BMW, Hillman, Opel, Austin, Alfa Romeo, Sunbeam and Triumph.

The weather has thrown a new element into the fray, with the forests around Llandovery hit by snowfalls in recent days.

Organisers and competitors will hope that the stages do not become impassable if the weather takes a turn for the worse. If necessary, snow tyres will be permitted.

Scheduled to be leading the field away will be reigning British Historic Rally Championship victors Julian Reynolds and Patrick Walsh, in their Ford Escort Mk2.

West Walian Reynolds has won the modern section of the Red Kite three times and the historic section twice, but it is still uncertain if the crew will be there when the rally starts at 9am on Sunday as they are attending the MSA Night of Champions presentation in London on Saturday night and face a race against time.

Three-time British rally champion Mark Higgins and co-driver Ieuan Thomas of Ammanford are second away in the main field in an Escort Mk2, with the flying Nick Elliott and Dave Price next up.

In a stunning entry, quick Series 3 cars pack out the top 20 in the hands of drivers such as Kevin Davies, Will Onions, Thomas Davies, Terry Brown, Rob Smith, Alan Walker and Seamus O'Connell.

New to the historic arena will be Builth Wells driver Jason Pritchard in a Viking Motorsport Escort Mk2 constructed by Welsh World Rally champion co-driver Phil Mills, while Matt Edwards has worked non-stop for the last six weeks to get his Escort Mk2 ready after a first stage retirement on the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

Variety in Series 3 is provided by the Sunbeam Lotus of Guy Anderson and the Triumph TR7 V8 of Peter Jones, while another Welshman — Guy Woodcock — heads the Pinto-powered Escorts Mk2s with his former Police Panda car.

At the very front of the rally will be the pre-1967 cars in Series 1, with Ian Beveridge and Paul Price first away in their Volvo PV 544. West Walian Ben Llewellin will make his rallying debut in a Ford Escort Mk2.

ROGER GALE

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