Mid Wales Heartbreak for Evans
The weekend of the 5th and 6th of March saw the greatly anticipated re-launch of the MSA British Rally Championship with Lampeter’s Meirion Evans amongst the fifty crews taking the start of the opening round, the Mid Wales Stages.
The event would see the crews tackle stages made world famous by Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship – Wales Rally GB. Six stages, covering 70 competitive miles over two days would test the crews with night stages thrown in to add to the challenge the opening round would offer.
Should night stages and 70 miles of action not be challenging enough, snow and ice plagued the crews on the pre-event reconnaissance and would cause concern amongst the teams as they headed into the opening nights action – nearly 26 miles of competition in Hafren-Sweet Lamb and Pikes Peak-Myherin. Despite the pair having, by their own admission, a ‘far from perfect run’, the Melvyn Evans Motorsport run Ford Fiesta R2T was placed in a solid fifth place of the hotly contested Dmack Junior British Rally Championship crews after the gruelling sixteen mile opening stage.
A strong performance in stage two, taking third fastest time – despite a minor off and worryies of the cars handling – further cemented the crews intent – the top five drivers covered by just 30 seconds! However, with a big attacked planned during the daylight of day 2, the young crew fell foul of the ever changing conditions just five miles into the opening stage of the second day. Despite slowing considerably for a car already off on the bend a patch of snow on the racing-line caused their Ford Fiesta to leave the road, a soft ditch leaving the car undamaged but stuck fast and going no-further, despite the best efforts of the crew;
“I’m bitterly disappointed that the weekend ended up the way it did for us” commented Evans back in the Newtown Service Park, “Its easy to say in these conditions, but we really were passengers – we had a big attack planned today and it’s hugely disappointing not to be able to show our pace even more. The Circuit of Ireland is next, we have good experience in ireland and some of my best results have come over there. It won’t be easy but we’ll try and make sure we bounce back. We feel we could’ve made an impression on the podium during Sunday’s stages, but its hard to judge the grip and speed in those conditions!”
With the Fiesta returning from the event undamaged, a late entry has been placed into the Tour of Epynt this weekend – an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge of the DMACK Tyres, set up data and pacenotes ahead of the British Rally Championship round which also uses the roads over the ranges; the Nicky Grist Stages in July;
“Epynt is relatively local to me so it makes perfect sense for us to get back out and back to work. With the Circuit of Ireland being the first tarmac event this year, we need those all-important miles on tarmac – it’ll be the first time we’ve driven the car on that particular surface.”