With a season that has been dogged by bad luck to date, Lampeter’s Meirion Evans turned the tables at the recent Severn Valley Stages with a confidence inspiring run!
The event, based in Builth Wells, provided the twenty-year-old youngster with the opportunity to gain important miles aboard his Ford Fiesta R2T during the eight-week summer break in the British Rally Championship calendar.
Following a run of misfortune since the season opening Cambrian Rally in February –the car was fitted with a freshly re built engine after discovering numerous issues following the previous round in Carlisle – the Severn Valley would be a crucial step in allowing Meirion to regain confidence in his machine – and gain confidence he did.
With the car returned to full health thanks to the efforts of M-Sport Poland and the Melvyn Evans Motorsport team; Meirion, together with co-driver Jonathan Jackson, approached the event with a strict plan to gain mileage and not be taken in by the battles that raged on around them.
The result, 20th overall and 2nd in the two litre category aboard their one litre turbo machine, was insignificant – the pair achieved their goal and now feel prepared to make the long trip North to Dumfries, Scotland for Round 4 of the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship;
“It’s nice to finally have things on the right track. Things couldn’t really have gone much worse over past few rallies and it’s taken a lot of character to persevere and put it behind us. We didn’t come here looking for a result-it’ll always be difficult to compete in a 2 litre class in a 1 litre car but I had to let things come back to me naturally having not had the car at full power since March as well as making sure the car was performing well after fitting the engine. We tried a couple of different things with the car which will hopefully put us in good shape for the next few rounds!”
Heading into what is considered the “Business end” of the season, the Scottish will see the young pair take in the classic stages of Castle O’er, Twiglees and Ae before heading home for Round 5 – the Nicky Grist Stages in July. Based in Builth Wells, just an hour from Meirion’s home, the event will provide the crew with the unique challenge of gravel and tarmac stages across two days but, thanks to meticulous preparation, Meirion feels ready to go in search of his first victory, putting his foot in the door for the title race;
“I’m really excited for the next 2 rounds, I’ve done the Scottish once before and absolutely loved the stages and the Nicky Grist is a rally that I’m most familiar with on the calendar. It feels like a fresh start, we haven’t been given a fair chance to compete yet but we’ll give it everything we’ve got on these next 2 rounds, as there’s no 2 ways about it- they’ll make or break our season. We were close to the front on the Mid Wales and I feel pretty confident that my driving at the weekend was back around where it should be, towards the end of the rally. I’m fully aware it’ll be very difficult to win but we’ll give it our best shot and keep fighting as hard as we can. Hopefully we can get strong scores from both events”