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October 2023

Toyota Harlech Stages.

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Merriman and Jenkins Clinch the Current Lead

Richard Merriman with Kath Curzon had a hard fight for Class Victory at Llanbedr Airfield with crews after Stage 1 reporting a few hair raising moments on the slippery perimeter roads. Steffan Morris said that he was turning the steering wheel on his Escort Mk.2 and the car was just travelling straight on! Merriman / Curzon had the ‘To finish first, first you have to finish’ attitude with a very cautious start which saw their Darrian T90 caught by another car.

Getting used to 40 BHP more with a newly fitted engine and a lot more low end torque, Russell Davies also had a few uncharacteristic sideways moments in his RJD Motor Services Darrian T90, and reckoned that he would have been quicker early on with his less powerful, old engine.

Top contenders who set a blistering pace on the first stage were Ashley Furlong and Pete Phennah, taking 7th overall and mixing it with far more expensive machinery. The conditions suited their Renault Clio but their potential giant killing act came to a premature end with gearbox issues on Stage 2 forcing their retirement at Service.

Getting quicker every rally are the father and son crew of Chris and Cieron Gifford who had their first Top 20 result in their Peugeot 205.

In the RJD Two Seats Trophy category, Dylan Fowler Bishop is dominating with two rounds to go after sitting alongside 15 year old Junior 1000 contender Kyle Green.

With a drying track the T90 crews of Merriman / Curzon and Davies / Suter started putting in competitive times to finish a very creditable 5th and 6th overall, and claim 1st and 2nd in class points respectively.

The battle for Overall Co-drivers Championship honours is by no means over with the top six all competing on one or both of the two remaining [forest] rounds. Coleford’s Colin Jenkins has a mere one point lead from Dan Evans who took class victory at the weekend, with points to drop as he has now entered seven rounds. The outcome is by no means settled with the top six all having a mathematical chance of clinching the title.