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The Plains Rally 2023

A number of Ludlow Castle Motor Club crews travelled to Bala to compete on a very hot and dusty Plains Rally. Fortunes were again mixed.

Jack Bowen & Perry Gardner – Finished 3rd overall. First time out for Perry in seven months and spent the morning getting back into the swing of things. Clean morning loop with no dramas saw them lying 3rd overall and only 9 secs off the lead.

Afternoon started well with a fastest time on SS6 promoting them into 2nd overall. Unfortunately, a spin on SS7 cost 10 seconds and then a warning appeared on the dash in SS8, meaning they had to stop, reset the system and go again, costing them roughly 25 seconds ending up 3rd overall, 2nd Welsh.

Simon Rogers – Finished 4th overall and 1st in class W13 with James How in the navigator seat. Reporting very slippy conditions with very variable grip all day and a challenge to pick where the grip might be good or might be absent. The crew had an epic battle for the W13 class with their emerging nemesis (in a friendly kind of way!), Martyn Andrews in his Subaru. In a repeat of our times against each other on April’s Rallynuts, they traded seconds stage by stage. Martyn had the edge by just 2s going into the long SS7 Aberhirnant. Determined to turn this around having just tied on

the long Alwen, Simon had a proper hard push. Unfortunately, Martyn hit a technical problem with a suspected centre diff issue and therefore had a comfortable cushion going into the last one. The only drama to report was hitting a massive rock on SS5 Alwen North which broke a front wheel and a quick change had them on their way only dropping 5s to our time first go through. So another 1st in class and a podium finish in the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship with a 4th overall on the Interclub section and 10th overall on the combined event.

Phil Clarke with Jason Pritchard – Finished 26th overall and 6th in class G2. Phil reported that they were out for mileage in the Mk 2 ready for the RAC in November. They had a puncture on the 2nd stage which they had to stop and change, unfortunately putting them out of the action at the front. Both however reported that they enjoyed the miles.

Joe Price & Chris Brookes – Finished 27th overall and 9th in class D5.

Colin Griffiths with Sion Rowlands in the navigator seat finished 22nd overall and 10th in class W13. The pair reported punctures in SS2 and SS4 with a lack of turbo boost for most of the day and then a 7 minute penalty for checking in early. All things considered they felt that they went well and is now getting to grips with the car.

Jez Rogers & Simon Webster – DNF – retired after SS6. Unfortunately Rogers Rally Retirements continue despite early stage times looking promising.

Robert Gough & Paul ‘Magic’ Morris – DNF. Unfortunately an early bath with an issue that saw the pair not complete SS1.

Emma Clarke with Tony Williams – DNF with a broken steering rack on SS3. The day started eventually for the new pairing with stage one with no intercom on stage one which led to driving blind and Emma shouting the notes! Stage two was much better with a working intercom although they didn’t feel they were on the pace. Stage three was held up for nearly an hour with another car off in mid stage. About half a mile from the end of SS3 Tony felt the tyres had gone off subsequently seeing the pair clip a bank flipping the front into the bank bending the steering rack and into retirement.


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