Cambrian Rally Close call for 2014 Championship
Posted on October 20, 2014
A well deserved victory on the Cambrian, ahead of the two title contenders, went to David Weston and Kirsty Riddick(Subaru WRC). This was their first outright win on a BTRDA Rally Series event and has been coming ever since they started their championship with 3rd place back on the Somerset Stages.
We thought last year that we could not get any closer when the 2013 REIS Gold Star championship ended in a tie, but that was just what happened again in 2014 with Steve Perez and Paul Bird both ending up with 173 points and it needed the ultimate tie breaker of the 7th event before the title was decided in favour of Steve. The entire season decided on the final event by just 12 secs. Conversely the Gold Star Co-drivers title goes to Aled Davies ahead of Paul Spooner because Paul did an extra event back in March. (One consolation for Paul Bird was that his British Superbike Team rider Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne won the British Championship at Brands Hatch the following day)
The Morris 1400 Championship still had 4 possible winners but going into the Cambrian Rally the clear favourites were Mat Smith / Giles Dykes in the Ford Ka (Now up for Sale). That still seemed the position after 7 of the 8 stages where they held a relatively comfortable lead ahead of their rivals Marcel Freling / Karen Robinson (MG ZR) and Dan Gray / Matt Rogers (Peugeot 106). By this time Ryan Weston / Mark McCulloch (Proton Satria) had retired in SS6.
It all started to unravel at the start of the last stage when the Ka had a clutch problem. They completed the final stage in 2nd gear and set off back for the finish at Llandudno knowing that they were running out of time. Meanwhile at the finish on Llandudno promenade their main rivals were lined up ready to welcome the victors and 2014 champions. Time past and it was bringing to look as if their championship had failed at the very last hurdle but with just 5 minutes to spare they reached the finish control only to stall for one final time. Most crews celebrate a championship victory but Mat and Giles just looked completely drained!
It was business as usual in Silver Star where 2014 Champions, Matthew Robinson / Sam Collis (Ford Escort) were again the leading two wheel drive car coming 7th overall.
BTRDA Rally First has been a close battle all year which was settled on the Trackrod in favour of Nick Carr / Joe Sturdy (VW Lupo) just ahead of James West / Steve Eggington (VW Polo) However NWCC member Rory Jones / Tom Hughes (MG ZR) needed maximum points on the Cambrian in order to finish third, which was the result they duly achieved.
The full list of 2014 REIS BTRDA Rally Series points can be viewed under the Championship Points heading. A list of the 2014 BTRDA Rally Series award winners will follow shortly.
The 2014 REIS BTRDA Rally Series and MSA English Rally Championship Awards evening and Dinner is on Saturday 6th December at the Park Inn by Raddison at Telford (application forms for tickets can be found in the Bulletins Section). However two of the awards will have been taken up before then. Under the Road to Wales partnership with Wales Rally GB there is a free entry in the National Rally for both the Gold Star winner Steve Perez and the MSA English Champion Matthew Robinson. Both are planning to do the event but in different cars with Steve using his iconic Lancia Stratos whilst Matthew will be trying out his S2000 Fiesta.
Congratulations to all the championship winners and thank you to ALL the competitors, event organisers and marshals for providing another enthralling season of BTRDA forest rallying.
_Photo is of the Cambrian Rally winners David Weston & Kirsty Riddick courtesy of RalliPhotosWales _