Cambrian Rally

Cambrian set to be highly competitive

Posted on October 23, 2023

Former leading British Rally Championship contender, Tom Cave from Aberdyfi, and 2016 Welsh Rally Champion, Luke Francis, from Abergele, have both had sabbaticals but say they’re relishing the challenge of getting back into the driver’s seat to tackle some of the most iconic stages in world rallying.

Add into the mix, last year’s Cambrian winner and Welsh Rally Championship winner, Matthew Hirst, and Scotsman, Garry Pearson, who missed out on winning this year’s British Rally Championship to Frenchman Adrian Fourmaux, and you have a formula for a highly competitive event.

Tom Cave, who was runner up in the 2021 British Championship, and has competed in Europe, will be back in an R5 car for the first time since then in a Melvyn Evans Motorsport prepared Volkswagon Polo GTi. He said: “The Cambrian Rally is an event I’ve always enjoyed. The stages are absolutely world class and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Luke Francis, who stepped back from rallying in 2018 to concentrate on business and family life, says he’s feeling “a little rusty” but had an encouraging test drive in a Ford Fiesta R5 from MSL Motorsport. He says he’s entered the rally in memory of his late grandfather Bob Francis, who passed away earlier this year and was arguably his greatest supporter. “Taid loved the Cambrian and always enjoyed watching me compete on it,” he commented.

Also likely to attract attention is, young Max McRae whose late uncle, Colin was World Rally Champion, and whose grandfather and father also have illustrious records in the sport. He has competed in Australia and in the Junior European Rally Championship and has achieved a plethora of fastest stage times.

As in previous years, the event is entirely based in Conwy county, and uses stages at Brenig, and Elsi, with a non-spectator stage in the Clocaenog complex, and road mileage kept to a minimum. It has a high profile start and finish on Llandudno promenade, and an added benefit for sponsors, is the provision of a hospitality facility at Llyn Brenig, which when introduced last year, proved to be a great success.

The Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally is a round of the British Rally Championship, the MRF Tyres British Trials and Rally Drivers Association Championship, the Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Championship, Bowler Motorsport Championship, the Mini Rally Challenge, the IPS Paint Challenge, and the Association of North Western Car Clubs Championship. It is supported by Conwy County Borough Council and Llandudno Town Council who value the contribution made to the local economy.

Regulations and spectator information are available to view at and there are news updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.