Lloyd notches up remarkable 50th Pembrey win
PETER Lloyd won the Carmarthen Motor Club West Wales Rally Spares Jaffa Stages at Pembrey last Sunday.
But his task was made easier by the retirement of top seeds Bryan Davies and Alun Lewis on the first stage, their Mitsubishi trickling to a halt with electrical failure just 500 yards into the event.
Lloyd notched up his 50th victory at the Motorsports Centre in his Subaru Impreza WRC, with Emma Louise Todd co-driving for the rally.
The Bridgend man has enjoyed the use of some of the best rally cars available over the years at Pembrey, but he has driven them in a committed and capable way to achieve a record that is unlikely to be surpassed.
Lloyd set a pace that no-one could match, fastest by huge margins on every one of the five slippery stages.
The opposition fought their own battles, with Paul Fowden replacing his father Bob at the wheel of the Motorsport Subaru.
A wrong tyre choice on the opening stage saw them drop 20 seconds to Lloyd and allow a flying Geoff Kitney and Alan Gibbard to slot into second place in the Mitsubishi Evo V1.
Kitney held that early advantage over the next two stages, adding 12 seconds to his lead until Fowden fired the Subaru through stage three to claw back the deficit and take second place.
He held it to the end with an advantage of 19 seconds, and with it a class win. Kitney was a worthy runner-up after a trouble-free day.
International star Craig Breen took the wheel of a Ford Escort RS1800 in a tribute to the memory of his late co-driver Gareth Roberts, in whose honour the event was renamed.
Although he took a while to adapt to the Ford, it did not slow him too much and the young Irishman delighted the crowds with his driving, displaying the talent that made him a world champion in 2012.
He and co-driver Llion Williams were never out of the top ten, taking fourth overall and also claiming the honours for the best two-wheel drive car.
Event sponsor Gareth Lloyd had Gareth Roberts's girlfriend Holly Yeomans alongside as co-driver and it was a proud and emotional moment for her as their WWRS Ford Escort RS2000 was first in class by almost two minutes.
Fellow Carmarthen driver Terry Brown forsook his Porsche 911 in favour of a Ford Escort co-driven by his granddaughter Angharad Williams. He showed he had lost none of his pace, despite his 70th birthday approaching, by taking another class win.
Other category firsts went to Lyn Llewellyn and Ceri Simpson in their Maesteg MC/PTMC Nova, while Sean Crowley and Hefin Jenkins took Class 3 in the Peugeot 205.
Mark Cooke and Keith Bowdler won Class 7, with Wynne Watkins and Sherryn Roberts taking the mixed crew trophy in their PTMC Subaru Impreza.
Eighteen retirements reduced the field by the end, with Port Talbot Motor Club's Phil Turner and Simon Anthony particularly unlucky. They lost the Subaru Impreza bumper on the Beach Road, then suffered alternator failure on the final stage, putting them out of the event and a top-ten finish.
Llanddarog's Hugh Beynon, favourite for the small-capacity class, was sidelined on SS2 with a broken drive shaft in the Vauxhall Nova. This handed class victory to Llandeilo father and son Chris and Vince Mosely, their Darrian Dragon Mk8 having an advantage of almost 2½ minutes.