Dixies Challenge Rally 29th April 2018 by Paul Willetts
The Forest of Dean Motor Club and Forresters Car Club co promoted last weekends Architexture Architects Dixies Challenge Rally on the daunting Epynt tarmac ranges last Sunday.
The event which was a round of both HRCR Stage Masters and Old Stager series, Welsh Historic and King of Epynt championships also a round of the Minisport Mini Cup, and attracted not only a full but also high quality entry.
80 cars lined up for what turned out to be 10 tests totaling some 43 miles in dry but cold conditions.
The undoubted modern day "King of Epynt" Damian Cole with Jamie Edwards alongside, the Abergavenny driver totally dominated the event with fastest on every stage in the Get Connected Fiesta WRC, and stormed to a convincing victory by 1 minute 20 seconds.
Mini veterans Eric Davis with Russ Joseph on the notes had a difficult day but still came away with 29th overall & 2nd in class in the Dennis Motorsport Mini, on stage 2 he thought his day was done, with no oil pressure, but it turned out to be a split oil cooler which was sorted in service, then issues with rear suspension problems, left the rear end a bit wild over the fast stages.
For Joseph it was a busy weekend co-driving Phil Skipp to 23rd on Saturdays Mira Stages in his Astra.
Alan Marriage/Colin Jenkins in the Dave Jenkins Motorsport run Escort RS, had a trouble free run to 31st overall & 6th in class Ross on Wye duo Jason / Elspeth Watkins finished 43rd & 7th in class in their Peugeot 106 Lisa Chappelle had Ross Motor clubs Mike Jode alongside for the first time, it's was also her first time on both the tarmac ranges, and pace notes, the Brecon youngster had a trouble free day and got quicker has the day went on to finish 50th overall & 5th class in her Citroen Saxo.
It was a somewhat fraught day for Mini Cup front runner Ryan Taylor, with co-driver Hollie Churchill, mechanical issues saw him take 2 stage maximums, but his perseverance paid off with 54th overall & 3rd in class.
Sadly for Cinderford plumber Jason Gardner who had young Dan Petrie on the notes, the Brecon View Plumbing Escort RS1800, engine failure on stage two brought his event to a premature end.
Of the 80 starters, 54 made to the end on what proved an extremely popular event.