The 1000 Lanes, a firm favourite in South Wales, ran last weekend (11th/12th October) around the lanes of Abergavenny.
The event base returned to The Hogs Head Hotel, a great start venue in many peoples eyes with a large enough indoor area for signing on and the briefing, as well as ample parking.
At 11:50 the first car headed to MTC1 at the exit of the car park, a little run out along the B233 towards Monmouth took the crews down to SS1 just above Onen. Almost straight away crews were into a caution over brow into 90 left, with the slippery conditions and the fog that was lingering around this was probably a good test of nerves for a lot of crews! Up through TC1 and through a couple diagrams and back across the B233 next to The Hendre. Quite a fast section south through TC2 and into another diagram followed before heading to Jingle Street. An amendment here caught a few people out as there were cars heading all directions when we arrived there, a GW plotted on a yellow from a public footpath but this was removed and crews had to head around on the tarmac, some looked for the footpath though! SF1 was just after Jingle Street next to the bridge over the A40.
Richard Jerman & Lowri Davies (Escort Mk2) were quickest through the first part of the event dropping only 20 seconds with Ian ‘Dude’ Roberts & Gwawr Hughes (Golf Mk2) dropping 25 seconds behind and Craig Judd & Russell Williams (306) third quickest dropping 30 seconds.
Jamie Jones & Daniel Jones (Impreza) were the quickest Semi-Expert crew off the start dropping 1:26 a whole minute and 10 seconds ahead of Tom Slak & Den Belcher (Corolla) on 2:36. A little closer behind by only 3 seconds were Frank Burton & Simon Greenway (3 Series Compact) and Gethin Jones & Meredith Roberts (Sierra).
Robert Mason & Declan Mason (Nova) were the quickest class 3 crew dropping 4:55, Lee Cooper & Owen Thomas (Escort) were behind with 8:47 and local crew Nigel Graham & Rob Thomson (Sunbeam) rounded off the top 3 with a time of 10:45
SS2 started back up towards Onen, heading up through Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern and then back down south west before slotting right back towards the start. Another caution then came, this time over crest into hairpin left with a house on the outside. We slid round lovely in the Nova with several people watching here. Through Wernrheolydd and then south through TC4 and followed by another couple diagrams at PC12 & 13. Crews then slotted 90 right onto a white through a farm with a tight twisty section of ‘follow arrows’ through a farm, plenty of mud about to slide the back end around the tight corners! Through TC5 and down to the first spectator point, a slot 90 left at a crossroads. I called it out and before I knew it Sam had given the wand a flick and we were coming into the slot boot first! Dump the clutch and we headed on up the hill with the engine screaming, I did think we were going to overcook it but we managed to find some grip under that mud! At the end of that road of SF2 just outside Raglan.
Dude/Hughes were quickest through the second section dropping 18 seconds moving them up to first overall at this point. Jerman/Davies were still there dropping 26 seconds, just 3 seconds behind in total. GT/Jenkins moved up to 3rd dropping 34 seconds giving a current total of 1:09.
Quickest Semi crew were Ben Lloyd & Matt Rees (205) dropping 1:31 but a earlier fail put them out of contention for the top spot. Andy James & Alec Morris (Impreza) were the next quickest class 2 crew dropping 2 minutes with Marcus Naylor & Michael Williams (106) third quickest just 8 seconds behind, again an earlier fail dropped them down the overall leader-board.
Stuart Robinson & Lyle Merchant (205) were quickest in class 3 dropping a total of 2:39, another crew to fall to an early fail though. A further 1:51 behind were Mason/Mason who were holding onto the top spot in class, another 11 seconds adrift were Phillip Jones & Craig Jones (309), yet another crew already having a fail.
A short trip up the A40 dual carriageway and back down again on the neutral before heading through Raglan south towards SS3. A caution water soon after didn’t turn out to be too bad and then into another diagram at PC15. Another caution soon after (over brow into 60 left, there were a lot of brows and bridges along this route!) and soon after yet another caution, slippy downhill into 90 right and then up to TC6. Away again towards Bettws Newydd before a caution 60 left into Give Way and heading north towards SF3 which had another diagram, A short section but had a few cautions in there, meaning nobody cleaned it!
Dude/Hughes were quickest again dropping 21 seconds, keeping them at the top, with Jerman/Davies still hot on their heals dropping 32 seconds. Also dropping 32 seconds were GT/Jenkins who were holding third with 1:41 in total.
Jones/Jones (Impreza) were back on form in class 2 dropping 1:35. Lloyd/Rees were still going strong dropping 1:55 with Mark Jukes & Dafydd-Sion Lloyd (AE86 Corolla) close behind dropping 2 minutes.
Mason/Mason were still dominating class 3 with the quickest class 3 time of 3:34, Cooper/Thomas were seconds quickest dropping 4:10 moving them up to second in class at this point. Jones/Jones (309) were still putting in good times dropping 4:35.
SS4 was next to Clytha Park just before the A40 bridge. Another speccy point at a slot 90 left, nobody here by the time we got here though so we might have missed it slightly… Headed north up to TC7 and through Coed Morgan from the north. Then a loop back north towards keeping to the left of Llanddewi Rhydderch through a tight slot 90 right with some high concrete curbs. Then up to TC8 then joining the B4233 for a brief moment before slotting 90 right down a little rough yellow with RC24 half way along. Down to Llanddewi Rhydderch this time before a hairpin left just before the village and back up to the B4233 going straight over the staggered crossroads. A diagram next to a caravan park before SF4, the final section before petrol halt.
Judd/Williams and Leighton Milner & Alun Ginn (106 Rallye) both cleaned this section with Richard Williams & Cadog Davies (Mk2 Escort) rounding off the top 3 dropping just 20 seconds. Burton/Greenway were quickest in class 2 dropping 1 minute, Graham Edwards & Jordan Dziadulewicz (Starlert) were second quickest dropping 1:45 and just 5 seconds behind them were Jones/Jones (Impreza).
Can you guess who was quickest in class 3? You guessed it; Mason/Mason with a time of 1:46. Second quickest were Robinson/Merchant with a time of 3:15 and third quickest with no fails in that section were Cooper/Thomas with a time of 9:30.
Results at Petrol were as follows:
1st – Ian ‘Dude’ Roberts & Gwawr Hughes, Volkswagen Golf – 0:01.51
2nd – Mark ‘GT’ Roberts & Dylan Jenkins, Volkswagen Golf – 0:02.11
3rd – Craig Judd & Russell Williams, Peugeot 306 – 0:02.24
4th – Richard Williams & Cadog Davies, Ford Escort – 0:04.33
5th – Jonathan Gwillym & Byron Jones, Ford Escort – 0:04.59
6th – Gavin Lewis & Jon Bird, Peugeot 205 – 0:06.00
7th – Roger Holder & Peter Barnard, Honda Civic – 0:06.38
8th – Steve Kinbbs & Leon Shorney, Vauxhall Corsa – 0:07.46
9th – Nigel Davies & Justin Davies, Volkswagen Golf – 0:07.56
10th – Steve King & Jon Hawkins, BMW 318 – 0:07.59
Class 2 – Semi-Experts
1st – Frank Burton & Simon Greenway, BMW Compact – 0:08.58
2nd – Graham Edwards & Jordan Dziadulewicz, Toyota Starlet – 0:10.03
3rd – Jamie Jones & Daniel Jones, Subaru Impreza – 0:10.22
Class 3 – Novices
1st – Robert Mason & Declan Mason, Vauxhall Nova – 0:14.45
2nd – Lee Cooper & Owen Thomas, Ford Escort – 0:27.40
3rd – Phillip Jones & Craig Jones, Peugeot 309 – 2F – 0:15.38
After a quick fill up with petrol in Abergavenny it was down to MTC2 and MTC3 which were under a bridge under the A40 just north east of Llanellen. A short wait and then it was back to the action.
SS5 started south of MTC3 which was also a diagram, a wet field to start which we were spinning the wheels all the way along, little to no grip, give way back onto the tarmac and then off up the road. Down to another spectator point at a slot 90 left which lead up to a farm and onto a slighty rough white which we struggled with a little, the crew behind soon caught us so we pulled over to let them past. Onto a concrete track and back down to the yellow, unfortunately catching up with the car that we just let past! TC9 was just after the railway bridge which dropped us some time as we had to wait for 2 cars to get times and have a RC board signed, but this gave us some space to give it some when leaving. Down to Croes Llanfair and up to the B4598. Straight across at the crossroads, the road then going 90 right and down to the B4598 again where SF5 was.
Dude/Hughes had great pace dropping only 2 seconds with GT/Jenkins close behind dropping 10. On form after petrol were Steve Knibbs & Leon Shorney (Corsa) with the third quickest time dropping 13 seconds.
Edwards/Dziadulewicz were hungry for the top spot, setting the quickest class 2 time of just 32 seconds, Jukes/Lloyd were 13 seconds behind with Lloyd/Rees a further 2 seconds behind dropping 47 seconds.Mason/Mason were not holding back after petrol with another quickest time of 57 seconds. Jones/Jones (309) were showing good pace again dropping 58 seconds and Graham/Thomson were the last crew to beat the 1 minute mark dropping 59 seconds.
SS6 was the other side of Nat-y-derry on a nice wide yellow. Crews were straight up to another spectator point which was a long way around a triangle, miss a right, slot hairpin right and then headed north east back towards Croes Llanfair before slotting left just before the railway bridge. Across the A4042 and across a staggered crossroads and down to TC10. Another diagram and then up towards the back of Rhyd-y-meirch. Crews slotted hairpin left onto a white which turned out to be across a field, this is where our night went down hill. We really struggled for grip, coming to a stop almost straight away in the field. Thanks to Ryan Jones and the others for giving us a push before we got beached in a deep rut. While trying to get out the engine started to boil over with no air coming in so we called it a day, we helped Gethin Jones & Meredith Roberts who were also stuck, giving it a good thrashing on the way out with plenty of run up! We helped out a couple others to get through, by this time it was just me and Sam. The engine had cooled down enough to start it back up be we lacked in man power to push the car back out of the ruts, then a sight that no crew likes to see, closing car! They gave us a hand out and we headed back out the field we came in, hopefully cutting route and getting back in front of OTL! After the white crews headed to a tight give way NAM junction where a DSO was present before heading north east and then slotting 90 left towards PC33. This is where we rejoined, well… tried, unfortunately a spectator was parked in the middle of the road and refused to move as we should have come from the other direction, thus dropping us behind OTL again and low and behold, we saw course closing car again! Luckily they told the spectator to move and we got going again after dropping several minutes, time to cut route again! (Sam has had some bad luck before with silly little faults causing a couple DNF’s, so I was determined to get him to the finish!) Another caution 90 right over bridge 90 left met the crews before a hairpin left up towards a diagram and soon after TC11.
A quick road over the Blorenge took the crews up to the B4248 and slotting off left quite soon and up to another diagram at RC37. Along the moor road around the back of Clydach passing a caution big drop on the left. Down to TC12 followed by a slot hairpin right and almost back on yourselves to PC40 with a diagram just behind TC12, quite a tricky section to plot with a lot of information in one tight spot. Heading east below Gilwern and into SF6
Jonathan Gwillym & Byron Jones (Mk2 Escort) were quickest through this long section dropping 2:12, 13 seconds ahead of Dude/Hughes dropping 2:25. A further 11 seconds behind were GT/Jenkins with a time of 2:36
Lloyd/Rees set another good time being quickest in class 2, dropping a total of 4:40. Jukes/Lloyd were second quickest dropping 5:08 with ‘Polly’ & Chris Davies (Rover 200) just 2 seconds behind them.
Quickest novices were not the Mason’s for once, but was Cooper/Thomas setting a great time of 4:55, Mason/Mason were second quickest 3 minutes and 4 seconds behind with a time of 7:59 with Jones/Jones (309) a further 50 seconds behind.
A neutral section took the remaining crews through Govilon & Gilwern and up the A4077 to SS7 which was next to the Marina below Ffawyddog. Over the bridge followed by a 60 right and then down to a twisty section of a few 90’s and a hairpin before skirting the edge of Mynydd Llangatwg and back up towards Llangattock where SF7 was located. Another short section but quite tight and twisty.
Dude/Hughes, Gwillym/Jones, Judd/Williams and Knibbs/Shorney all cleaned the section proving it wasn’t quite tight enough!
Class 2 saw Lloyd/Rees at the top again dropping 35 seconds with Alex Reynolds & Tanny Tod (Corolla), Fred Price & Dave Thomas (Proton Coupe), Jones/Roberts and Polly/Davies all completing the section dropping 1 minute.
Mason/Mason were back on form being quickest novice crew dropping 1:54 with Jones/Jones (309) dropping 2 minutes and David Barrell & Matthew Bevan (205) dropping 2:20.
Down the A40 crews slotted left in Glargrwyney up towards SS8 below the Sugar Loaf, this is where we finally rejoined the pack! Straight into a farm and told to follow the arrows through the forestry section. What a great section this was! Nice and smooth gravel with only the odd rut which was cautioned. A couple hairpins in there as well to keep some spectators happy who were still out in the cold! The hill just kept climbing before heading through another farm and onto the tarmac, another diagram at PC44 and then down to SF8 north west of Abergavenny.
Williams/Davies were quickest across the Sugar Loaf dropping 1:15 with Knibbs/Shorney close behind dropping 1:20. Third quickest were the novice crew of Robinson/Merchant dropping only 1:26.
Quickest Semi crew were Edwards/Dziadulewicz and Jones/Jones (Impreza) both dropping 1:55 with Burton/Greenway rounding off the top 3 dropping 1:57.
The second quickest novice crew were Cooper/Thomas dropping 2:20, just 1 second quicker then Stephen Hoskins & Ian Davies (Rover 25).
A quick neutral to take the crews around the edge of Abergavenny before heading to the final section just under the A465 bridge above the hospital. A fairly straight forward section with one white appearing straight on where the road dropped down to the left, it caught us out and may have caught some others. Before we knew it, SF9, the finish! A total of 31 crews cleaned this last section including a few novice crews.
And that was it! A short trip back to the Hogs Head Hotel and the 1000 Lanes was finished for another year! Dude/Hughes had a slow time over the Sugar Loaf compared to other top crews causing them to lose the lead, that they had for most of the night, by just 1 second to GT/Jenkins! The closest finish on a road rally for a little while! Edwards/Dziadulewicz took the class 2 win with the Mason’s taking class 2. The results can be seen here.
Well done to Paul Todd and his team from HOVAC for putting on a brilliant event which challenged everyone! Only a couple cleaners with several droppers, a great event! Thanks also to all the marshals who stood out in the cold for most of the night! Well Done to GT and Dylan on the win! Thanks also to Sam Ducroq for a awesome spin! The little green Nova has got one hell of a grunt! We will be back out soon, hopefully not getting stuck in any fields this time! We did finish, 15 fails for cutting route, but we finished!
Daniel Pidgeon, Navigator – Car 42, Vauxhall Nova (37th o/a)
Thanks to JNAS Photographic (www.facebook.com/pages/JNAS-Photographic) for all of the photos! Make sure you head to their page for more images and for details on how to purchase yourself a copy!