What a brilliant night to give respect to a talented young Jaffa!
Only speccying this time as I didn’t manage to get an entry, but either way, I wanted to be there!
We arrived quite late due to a couple of the guys I was giving a lift not being ready in time, but when we got to Newcastle Emlyn you could tell there was a buzz around the place! Cars parked everywhere, people everywhere, the sound of escorts on idle over in the car park. On arrival to the car park I ended up calling out the points for Michael Gilbey in Car 30 while Llyr Jones was busy piddling down his leg over in the corner of the car park! I thought I was fairly good at plotting when I’m in the navigators seat, but damn! I don’t know if it was local knowledge or if he was just that good, but half the points written down I didn’t even have to say! All of the give ways he knew, so just had to say the departures, all the diagrams he knew where they were. A very talented ‘plotter’ I must admit! Would be interesting to see how the likes of Dale Bowen, Iwan Jones and Dale Furniss do it to compare!
We had enough time after to have a quick look around the rest of the cars and then have a quick look at the map to head out to watch. It was, without a doubt, the best start car park that I’ve seen this year! All brilliantly presented and some interesting cars as well!
During the Cilwendeg ’11 we discovered Cwmmorgan Hairpin! So that’s where we headed first, heading out along the road we passed speccy point 1. Oh my days! I have never seen so many speccy’s on a night event before! Hundreds and hundreds on a staggered crossroads, police there to control everyone and cars lined up the side of the main road for miles! On arriving at Cwmmorgan there was a lot more people then the previous year! Surprising as it wasn’t even a speccy point! A lot of buzz around as well, people chatting and laughing, waiting eagerly for the first car to arrive.
The top crews all flew around the hairpin and powering on up the hill. I’m still learning who’s who, but one or two people were noticeably quicker then others, pulling on up the hill rather then spinning the wheels losing traction. The further the numbers went down the more problems that occurred. To all the people who don’t know it, It’s a tight slot hairpin right, with a big incline on the inside and a ditch and wall on the outside of the exit. The most spectacular mistake has to be of Andy Davies & Lee Taylor in the Impreza, they came in hot ready to whip the car around, but put the offside front wheel in too much and hit the incline, throwing the front of the car into the air and towards the wall. Once reversing they were beached on the inside of the corner, with no traction for the four wheel drive. Last resort was to reverse into the wall to get enough speed to hope up over the bump. Everyone was getting involved at the corner, helping push cars up over, winging all the cars on up the hill, cheering. Was brilliant to see.
We next moved onto a 90 left, just after the speccy point near Bwlchygroes, originally planning to stand at the point, but still hundreds of people out at around 2:30am, at this point, cold and raining! The corner was quite wide so there wasn’t anything too noticeable, except for 1 thing, car 4, Gethin Morgan & Steve Herbert beating the course car, not sure if they were meant to…
Finally heading up to Llyr Jones’ farm. It’s always tight in there and this year wasn’t an exception! Still a lot of people out, being about 4.00am by now and the rain wasn’t getting any better! It was also good to see some Ralio crews there catching the excitement! We got there a little late so course car 3(?) in the blue Impreza was first through, after hitting a gate at the top of the farm they made the rest look nice and simple! All the escorts were very sideways and the little drop next to the first shed caused a couple to be sliding sideways on the straight! The rain persisted and the gaps between the cars grew towards the end of the pack, so after seeing most of the cars through it was time to head home! Finally getting home at 7:30am!
All in all a brilliant night spectating on a brilliant rally! Hats off to the organising team and the rest of Teifi Valley MC for hosting the event! I’ll see you all next year, hopefully in a car this time!
Daniel Pidgeon – Spectator
Thanks to DA Photographic (www.daphotographic.co.uk), Gary Jones Photography (www.garyphotos.zenfolio.com) and Kieran Price Photography (www.facebook.com/KieranPricePhotography) for all of the photos! Head over to their websites for more photos and for contact details to buy yourself a copy!