Sponsored by Weir Engineering.
There's no beating Bogie !
David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae have won this year’s Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally in their Ford Focus WRC.
After seven special stages in the Forest of Dean, the multiple Scottish Rally Champions, who begin the defence of their current title in Inverness next weekend, arrived back at Chepstow Racecourse just over a minute ahead of the similarly Focus-mounted Paul Bird/Aled Davies.
Fastest time on the opening stage in Mailscot put Bogie/Rae into a lead they would not relinquish - and then backing it up with fastest, or equal fastest, times on each of the other six put them in an unassailable position.
To begin with, their nearest challengers were fellow Scottish Championship regulars Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton but their rally was to end prematurely with some very strange noises emanating from under the bonnet of their Focus WRC!
The Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9 of Luke Francis/John Roberts claimed the final podium spot, with the Proton Satria of Ollie Mellors/Alex Lee next.
Fifth and sixth places were taken by a brace of Group N Lancers in the hands of Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy and Roland Llewellin/Jamie Edwards.
Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis 7th overall saw their Ford Escort MkII finish not only as top two-wheel drive car, but also first in the Historic category.
The Subaru Imprezas of Jim McNeil/Tom Hughes, Rob Smith/Ross Weir (of event sponsors Weir Engineering) and Paul Davy/Roger Allan then rounded off the Top Ten.
For the first time since 2008, the winner of the 1400s was not the Vauxhall Nova of Julian Wilkes! The Taunton driver, who had dominated the category in the Forest of Dean for the past five years, is taking a sabbatical in 2014 and, in his place, Mat Smith/Giles Dykes were 11th overall, taking top honours in their Ford Ka.
They completed the seven stages fourteen seconds quicker than the Vauxhall Corsa of runners-up Dave Bennett/Alastair McNeil, with past winners Darren Pinchin/Karen Watts (Proton Satria) putting in a late charge to climb from 5th to 3rd over the final two stages.
Despite the vast amount of rain that had fallen in the area in recent days, the tracks in the Forest of Dean were in remarkably good condition. However, this will be of little consolation to the likes of third seeds Stephen Petch/Ian Windress whose rally ended on the first stage when their Focus WRC slid into a ditch and into retirement.
The day was not kind to the Morgan family from Cinderford either - father Bob retired when his Skoda Fabia VRS caught fire at the end of the first stage, while son Jason didn’t even get that far. His Lancer EVO6 made contact with a sturdy pile of logs in the stage and that was that!
This year’s Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally was the 39th consecutive event run by Forest of Dean Motor Club Ltd and plans are already beginning to take shape to celebrate the 40th running this time next year.
Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally Results Top 10 Overall
|1. David Bogie/Kevin Rae||0:42:59|
|2. Paul Bird/Aled Davies||0:44:01|
|3. Luke Francis/John H Roberts||0:45:29|
|4. Ollie Mellors/Alex Lee||0:46:14|
|5. Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy||0:46:22|
|6. Roland Llewellin/Jamie Edwards||0:47:23|
|7. Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis||0:47:40|
|8. Jim McNeil/Tom Hughes||0:45:20 +2:30|
|9. Rob Smith/Ross Weir||0:47:50|
|10. Paul Davy/Roger Allan||0:48:19|
Full Results. Click the link to the BTRDA results page Clicky Link
A Special Thanks
The Wyedean brings with it challenges which are endured by few other BTRDA rounds.
Our teams of course builders have coped in the past with extreme cold and frost and on more recent events have had to resort to snow ploughs to keep the event running, this, they have managed without ever cancelling the event or any stage.
This year a fresh set of challenges faced our crews. Weeks of heavy rain and strong winds had loosened the roots of many trees. These trees then decided that the day before the rally was a good time to fall over.
Our teams were out in storm force winds and rain well into the early hours of Saturday morning clearing fallen trees.
Returning to the stages a few hours later they were greeted with yet more fallen trees. With the help of Forestry Commission contractors a frantic rush started to clear these trees before the first competitive cars arrived.
Chepstow Park stage suffered more than most and at one point the crew were stuck in stage with fallen trees in front and behind their vehicle. Around 15 minutes before the first car was due the stage was cleared much to everyone’s relief.
It is due to the considerable work done in appalling conditions by our crews that allowed the spectators and competitors to enjoy our 39th Wyedean in the sunshine that belatedly broke loose in the afternoon.
Thank you all.
New sponsor for the Wyedean.
The father-and-son team behind laundry equipment manufacturers HJ Weir Engineering Co. Ltd. & Weir Laundry Equipment Co. Ltd is taking its love for rally driving to a new level by sponsoring the Chepstow Racecourse-based Wyedean Forest Rally for three years starting in 2014. The event, which takes place on 15th February, will henceforth be known as the Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally.
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of flatwork finishing equipment, the family firm’s business has no obvious connection with rallying, but Rob and Ross Weir are enthusiastic participants in the sport and are both keen to support the Forest of Dean Motor Club, organisers of the event.
“It’s good to support a local motor club at a local event,” says MD Rob, 60. “It’s a well-organised event, they are all volunteers and they put a lot of work into it.”
The Wyedean Forest Rally holds special significance for both the Weirs. Rob was a keen rally driver in his younger days but gave up when son Ross, now 30 and a director of the firm, was a toddler.
The Wyedean Forest Rally was his final event before retiring and it was also the same event that later got him back into driving.
“Two years ago the Forest of Dean Motor Club approached us to see if we had a suitable facility in which carry out scrutineering for the rally,” he says. “We accommodated them and provided warehouse facilities. When we watched the rally that year, Ross said that I should have another go. I got the bug back and decided to do something reckless, just at the age when most people are packing it in.”
The pair bought a Subaru Impreza, built by Rob Smith Rallying Ltd., and started driving as a team, with Rob as driver and Ross as co-driver, starting with the Wyedean Forest Rally in 2012. They have since enjoyed considerable success, most notably at the Sol Rally in Barbados where, two years in a row, they have been placed second in their M8-A category in 2012 and International Historic 2013.
HJ Weir is particularly looking forward to being sponsor for the fortieth anniversary celebrations of the Wyedean Forest Rally in 2015 and plans are already afoot to mark the event in style.
The Official Photographer.
Proofs will be sent out to all competitors.
Pictures may be ordered by contacting Mark Writtle on:- 01746 767929 or by emailing him at:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Or just click on the logo to visit his website.
39 years old !
The First Wyedean Stages was run in October 1975 and has run continuously since.
The entry fee was an eye watering £27.00, the winner, however, did collect a prize of a cheque for £40.00.
The winner of the first rally was Graham Elsmore in his Escort RS1600, who went on to win for a further two times to complete a hat trick.
A new website has been created by Neil Henderson to chronicle all motorsport events held in the Forest of Dean.
It is still early days for the website, but already Neil has uploaded a lot of information.
It is fascinating to see both competitors and officials who are still taking an active part in the Wyedean today, some 39 years later.
If you have any memorabilia you would like to share, I am sure Neil would be delighted to hear from you, just use the contact page on the Dean Rallies website.
You can visit this archive by clicking the logo at the start of this paragraph.
Clerk of Course.
Oakdene, 32 Park Road
Berry Hill, Coleford
Gloucestershire GL16 7QU
01594 810161, 07896 967443
0121 313 1416
John & Sam Brain.
01594 543513 (7.00pm - 9.30pm)