In Co-ordSport Driver / Team
Narberth rally driver Julian Reynolds produced a stunning last stage performance to take his first ever outright victory on this weekends Bulldog Rally, a round of the Kumho National Rally Championship.
Partnered by Carmarthenshire’s Ieuan Thomas, Reynolds was only a last minute entrant on the rally, after recently finishing a fine second overall on the Trackrod Rally, the final round of the British Rally Championship.
Boosted by a strong showing in the Yorkshire stages, the popular Welsh crew arrived in the Mid Wales forests looking to continue their strong recent form. Straight out of the blocks, Reynolds was bang on the pace in his Geoff Jones Motorsport run Subaru Impreza 555. A close fought battle began as Reynolds battled hard with Hyundai WRC driver Steve Petch, and Subaru WRC driver Roger Duckworth.
The trio were only separated by a handful of seconds throughout the days eight special stages. From the morning ice to afternoon mud and then hard gravel, the ever changing conditions were a tough test for Reynolds’s and his Yokohama tyres. Changing to a softer compound for the afternoon stages was to reap dividends for Julian as he closed in on his first ever rally win after many years of trying.
Going into the final stage, Dyfnant, Reynolds and Thomas decided to give it one last throw of the dice with Duckworth less than a second behind. The Welshmen blasted through the stage to set a time 5 seconds faster than Duckworth, and a most popular victory was assured after an excellent committed drive that caught the eye of many spectators:
“This is my first ever victory so obviously I’m totally delighted with that. Its only in the last two events that I’ve really been trying to push the car hard. Earlier in the year I held back a little as I learnt how to drive it. I feel as though I’ve really got the hang of it now, and winning against so many good drivers in excellent cars is very, very satisfying for me.
The car was absolutely superb today, so full credit to Geoff Jones and his team for that. The early morning conditions were very mixed with ice and mud about. Our Yokohama tyres coped superbly as the stage times show. I’d just like to thank the organisers and marshals for their part in our victory today, and last but not least, it was an excellent job by Ieuan on the notes. It was a great team performance by everyone and I’m really looking forward to the Tempest Stages next weekend!”
Reynolds and Thomas will now make the journey to unfamiliar rally territory next weekend, as they contest the Tempest Stages Rally in Hampshire. The rally will be a full round of the British Rally Championship next season, so the form team of the moment will be hoping for another good run. Reynolds is keen to evaluate the stages ahead of an attempt at the British Rally Championship next season.