Mewla moments for Fiesta STs.

23.08.2006: Mewla moments for Fiesta STs.

The VK Vodka Kick backed Fiesta SportingTrophy UK has its sixth round this weekend on the Eventsigns Mewla National Rally where more than twenty Fiesta STs will do battle on the tarmac military ranges of mid-wales near Builth Wells, Powys.

The event will see the closely competitive Fiesta STs tackle 12 stages in the Epynt Military Ranges as the championship battle intensifies with just two rounds left to go in the inaugural season after this event is completed.

The rally will be the second and last time that the Fiesta STs are in tarmac specification and this should suit certain drivers more than others. However there is one driver in the series who has won on both surfaces, Chris Moore, who is currently the only driver to win two events.

"Thereís no pre-event testing for us this time so Iím guessing we will be a little rusty to start with, although between us weíve competed in the event about ten times," says Moore, who is co-driven by Richard Edwards. "We only completed around eight miles on the Jim Clark so that is all the tarmac mileage I have done in the car. Iím lagging behind the others in that sense, however Iím hoping my experience of the Epynt roads will help make up for it."

Moore sits just three points behind championship leader George Thomas and the last few events become all the more crucial, especially with the title decided by the best six results from the eight rounds.

Sitting in a strong third position is Kevin Davies who will be gunning for his first win of the season. "Iím looking forward having a better run than I did in the Swansea Bay Rally," says Davies. "Iíve been testing and did the Harry Flatters Rally which should give us a bit of an advantage, but weíll just have to see."

Kevin Davies was not the only FST UK competitor out on the non-championship Harry Flatters Rally which uses some of the same roads used by the Mewla. George Thomas competed as well as Tom Walster who reckons the stages will make for fantastic, if treacherous, Fiesta action.

"Thereís going to be some major offs," he says. "Itís a place where you have to be on the limit to be on the pace and with the competition in the Fiestas so close anyway youíre on the limit already. The tarmac is smooth but rocks soon get thrown on to it to make it slippery. If itís bad weather it could really throw in some surprises."

The crew of Willie Mavitty and Mark Ammonds were also in that event and proved Walsterís point about the nature of the roads. Their car has since been repaired and co-driver Ammonds has been busy trying to repair his bruised body but both are looking forward to this event. First round winner Owen Murphy also came a cropper on the event, so didnít quite get the mileage he hoped for.

Mike Faulkner is another hoping to be in the points. "We have had a difficult year so far, a number of mechanical component failures have kept us away from championship scoring positions which is disappointing," he says. "The roads on Epynt are fast and we are looking for a good result. This will be our third visit to the ranges and we know we have the pace. If the weather is fine we will be looking for podium position."

Alex Evans will not be contesting this event due to a broken foot sustained in a bike accident, whilst Ean Lewin has been preparing for his Mewla Rally by riding his motorbike round France for a month!

Simon Hughes comes to the Mewla after a weekend spent with the Fiesta SportingTrophy International (FSTi) in Neste Oil Rally Finland. That event saw the first ever FSTi champion crowed with Alessandro Bettega winning the prize of a supported drive in a Fiesta S1600 in the 2007 FIA Junior World Rally Championship.

Adam Gould has been brushing up his driving skills with no less a coach than multiple rally champion David Higgins and reckons the Mewla is an event which needs to be tackled with caution, although heís just a little wary of co-driver Simon Spareyís past on the event with a few Ďoffsí to his name.

Dan Taylor has previously competed in the event in a self-built car although he is now categorising himself as being more of a gravel specialist. His last outing in the Fiesta ST on tarmac was in the Jim Clark where he took a crest flat before realizing it probably shouldnít have been! As this mistake resulted in an accident, heís hoping for better this time.

The Eventsigns Mewla National Rally takes place on Sunday August 27th. The next event of the Fiesta SportingTrophy UK is in Scotland, back on to gravel with the Park Systems Rally on September 9th.

- Stella Boyles -


23.08.2006 / MaP

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