Place your bets for the Wyedean

The Wyedean Forest Rally, which takes place on Saturday 8th February, will see a capacity entry of 180 crews taking the start at Chepstow Racecourse. In what is the Golden Jubilee year of the BTRDA Rally Series, the event is the opening round of the DUNLOP Gold Star Championship, incorporating the Dunlop Silver Star and Silkolene 1400 Championships, as well as the Competition Car Insurance Welsh National and several other regional Championships.

The entry list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of British club rallying and it is led by the Ford Escort World Rally Car of 2002 Wyedean winners MARK PERROTT/ GARRY MANSELL. As if to illustrate the quality still further, Mark’s brother JOHN (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO5), who is the defending Gold Star champion, is down at No.9 and, between them, are a whole host of crews quite capable of winning the rally outright – indeed several already have their names on the trophy! The Wyedean Forest Rally Top Ten are as follows :

1 Mark Perrott/Garry Mansell Ford Escort WRC
2 Andrew Burton/TBA Peugeot Cosworth
3 Nik Elsmore/Garry Kenna Mitsubishi Lancer EVO7
4 Steve Winter/Neil Dashfield Ford Escort WRC
5 Brian Bell/Paul Spooner Ford Focus WRC
6 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield Subaru Impreza
7 David Mann/Alun Cook Subaru Impreza
8 Gary Midwinter/Martin Saunders Ford Escort WRC
9 John Perrott/Graham Hopewell Mitsubishi Lancer EVO5
10 Ian Joel/Graeme Wood Ford Escort Cosworth

JON BALLINGER (Opel Manta) will also be in Chepstow as he sets out to retain the Silver Star Championship crown he won last year. The Dunlop-sponsored series caters purely for two-wheel drive cars and, once again, his main opposition is likely to come from a brace of Ford Escort RSs in the hands of ADRIAN STRUTHERS, PHIL SQUIRES, ROBIN BRADBURY, ROB ARCHER & JASON LEPLEY.

Contenders for the Silkolene 1400 Championship run at the head of the field and, so, the honour of actually being first car away from the start at 8.00am on Saturday morning falls to the Ford Puma of SHAUN WOFFINDEN. The Vauxhall Nova of ANDY O’KANE will follow, but the similar car of Forest of Dean residents GARY STANDEN/NICK BIDDLE will be the one that they will have to look out for! The Top Ten 1400 runners are as follows :

201 Shaun Woffinden/Howard Pridmore Ford Puma
202 Andy O’Kane/Robert Thorpe Vauxhall Nova
203 Gary Standen/Nick Biddle Vauxhall Nova
204 Paul Sanders/TBA Ford Puma
205 John Moffatt/TBA Ford Ka
206 Howard Allan/Nick Thornton Ford Escort
207 Jonathan Wigmore/Robbie Durrant Ford Ka
208 Steve Black/Paul Morris Suzuki Ignis
209 Colin Webb/Paul Willetts Peugeot 106 Rallye
210 Malcolm Hague/Dave Read Ford Escort