Today, Thursday 21st November, Brecon Motor Club member Malcolm Rich and Co-driver Ryland James take on one of the toughest and longest UK challenges, the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally.
The 300 mile rally set over 32 Stages, is named after British rally driver Roger Clark MBE, who in 1976 won the World Rally Championship. The classic car event features pre-1982 classic cars, was established in 2004, and follows much of the historic RAC Rally route.
Malcolm and well known Welsh navigator Ryland James are competing in a vintage red 1961 Ford Anglia. The car liveried up Lively Graphics www.livelyracegraphics.co.uk has a special personal meaning for driver Malcolm he said, “The choice of the rally Anglia was because my sister’s Anglia failed its MOT when I was 15. We lived next to a forest complex adjacent to Crossfield House, where my father ran the Royal British Legion home. I spent all my time rallying it through the forest until I was old enough to drive on the road. I fell in love with them there and then.”
Many of the vintage cars taking place date from as early as 1968, are the culmination of months of hard work and preparation. The Brecon Ford Anglia is no different, prepared by a wider Brecon team, Bob Thirgood, a friend and rally enthusiast since 1991 was a former apprentice of Elston’s Ford Garage of Brecon, and he has lovingly stripped down and restored the team’s drive. Bob has shared the rally bug with Malcolm since 1991 and when Malcolm took to rallying again in 2015, he was a natural choice to work with, Malcolm says, “it’s a marriage made in heaven”.
Co-driver Ryland James will be competing in his 50th rally almost a year to the day. The duo and pit team started in Leominster this afternoon seeing challenging forestry driving then, a nine-mile stage ending in the darkness of Radnor. Friday continues with more exciting Welsh stages, and another 40 competitive miles on the gravel in the Epynt well known for challenging the best of pairings. In the late afternoon, the entire rally moves north to Carlisle, where 67 miles are endured in the center of Kielder Forest, culminating in the 17-mile Beshaugh finish in the Scottish borders.
The RAC Rally is a life-long ambition for the Brecon Motor Club member, who’s own Grand Father was a founding club member. The 2019 event is the longest and toughest rally in Britain and Malcolm wishes to give thanks to the following sponsors who have made his dream possible:
B Jenkins & Sons Builder’s Merchants of Brecon https://www.facebook.com/B-Jenkins-Sons-Ltd
Peter Downey Imagineering, http://www.peterdowney.co.uk
His Sons - Rich Brothers Garden Design, @richlandscape www.richlandscapes.net
Brecon Motor Club, https://www.breconmotorclub.co.uk
He also thanks fellow rally driver Craig Jones of CMJ Motorsport for their support. @cmjmotorsport
Last but not least, he couldn’t have done without the help of his wife Liz of 45 years who has supported him through his life long love of motorsport.
We wish Malcome and Ryland huge success on their challenge.
You can follow the Rally at http://racrmc.org and on Facebook @RogerAlbertClark
Pictures courtesy of Lively Race Graphics - with thanks