Defending Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh rally champions Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear will be aiming for a third straight win on the 50th Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages which starts and finishes in Llandrindod Wells on Saturday, April 13.

 

The series leaders will contest the event in their Delta Salvage/Witham Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 facing stiff competition from the likes of Perry Gardener and Jack Bowen, who return to the series in their TNT AGRI Fiesta R5, and Dan O’Brien and Mark Glennerster, who finished second on round one in their O’Brien Group Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

 

Hirst started his title defence in style with a commanding victory on the recent Get Jerky Rally North Wales, but there is a long way between now and what the Doncaster ace hopes will be a record-breaking fourth Pirelli Welsh title.

 

Gardener is always quick in the Welsh forests and took home third-placed Pirelli Welsh points the last time he did the Rallynuts in 2022. Jack Bowen meanwhile will be aiming to extend his lead at the top of the OnThePaceNote / Restruct Welsh Junior co-drivers’ standings, having navigated for Simon Rogers on the opening round.

 

Former Welsh Junior frontrunner O’Brien had a very close battle for position with James Giddings and Aled Davies (Fordpad/Enva/Sar Metals Mitsubishi Evo 9) last time out and the pair will be duelling for the top spot once again.

 

Russ Thompson and Stephen Link scored maximum Pirelli Welsh points on last year’s Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally and return in their rapid Dunnow Plant Mitsubishi Evo 9. The 2019 championship runners up will be able to use the top end speed of their car to good effect on the fast and flowing stages and will be out for a win.

 

David Tomlin would have taken third-placed points on Rally North Wales had he not got his Axon Ford Fiesta R5 stuck in the mud for three minutes. As his regular co-driver Keith Ashley is on Rallynuts Clerk of the Course duties, the Worcester driver will be partnered this time by Ian Beamond.

 

The 2023 Welsh Challenge champions Martyn Andrews and Steve Greenhill return in their unmissable Opie Oils Subaru Impreza STi N12 and will be challenging for a top spot, as will Daniel Moss and Sam Davies in their Hurst Haylage Mitsubishi Evo 10.

 

Rob Wilson won the Pirelli Welsh Junior, Challenge and class W13 titles in 2022 and finished runner up in the overall drivers’ standings. The Herefordshire youngster is back in his trusty Mitsubishi Evo 7, do-driven by Martin Haggett, and knows how to get the most out of the not-so-young car.

 

The rally contains seven stages, totalling 62.31 stage miles. It starts from the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells at 8am on Saturday and has four stages -Sarnau, Tarennig, Myherin and Sweet Lamb – before service in Dolgellau.

 

In the afternoon, there is the repeat of Sarnau, Myherin Main, which at 15.82 miles is the longest of the event, and Hafren Main, before the finish back in Llandrindod Wells at 5.35pm

 

The rally will be live streamed on the Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship’s and Special Stage TV’s Facebook pages during the event. For details about the championship and how to register visit: https://wnrc.wamc.org.uk/