PAVELY paved the way to a speedy success.

Bala and District Motor Club held its annual stage rally at Trawsfynydd Ranges Motorsport complex recently.

The Gareth Hall Memorial Rally is dedicated to a former Welsh Rally Championship winner and popular club member.

The event qualified for the Association of North-Western Car Clubs Championship and the North Wales Stage Rally Challenge, and it attracted 36 very competitive crews to do battle over 12 stages in the complex, the stages being run as three rounds of four each.

Immediately into the lead went Llandudno’s Dave Paveley and Rich Jones in their Group B Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III.

The North Wales Honda dealer lived up to his prediction to finish 14 seconds ahead of the stiff opposition.

In accepting the award, Paveley thanked and praised the organisers and marshals for organising such a well-run event in fine weather.

The Bala team, assisted by neighbouring clubs, ensured a safe and enjoyable event.

There was a tie for second place and countback was required to decide the runners-up.

Last year’s runners-up Mathew Roberts (Bangor) and Sarah Edwards (Pwllheli) in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX just pipped the Ford Escort Mk2 of Mid-Wales crew Meilir and Lowri Evans, who won the two-litre class.

Last year’s winners, Aberystwyth crew Len Jones and Don James, were unable to repeat this result in their Ford Escort, but they finished a fine fourth overall, while fifth place went to Anglesey crew Emyr and Carwyn Owen in their Peugeot 106, winning the 1600cc class.

Denbigh driver Myfyr Owen took along his smart Lancer Evo IX, with Baz Green, from Abergele, co-driving and they took the award for the best-presented car, as well as finishing sixth overall.

Former winner Geoff McQuilling, from nearby Gellilydan, took seventh spot, and second in the class, in his Honda Civic, co-driven by Warrington’s Steve Landen.

Llandudno Junction crew Phil Kendall and Jamie Wallis were next up in their two-litre Vauxhall Nova.

Kylie Evans had won the auction for a seat with top driver Geoff Jones, this time in a Subaru Impreza, and they finished ninth after some time losses with an indiscretion at a tricky corner.

In the small-engined car class, Harlech’s Gethin Sharp and Abergele’s Heather Merrison claimed the class victory on the last few stages in their Toyota Yaris, pushing back Anglesey crew Gethin Jones and Tomos Williams in their Vauxhall Nova.

Winners of the best mixed crew award were Clwyd Vale Motor Club duo Rhodri Roberts and Catrin Jones in the oldest car entered, a 1971 Morris Mini, finishing 23rd overall.

Only five crews failed to finish the event, the most spectacular retirement being that of Llandudno brother and sister crew Chris Phillips and Sarah Hughes, whose Peugeot 106 was caught out on a muddy corner and rolled into a nearby stream, fortunately without injury to the crew.

In addition to the money raised from the auction, money received by spectators for parking amassed a cheque of £5,000 to be presented to the Wales Air Ambulance.

Award winners:

Overall: 1, Dave Paveley/Rich Jones (Lancer). Class 1: 1, Gethin Sharp/Heather Merrison (Yaris); 2, Gethin Jones/Tomos Williams (Nova); 3, Martyn Quant/Chris Evans (Corsa). Class 2: 1, Emyr Owen/Carwyn Owen (106); 2, Geoff McQuiling/Steve Landen (Civic); 3, Danny Postlethwaite/Samantha Postlethwaite (205). Class 3: 1,, Meilir Evans/Lowri Evans (Escort); 2, Len Jones/Don James (Escort); 3, Phil Kendall/Jamie Wallis (Nova). Class 4: 1, Mathew Roberts/Sarah Edwards (Lancer); 2, Myfyr Owen/Baz Green (Lancer); 3, Geoff Jones/Kylie Evans (Impreza). Class 5: 1, Brynli Thomas/Tom Urquhart (306)