Just 12 penalties separated the top three on a sundrenched Three Castles Welsh Classic Trial from 2-4 June.
Based in Llandudno, the entry of 130 cars covered 500 miles over the course of the event, visiting many of the most attractive locations in North Wales on great rally roads.
Competition covered ten road regularity sections and eighteen driving tests on private land, many of them at country houses and over spectacular closed roads.
Yet again, the glamour of the Three Castles attracted a superb field, including Terry Bramall’s 18 TVX, one of two very rare Aston Martin DB4GTs supplied to Essex Racing when new in 1960 and raced by Moss and Salvadori.
Matching that for Coventry’s finest, local resident Peter Neumark brought his ex-Ecurie Ecosse C-type Jaguar, while John Abel’s Lagonda and Paul Carter’s Bentley did battle with Jayne Wignall’s Sunbeam among the pre-war cars.
Not to be outdone, Tony Goodwin entered a glorious Facel Vega, whilst Bryn Williams brought his 1952 Targa Florio Frazer Nash.
Steve and Alex Chick (1959 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk I) emerged as worthy winners after a consistent run at or near the front.
They triumphed by just seven penalty points from John Abel and Tony Davies in their 1936 Lagonda LG45. Only five points behind a tie for third overall was resolved in favour of double previous winners, Mark and Sue Godfrey, whose 1951 MG TD edged out the 1969 Jaguar E Type of returning crew Steve Farmer and Adam Spiers in a tie-break decided on regularity penalties.
John Criswell & Robin Whiteside were an excellent fifth in their 1964 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III, whilst Gerry Simpson and Joy Hewson rounded out the top six in a very strong field in a 1964 Austin Mini Cooper S.
Poignantly, a Ferrari Dino owned by the late Hal Danby, who died just two weeks before the event, was driven in his memory by Kevin and Helen Drage. Hal, whose sense of humour and warmth will be much missed, was posthumously awarded the Spirit of the Rally Award.
The friendly support of long time event supporters CES UK and Penderyn Welsh Whisky was matched again by that of the local council and landowners, including the Mostyn Estates, representing the ancient family that founded Llandudno, and First Hydro, whose dam roads are a legend of the event.
Pictures by Max Earey