The 11th Three Castles Welsh Classic Trial enjoyed blazing sunshine as the 1951 MG TD crew of Mark and Sue Godfrey battled to their third win on the popular event.
On the first day the Godfreys established a vital one-second lead over the chasing pack, headed by Chris White and Ken Woodham (1955 Austin-Healey 100/4) from 2012 victors, Graham Walker/Sean Toohey (1972 Lotus Elan) and the spectacular Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet (1972 Ford Escort).
Just 19 penalty marks covered these four crews after a whole day of rallying with five regularities and four special tests.
Mike Thompson and Cedric Eade's Bentley
By the end of day two the Godfreys had slightly extended their lead with John Abel and John Dennett's Sunbeam Tiger moving up to fourth.
But, three earlier car fires aside (two Healeys, one Elan), all the drama came on the final day.
Several contenders – including Jayne Wignall and Kevin Savage (below), White and Woodham, and Covill and Wilson – made early mistakes that ruled them out of the running.
Wignall and Savage in action at Parc Glasfryn in the 20HP Sunbeam
High drama awaited the then fifth-placed Dermot Carnegie and Paul Bosdet, who, after a hub had detached itself on the final regularity struggled to continue.
Feverish repairs got the car going, but they were unable to reach the finish within maximum lateness so were OTL at the final control.
Those to benefit included Roger and Barbara Osborne, sixth in their Jaguar XK150 DHC, Derek and Aimée West, seventh after a very strong run in their MGA, and Cliff England and Peter Rushforth, who rose steadily to eighth in their Triumph 2500.
By the packed finish on Llandudno Promenade the Godfreys had retained a narrow but decisive nine-point lead built largely on the regularities.
Walker and Toohey were second, with John Abel and John Dennett in their Sunbeam Tiger up to an excellent third, just 10 points further back.
Roger Gould and Terry Davies in an Austin Seven Ulster
New entries for 2013 came from as far afield as Germany and Austria, joining returning crews from Norway, Belgium, Ireland and Canada, with all but seven of the 77 starters making it to the finish.
At the awards dinner, Three Castles Hon. President Viscount Chelsea presented an array of glittering glass awards, including a magnificent winners' trophy.
The 2014 Three Castles will again be based in Llandudno and will take place from 4-7 June.
If you’d like to compete, further information can be sourced from the event's website.
John Jackson and Victor Ramsay in the Aston Martin DB2 Vantage