It’s nearly 20 years since the last AWDC-organised hill rally, but previously un-rallied parts of the 1000-acre Walters Arena complex near Glyn Neath (SA10 9LW) will be opened up for entrants. With 100-130 miles of competitive stage miles over two days, it should be one of the toughest events on the Defender Challenge calendar. Ten Defender 90 crews are entered, with Sturgess Land Rover’s Edd Cobley/John Tomley seeded eighth and looking to take the overall championship lead, just ahead of Britpart British Cross-Country Championship regular Ryan Cooke, co-driven by Paul Mansfield, in The Defenderists’ vehicle.
Seeded 11th is the Lookers entry of Gareth Carruthers/Wallace McKay, while Gareth’s brother Scott drives Northern Ireland Racing’s Defender in place of Dave Johnston. He’s co-driven by Joseph Monaghan.
Regulars Christian Femont, Brian Palmer, Stephen Richards and Richard Hayward start just in front of Scott, with Bas van Driel returning after rolling his 90 last time out at May’s Welsh Hillrally at Sweet Lamb Motorsport Complex.
Austrian journalists Peter Schonlaub and Johannes Mautner Markhof are entered in Land Rover’s media car, sharing the driving during the weekend.
Saturday should be dry, with some rain forecast for Sunday to catch out the weary drivers. Spectators are welcome, with clearly marked safe viewing areas and an exclusive Defender Challenge viewing area too.
The Defender Challenge 90s will be kept company by a very special Bowler Defender 110 development vehicle making its competitive debut (although not running in the Defender Challenge), driven by Drew Bowler himself. Full details are under wraps until tomorrow, but it’s said to make an awesome noise. Something to do with the supercharged three-litre V6 rumoured to be under the bonnet…
For full details on the AWDC Allisport Hill Rally, see http://www.awdc.co.uk/index.php/hillrally-2015 or welshhillrally.com
Land Rover Owner International is proud to be the official media partner of the 2015 Defender Challenge by Bowler.
Get involved – be a marshal
If you’re interested in working behind-the-scenes to help make the UK hill rallies the awesome events they are, marshalling could be for you. If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry – training is on hand. Make sure you’re at Walters Arena by 6pm on Friday for the first 1.5-hour introductory training session. It will cover basic rally safety and an introduction to marshalling, plus a show around an MSA Rescue Unit. The MSA will also be handing out some goody bags to all who attend the training.