Citroën driver Rhidian Daniels is aiming to extend his Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship class B10 lead on the forthcoming Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally (Sunday 25 August), although he’ll have stiff opposition from a rapid pair of Peugeots driven by Adrian Drury and Dai Roberts.
Partnered by Tomos Whittle, Daniels – who finished runner-up in class B10 last year – will arrive on Epynt with a nine point class lead, despite suffering “gremlins from start to finish” last time out on the Carryduff Forklift Down Rally.
Firstly his JJ Aggregates-backed C1 Max encountered fuel pump issues on the opening stage and then finally a lead to the coil pack melted on SS6, forcing him out of the closed road event.
Luckily for him, Drury and co-driver Cat Lund also failed to reach the finish in Northern Ireland, as their Drury Deliveries-backed 106 GTi was forced out early with a broken nearside inner driveshaft joint.
With Daniels and Drury both able to count their last two scores (the best five scores from seven rounds count), the class battle is wide open – and could go down to the final round on the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally (Sunday 22 September).
A fly in the ointment comes in the form of the hard-charging Dai Roberts, who scored maximum class points on the Down Rally. Together with Pete Phennah, he could well take points off either or both title contenders on Epynt, as he prepares for his usual flat-out assault in his 205 GTi.
“We came to the Down Rally with a lot of confidence after a good run in Belgium, but it wasn’t to be,” said Rhidian. “I’m now looking forward to the Mewla. We went well there last year in the wet and I know Epynt pretty well.”