Old king Cole keeps an eye on the throne

THE opening round of The REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, The Tour of Epynt, took place last Sunday. Damian Cole won this event last year and was tipped for a top result in adding yet another championship to his collection.

Based on the market town of Llandovery the rally was organised by Port Talbot Motor Club and attracted a top class entry of 103 starters.

Competitors tacked seven high speed special stages on the closed road military roads just north of Sennybridge. Seeded at number one was Damian Cole and Jack Morton in a Ford Focus WRC 05.

Speculation was a little off the mark when Cole and Morton finished second overall a mere second behind winners Simon Mauger and Jonathan Hawkins in a BL Metro.

Cole set five fastest times out of the seven stages with Mauger taking two. Jonathan Hawkins from Brecon won his class recently in a Ford Anglia on a historic rally and won again in one of the current fastest rally cars competing. Third was the ever popular John Indri and Peter James in a Darrian GTR, a car that Cole has had much success with in the past.

Torrential rain made the stages challenging and it was not a day for the faint hearted. Wayne Bonser and Richard Aston finished 41st overall and eighth in their class in a Ford Escort RS. Cole was first in class as the championship moves to its second round.