THERE was a full entry and a good number of spectators as the Vantage Point Business Village, Xite Nootropic Energy, Richard Cole Contracting Wyedean Stages Rally returned.

Conditions were typical of the Dean stages – very slippery after heavy rain overnight ahead of Saturday’s event, making it a real test.

The best local showing was by Nik Elsmore and Rob Fagg who finished third overall and there were some excellent performances from other crews on home turf for the event run in association with KGD Hereford..

Tim Freeman had Cliffy Simmons pushing him on in the Historic spec RS1800.They had a great run to 10th overall and second in class.

“That was great fun, really slippery and greasy, just so nice to be back in these forests let’s hope the history of the event can continue now,” said Cliffy

Another pair of veterans. Jeremy Easson with his Littledean-based co-driver Mike Reynolds, now in a new Escort RS1600 had an excellent run to 14th and third in class.

Husband and wife duo Nigel and Karen Jenkins dominated their class in the NJ Autos  Vauxhall Nova finishing 16th overall and winning the class by more than two minutes.

“Nigel drove very well ,but it was great to see so many people out watching and thank you for all the support, fabulous to have the rally back,“ said Karen 

Another crew to have a good run were Hartpury’s Geoff Phelps with local boy Colin Jenkins calling the notes.

Despite a last-minute scare with oil pressure issues they took 21st overall and third in class,in the Hills Property Consultants Escort RS1800. 

Ross duo Gary Bollands with Nigel Baldwin finished 24th in the GB Motorservices Subaru.

Charles Hopkinson had a very good run in his Dave Jenkins Motorsport-run Escort RS1800, with another veteran on board in the shape of Hereford’s Alan Jones. The duo took 28th overall. 

Luke Watts together with Matt Rogers in the Ian Watts and Son MG ZR produced another good drive to 43rd and 4th in class showing no ill effects after his recent Woodpecker Stages roll.

Luke said: “Great rally so many people out watching thanks to everyone for there support ,especially Nigel Jenkins for his help getting the car together for the event, let’s hope the Wyedean is back to stay.” 

Event sponsor Richard Cole together with Matt Nicholas was another to have late drama when the throttle cable snapped on the freshly-prepared Escort  but they had an enjoyable run to 46th and eighth in class.

Dave Troughton went four wheel drive this time in a new Subaru GC8 and together with Jordan McKenzie took 48th overall.

Just four seconds back were fellow locals Keith Bounds and Kevin Watkins switching back to another Impreza after a year in the Mini challenge. They took 49th overall. 

Just 10 seconds back in 51st place was Mike Truman with Martha Howells calling the notes,

These two survived a huge scare on the last stage when it so nearly ended in tears but they survived. A huge thanks must go to Mike for all he does to help the event.

Another pair of veterans Paul Simmonds and Mark Wheeler took 58th and fourth in class in the QEP-backed Escort.

Paul said: “Loved it. Great stages well done Forest of Dean Motor Club, thanks to Griff for servicing.”

Finally Dan Troughton with Jon Griffiths took home some silverware with class W2 honours and 60th overall.

For those not fortunate enough to make the finish were 

Roger Matthews and;Tom Marrott in the Escort RS1600 this duo were going very well just outside the top 10 when diff failure put then out on stage five.

Spectators’ favourite duo Eric Davis and Russ Joseph retired the Mini after stage four with broken rear suspension. 

For rally returnee Jason Gardner with Matt Davis in the newly built beautiful Brecon View Plumbing Escort RS1800 retirement beckoned with no brakes after stage two.

A Forest of Dean Motor Club spokesman said.”It’s been another great Wyedean,delighted to see so many people out watching which proves the popularity of the event, and what it brings to the area, we’ve had messages from people here for the weekend never seen a rally before saying absolutely loved it ,what date is it next year.”

“A huge thanks to everyone who has made this classic event happen when all seemed lost, so let’s hope the Wyedean is back to stay for many years to come.”