Last year a good big 'un, in the shape of Andrew Bailey and Philippa Spiller's Bentley 4 ½ litre, beat a good little 'un in the shape of Bill Ainscough's Fraser Nash, but this year the tables were reversed.
The winner, though, still came from the Emerald Isle. Irish crew Shane Houlihan and Richard Pain in their 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 led right from the start of the three-day event on Wednesday, but were chased all the way by the green Bentley of Stuart Anderson and Richard Lambley. Having originally entered a Fraser Nash, the Irish team were glad of the Alfa's extra power over the event’s 20 driving tests, which the pair completed in grand style, holding on to beat the Bentley boys by a mere 12 penalty points overall.
At the end of three days and around 400 miles of rallying, the Alfa crew had been consistently fastest on the driving tests, and that secured their win, for they dropped thirteen seconds over the event’s nine regularities to the Bentley team. Another Irish car, that of Tom Callanan, could be found in third place, his fine 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 navigated by Chris Towers.
The leading two cars had shown a clean pair of heels to a chasing pack headed by Callanan/Towers and by Stephen Owens and Dale Errock in Stephen's immaculate concours-winning 1937 SS100, just ahead of Urs and Denise Mezger's lovely blue Lagonda Tourer.
Run partly over the same route as the Welsh Classic Trial each day, and partly over its own unique roads and tests, this event enjoyed a unique visit to the beautiful Chateau Rhianfa for lunch on its first day, and another to Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan on day 2. With later starts than the Classic Trial and earlier finishes, the formula was again voted a success by all participants, who included a splendid contingent of Continental crews that again included the gorgeous Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS of Raoul San Giorgi and Grignon Voeten.
With Owens' simply perfect Jaguar SS100 triumphing overall for second year in the Concours D'Elegance, Eric and John Kavanagh's pristine 1921 Vauxhall 30/98 taking the prewar class, Malcolm Davies Jaguar XK150S winning the Grand Luxe award and the new Owain Glendower Award going to ever-cheerful Heritage Trial sweep crew Tony Fowkes and Dave Sherwood, Heritage Crews were also well represented in the Awards overall.
The Welsh Heritage Trial returns in 2018, when our dates are 6th-9th June.
Complete 2016 Results for all events HERE
Awards for the Welsh Heritage Trial and the Welsh Classic Trial are HERE.
Overall results for the Welsh Heritage Trial are HERE.
All Penalties are HERE.
Test Penalties by Car Number are HERE.
Best Regularity Performances by Regularity are HERE.
Best Test Performances by Test are HERE.