Carmarthen to Cumbria, the recently held Rogert Albert Clarke Historic Rally saw many Teifi Valley Motor Club members in the hot seat gaining terrific results. Described as ‘Britain’s most challenging rally,’ the 2023 event was the biggest and toughest to date, covering 350 special stage miles across forests here in Wales, England and Scotland over five fierce, solid days of competition.  

TVMC members were followed closely by their supporters and saw driver Dyfrig James and co-driver Emyr Jones finishing the rally in fourth position overall and receiving a first in class award. They’ve competed together for over 20 years, with winning the Cilwendeg Rally in 2017 being a lifetime ambition for both, but getting top five in this rally was just the icing on the cake, with over two million people watching the action live on-line. 

“It was just fantastic, and we were glad just to finish. We’ve never done a rally like this before and our aim was to get to the finish regardless of the result, but to come fourth overall when there was a such a lineup of world class teams and drivers was just incredible. A top twenty would have been a great result for us as a team of friends, but what we managed to achieve together was unbelievable,” said father of three Dyfrig. 

He added: “The 39-mile stage to the finish of the rally was the longest gravel stage held in the UK for over 40 years, which I absolutely loved, even though the solid five days of competition was mentally tiring. But the sense of achievement once finished was definitely worth it.”  

Dyfrig says that he had been inspired to compete in the rally because of a story told to him as a child – a story that he now tells his own children Elain, Alana and Dafi-Jon. 

“My great uncle Washington James competed in the 1970 World Cup Rally from London to Mexico and as a child I’d always be told stories of the event. He competed against works teams and drivers from across the globe and finished in 15th position overall again with a team of friends in a car prepped as a hobby in the Teifi Valley. The Roger Albert Clark Rally is the only event in the UK to offer me the opportunity to try to follow in his similar footsteps, and I hope he would be proud,” said Dyfrig who was supported by his wife Catrin and family throughout the week.  

Dyfrig’s co-driver, Emyr Jones, advises anyone to give the rally a go if they get the opportunity. 

“It was a bit overwhelming to be honest. The crowds were huge and we had so much support. The kindness of the supporters was just unbelievable, so too the online comments and text messages received during and after the rally. The rally experience within the forestry of Scotland was just fantastic and the final stage in Kielder was just flat out,” explained Emyr. 

Both Dyfrig and Emyr would like to thank friends and family who were some of the 4000 people who saw them head off at the beginning of the rally in Carmarthen. 

Dyfrig concluded: “We competed as a group of friends and were supported by so many local people, and for me that’s what rallying is all about. I’ll never forget the cheers we all had driving through Carmarthen town at the beginning and by the roadside throughout the event, there’s no feeling quite like it. Our service crew, all good friends, were terrific throughout. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, as without them this event would not have been possible. Should we be fortunate to once again get some support in 2025, we would love to do it all over again and try to achieve an even better result!” 

TVMC members Geraint Davies and Eurig James finished 15th overall and 9th in class, Aled Richards and Lyn Davies 78th overall and 21st in class, Gwynfor Jones and Adrian Young 25th overall and 1st in class D3 and Mike Roberts and Ken Bowman 4th in class and 48th overall. 

TVMC Chairman Peter Lewis echoed the thoughts of Club members. He said: “We are very proud of the achievements of our members, not only in just finishing the event but finishing in a respectable position in one of the most iconic rallies in Great Britain.”