The 2017 Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages will mark a special occasion for Pembroke resident John Williams, as he returns to the event for the first time in exactly 30 years. After contesting the Welsh Rally Championship back in the 80’s, John retired from active competition due to family commitments and of course costs.
Three decades later, John has decided to return to the event which marked his last outing way back in 1987.
Read his story:
“I started rallying in 1984 at the age of 18 and contested various events until I really went for it on the 1987 Welsh Forestry Championship in my home built MK2 RS2000” he says. “I scored a few good results with a best placing of 3rd overall on a snowy Mid Wales stages and was co driven by Andy Morgan who later went on to co drive for ‘Mad’ Mick Jones.”
John in action on the 1987 Severn Valley Stages
“I was I think lying about 2nd in the championship to Jon Ballinger but by the end of the Severn Valley stages I had big problems with my engine and could not afford to repair it. I just basically run out of money and could see no way of funding it as I was at home on a farm with my father and money was tight so I just sold the car. I loved the sport but could not afford it so just tried to forget about it and would not attend events because of that. I took up other sports in the meantime that were a lot cheaper.”
A sentiment which rings true with many of us of course. However, once a rally driver…always a rally driver.
“In 2014 my new son in law bought a rally car and I went along to help service and I am afraid that was it, the bug came back and within a year I had bought myself a MK1 Escort because I now prefer the look and the history of the Mk1 Escort. I did 4 SV rallies last year to get the feel back but my heart lies in the forests so I am really looking forward to this years SV stages. I think it was my very first forest rally in 1985 as well . My intention is just to get round and relearn all the techniques on how to drive on loose surfaces, you just cannot practice any other way unfortunately but to just do it.”
Organisers of the event wish John the very best of luck.
Main Image: John in action in his MK1 Escort in 2016.