by Geoff Mayes
Geoff Jones belied his lack of recent rallying activity by taking a podium finish on the Plains Rally last weekend - and admitted to having far too much fun on what was his first ever rally in a WRC car.
Jones, a former works driver for Nissan and Proton in the late 1990s, was reunited with his former co-driver Rhydian Welson for the Welshpool based Plains Rally, an event which he was contesting in an ex-Colin McRae Ford Focus WRC kindly lent to him by John Lloyd.
This time, however, the lack of recent competition experience and perhaps a little bit too much flamboyant driving from Jones meant that he would have to settle for third overall after a day of high speed action in the woods.
His task was made difficult when he suffered two spins during the course of the rally, but the massive grin at the end of the day showed that the overall result was irrelevant.
“When John Lloyd offered me the use of the Focus for my home event I had to try and remain calm whilst I accepted the offer,” said Geoff. “This is the first time I have ever driven a world car in competition and I actually learnt a lot about the car.
“The stages were in brilliant condition and a big thanks must go to the organisers and marshals for putting on a superb event.
“I would never have been able to do this rally if it hadn't have been for the help and support from Carless Fuels, Dunlop Tyres, 710 oil, Quest Mead and especially Jardine Lloyd Thompson, as well as all my service crew and the fans who cheered us on out in the stages. This rally was a lot of fun!”
By finishing third overall on the 2008 Plains Rally, Geoff continues his run of podium positions that extend back to the 2005 Plains Rally, an event which he won, again in a car loaned to him by John Lloyd.
At present Geoff has no plans to contest any other rallies in 2008.