logo2.gif (2078 bytes)                             wrda_title2.gif (2722 bytes)                        flyWflag.jpg (1627 bytes)

1997 P&P Supplies Welsh Championship for Sports & Saloon Cars

Dark takes honours after a thriller - Jones edged out in finale

Peter Dark.jpg (10139 bytes)


Peter Dark, the Mid Wales sportscar expert, driving a turbocharged Darrian T90 sportscar, emerged as the winner of the 1997 P&P Supplies Welsh Championship after a thrilling double race finale at Pembrey on October 25/26th. Dark, who missed a earlier race when a knee injury put him in hospital, rose from his hospital bed to take part in the final races. Dark who used help to build cars at the Darrian factory near his home, built his own car himself, and his win marked the first occasion that a Welsh made car had won the Welsh championship. However he was made to fight every inch of the way by the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Nigel Jones. Jones, who comes from Skewen, near Neath, finished just one point behind to take 2nd place.

Peter Dark leads 97 finals.jpg (9641 bytes)

Peter Dark heads the field into Hatchets

Going into the final races, Dark had a 4 point lead over Jones, but the pendulum began to swing into Jones’ favour in the first race as Graham Cole converted pole position into his second win of the year, overtaking Dark who held the lead initially after getting off to a fast start. Meanwhile in the Production car class Nigel Jones was involved in a titanic struggle with the Sapphire Cosworth of Jeremy Pope, eventually beating Pope to the finishing line by only .39 of a second! Better still from Jones’ point of view he had now closed to within one point of the leader, setting up a grandstand finish to the 1997 Welsh Championship.

Crucially Dark was on pole position for the final race, so Jones was going to have to win his class and set fastest lap and hope that either Graham Cole or one of the other drivers could do him a favour. In the event Dark led away from the lights and stretched away to a 9 second lead and the championship.

 Nigel Jones v Jeremy Pope 97.jpg (9493 bytes)

Nigel Jones leads Jeremy Pope in a close and exciting battle for the class honours

In the production class Jones got the better of Jeremy Pope again, but this time Pope did Dark a favour and grabbed the extra point for the fastest lap by two-tenths of a second!

Nigel Jones.jpg (9886 bytes)

Afterwards Jones said" Naturally I am disappointed, but if a championship comes down to the last few laps of the last race, it must be right. I’ll be back to try and win again next year!"

Peter Dark.jpg (10139 bytes)

Commenting on his roller-coaster ride to the title Dark said " Last week my knee was in plaster and I though it was all over. However I’d like to pay tribute to Nigel, he certainly kept the pressure on. I was particularly concerned going into the final race because Graham Cole had driven well in the first race and I knew I had to give it everything just in case he started coming through once more. I was really nervous before the start but now I feel on top of the world. I will be working hard over the winter to try and make the car go faster next year as I am sure the competition is going to be just as hot."

1997 P&P Supplies Welsh Championship for Sports & Saloon Cars

RACMSA Permit No. CH97049


1st Peter Dark Pontrhydfendigaid Darrian T90t 50 pts

2nd Nigel Jones Skewen Sierra Cosworth t 49 pts

3rd Granville Williams Pontrhydfendigaid Toyota MR2 42 pts

Class A - supported by M&S Engineering

1st Keith Butcher Coalpit Heath Sierra Cosworth t 26 pts

2nd Martin Davies Haverfordwest Sapphire Cosworth t 16 pts

3rd Graham Hollis St Clears Sierra Cosworth t 14 pts

Class B - supported by Dyfed Steels

1st Nigel Jones Skewen Sierra Cosworth t 47 pts

2nd Jeremy Pope Bristol Sapphire Cosworth t 30 pts

3rd Nigel Bowen Penarth Porsche 911 RSR 17 pts

Class C - supported by Brecon Motors

1st Granville Williams Pontrhydfendigaid Toyota MR2 42 pts

2nd Larry Phillips Caerphilly Rover 216 Gti 25 pts

3rd Alvin Powell Treorchy Rover 216 Gti 19 pts

Class D - supported by Darrian Cars

1st Peter Dark Pontrhydfendigaid Darrian T90t 50 pts

2nd Terry Brown Carmarthen Darrian T9 30 pts

3rd Graham Cole Caerphilly Darrian T90 24 pts

Newcomers award - supported by West Wales Rally Spares .. Tony Holmes Haverfordwest Rover Tomcat

1981 to 1990 1991 1992  1993  1994/5/6  1997 - 98 - 99- 20 - 01 -02 The Celtic Motorsport Festival 1998