The North Wales Car Club (NWCC) was formed in 1955 and the Cambrian Rally first appeared shortly afterwards. It started life as a road rally featuring long regularity sections and driving tests. Great emphasis was also put on navigational work, devious map reading and difficult calculations.
During the sixties, the Cambrian became one of the top Welsh Association road rallies and the format changed to one of selective sections timed to the second with relaxed sections in built up areas. By the late sixties the event had become a qualifier for the Motoring News Series, the premier road rally championship in the country and its success prompted the Red garages (North Wales) group of companies to put their name on it.
By 1976 forest rallying was growing in popularity and the Cambrian that year was to be the final one as a road event. The 1977 rally was held almost entirely in the Clocaenog Forest, apart from the now famous Great Orme stage in Llandudno, where the event was based. This first event was a round of the Central Tyres Rally Championship which, at the time, was a new series aimed at the clubman crews. The Cambrian organisers have always gone out of their way to provide rallying that caters for National and Clubman competitors alike and the entry of over one hundred on this first event proved that the formula was successful.
The Cambrian Rally maintained allegiance to the major Clubman Championships whilst remaining a qualifying round of the Welsh and North Western series. By now Clerk of the course for many years, David Thomas had §resigned due to increased commitments and promotion to Championship Secretary with the ANWCC, and Alyn Edwards had taken over at the helm. Then in 1986, much to North Wales Car Club’s delight, the Cambrian became the final round of the B.T.R.D.A Gold Star Championship, a privilege it still possess today.
The 1987 event, sponsored by the Premier Group, played host to both the B.T.R.D.A Gold Star Championship and Clubman’s Championship and boasted a record entry of 160 crews who gathered in Llandudno. Included in this number was twice World Sports Car Champion, Derek Bell, getting in some practice for an assault on the R.A.C Rally with co-driver Mike Nicholson, the current manager for the Vauxhall BTCC race team.
For 1988 the entry was increased to 180 to accommodate as many crews as possible, but there were still some disappointments, due to the outstanding popularity of the event. The early 90’s saw the introduction of Renault sponsorship, and also the excitement of watching the new era of rally cars in action. The upgrade in technologies all over the world was eventually producing much faster machinery for crews and the Cambrian was reaping the benefits. The Great Orme stage was growing rapidly in popularity, and the forest stages were seeing a far greater turnout. The crowds were treated to some stunning action as Championships; great and small were decided on this very demanding event.
The mid nineties saw another change in the organisation team. Keith Pulling and Robin Fairclough took over from Alyn Edwards in ‘93’ and an all round reshuffle took place. Jon Madoc-Jones took over to head the organising team as Rally Chairman and Clerk of the Course, for the new millennium, with new secretary of the meeting, a former Clerk of the Curse for many years, Dave Thomas, and a safety officer who has also been Clerk of the Course in the recent past, Keith Pulling. For 2007 a new team has been formed, with four former Clerks of the Course taking the senior positions and a huge number of new enthusiastic club members working alongside to learn the ropes. Headed by Alyn Edwards the team is confident of maintaining the high standards set and look forward to your support and enjoyment of the event.
The North Wales Car Club is one of the oldest established UK clubs, formed in 1955
MSA – Motor Sports Association
BTRDA – British Rally Series
F1000 – Formula 1000 Rally Club
ANWCC – Association of North Western Car Clubs
Wales Rally GB
WRC – World Rally Championship
British Rally Championship
Welsh Association of Motorsport