Davrians and Darrians in the WRDA Sports/Saloon Car Championship

Robert Allender of the WRDA provides an overview of Davrian/Darrian participation in the WRDA (Welsh Racing Drivers Association) Sports Saloon Car Championship since its inception in 1990.

The Welsh Championship began in 1990 after a break of approximately ten years and was opened to Saloon & Sports cars purely because we needed to include as many cars as we could. The series features three basic classes and an overall championship. Davrians were part of the championship virtually from the start and in 1993 Mike Lamplough won the 1600 c.c. class with his Davrian Mk 6 and set a lap record of 66.11 seconds for Pembrey circuit in the last race on 3rd September ‘93 which still stands today. Granville Williams took Class C in 1995 with his Davrian Mk8.

After some discussion, the championship was enlarged in 1995 to four classes and Darrian cars were introduced on the basis that there was a family connection between them and the Davrians and Tim Duffee was able to negotiate a favourable weight limit to encourage the class to grow. Peter Dark was the first entry with his Darrian T9O which he built himself. Peter’s car now runs with a Ford Cosworth turbo engine and he took the first Class D trophy. Peter was later joined by Graham Cole and his rally-based T9 with a Ford Kent engine. Later on Matthew Manderson joined in, but Roger Dowden was the person attracting the attention of the press and he introduced the Swansea Institute to motor-racing with his Rover-powered T90. Roger later moved on to the BRDC Privilege Insurance GT series with the works team. Later in the year, Gareth Davies joined in with his T9, powered by a Kawasaki motorcycle engine.

Darrian T90 of Matthew Mandelson

1996 was the year the Darrians began to make their presence felt as Terry Brown followed Gareth’s lead and entered with his own Darrian T9/Kawasaki. Terry won the Class, umpteen races and nearly the championship. Unfortunately he was pipped at the post, mainly due to not picking up enough points in his class due to the low number of Class D starters.

1997 was Peter Dark’s year and he finally clinched the championship by one point after a dramatic final round. Terry suffered from a series of calamities including a broken drive shaft, several engine failures, a fire and a crash! Mike Shaw was a new addition to the series with his Vauxhall-powered T9O.

For 1998 Peter has returned to defend his championship, this time with the benefit of bodywork developed for the BRDC GT championship. Peter has won four out of the seven rounds held so far ( 1-6-98 ) and is in 2nd place in the points table. Whether he can retain his title will depend in the main on the strength in his class as he is clearly the fastest Darrian in the championship at the moment.

For more details of the WRDA Sports and Saloon Car Championship, please contact:

The Welsh Racing Drivers Association Ltd.

50 Trallwn Road



Tel.: 01792 791686 Fax.: 01792 772860

or click here to visit the WRDA website

The Darrians in the WRDA Championship '98

Peter Dark was the first Darrian in the series with his T90 powered by a turbo Ford Cosworth engine breathing through a restrictor.

Terry Brown began competing in a Darrian T9 with a 1000 c.c. Kawasaki motorbike engine & gearbox . This was very successful in its standard form but, when Terry began to tune it for extra power, reliability suffered. This year he tried to add a turbocharger, but in the end switched to 1600 Ford BDA with a Hewland transaxle. This has suffered several new car problems and has yet to show its proper form.

Graham Cole started with a T9 powered 1700 c.c Kent engine, but has moved up to a 2.3 litre normally-aspirated Cosworth engine.

Mike Shaw has fitted a 2.0 litre Vauxhall engine to his T90.

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©John E.F.Rawlins (New Davrian Register) 2013