BILL GWYNNE – A WELSH CHAMPION
One of Wales finest motorsport stars of the fifties and sixties has sadly passed away after a short illness at his home in Oxfordshire.
Bill Gwynne, a former pupil at Cardigan Grammar School, who resided in Sarnau, before moving to live in Banbury died last week aged 77.
Up until recently he still took an active part in motorcross and regularly competed in the annual Teifiside Motor Club’s Welsh Classic Championships in Penparc and was the clubs Vice President.
As a young man he was one of the best scramblers in Wales and across the border and in 1957 and at the age of sixteen he became Welsh Scrambles ( Motorcross) champion and was Champion for three successive years. He soon became a works rider for Greeves Motorcycles who were a relatively new British manufacturer who successfully took on the giants at BSA and Matchless.
He was also selected to ride for both Trophy & Moto-Cross des Nations teams in 1960, and finished runner-up in the FIM European 750cc Cup in 1967.
Motorcross followers in Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire will fondly remember the battles Gwynne enjoyed at the Deep Cwm race track near Saundersfoot in the fifties and sixties fighting it out with the likes of Gerwyn ‘Gelly’ Thomas, Cyril Hawkins, Irwel Lloyd , Derek Atkins, Terry Challinor and the legendary Dave Jeremiah.
Rallying was also a passion and as a rally driver he won five national rally championships and won again most recently in 2003. Still competing on two wheels, he was the Southern Moto-Cross Over 60’s Champion in 2002. Gwynne also worked as a test and development driver for the Subaru World Rally Team.
In 1983 Bill set up the Bill Gwynne Rallyschool International where, he has taught hundreds of drivers the art of rally driving.
Speaking this week former World Rally Championship driver Nicky Grist paid his own tribute and said:” I am upset to have received the desperately sad news of the passing of Bill Gwynne. He had such a history in motorsport on both two and four wheels. Coming up through road rallying he was a man I followed in my youth. You will be missed Bill. RIP