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After the best part of a month off we were back in the woods for the 3rd round of the BTRDA championship, the Somerset Stages Rally. With a late entry from Andrew Burton & Robin Kellard (Peugeot Cosworth) it looked like a two horse race as they would take on car no. 1 the Ford Focus WRC of Steve Perez & Paul Spooner. Burton did the damage in the first half of the rally and with an overheating engine he had just enough in hand to take victory number 9 by just 10 seconds, in Somerset. Perez had been plagued by problems early on but felt satisfied with his afternoon fightback, in second place. 2009 BTRDA Champion David Wright & Michael Wilkinson were (Evo IX) 3rd overall, just over a minute further back.

In the 2WD section we witnessed a superb battle between two very different local crews. Andy Burnell & Scott Cleverdon brought their Skoda Felicia Kitcar home in top spot, 14th overall, by just 6 seconds from the historic spec Escort MkII of Peter Elkins & Andrew Joll. Elkins led initially and actually took a good lead into the main service halt after breaking his all-time record on the Porlock toll road, (and that was in his Escort WRC!), but a slow time through Croydon saw Burnell take the lead. With just 3 seconds separating them going into the final stage, Burnell had one last push on the final stage to come out on top.  The final podium spot went to Jon Burnell & Kevin Wheatley (Escort G4).

Over in the 1400’s it was the co-leaders of the championship who fought over victory in Somerset. Darren Pinchin & Karen Watts (Satria) made the most of their power advantage and were consistently faster than the MG ZR of Matt Edwards & Paul Williams who ended up 22 seconds behind. Completing the podium after an eventful day were Clive Anstey & Pamela Hilton (Corsa).

Video to follow one day, not sure when…

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