Furzelands net another rally win in Oxfordshire
Organiser: Sutton and Cheam MC/ Farnborough DMC/ Craven MC When: June 5 Where: Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, Oxfordshire Championships: ASWMC, ACSMC, ASEMC/AEMC, Cotswold MSG, Heart of England Stages: eight Starters: 100
Steve and Yvonne Furzeland took their Subaru Impreza WRC to a third consecutive Abingdon Car-nival Rally victory, overcoming a first-stage turbo pipe problem to chase down early leaders Paul King/alicia Miles (Ford Escort Mk2). They then set four consecutive fastest stage times to pull away, beating King by 1m11s. Graeme Bell/ Russ Radford (Proton Satria) finished third, 17s down.
In sunny, hot conditions that created mechanical problems for many crews, King set the early pace, chased by Paul Diamond/ Steve Cox (Escort). Third place was closely disputed by Paul Kirtley/david Jones (Impreza) and the Escorts of Alistair Tough/ Dee Addison and Stuart Hodgson/ Tony Jones.
Furzeland lay 13th after SS1 but with the loose turbo pipe fixed he increased pace, taking the lead on stage four and never losing it thereafter. His good fortune contrasted with Kirtley, whose clutch broke on SS2, and Diamond who picked up a stage maximum and dropped out of the top 20.
The battle for second and third stayed tight all day: King and Bell’s consistent approach to the conditions paid dividends as they held allcomers at bay, benefitting from the retirements of Hodgson and Tough whose engines blew on stages five and seven respectively. This elevated Chris Rooney/sam Ducroq to fourth. The Proton Compact crew survived a final stage spin and stall to stay ahead of Steve Retchless/sasha Heriot, with Ron Allen/derek Le Bailly sixth. Both crews drove Escorts.
Furzelands are in good form