Danielle Furzeland takes first overall rally win in Devon
Organiser: Bournemouth and District Motor Club When: September 3 Where: Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe, Devon. Championship: ASWMC Subaru Spares Sealed Surface Stages: 8 Starters: 48
Danielle Furzeland and co-driver Jason Parsonage took their first ever overall victory, beating off numerous challenges from Ford Escort-mounted crews over eight long, fast stages.
Their Subaru Impreza P2000 WRC proved exactly the right tool for the job, providing manageable traction over the bumpy tests at the airfield.
Having grabbed the lead on the opening stage the pairing held everyone at bay before setting three fastest times on the last three tests to draw 30s ahead of a massive battle between Simon Mansell/gareth Wilcox (Ford Escort Mk3) and Kev Carr/chris Pippen (Escort Mk2). A single second separated runner-up from third at the finish.
Dry conditions created a fast pace from the opening test, and with top seeds Steve and Yvonne Furzeland having their first outing in a Ford Escort Mk2, it was left to daughter, Danielle, to power her way into top spot. She was the only driver to dip below the seven-minute mark for stage one.
Craig Fleming and Paul Rumary (Escort) chased hard initially but surrendered second place on the third stage, dropping to eventual fourth behind the scrap between Mansell and Carr.
Rob de St Paer/steve Hobbs (Escort) made the journey from Jersey worthwhile by holding off Simon Thomas/tony Palfrey’s Peugeot 306 for fifth. Ben Parker and last-minute replacement co-driver Holly Creamer brought their Honda Civic, re-engined with a unit bought from a scrapyard, home in seventh.