TEG Sport driver Newby fi­nally over­turned Steve Furze­land for vic­tory

Motor Sport News - - Rally Report - Brean Stages Rally By Ian Har­den Pho­tos: Wil­liam Neill, Gas­mark Me­dia

Or­gan­iser: Club Rally Sport West When: Jan­uary 28/29 Where: Brean Leisure Park, Burn­ham-on-sea Cham­pi­onships: ASWMC Sealed Sur­face, AWMMC Heart of Eng­land; CMSG Stages: 12 Starters: 98

Phon­ing a World Rally Championship driver half­way through the Brean Stages Rally helped Ar­ron Newby and co-driver Ian Davis to vic­tory on the event.

When their Subaru Im­preza strug­gled for grip on Satur­day’s greasy, rain-af­fected stages, Newby rang World Rally star El­fyn Evans for car set-up ad­vice. It en­abled Newby’s team to im­prove dif­fer­en­tial and damper set­tings and he dom­i­nated Sun­day’s six stages, set­ting five fastest times in ap­palling wet con­di­tions to take vic­tory by 1m19s from Jim Mun­den/andy Frost (Im­preza), with Steve and Yvonne Furze­land (Im­preza S12 WRC) third.

Con­di­tions at the Som­er­set venue proved ex­tremely tricky from the start; rain set­tled onto the dusty as­phalt roads, turn­ing the sur­face into a greasy, grip­less slime. De­spite this, Newby took the early lead, helped when Furze­land hit a kerb and got stuck be­tween some track­side bales.

Mun­den, in his se­cond sea­son with the Im­preza af­ter many years in Ford Es­corts, set­tled into third spot, chased by a pack that in­cluded Andy Vey/richard Fletcher, Phil Turner/si­mon An­thony (both Mit­subishi Lancers) and Karl Broad/ Roger Grant (Im­preza S9 WRC). Rear-wheel drive com­peti­tors suf­fered par­tic­u­larly badly in the slip­pery con­di­tions: de­spite run­ning on soft com­pound tyres, third seeds Josh Pay­ton/mar­cus Mizen (Ford Es­cort Mk2) suf­fered a time-con­sum­ing spin that dropped them out of the top 20.

The early mis­take spurred Furze­land into ac­tion and he worked hard to re­duce Newby’s ad­van­tage, grab­bing the lead on stage four. Mun­den con­tin­ued to hold third, his de­ci­sion to fit big­ger brakes over the win­ter pay­ing div­i­dends as he held off chal­lenges from both Turner and Vey.

Even­tu­ally the pres­sure told on the Evo driv­ers; both spun and lost over a minute, drop­ping them out of con­tention. But Mun­den could not rest easy, as James and Ben Har­vey and Danielle Furze­land/ja­son Par­son­age (both Im­prezas) moved into the reck­on­ing by the end of day one.

Sun­day her­alded leaden skies and day­long heavy rain. Furze­land’s ear­lier fight­back im­me­di­ately came to nought on the open­ing stage. “The in­ter­com and the heated wind­screen failed on the start­line and then we hit a bale – we’ve lost about 40 sec­onds,” he an­nounced rue­fully.

With the dead­lock bro­ken, Newby put his Im­preza’s im­proved han­dling to good use and built an unas­sail­able lead. Furze­land never gave up the chase but he made fur­ther mis­takes on later tests and was forced to sur­ren­der se­cond place to Mun­den, who dis­played con­sis­tent top three pace through­out both days.

Har­vey clung de­ter­minedly to fourth spot and de­spite los­ing time on stages nine and 10 with spins, held off late charges from Andy Cor­ner/ade Camp and Dai Roberts/ Max Free­man (both Peu­geot 205s). With con­di­tions wors­en­ing in the clos­ing miles, Roberts in par­tic­u­lar showed prodi­gious pace, set­ting a brace of fourth fastest times in his 1600cc ma­chine. Danielle Furze­land sur­vived a huge mo­ment on stage 10 – col­lid­ing with a con­crete gatepost and heav­ily dam­ag­ing her Subaru’s left side – to fin­ish sev­enth, ahead of James Nicholls/ Luke Har­low (205). They smil­ingly ad­mit­ted to hav­ing a su­perb week­end: “We haven’t laid a span­ner on the car and we’re re­ally pleased to be in the top 10.”

Mi­nor gear­box is­sues failed to faze ninth-placed Tony Mun­den/dave Per­rott (Im­preza) while a last-minute bor­rowed en­gine en­abled Stu­art Bliss/richard Marsh (Honda Civic) to fin­ish 10th.


1 Ar­ron Newby/ Ian Davis (Subaru Im­preza) 1h8m49s; 2 Jim Mun­den/ Andy Frost (Im­preza) +1m19s; 3 Steve Furze­land/yvonne Furze­land (Im­preza S12 WRC); 4 James Har­vey/ Ben Har­vey (Im­preza); 5 Andy Cor­ner/ade Camp (Peu­geot 205); 6 Dai Roberts/ Max Free­man (205); 7 Danielle Furze­land/ja­son Par­son­age (Im­preza P2000); 8 James Nicholls/ Luke Har­low (205); 9 Tony Mun­den/ Dave Per­rott (Im­preza); 10 Stu­art Bliss/ Richard Marsh (Honda Civic).

Class win­ners Perry Gar­dener/jamie Vaughan (Vaux­hall Nova); Roberts/ Free­man; Cor­ner/ Camp; Richard Poole/jim Clarke (BMW M3); Newby/ Davis.

Dou­ble World Rallycross cham­pion Pet­ter Sol­berg and 2017 team-mate Jo­han Kristof­fers­son have be­gun test­ing the Volkswagen Mo­tor­sport built Polo RX Su­per­car that they will race this year. Both driv­ers drove the car at Lo­heac in France last week, the first roll out for the new ma­chine. “it was just a small test, you know, to look over and check ev­ery­thing,” said Sol­berg. ”We will con­tinue to do more test­ing now in the next few months – we have a good time planned.” sol­berg con­firmed that the new cars will fea­ture trans­versely mounted en­gines, mov­ing away from the lon­gi­tu­di­nally ori­en­tated units he has used in his pri­vately-run Citroen DS3.

Newby flew in tricky con­di­tions

Dai Roberts/max Free­man steered their road rally-spec 205 to a sixth over­all

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