Rally drivers in action in Somerset

First published in Sport

DRIVERS from Stourbridge and Halesowen had mixed feelings about the latest stage of the REIS BTRDA Rally Series.

The Betta Somerset Stages Rally on April 12 saw competitors from all over the UK converging on Minehead.

Amongst the local rally competitors, and Quinton MC members, were Halesowen's John Connor, co-driving for Steve Black, Stourbridge's Steve Deeley co-driven by Alan Proudman and Damien Taft co-driven by Simon Taft, also from Stourbridge, and in the unlikeliest of rally vehicles a Landrover Defender.

Whilst finishing 35th overall out of 125 entered crews might be deemed a good performance, it did not satisfy John Connor who went on to say: "It was actually a disappointing result, couldn't get any rhythm in the car, I had an off day on the notes and Steve had an off day behind the wheel. Steve had never done the event before and it was around 10 years ago I last did it so neither of us were familiar with the stages, which didn't help. It's not my favourite event, the stages are a bit too much like farm tracks for my taste".

"We were lucky to get out of stage three at all after nearly sliding off the road and over the edge of a bank but Steve gave it loads of acceleration and very luckily the car dragged it's self back on the road. We clouted a bank on the same stage which resulted in the broken front bumper."

Deeley/Proudman had even more reason to be disappointed in so much as their rally only lasted to stage seven when retirement was forced through several unresolvable mechanical problems. However, no damage was done to Deeleys championship standings as he still stands in first position in his class of vehicle.

The Taft's, in their Landrover defender, said: "After initially leading the Defender Challenge field after the first two tarmac stages up Porlock Hill in Somerset, an experience in its self in a Land Rover Defender on full forest tyres, we finished yesterday second in the Defender challenge and 76th overall."

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