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Rally action this Sunday opens busy season at Brands Hatch

Monday, January 16 2012

The first event of MSV and Brands Hatch's busy 2012 season takes place this Sunday (22 January), with the Chelmsford Motor Club returning after last year's inaugural stage rally at the venue proved to be a huge success. Tickets are available on the gate for £13 and spectator information can be found here.

The TRS (Essex) Ltd Brands Hatch Stage Rally will be bigger than last year's event and the eight stages, utilising areas of the Indy circuit, paddock, access roads and rally stages, have been increased in length. The later stages of the event will also run into darkness. The entry list has grown and with more than 90 cars registered, there will be a lot to look out for. The Chelmsford MC have picked ten crews to look out for this weekend.

Car 1 - John Indri, Dave Engwell - Darrian T90 GTR - Class D

The Darrian of Indri and Engwell won last year's event, on its way to another three rally victories in 2011. They finished 3rd in the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship in 2011 making it their best year to date and 2012 will be their 20th year together as a crew, their first being at Snetterton in 1992 in a 2 litre Opel Manta. A full winter strip down and rebuild for the Darrian to make it faster and lighter is proof of their intention to win the Championship this year.

Car 2 - Nigel Mummery, Fiona Scarrett - Ford Focus WRC - Class E

Mummery and Scarrett will be hoping to finish the event this year, after ending last year's rally stuck in the gravel at Paddock Hill. Fresh from winning the Snetterton Stages in November, this Focus was driven to overall victory on the Acropolis Rally by Markko Martin and is an ex-M Sport car. Mummery and Scarrett also won the Hamilton Classic ACSMC Stage Rally Championship in 2011.

Car 3 - Jeremy Straker, Mark Straker - Darrian T9 - Class C

The Strakers' Darrian has been in their family for over 13 years. With many top 3 class finishes, they have also won a number of events outright and have both been competing from an early age.

Car 4 - Pete Rayner, Richard Bonner - Ford Escort Mk 2 - Class D

Pete Rayner is at Brands Hatch fresh from some very good recent results - second overall at Snetterton in November, missing out on the win by only one second, overall winner at Rockingham in December and second overall at Longmoor three weeks ago. Last year the pair finished fourth and are a good bet for victory this weekend.

Car 6 - Miles Johnston, Charlie Reilly - Evo VIII - Class E

Miles started racing in the 1980s, before entering rallies in the 1990s. Continuing to compete in both disciplines, Miles finished 16th overall at the Formula Ford Festival last year, so will have good circuit knowledge. His rally career includes the 1999 Network Q Rally of Great Britain, which ended with his Peugeot 106 catching fire on the final Margam Park stage, twelve months after Carlos Sainz lost the World Rally Championship in similar circumstances. Charlie also has a racing background, having raced in Formula Vee for the past 20 years before competing on his first stage rally at this event in 2011, the pair retiring on SS5.

Car 7 - Gavin Rogers, Derek Rogers - Ford Escort Mk 2 - Class C

Gavin won the Middlewick Stages outright back in May, with Holly Bailey navigating, and is quicker than his result on this event last year implies. He started competing in 1990 and has previously won both the AEMC and ACSMC Championships. His brother Derek first competed in 1990 on sprints and hillclimbs, and more recently on autosolos and gymkhanas. This will be Derek's first stage rally.

Car 10 - Richard Davies, Gareth Wilcox - Ford Escort Mk 2 - Class B

Richard started competing in motorcross, moved on to grass track events and now competes on rallies and autocross events. With numerous top results in all disciplines they have competed in, Richard and Gareth finished 6th in last year's event. They won their class and were in the top 10 overall results on every stage rally they competed on in 2011.

Car 12 - Dominic Worsfold, Ian Waller - Ford Fiesta - Class B

Dominic and Ian are normally found fighting for class wins, and finished 1st in class and 2nd overall on the South Downs Goodwood Stages in 2011, and 2nd in class and 9th overall on this event in 2012.

Car 16 - Justin Dale, Andrew Bargery - Peugeot 206 Xsi - Class B

Justin Dale started competing in 1992 in the Peugeot Rally Challenge in a 205 GTi, teaming up with Andrew Bargery in 1996 and winning the Peugeot Challenge outright, as well as 3rd overall in the British Rally Championship and the British Rally Junior title. This secured their first works drive with Peugeot for the RAC Rally and Justin was later awarded Autosport's National Rally Driver in both 2001 and 2002. The pair have also competed on a number of WRC events.

Car 24 - Ian Barnard, Will Barnard - Vauxhall Nova - Class A

Ian started rallying in 2004 in a 2 litre Ford Escort Mk 2, before moving to front wheel drive three years ago and the Nova eighteen months later. Highlights including several class wins, including at Rockingham last December by over 11 minutes! Ian's son Will has been competing since he was 13, has finished 2nd overall in the British Autocross Championship, and is looking forward to showing his Dad how it's done when he turns 17 this June.

Tickets for the TRS (Essex) Ltd Brands Hatch Stage Rally on 22 January are available on the gate for £13, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.