Ninth-placed finish for Smith as Forest Rally goes ahead despite rain

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Rob Smith, driving a Subaru Impreza, reached the finish of last Saturday’s Weir Engineering Wyedean Forest Rally in ninth position, write Colin and James Beckett.

Co-driven by Ross Weir, the Towcester driver battled his way through seven special stages in the Forest of Dean to be classified fourth in class in the season-opening round of the 2014 REIS BTRDA Rally Series.

Over 130 crews began the rally from Chepstow Racecourse, but conditions on the forest roads were tough with over 40 cars failing to finish the event. The Forest of Dean Motor Club, organisers of the rally, worked hard prior to the start to keep the popular stage rally on when so many other sporting activities in the region had been washed out by torrential rain.

The decision to run the rally was, in the end, the correct one and a fine day of action was witnessed.

Overall victory went to David Bogie and Kevin Rae, who blasted their way to the win in a Ford Focus WRC by a margin of 62 seconds from Paul Bird and Aled Davies – also in a Ford Focus.

The final podium position and third place was claimed by Luke Francis/John Roberts with a Mitsubishi Lancer.

The 2014 BTRDA Rally Series continues on March 8, when the Malcolm Wilson Rally takes place in Cumbria.