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Dean Thomas and Mark Burt claim Brands Hatch Stages victory

Monday, January 14 2013

The Davrian Dav-Tec Mk8 of Dean Thomas and Mark Burt claimed a narrow win in the third running the MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Winter Stages rally on Saturday (12 January).

The duo shot to the front after a win on stage five, and then battled with an overheating problem to secure overall victory by just eight seconds, Thomas's first ever overall rally win. Previous winners Jeremy Straker and Simon May claimed second place in their Darrian T9 with the Renault Clio 172 of Royston Carey and Bridge Carey in third.

The rally totalled 40 miles over eight stages, utilising the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, paddock, pit lane and rally stages, with an impressive entry of 76 cars ranging from saloons to former World Rally machinery. Paul King and Alicia Miles in a Ford Escort RS initially led the way, but with the stages proving rather treacherous, any one of six cars were in contention at the halfway point.

A flurry of snow late on made conditions all the more precarious, especially with darkness settling in. Heading into the final stage, just 10 seconds covered the top three of Thomas/Burt, King/Miles and Straker/May.

King and Miles spun second place away on the final stage after selecting the wrong tyres, and fell to fourth overall, leaving Thomas and Burt clear to win, despite a brief scare when the Davrian ran wide at Graham Hill Bend.

"I'm really pleased to have picked up my first ever win" said an elated Thomas. "With the car overheating on stage six, we weren't sure what would happen but the temperature gauge packed in so we didn't worry about it. I thought that was it when we went on the grass on the last stage, but I'm really pleased to have won considering the car has been built from nothing as it was just a road car two years ago."

Clerk of the Course Gary Nicholls commented; "We are pleased with how everything went and thanks must go to MSV and Jonathan Palmer for their co-operation and continuing support of stage rallying at Brands Hatch."

MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Winter Stages result:

  1. Dean Thomas/Mark Burt, Davrian Dav-Tec Mk8, (Class B), 46m07s
  2. Jeremy Straker/Simon May, Darrian T9, (Class C), 46m15s
  3. Royston Carey/Bridge Carey, Renault Clio 172, (Class C), 46m22s
  4. Paul King/Alicia Miles, Ford Escort RS, (Class D), 46m30s
  5. Paul Diamond/Steve Cox, Ford Escort Mk2, (Class C), 46m53s
  6. Ian Hucklebridge/Gary Johnson, Ford Escort, (Class D), 47m06s
  7. Mark Clarke/Richard Arnold, Mitsubishi Evo 7, (Class E), 47m41s
  8. Chris West/Paul Bareham, Peugeot 306 Maxi, (Class C), 47m45s
  9. Trevor Martin/Ray Cleghorn, Subaru Impreza 555, (Class E), 48m02s
  10. Alan Thompson/Neil Harrison, Ford Fiesta, (Class C), 48m10s