Bentham-based co-driver Shelley Rogerson, 22, took a brilliant victory on last Saturday’s Bulldog Rally when she partnered Andrew Burton in his Peugeot Cosworth to a win by 19 seconds after 65 miles of testing forest roads.
A cold but sunny morning saw Burton and Rogerson leave the start of the Oswestry-based event for the opening 9 mile stage in Dyfnant forest. The crew were a disappointing 7th fastest on the stage, 22 seconds behind rally leader Steve Perez in his Ford Focus WRC.
“The car was suffering from an intermittent power steering problem on the first stage which meant that we couldn’t take the corners at our usual speed” said Shelley. “We tried to make up time on the straights but we couldn’t match the leading crews.”
The event moved on to the gravel tracks of Dyfi forest for the second stage, Burton and Rogerson set a time 5 seconds quicker than anyone else to jump up to second overall behind the Hyundai Accent WRC of Marcus Dodd as the crews headed for the first service halt of the event.
With another fastest time on the third stage, Pantperthog, Burton and Rogerson took the lead of the event, although this lead was only 0.1 seconds so the scene was set for a tense battle over the remaining three stages of the event.
Stage 4 was a re-run of the 14 mile Dyfi stage and the Peugeot crew pushed hard to extend their lead. Unfortunately Dodd suffered an accident in Dyfi, with his Hyundai unable to continue after going off the road. With their nearest rival out of the event Burton and Rogerson were now 39 seconds in front of Steve Perez with Jon Ingram’s Subaru Impreza WRC in third place.
The final two stages, 21 miles in Gartheiniog and Dyfnant forest, saw Burton and Rogerson drop the pace slightly, taking 3rd and 2nd fastest times respectively and at the rally finish in Oswestry their victory margin was 19 seconds over Perez.
“We were disappointed that Marcus had his accident, it was looking like we were going to have a good battle to the finish,” Shelley said. ” I’m delighted with the win, it’s the third victory for Andrew and myself this year. This one is extra special as Andrew previously had a disappointing record on the rally so it’s great that he got the win.
“I’d like to thank Andrew for asking me to co-drive for him again and my sponsors, Co-ordSport, C.E.R.L., Legend Fires, Nicky Grist and Songasport, for their support which has enabled me to sit with Andrew this year.”
Shelley’s next event has not yet been confirmed but she hopes to be out again before the end of the year.
For more information on Shelley’s rallying please visit www.shelleyrally.com