Swann chasing Premier Rally triple

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Motorsport fans will be in for a treat when the SA Gas Premier Rally and Premier Historic Rally returns to Sherwood Forest Pines this Sunday when Robert Swann will be aiming for a hat-trick of wins.

The event will again be run entirely within Sherwood Pines Forestry Complex, near Edwinstowe, as a single venue rally with six stages, totalling 33 forest stage miles.

Being run in the same format for its third year, this make it an ideal event for spectators to see all-day action at one venue.

Dukeries Motor Club member Swann, driving his Subaru Impreza S11 for the first time with new co-driver Aled Edwards, will be looking to try to retain his crown and make it three in a row.

Other leading entries following them off the line are Karl and Guy Simmons, in rally sponsors SA Gas Subaru Impreza, and Aaron Newby in another Subaru, who tied for fourth place last year.

Last year’s Historic Rally was won by Jason Lepley and Howard Pridmore in a Ford Escort RS, who will be out to try to make it a double victory and keep ahead of of BTRDA Silver Star champion Matthew Robinson, also in a Ford Escort RS1800.

Other local crews taking part include Gary Wayne and Andy Smith, in a Subaru Impreza, Mansfield’s Charlie and David Blaney, in an Escort MK2, Steve and Chris Grundy, in another Escort and Andy Fenwick and Andy Roughead, in a Hyundai Accent WRC car.

Over the years, previous Premier Rally winners have also included Steve Perez, Brian Bell and Hugh Hunter, all in Ford Escort WRC cars, all well known locally and nationally and also for competing in some international rallies.

There is a full entry of 65 cars on the event.

The SA Gas Premier Rally and Premier Historic Rally will be the final round of the 2013 Roadrunner/ Phoenix Awards ANEMMC Stage Rally Championship, the Dansport EMAMC Multi Venue Stage Rally Championship and the AEMC Ward Trophy.

In addition the event is also the final round of the very popular Dukeries Motor Club Rally Championship.

The first Premier Stages Rally ran in September 1980 and was born from the long-standing road event called the Sherwood Road Rally .

Almost from the beginning the Premier Rally was a qualifying round of the East Midlands (EMAMC) and North East Midlands (ANEMMC) Stage Rally Championships and it has retained this status throughout its history.

The rally is organised by the Dukeries Motor Club, anyone interested in becoming a member can get more information on the club’s website, www.dukeries-motorclub.co.uk.

They meet on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at Mansfield Rugby Club, Eakring Road, Mansfield.

l The first car (201) will start at 8.45am and it is anticipated that the last car will have completed the final stage by around 4.30pm.

The rally cars are grouped in two sections.

The first group are Historic Rally cars (pre-1981), which are numbered from 201 plus, and they will be immediately followed by the more recent rally cars, including the four-wheel drive cars, which are numbered from one upwards.

Cars start at one minute intervals on Stages one, two, three and four and 30 second intervals on Stages five and six.

Follow the large brown signs to the Sherwood Pines Visitor Centre (Map Ref: 120/ 611.638), which is off the B6030.

Enter the forest main entrance and follow the signs to the public car park. Do not use any other road.

The visitors’ car park at Sherwood Pines has been enlarged and there are huge additional parking areas on the right hand side of the car park.

The Forestry Commission charge is £4 per day for Pay & Display. To avoid queues please park up and then get a ticket from the machines.

There are toilets and a café on site.

From the car park it is a 300m walk west and south to the stage route.