One of the first entries received by the organisers of next month’s Rainworth Skoda Dukeries Rally is from Shelly Taunt and co-driver Julie Murphy in their Subaru Impreza.
The crew, who both live in Wiltshire, are Dukeries regulars and their superb consistency sees them posting top 40 finishes on every one of the last eight events, dating back to 2004.
The rally will tear around the local forests on Saturday, 9th June and it seems likely that there will be a new name on the winners’ trophy this time.
Andy Burton, who won the rally for a record-breaking fourth time in 2011, is not defending his title and Steve Perez, winner in 2006/2009/2010, will be contesting Rally Barbados at the same time as crews will be assembling at Southwell Racecourse for the Dukeries.
Yorkshire crew Charlie Payne/Craig Thorley were 3rd overall in their Ford Focus WRC in 2011, and runners-up the previous year.
A good result here would do their season a power of good as, having won the very snowy Wyedean Forest Rally back in February, they have not finished either of the next two events in the REIS – Get Connected BTRDA Rally Series.
The Dukeries represents the halfway point in the eight-round Series and pressure is mounting on all those with aspirations to succeed Andy Burton to the coveted title.
Entries secretary is Joanne Smith on 01623 480410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.