Crash drama during first stage of 2005 Brean Regency Stages Rally
TWO drivers in this weekend's 2005 Brean Regency Stages Rally were lucky to escape unhurt after their car spun off the track in a dramatic crash.
Colin Billings and his co-driver Andy Kilby from West Malling, Kent crashed out of the first stage on Saturday morning after their Golf GTI suffered a mechanical problem.
Crowds watching the event gasped as safety officials dashed to the pair's aid.
Colin exclusively told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Something went wrong with the car - we noticed there was a problem while accelerating into fifth gear down the back straight.
"Approaching the chicane, the back of the car stepped out and we were left at an angle of 45 degrees.
"We hit the curb, bounced up and the car was left unceremoniously in the ditch. There's a lot of front-end and suspension damage."
An eyewitness to the crash added: "There was a loud noise and a big puff of smoke in the air as the car went off the track directly in front of ourselves in the main grandstand at the end of the straight."
He added: "There clearly was some concern for the drivers for a few seconds, with worried safety officials running along the edge of the track to get them out. Fortunately, though, they were both able to clamber out of the car unhurt, but quite shaken."
The yellow GTI was left submerged in the ditch besides the track for the remainder of the day and had to be pulled out of the track by a tractor in the evening.
Colin, pictured, has been rallying for 15 years and this was his fourth year competing at the Brean Regency Stages Rally.
He had high hopes for a good result at Brean after finishing 12th in 2001 and 13th in 2003.
But he and co-pilot Andy Kilby were undaunted by the incident and told Burnham-On-Sea.com that once the damage has been fixed, they will be both looking forward to taking part in April's Cornwall Rally.
"With this sport you have to take the good days and the bad. You need bad days like this in order to enjoy the victories even more," he said.
Two of the top seeds at the 2005 Regency Stages Rally retired before the event had even started and five cars had engine or mechanical problems or crashed during the first stage on the Saturday.
The organisers attributed the numerous skids and sliding cars to the overcast weather, which had caused the tarmac to be slippery.
Holder and Nick Reeves led the 2005 Regency Stages Rally in their Metro
6R4 (pictured) at the end of day one on Saturday January 29th.
David Kynaston and Andy Russell performed well to finish in third place in their Audi A3 Quatro. They were just one second behind the Furzelands, according to the preliminary results.
1 Duncan Holder
/ Nick Reeves - Metro 6R4 (Weston-super-Mare)
Background information about the
Brean Regency Stages Rally