Published:
January 29, 2017
Action-packed Brean Rally 2017 underway this weekend

100 drivers from across the UK are taking part in the 2017 Brean Rally this weekend.

It will be the 21st consecutive year for the rally at Brean and it promises to be as exciting and as big as ever with many of the top rally crews from around the UK taking part.


The rally, promoted by Club Rallysport West, has recently been awarded the title of the 'South West's Best Sealed Surface Rally', an accolade that's all the more special as it is an award voted on by the competitors. This is a back-to-back award for the Brean Rally, which it won in 2015 and 2011.

Held entirely within the confines of the Brean Leisure Park, the crews will tackle the 12 special stages over two days around the roads of the Leisure Park.

"Such is the popularity of this West Country event that enquiries for entries have been received from all parts of the UK," organiser Rod McKenna told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"The rally is once again expected to attract a wide range of rally cars, from World Rally Cars to the ever popular Ford Escorts, Vauxhalls and Peugeots."

Seeded at 1 is last year's winner, husband and wife team, Steve and Yvonne Furzeland in their formidable Subaru Impreza S12 World Rally Car. Steve and Yvonne from Plymouth have now won this event three times and are eager to make it number four.

However, there are some 'young guns' who will be close on their heels and just as eager to take a win at Brean. Seeded at 2 is Lancashire-based and former Manx Rally Champion Aaron Newby, partnered by experienced co-driver Ian Davis, in their TAG-prepared Subaru Impreza.

Aaron led the rally in 2015 on the first day, only to retire with a blown turbo on the first stage of day 2. Watch out for some close action on the opening stages.

At 3 is Bristol based Josh Payton with regular co-driver Marcus Mizen in their Mark2 Ford Escort. Josh finished in the top 10 last year and is quite capable of taking on some of the more powerful cars.

At 9 is another young driver, 18 year old Josh Cornwell from Surrey. Josh is partnered with local co-driver Rick Bliss, who is taking a break from driving. Cornwell who will be driving a Ford Fiesta R2 has been doing very well in both home and overseas rallies.

Five times previous winners at Brean, Karl Broad/Roger Grant, have submitted a late entry in their Subaru Impreza S9 World Rally Car. Seeded at 14 they are expected to make their way through the field in the opening stages.

The rally actually gets under way for the competitors on Friday 27 January when the pre rally scrutineering comes to Weston-super-Mare. The rally cars will arrive at the Weston College's Automotive and Motorsport Technology Centre on the Locking Road from 1pm on Friday afternoon until approximately 7pm for a pre rally inspection by the events scrutineers.

This facility will be open to the public who will get the opportunity to view the rally cars and meet the drivers.

Local drivers include Stuart Bliss driving a Honda Civic, Andrew Hicks/Trevor Hawkins in a Ford Fiesta R2, Ian Archer driving a Ford Escort, Pete Donnachie/Mark Carrow, Ford Focus, David Thorpe/Ian Drewitt in a Citroen C2, Grant Andrews, Ford Fiesta, Father and son, Tom Bretherton driving a Honda Civic and Simon driving a Citroen Saxo.

Six special stages will be completed throughout Saturday with a further six stages on Sunday.

The organisers add that spectators at the 2017 Brean Rally will be well looked after. "There will be three spectator areas, giving excellent viewing of the rally stages, together with a covered, seated grandstand and catering facilities."

Spectators will be admitted to the park over both days for an admission charge of £5 (accompanied children under 12 will be admitted free) and car parking will be £5.

Also see:
What's on in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

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