Steve and Yvonne Furzeland had plenty of reasons to smile in their Subaru Impreza World Rally Car today (Sunday, January 27th) after dramatically winning the 2013 Brean Rally.
Rivals Peter Lloyd and Carl Sorenson had been all set to claim victory for a record fifth year running after racing into a big lead at the end of Saturday’s first day of action at Brean Leisure Park.
However, the competition suddenly hotted up during the most dramatic final two stages of the rally that it has seen in its 17 year history.
Heavy rain and hail deluged the track just as the leaders were starting stage 11, catching out the top crews as it changed the tarmac surface from dry to fully wet.
“Lloyd and Sorensen in their Impreza World Rally Car visibly struggled for grip on their dry tyres and by mid-stage a tell-tale whisp of smoke out of the exhaust gave an indication that the turbo had blown and they limped out of the stage into retirement, robbing them of a fifth consecutive victory,” one of the rally’s organisers told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
Second at that point were the Furzelands who suffered their own drama when several wheel spins caused some minor front end damage, but they suddenly jumped into first place.
In the final stage there was everything still to play for as the Furzelands only held a slender nine second lead over a hard-charging Rob Swann and Aaron Newby.
This time, though, the weather turned dry and the sunshine quickly started to dry out the road surface, allowing Steve and Yvonne to coast to their second win at Brean, their first being in 2006.
Steve said he was “delighted” to have won, adding that it had been an exciting weekend of action.
The mild weather drew large crowds of spectators to the event over the two days, who were able to take advantage of the covered grandstand and other facilities.
Second place overall went to Rob Swann and Aled Edwards, above, in their Sabaru
Burnham’s Paul and Hannah Sutcliffe competed in their BMW M3
This classic Ford Anglia, driven by Andy Phipp from Torbay, atrracted attention
The spectators were treated to a great two days of action
This vividly-coloured Vauxhall Chevette, driven by Jeff Brown, was in great form
Cheltenham’s Lee Kedward and Mark Newman came to a shuddering halt
Will Barnes, in an unusual hat, giving his team’s Peugeot 205 a checkover
Ian Moss and Alison Eamer from Stroud competed in their Hillman Imp
A large crowd of spectators watched from the grandstand over the two days
Silverware galore – the trophy winners at the end of the two days of racing