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Round 2 of the Tasmanian Rally Series launched on the roads near Burnie (Tasmania) on Saturday July 18.

Local driver and current leader of the series Lynn Rattray led the field to the first forest stage followed by some very experienced crews including Nathan Reeves who travels from Victoria to contest the series in his Subaru WRX. Several other teams were also rumoured as favourites including Pete O’Reilly (Subaru) and Lee Peterson (Nissan) who both scored well at round 1.

With over 140kms of flat out racing on the closed gravel roads – the teams had a fight from the start and no one could afford to take it easy. Several teams fell off the score board with mechanical problems and by the half way point it was Lynn Rattray leading with the DSA Rally Team of Mark Butcher and Jess Nicholson sitting in 2nd place outright.

The battle for second place was very tight with only ten seconds separating Butcher from rhird place O’Reilly and a handful of seconds further back to Peterson now sitting in fourth place.

“We pushed hard all morning and we did run out of road a few times nearly clipping some of the trees – however we are absolutely pumped to be in 2nd place at the half way point in our first rally in this region” said driver Butcher.

The DSA Rally Team Subaru WRX was not the fastest or newest car in the field, however the team had worked on the basics to create a reliable and solid package for Butcher to drive flat out. “We are competing against cars that are much newer and faster, but we know our car well and have really got it to work well while staying reliable. It really is up to me to get the most from it and we are having a great time on these roads. A few times we have been near 200km/h – which is exciting when you are on wet gravel!” said Butcher.

After a mid-day super special stage the teams all headed out for the afternoon stages and the fight was on with only seconds separating 3 teams from 2nd place.

Butcher and the team decided to bolt on some new Silverstone tyres for the remaining stages and have a good hard run to maintain the placing and if possible chase down the leader Rattray.

On the longest stage of the day, nearly 25kms, only two seconds separated Rattray and Butcher – but Rattray’s lead was already too great. The DSA Team were very pleased to secure second outright for the round with Lee Peterson grabbing third place after Pete O’Reilly suffered a late gearbox failure to finish in fourth.

“We are stoked!! After only our third gravel rally in Tasmania we are now sitting second in the series and have proven that with a few more trick bits we might be able to aim for an outright win in the future.

"Lyn Rattray and Lyndon Hills did an excellent job of winning the event by a comfortable margin and are now sitting in first place with a substantial lead – but anything can happen in the next two rounds” said Butcher.

Rally is an extreme sport and like any motorsport requires a team effort. Navigating in only her 2nd rally ever, Jess Nicholson from Sydney did a fantastic job and the service crew of James, Amy, Ernie and Cato were super efficient in keeping the Subaru in top shape during the event.

The team are now in a bit of a pickle with round 3 of the series only 1 week before the team were planning to head to NSW for the round of the World Rally Championship.

Without a major sponsor, the team are struggling to find a budget to make both events and may have to decide which event to run. Hopefully the team will attract some support and invite any companies that would like to be involved to contact Mark directly on 03 644 50 888. All sponsors are entitled to a variety of benefits including free corporate driver training and rally car rides.

DSA would like to thank Subaru Australia, AJL Mechanical, Chiptorque and Masons Sign Worx for their valued support.

DSA Rally Team would also like to thank the North West Car Club and event sponsors for making the event possible.

More information on the DSA Rally Team can be found at www.driverskillsaustralia.com .

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