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A Tasmanian rally team is about to take on the World’s best drivers at the 2009 Repco Rally Australia – a round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). With only a small budget, the team have entered the event this week and are desperately seeking sponsors to come on board for the ride of a lifetime in this once-every-two-year event.

The DSA Rally team, based in Wynyard Tasmania, is led by driver and team owner, Mark Butcher (35). Mark is the director of local company Driver Skills Australia and has been involved in rallying for many years – with his first ever event being the WRC rally in Perth back in 1995. Since then, he has competed in many events at all levels – and is currently sitting in second place outright in the 2009 Tasmanian Rally Series.

“I have competed in these events before and it is awesome to have a WRC round back in Australia after so many years. The crowds are huge, the media presence is awesome and the whole atmosphere is just electric. If you have never been to one of these events do yourself a favour and get off the couch and check out one of the most extreme sports in the world – here in our backyard!” said Mark.

A newcomer to the passenger seat is young-gun James Heinrich. At only 18 years old, he may just be the youngest person in the event and although he is just a spring chicken, he has been the chief mechanic on the DSA sponsored Subaru WRX for about twelve months. James has also driven in some events and co-driven at club level so his combined experience will help keep Mark on the road and out of the scenery. A diesel fitter at AJL Mechanical by day, James has the support of his friends and family and will be in the best seat in the house to watch the rally action at World Championship level.

“When Mark asked me to co-drive, I didn’t think twice about saying yes. I just hope he doesn’t expect me to fix the car in between stages!” joked James.

The team are currently entered in a 2001 Subaru WRX Group A car that has been very reliable but there is a new car on the horizon.

“We have a car in New Zealand that is available which was originally built for the Subaru Australia Rally team and has been driven by the likes of Alister McRae. We are very keen to get this car here but some things are out of our hands at the moment so we are not sure if it will make it here in time,” said team co-ordinator, Amy Butcher.

With only four weeks to go until the event, the team are very thankful of the existing support from sponsors but still need a few major sponsors to come on board to help things along. Every sponsor will receive great publicity, exposure and a range of promotional opportunities with the team. Also, as an added bonus, Mark's company Driver Skills Australia is offering FREE Defensive Driver Training courses to any sponsors that are keen to help.

“This is a massive chance for a Tasmanian and Australian team to take on the world's best – and with the right support we may just be able to sneak a good result. We have the resources and are confident we can deliver if we can find the backing. We have put our money where our mouth is and now we just need a few others to share in the adventure to do the same,” said Mark.

Information on the team and the latest news and results can be found at www.driverskillsaustralia.com. The event is being held in Northern NSW (Tweed area) starting September 3 and ending September 6. More information can be found at www.rallyaustralia.com .

Companies who want to be associated with this young, enthusiastic team can contact Mark, James or Amy directly on 1300 880 956.

DSA Rally Team would like to thank Subaru Australia, AJL Mechanical, ChipTorque, Masons Sign Worx and the many people who have offered their time and support so far.

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