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Round 3 of the Tasmanian Rally Series was held near Hobart on Saturday, August 22 and the DSA Rally Team were there to give their Group A Subaru Impreza WRX a test after having several components rebuilt.

The event was also the first time that James Heinrich sat in the passenger seat as co-driver as he is usually found working on the car and not in it! James will be joining Mark Butcher at the 2009 Repco Rally Australia, a round of the World Rally Championship, in only two weeks time so the team used this event to gain some valuable experience and “shake down” the car before sending it to NSW on Friday.

The weather was cool however things got hot for the team when an air-lock in the cooling system created a few headaches. “We have a bit to learn about this car – and somehow we managed to get an air lock in the cooling system that caused all sorts of dramas during the first few stages of the rally. We then managed to split a radiator hose and ended up with a car sounding more like a kettle then a rally car,” said driver, Mark Butcher.

Although things were looking bad, it turned out that no serious damage was done and the team successfully completed the full day of rallying. Final results are still to be published – but the team are confident of retaining their position of second outright in the championship. The winner of the rally was Nathan Reeves and Scott Spedding from Melbourne, with the series leader Lynn Rattray and Lindon Hills scoring enough points to make them un-catchable for the last round in October.

“The top three teams are all running newer versions of the Subaru WRX but our car has still been able to put in some respectable performances," Butcher said.  "These are awesome cars that just go hard and can handle everything we throw at it. I am confident we will have a reliable package to compete at the world championship in a fortnight and cant wait to be part of this massive event.”

The team are now working flat out completing final preparations before heading to Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania on Friday night. It's then a road trip to northern NSW to start pace noting and then the rally starts on Thursday week (September 3).

Without any major sponsorship the team have struggled financially but have decided to go regardless.

“Motorsport is expensive, but we have had some great support from Driver Skills Australia, Subaru Australia, Mason Sign Worx, Cricks Subaru Tweed, AJL and Chiptorque. Without these guys we would really struggle to even get to the start line.

"As a team, we are very keen to secure some sponsorship to allow the purchase of additional tyres. Our current limited budget means that we will use only six tyres whereas the opposition will have access to four times this number!” said co-driver, Heinrich.

Information on the team can be found at www.driverskillsaustralia.com (follow the links from DSA Motorsport) and the rally information can be found at www.rallyaustralia.com

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