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The 2009 Southern Cross TV Mountain Stages rally kicked into gear on Saturday October 3 in the mountains East of Launceston. The weather was perfect for a battle between 29 of the states best gravel rally drivers and the team of DSA Motorsport were going to have a tough fight for a result with 5 newer model Subaru WRX’s to contend with.
 
Leading the field was Nathan Reeves from Melbourne and with the first set of stages over at the first service DSA driver Mark Butcher had the crew attend to a brake issue. “The roads are very fast as you can imagine – we are going up mountain roads and then we have to come back down! The car really picks up speed and we were in fifth gear flat out on a few occasions. The brakes didn’t really keep up so we fitted a fresh set of pads to see if that cleared the problem – which it did” said Butcher.
 
The black Subaru WRX with new brake pads improved over the next stages and the team managed to finish in 5th outright in Heat 1. After another service the crew headed out for the afternoon stages.
 
“We had to score maximum points in both heats as we hoped to make up a place or two in the state championship. Lee Peterson who was sitting in 3rd crashed and had to withdraw with suspension problems and so we just had to grab as many points as possible to move up. The car performed well and even though we had a slow leaking tyre that we had to change between stages we managed to climb into 4th for Heat 2 and picked up 4th Outright overall for the event. This was enough to pick up 3rd outright for the 2009 Tasmanian Rally Series and we are delighted. We had technical problems in 3 of the 8 heats and so we have managed to climb back with consistent results and some sensible driving” said Butcher.
 
Everything is now put on hold until a budget can be put together for 2010. The team are hoping to contest all of the Australian Rally Championship rounds next year and possibly the NZ round of the WRC. A major sponsor is required who will benefit from extensive exposure on both Network 10, One HD and local media. A full proposal for prospective sponsors is available.

There will also be a segment featuring the Tasmanian Rally Series on ONE HD soon so stay tuned or check your TV guides.
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