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The hills were alive with the sound of WRX’s and other high powered rally cars on Saturday June 13 as round 1 of the Tasmanian Rally Series fired into life just west of Hobart.

The DSA Rally Team of Mark Butcher (driver) and Jess Nicholson (navigator) were keen to get on the fast flowing roads and set some times against some very experienced local competitors. The DSA Subaru WRX has recently received some upgrades but it was a nasty electronic gremlin that spoilt the team's first outing with the car shutting down towards the end of the first stage. After resetting the computer the car fired back in to life, but already the team had lost over a minute.

With a new car set-up, new navigator and new brand of tyres, the rest of the event was used to get some valuable experience – and the times improved with each stage indicating the team's potential. At the end of the event and over 100km of high speed rallying – the team finished in sixth place overall. The event was won by Lynn Rattray and Lindon Hills in a Subaru WRX.

“The roads around here are amazing! We didn’t have the power for the fast, long roads and could only manage around 140-150km/h. We also struggled to get grip out of most corners as the roads were wet and very slippery – so an upgraded front differential will give the car more drive in these conditions," Butcher said.

"Overall I had a great time sliding my way around the stages and enjoying the scenery that is a lot different to rallying in Western Australia! I cant wait for round two and the rest of the year.”

The Wynyard based team have already planned the upgrades and maintenance to be carried out before round two on July 18th to be held on the North West Coast. With support from Driver Skills Australia, Subaru Australia, AJL Mechanical and Chiptorque – the team are hoping for some higher place finishes for the remainder of 2009.

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