Dunbabin’s roar back for ‘Dean return

Warrington twin brothers Dan and Clive Dunbabin get their 2003 season underway at this weekend’s Wyedean Rally in Chepstow, the traditional opening round of the BTRDA Rally Championship.

The RallySchool.co.uk backed 27 year olds will be using their recently acquired ex-David Higgins Subaru Impreza WRX on the event, as they bid for Production Class honours in the 10 round national championship.

The former Peugeot 206 Super Cup challengers have been working flat out to prepare the Subaru ahead of the Chepstow based event. An outing on the Grizedale Stages in December provided useful feedback and also unearthed a few problems on the car that were not obvious at the time.

Since then, the car has undergone a meticulous rebuild with all areas of the car being carefully looked at, to ensure its in the very best of health before they travel to the stages within the Forest of Dean. The rally has 10 stages in total, including two runs around an artificial stage at Chepstow Racecourse, the rally’s base.

“Grizedale was certainly an experience!” quipped Dan. “First time in four wheel drive car and the first time we had used Yokohama’s since 2000. Most spectators will remember the “whistle” that the car had. It was a cracked pipe near the turbo, but we have changed that now. Hopefully there will be no more whistling…

The car was actually loosing a bit of boost pressure as a result of that cracked pipe. We also found that the differentials were not as tight as they could be, so we have also had those rebuilt ahead of the rally, and the Proflex suspension is now also in 100% condition. We basically looked at every aspect of the car and made sure it was right before this event.

As for the rally itself, I’ve no doubts that Nik Elsmore will be unmatchable, as he is local to the stages and knows them well. He will challenge for the overall win I think. Our aim is to set good times, continue to learn the car, and I would be a little bit disappointed if we were not in the Top 5 of Group N on the rally. I’m sure the likes of Paul Wedgebury will be going well as will the usual BTRDA Group N lads, some of which are very quick. I just want to get some points on the board ahead of the Malcolm Wilson Rally and we can take it from there.”

Dunbabin will also be supported by Drivertime on the event, as he looks to build on his experience of the 2000 season in the BTRDA. The fight between Dunbabin and Martin Meadows was one of the fiercest in UK rallying for a decade, as they battled tooth and nail in very different specification cars until the final round of the series, where Meadows took the win after Dan’s well publicised excursion into Penmachno forest.


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