Second in Severn Valley

Coley and Pearce chase National Gravel Championship

Bexhill rally crew Andrew Coley and Dan Pearce have scored another excellent result in their pursuit of the MSA National Gravel Rally Championship, coming in a close 2nd in class and keeping their championship hopes very much alive.

Held on the last weekend in May in Builth Wells, Mid Wales, the Severn Valley National Rally featured stages made famous by the 'old' RAC Rally, Britain 's round of the World Rally Championship. With a mixture of very high speed and twisty technical stages, Bexhill's APCsport rally team knew it would be a challenging event. Warm sunshine over the weekend meant the contrast in weather from the previous round in a snowy Scotland could not have been greater, and the Bexhill lads were looking forward to continuing their close championship battle.

After the six miles of special stage one, the APCsport crew were just a second off the pace of their main class competitors and kept applying pressure as the morning continued. Despite a huge difference in machinery, Andrew and Dan kept the gap pegged at less than a second a mile all day. Driver Andrew Coley explains:

"Our Peugeot 206 is a fantastic car and works well in the dry, but we're almost 100bhp down on our class rivals, whose car is an ex world championship machine worth around four time as much as ours! The stages were in excellent condition and we were extremely pleased with our position and overall pace coming towards the final stages of the day."

With 2 stages to go, Coley and Pearce made the decision to really push and see if they could force their competitors into an error before the finish. On the six mile second to last stage, they sliced an incredible 12 seconds off the class leader, over 2 seconds a mile. Another big push on the final 15 mile stage was not quite enough to secure a win, but a very satisfying result and healthy championship points.

The next round of the championship is the Swansea Bay Rally in July; funds are extremely tight for the small local team and driver Andrew Coley would like to urge anyone who has considering supporting them with sponsorship to take the plunge and get in touch, saying:

“We could really do with some sponsorship; I'm sure there are companies out there in a position to help us chase the National title, and we'll return the favour with a good day out driving fast cars, which is what we do best!”

APCsport are grateful for the support provided by the following companies in 2008:

Kumho Tyres
Millers Oils
Schroth Racing
M-Tech Bodyshop
Langleys Automotive
Motorhaven Peugeot





















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