Rally co-driver Shelley Rogerson suffered a dramatic exit on last Saturday’s Woodpecker Stages rally when the Peugeot Cosworth she was competing in with Andrew Burton had a fire.
Problems obtaining parts meant that work to get the car ready for the event following an accident on its previous rally continued right up until the start on Saturday morning. However, Burton and Rogerson made it to the start line in Ludlow and all the parts seemed to be working as they set fastest time on the opening Bringewood stage by 5 seconds from Shaun Gardener in his Mitsubishi.
“We were pleased to make the start of the event, it was all very last minute with a new radiator being fitted on Friday night and various other bits being finished on Saturday morning,” said Shelley.
“It was a relief to get to the first stage and we were delighted to set fastest time. The stage was quite unusual with bits of tarmac road between the normal gravel tracks but Andrew drove well and we had no problems.”
Another fastest time followed on the second stage, High Vinnells, before a 4th fastest time on stage 3 saw Burton and Rogerson arriving back at the service area in Ludlow in first place overall with Gardener second and Steve Perez, who was co-driven by Burton’s son Josh, in third.
Disaster was to strike on the fourth stage of the event which took place in Radnor forest. Burton and Rogerson started the stage but as they approached the second junction large flames appeared from the passenger side of the car. The crew immediately stopped and Shelley was dragged from the car through the driver’s door, the flames preventing exiting on the other side. The fire was quickly extinguished but their rally was over.
“It was a very scary moment when the flames appeared, especially as they were on my side! I’ve never experienced a fire in the car before and it’s an experience I don’t want to repeat, ” commented Shelley.
“It’s very disappointing, we were having a good battle with Shaun and Steve and it would’ve been good to continue the battle to the finish and possibly get my third victory on the event. After our accident on the Swansea Bay rally and this I hope we have better luck soon! I’d like to thank Co-ordSport, Legend Fires, AMG TV, Nicky Grist, Alan Cookson from GillettsSpar.com and Songasport for their support.”
It is not certain what the next event for the Peugeot duo will be but the car should be ready for the Plains Rally on September 20th should they decide to put an entry in.