British Rally Championship manager Mark Taylor and Pirelli International Rally manager Brian Kinghorn praised crews for their quick thinking and professionalism at the scene of Guy Wilks' car fire on this weekend's Rally.
Stage eight of the event saw Wilks' new Proton S2000 catch fire whilst leading the rally, the source, although unconfirmed, thought to be a hot exhaust after losing a section of it in the stage.
As the first cars arrived on the scene, the Satria was already well ablaze, but several of the drivers tried to stem the flames with their own hand held extinguishers.
“We initially used our extinguisher to try and put the car out,” said Mark Higgins, who was first on the scene, “but it was obviously going to be no use. So I left Bryan (Thomas) at the scene to wave down the next crews and drove past the burning car to let the radio point know and try and get help. By the time Keith (Cronin) arrived, they concentrated their efforts in trying to stop the fire spreading.”
Cronin added, “It wasn't a nice scene to see the car burning there when we arrived; you wouldn't wish that on anyone. We did what we could but the car was too well alight.”
The way in which crews attempted to fight the fire drew praise from both Taylor and Kingburn, with nobody being injured in the incident.
“The crews had the presence of mind to stop the fire from spreading to the forest,” Taylor said. “We're obviously all very sad for Guy, Phil and the MEM team, but the main thing is that they are OK and that nobody was injured.”
“The crews that stopped and helped are to be praised for their professionalism and level headedness,” Kinghorn added. “We believe it was the right decision to bring the event back to service, so they could all re-start the final pair of stages safely with replacement extinguishers.”