Matt Cotton overcame adverse weather conditions and a number of obstacles to complete the Wyedean Forest Rally last weekend, the opening round of the 2009 BTRDA Rally Series, and was rewarded with a fine fourth in class for his efforts.

Cotton's adventure began early on Friday when the former MG ZR Challenge champion spent most of the morning digging his Cannock Electrical and Mechanical supported MG out of the snow.

With the weather conditions reported to be treacherous all the way from Somerset, where the cars are kept and maintained by CWC (Chris Wright Competitions), Cotton and Chris Wright took the decision to abandon the service vehicles and, armed with chainsaws and shovels, the pair headed for the rally in the rally cars in a journey that would take over eight hours.

It was with large sighs of relief when they arrived in time for the required scrutineering checks - but both crews were aware that, without backup service vehicles, they were under pressure to complete the rally without dramas the next day in order for the rally cars to be driven back to base.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, but this meant a gentle thaw which, if anything, made the conditions far trickier.

In fact the majority of the 1400cc cars had to be assisted up a hill in the opening stage.

Apart from that though, and a couple of excursions into snow banks Matt and co-driver Glyn Thomas enjoyed a strong run to fourth in class in their CEM backed MG ZR.

"Firstly I'd like to say a massive thanks to the organisers, marshals and safety crews for ensuring that the rally ran without a hitch today," said Cotton. "It was a great laugh out in the stages and the car was faultless all day long!

"This weekend has once again reminded me of the camaraderie and 'fun factor' of the BTRDA.

"It was a challenge just making the start but I'm really glad we made the effort, and am now looking forward to the Malcolm Wilson Rally on March 7."

by Geoff Mayes



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