MG Xpower rally driver Nathan Crewe narrowly missed out on a top ten finish on last weekend's Wye Valley Stages. The Bromsgrove driver was using the Builth Wells Showground based event as a pre-championship warm up with new navigator, Mark Ammonds.

The pair are to compete in the Silkolene 1400 Championship throughout 2004, being the most competitive championship in Britain for small capacity cars both Nathan and Mark wanted to get some practice before the season opening Wyedean Rally on 14th February. They are once more campaigning in an MG ZR.

The morning stages at Builth Wells Showground were exceptionally slippery due to the heavy rain and flooding over the previous week. Nearly half the field of 70 competitors fell foul of the conditions, including several top runners who damaged their cars on rocks. A spin on cold tyres dropped the MG ZR team to 23rd on the morning stages leaving them a plenty of work to do in the afternoon.

Once the poor weather cleared it was possible to put the power down from the 1400 K-Series engine and the Martin Healer Development Services backed team began to rapidly move up the leader board. 'With many crews spinning on the standing water and in the ford, the handling of the MGZR showed its true ability in the treacherous conditions', said Nathan.

Nathan and Mark had worked well in their first event together, finishing 11th overall against much bigger engine machinery and bringing the car back in one piece ready for the Wyedean Rally this Saturday at Chepstow.