This weekends Oswestry based Bulldog Rally is the grand finale of the 2006 ANCRO Rally Championship, but the gathered crowds will have a bonus as they bear witness to an intense family battle as County Durham rally driver Stephen Petch Junior goes head to head with his father, the retired rallying ace Steve Petch Senior.
Stephen Petch Junior, a regular in the 2006 Mitsubishi Evo Cup, will be contesting the rally in his usual SG Petch Motorsport run Mitsubishi Evo IX, a car he has campaigned all year long. Despite a run of bad luck Stephen has frequently been a front runner in the championship and is looking to end the season on a high, having already been assured of 2nd overall in the standings after a fighting recovery from a first stage puncture on the penultimate round, the Park Systems Rally in Scotland.
Joining Stephen in the 2 car SGP Motorsport Rally Team will be his father, a former National Champion himself. Although Steve Petch Senior is now officially retired from rallying he has been out competing on the odd occasion in 2006, including guiding a Hyundai Accent World Rally Car to a closely fought victory on the recent Trackrod Clubman‚Äôs Rally. Steve will be at the wheel of one of the teams Subaru Impreza rally cars and is looking forward to the event, and the opportunity to go head to head with his son in similar cars.
After finishing just behind his father on the 2005 Bulldog Rally young Stephen is keen to reverse that this weekend and intends to push from the start.
“It‚Äôll be great to go up against Dad in similar cars but I‚Äôm just terrified the old man beats me ‚Äì I‚Äôd never hear the end of it” the young County Durham driver quipped. He added: “Although to be fair I‚Äôve had the whole season to get used to my car, so hopefully that will compensate for his greater experience of the rally.”
Steve Petch Senior is competing on the event as a tribute to retiring Clerk of the Course John Trevethick, who has been clerk for this renowned event for 25 years.
The 2006 Bulldog Rally consists of 70 miles of some of the finest rallying stages in North Wales and is based in Oswestry.