STOURBRIDGE and Halesowen rally drivers are set for more action this weekend.

Steve Deeley and Damien Taft, both from Stourbridge, and Halesowen's John Conor will be competing in the Betta Somerset Stages Rally on Saturday. It is the third round of the REIS BTRDA Rally Series which will see competitors from all over the UK converging on Junction 24 of the M5 for the pre-event formalities, before heading off to Minehead for the actual start.

Having finished runner-up on the opener in the Forest of Dean and then followed it up with a record-equalling fourth victory in round two, Cumbrian Paul Bird (Ford Focus WRC) arrives in the south-west as championship leader.

However, any thoughts he and co-driver Aled Davies may have of maintaining their dominance will depend not only on a continuation of their current form, but also on what the opposition has to offer. At this stage, it is unclear just from where that opposition will come – the BTRDA Series requires each competitor to count their best six scores from the nine-event calendar towards their final tally.

Thus far, there appears to be something of a north-south divide opening up amongst contenders, with the strongest challenges coming from a number of Focus WRCs crewed by multiple Scottish Rally Champions David Bogie/Kevin Rae and defending BTRDA Gold Star winners Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton from Duns.

The evening of Thursday, April 3 saw the Quinton Car Club awards evening take place at the The Old Halesonians Association Community Centre, Wassell Grove, Hagley. Many local competitors featured amongst the awards winners and a raffle at the event raised £194 for Midland Air Ambulance.