The Prescribed Burn Rally Team will be flying through the backroads of Merritt in pursuit of a podium finish at the Mountain Trials Regional Stage Rally this weekend. Driver Mark Jennings- Bates and co-driver Jennifer Daly currently lead the open class championship in Western Canada, and are aiming for an overall podium result in Merritt. They will have the toughest competition from other BC teams, most notably LeBlanc/Morison, who crashed their P4 Subaru at their last event and will be starting in a new, possibly open class, rally car. The team was on pace for a great result at last year’s Mountain Trials, but fell out of contention when the car overheated on the first pass of the lengthy Helmer Stage. On site repairs and refills were successful and Mark and Jennifer were able to continue for a second pass at Helmer, the penultimate stage, where they rolled the car, definitively ending their rally. Helmer is on the Mountain Trials schedule again this year, and Mark and Jennifer are eager to conquer the challenging stage where they crashed. The Prescribed Burn Team will be rallying at speeds approaching 200km/h on the Comstock stage, a favourite of Mark’s. Helmer, Comstock and the short AMR stage all have excellent spectator viewpoints where growing numbers of rally fans have been coming to watch the rally cars sliding around hairpins and tearing down gravel straights over blind crests.

Merritt is the enthusiastic and welcoming host community for both Mountain Trials and the National Pacific Forest Rally in October. The rally cars will be on display Saturday morning at the Merritt Canadian Tire, which also functions as the official start and service locations. The Prescribed Burn Team is looking forward to putting on a great show at their home event, where the action both out on stage and at service is accessible to local fans. Most of the Prescribed Burn service team will be out on stage as radio operators and extraction crew, and the Mountain Trials organizers are still looking for a few more volunteers.

The Prescribed Burn Rally Team is a performance rally team based in British Columbia’s Okanagan valley. Driver Mark Jennings-Bates and co-driver Jennifer Daly compete in an open class Subaru, with the help of service chief Dave Hood, and a team of local volunteers.

For 2008 the Prescribed Burn Team will be running the entire Western Canadian Rally series, as well as select Canadian National and Rally America events.

The Prescribed Burn Rally Team is supported by BCResortHomes.com, Wyatt Auto Parts, Agar Paint & Autobody, 99.9 SUN FM, BigO Tire in Westbank, OkanaganVisitor.ca, Provisiondata. com, Stacy Screen Print, Kelowna Moving Centre, Wishbone Industries, The Great Canadian Oil Change, NAT and Bell Racing.

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