BROMSGROVE’S Julian Barnett finished 10th overall in the Rally of the Midlands in the Polesworth Garage backed Subaru Impreza.

With Sasha Heriot sat in the car for the first time, the pair set 14th fastest time on the opening stage around Mallory Park on the team’s first event of the season.

After the second run through the crew had moved up to 12th.

The cars then headed out to the MIRA proving ground for two runs through the 14-mile stage that had been established within the complex.

With temperatures raising in the summer heat it was getting a little uncomfortable inside the car.

This was the least of the crew’s worries, as the demanding stages were going to be where the majority of the event stage mileage took place with two visits to the venue during the day and survival through all four tests would be paramount.

On the first run through the stage, dubbed Lindley 1, Barnett caught and passed three cars.

The tight road timing only allowed the crew to adjust tyre pressures before a second run through.

Waiting for the start the heat soaked up into the cockpit from the engine bay and with nothing the pair could do they carried on looking to beat the previous time they had set.

But the heat took its toll and by the end of the stage both driver and co-driver felt sick.

The crews headed over to the Merevale Hall Estate where Barnett took a cautious approach through the 1.3 mile stage’s notoriously slippy road but still managed to emerge 9th overall.

Back at Mallory Park, the service crew awaited the return of the car and the four mechanics turned the car round with fresh tyres and a slightly increased fuel load for the repeat run of the first loop.

Barnett regretted to run the additional fuel load as the time through Mallory was lower than the previous run and with competition tight dropped at place back to 10th overall where ultimately they were to finish the event, despite turning up the anti-lag on the engine management in MIRA to try and gain the position back The crew were rewarded with second in class and also picked up the award for first mixed crew.

“Rally of the Midlands is always a great event and hopefully once closed roads rallying is approved by the government it will be one of the first events to benefit,” said the driver.