Rally driver dream comes true for Colne accountant

Dan Woods and Tony Garrett
Dan Woods and Tony Garrett
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A Colne accountant is totting up miles after realising a dream to become a rally driver.

Dan Woods, who works for chartered accountants Cassons in Haslingden, joined forces with his father-in-law, Tony Garrett, to compete in the Promenade Stages rally in New Brighton.

And the car nuts proved they are a class act after they finished fifth in their class – and 47th overall – on their first competitive outing.

Dan, who with his wife Steph shares a house with his in-laws in Colne, said: “It was an incredible experience. Our aim was to finish in the top 50. With 95 cars starting we knew this would be a tough ask, so we were over the moon to finish 47th overall. There were 13 cars in our class and to finish fifth was an amazing feeling.

“I was a bit nervous when we were waiting on the start line, but once we saw the green light I just focused on the driving. It was a major adrenaline rush and after the first stage the nerves soon disappeared.

“We’re now looking at entering more events because we’ve definitely got the bug. There are a couple of events coming up this side of Christmas that look interesting.”

Dan and Tony’s rally adventure started six months ago when they clubbed together to buy a 17-year-old Peugeot 106 rally car on eBay.

After restoring it to its former glory, the pair then set about preparing for their rally debut, with Dan in the driving seat and Tony providing the pace notes as co-driver.

“Not everyone gets along with their in-laws, but thankfully Tony and I have a great relationship, partly because we’re both mad about cars,” said 24-year-old Dan.

“When you’re driving a rally car, you have to put a lot of faith and trust in your co-
driver because you are effectively driving blind.”

Tony added: “Being a co-driver is completely different to being the driver but I have every confidence in Dan. I first got into rallying when I was 15 and I carried on doing it until 2005. I thought I was done and dusted, but when Steph met Dan a few years ago, he reignited my passion.”