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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Rally fan drove at 135mph
Mobile speed camera
More than 2,000 rally fan and drivers were caught in the operation
A motorsport fan who drove at 135mph between stages of the world rally championship in south Wales has been banned from driving for six months.

Ashley Oliver, 35, of Winchmore Hill, London, travelled faster on the M4 than the drivers did in the World Rally Championships, magistrates heard.

He was one of more than 2,000 competitors and fans - including Britain's Colin McRae and Richard Burns - caught by a mobile speed camera set up for the British leg of the competition last November, the court heard.

Oliver, who admitted speeding in his Mitsubishi Lancer car, was also fined 500 by magistrates at Bridgend.

Last month magistrates in Port Talbot adjourned until 10 November cases against 20 of the world's top rally drivers - including four-times world champion Finnish Tommi Makinen - allegedly caught in the speed camera sting.

We will not tolerate anyone doing these sort of speeds on the road
South Wales Safety Camera Partnership

South Wales Police launched the road speeding crackdown during last year's Network Q rally.

The court heard the operation picked up a total of 2,312 speeding motorists, but officers were stunned to see Oliver driving at almost twice the speed limit.

John Rowling, manager of the South Wales Safety Camera Partnership, said: "We warned the rally drivers not to speed while on public roads between stages.

"But we were surprised that the fastest car going past our checkpoint was not a rally driver but one of the spectators.

"We will not tolerate anyone doing these sort of speeds on the road.

"I make no apologies to anyone caught speeding. Our main aim is casualty reduction and ensuring the quality of life in our communities."

A spokesman for the organisers said that they will be taking steps to ensure that the drivers are aware of the speed limits during this year's rally.

He said: "We will do everything possible to ensure that drivers and teams are aware of the local speed limits and have the greatest respect for local communities."




SEE ALSO:
Rally drivers stung by cameras
29 Jul 03  |  Wales
Rally coup to bring 50m boost
17 Nov 02  |  Wales


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