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Dec 03, 2012 - 06:42 AM
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Last Stage Heartbreak For Bird
Posted by: newsla on Dec 03, 2012 - 06:39 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Last Stage Heartbreak For Bird

Cumbrian rally driver Paul Bird saw his Grizedale jinx strike again when he came within four miles of winning the Coppermines Grizedale Stages Rally in his native Lake District today only for disaster to strike.


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Bird, from Langwathby near Penrith, had to overcome some seriously slippery conditions after a severe overnight frost caused problems on the stages and he slithered to second fastest time some 15 seconds down on the opening nine-mile stage before reducing that to nine seconds after SS2 behind Alex Allingham's Subaru.

Co driven by Dumfries' Kirsty Riddick, the Fuchs Titan, Rapid Solicitors and Kick Energy-backed Frank Bird Poultry Ford Focus WRC07 pair flew through the first of the Broughton Moor stages to stop the clocks eight seconds quicker than any of their rivals over the 2.5 miles and hit the front after SS4 to lead at service by 14 seconds.

With the temperatures hardly getting above freezing all day despite the sunny conditions, just 16.4 miles of Grizedale lay between Bird and his second win on his local event to add to his 2009 success. All was going fine and was maintaining his lead when he slid wide three-quarters of the way into the final stage and clipped a ditch which caused the car to spin into a tree, breaking the steering in the process and causing instant retirement.

Paul Bird: "I just can't believe my luck once again. I'd not put a foot wrong all day despite it being the slippiest it's ever been in Grizedale and was well on the way to winning when something like this happens. I made a slight mistake over a crest, over corrected into a ditch but made the mistake of keeping my foot in to try to drag us out. That's where I clouted this tree which launched us into the air and broke the steering which wrenched my wrist and think it could be broken so I'm off for an x-ray. We paid a heavy price for a small error but that doesn't help with the disappointment as once again, my Grizedale jinx has struck!"

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