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Feb 09, 2013 - 07:06 PM
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Bird Wins North West Stages - This One's For Lexi
Posted by: newsla on Feb 09, 2013 - 07:04 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Bird Wins North West Stages - This One's For Lexi

Paul Bird made up for the disappointment of last year to take a comfortable win on this weekend's Legend Fires North West Stages Rally based in Blackpool and immediately dedicated the win to his daughter!


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The Langwathby near Penrith driver took the lead after the opening stage on Friday night and was never headed over the next 25 stages as the expected challengers couldn't match the pace of the Fuchs Titan, Rapid Solicitors and Kick Energy-backed Frank Bird Poultry Ford Focus WRC07 driver.

Along with Welsh co driver Aled Davies, the pair held a 41 second lead overnight before gradually increasing their advantage throughout today to reach the Blackpool finish line this evening one minute and 26 seconds ahead of second placed former winner Kevin Procter, who incurred a one minute road penalty on Friday evening.

Last year, Bird was hit with a hefty road penalty of six minutes before recovering to end up fifth but there were no such problems this year for the 2005 National Champion who will again combine selected rallies with his PBM UK team owner duties in MotoGP and British Superbikes.

As well as making up for last year's disappointment, the win signalled the end of Bird's run of three successive retirements when he was leading the Manx and Grizedale Stages before sliding off the road and then co driver Kirsty Riddick sustaining a hand injury at Croft which forced them out of the Jack Frost Rally last month.

More importantly, it's a step in a positive direction for Paul who has recently had some well documented problems in his personal life and also with his health but after losing over three stones in weight over winter after returning to training, he is determined that this is a fresh start.

Paul Bird: "I'd like to dedicate this win is for my daughter Lexi who I haven't seen recently so I wanted to do it for her. OK, I've had it tough lately but this is the new me and I'm determined to turn things around. I've always wanted to win this rally and this is another achievement in the right direction. Apart from one spin this morning, I've not put a foot wrong and the car was perfect. Aled was simply brilliant on the notes and I can't thank him enough but once we had built a lead, I backed it off as I really wanted to win this. I'm in the best shape I've been in a long time; I feel I'm driving the best I have done in ages so hopefully we can continue in this vein as I'm loving driving the car again."

Results (after SS26)

1 Paul Bird/Aled Davies - Ford Focus 07 WRC - 1:41:27
2 Kevin Procter/Dave Bellerby - Subaru WRC - 1:42:53
3 Chris Anderson/Chris Thirling - Ford Fiesta - 1:49:26
4 Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson - Subaru Impreza - 1:49:28
5 Bob Grant/Pete Carstairs - Subaru Impreza - 1:49:30
6 Alex Taylor/Cala Sharp - Subaru Forester - 1:49:35
7 Alan Kirby/Lawrence Kirby - Subaru Impreza - 1:49:56
8 Howard Chopping/Ken Bills - Subaru Impreza - 1:50:31
9 Chris Phillips/Sarah Hughes - Peugeot 106 Gti - 1:50:38
10 Andrew Varley/Paul Wild - Ford Escort Cosworth - 1:51:14

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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· More about WRC Rally News 2010

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