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Oct 13, 2013 - 06:36 PM
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Local Hero John Maccrone Dominates Tunnock's Mull Rally
Posted by: newsla on Oct 13, 2013 - 06:35 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Local Hero John Maccrone Dominates Tunnock's Mull Rally


John MacCrone realised a boyhood dream when he powered his MSport-prepared Ford Fiesta S2400 to a dominant win in the 44th running of the Tunnock's Mull Rally.

 

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The 24-year-old delivered a controlled, professional drive through the final four stages before powering through the flying finish in his home village of Dervaig.

"It doesn't get any better than this," MacCrone, co-driven by Uddingston's Stuart Loudon, beamed yesterday (Sun). "But that was tough, really tough."

After the early retirement, on the third stage, of last year's winner Calum (correct, Calum) Duffy, when he spun into a fence and left his Ford Escort MKII balancing precariously on a rock, MacCrone took control.

Over the final 17 stages, MacCrone was fastest in 11 of them, and eventually finished 3mins 57secs ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of Carlisle's Peter Taylor.

MacCrone's biggest challenge was that he started the final four stages leading the 22-year-old Englishman by just 1min 14secs.
The dilemma the Scot faced was whether to keep attacking, and risk going off or breaking something on the car: or back off and pace the car to the finish.

In the end, he resorted to type: "I always like to drive flat-out."

His victory was essentially clinched on the closing loop's opening stage, the 14.79-miles at Glen Aros/Mishnish Lochs.

While MacCrone powered flawlessly through the stage, clocking 12mins 33secs, Taylor hit trouble, twice spinning off as he pushed in an effort to apply pressure on the Scot.

Taylor exited the stage with his Focus WRC looking battered and bruised, with no front bumper, and the whole intercooler visible.
"We were off twice in there and dropped good amount of time," a downhearted Taylor admitted. "I was pushing hard trying to close the gap on John, but I just made mistakes."

The excursions cost the youngster 1min 11secs. Unaware Taylor had suffered damage and dropped time, MacCrone kept the pressure on by powering through the next three stages. In the end he won comfortably by 3mins 57secs ahead of Taylor.

The Englishman, bidding to be the first non-islander to win on Mull since Daniel Harper in 2002, ended up nursing his car to the finish line.

With no suspension spares, he had to cope with a car which had a broken shock absorber, which was then compounded by brakes problems in the final stage.

Salen's Eddie O'Donnell held off Richmond's Tony Bardy to clinch the final podium spot, with both drivers clocking exactly the same time over the final 22-mile stage. Only seven seconds separated them at the end.

With Tristan Pye conquering the slipping clutch problems he endured all rally on his Subaru, sealing fifth, the top 10 was rounded off by Jonathan Mounsey (Mitsubishi), Alan Gardiner (Escort MkI), Richard Cook (Subaru), Peter Gibson (Mitsubishi) and Chris (Curly) Haigh in his MkI Escort).

But there was heartbreak on the final stage for a number of crews. Bungay's David Mann finished with his Subaru on its roof on the beach. Both he and co-driver Chris Hamill were ok.

Then Billy Bird's Vauxhall Chevette went off: he and co-driver Plug Pulleyn had been on-course for a top 10 finish. And Ian Chadwick's Skoda Fabia gave up the ghost just three miles into the final stage.

And finally the Subaru Impreza of Mull Car Club chairman, Allan Cameron, stopped with mechanical problems at Calgary Bay. This year's event marked the 40th anniversary of his first Mull Rally.

But at the end of 30 hours of gruelling, high speed action, the big winners were John MacCrone and the Tunnock's Mull Rally: both celebrating a winning performance.

CAPTION: Mull's John MacCrone, and co-driver Stuart Loudon (Uddingston) on their way to winning the Tunnock's Mull Rally in their MSport Ford Fiesta S2400. LindsayPhotoSport byline must be used alongside free-to-use image.

Note (Not for publication):
Issued on behalf of Tunnock's Mull Rally by McMedia.
McMedia contact — Jim McGill (07802-43-8883).


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