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Feb 09, 2014 - 06:14 AM
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Stone Denied Runner-Up Spot On Legend Fires NW Stages Rally
Posted by: newsla on Feb 09, 2014 - 06:10 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Stone Denied Runner-Up Spot On Legend Fires NW Stages Rally


Just as it looked as if he was on for a repeat of his runner-up placing on the event of two years ago, Blackburn driver John Stone saw his hopes dashed when he was forced to retire from this weekend's Legend Fires North West Stages Rally with just four stages remaining.

 

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Along with Welsh co-driver Carl Williamson, the event sponsor was back in action in the Legend Fires Skoda Fabia WRC following an extensive winter rebuild and despite the tricky conditions on Friday night, the pair took it steady to reach the overnight halt in Blackpool in a safe fifth position after setting second fastest time behind rally leader and Dom Buckley Motorsport team-mate Paul Bird on SS2.

The weather was to play a part in Saturday's remaining 21 stages but soon, Stone was starting to climb the leaderboard and by SS9, he was up to third place overall. Having desires on lifting the winner's trophy again just as he did ten years ago, John continued his progress up the order and by half distance, was up into second place and giving chase to Bird.

Equal fastest time on SS14 saw Stone limit Bird's advantage but after dropping some time on the next couple of tests, the Legend Fires team had to look in their mirrors as the Subaru of Simon Bowen was starting to rapidly close in.

Stone responded with fastest time outright on SS19 as Bowen struck trouble meaning by the end of the 22nd stage, John and Carl were over one and a half a minutes in front of third placed Neil Simpson (Skoda) and comfortable holding second overall when disaster struck as John explained:

"We had a bit of a plan and were driving well within ourselves which meant not taking any risks when the car started to lose power on the way back to service. It could have been a problem with the turbo but rather than limping home to the finish down the order, we decided not to risk it given the car has just had a major overhaul. Whilst it is disappointing to retire, we ironed out a few niggles and enjoyed a good battle whilst it lasted. The focus is now on the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship which gets underway next month and we'll put what we learned in Blackpool to good use."

The opening round of the

REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is the Tour of Epynt which takes place on March 9th. For further information please visit www.nwstages.co.uk and www.legend-fires.com.

Results - 2014 Legend Fires North West Stages Rally


1 Paul Bird/Aled Davies - Ford Focus 07 WRC - 1hr 37m 48s
2 Neil Simpson/Claire Mole - Skoda Fabia S2000 - + 5m: 08s
3 Darren Doherty/Andrew Falconer - Subaru Impreza - + 6m:44s
4 Bob Grant/Vicky Grant - Subaru Impreza - + 8m:52s
5 Damian Cole/Elliott Edmondson - Ford Escort RS Mk2 - + 10m:20s
6 Alan Kirby/Lawrence Kirby - Subaru Impreza - + 10m:30s
7 Chris Ford/Steve Hartley - Subaru Impreza - + 10m:49s
8 Howard Chopping/Jon Turnbull - Subaru Impreza555 - + 10m:51s
9 David Benson/Steven Benson - Honda Civic - + 11m:31s
10 Mathew Roberts/Richard Bestwick - Citroen Saxo VTS - + 12m:24s

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Also in WRC Rally News 2010:



 
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