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Mar 08, 2014 - 05:27 PM
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Fourth Win Sees Bird Equal Malcolm Wilson Rally Record
Posted by: newsla on Mar 08, 2014 - 05:25 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Fourth Win Sees Bird Equal Malcolm Wilson Rally Record

Penrith rally driver Paul Bird took a sensational victory on today's Malcolm Wilson Rally to not only take the lead in the 2014 REIS BTRDA Rally Championship, but in doing so he equalled fellow Cumbrian Bill Dobie's record of four outright victories on his local event.


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Along with Welsh co driver Aled Davies in the Pirelli-shod, FBP, Fuchs Titan, Rapid Solicitors and Mac Tools-backed Ford Focus WRC07, the British Superbike and MotoGP team boss also had his lucky mascot in the car - daughter Lexi's toy crocodile which, following his victory on the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally last month, once again seemed to do the trick!

However, the 2005 National Champion was made to work hard for his win despite setting fastest times on the opening four stages to hold a handy 19 second advantage at the first service halt. But it nearly all went wrong when Bird, from Langwathby, headed into the notorious Grizedale stages, which has been his bogey forest in recent years.

With defending champion Euan Thorburn taking over the challenge from fellow Scot David Bogie; Bird knew he'd have to be on his game despite increasing his advantage to 31 seconds at the end of SS5 before dropping five seconds in the second run through Grizedale North.

Into the 7.8 mile Grizedale South test which comprised the penultimate stage of the annual Lake District extravaganza and that's where it nearly went wrong for Bird. Pushing as hard as he could, he slid wide on a corner at high speed and ended up in the undergrowth, luckily without hitting anything, before emerging unscathed although with a loss of ten seconds.

Thankful that for once Lady Luck had smiled on him in Grizedale, which has seen his demise on numerous events, the final stage in Greystoke posed no such problems and he arrived at the Rheged finish 13 seconds to the good to add to his victories of 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Paul Bird: "This means so much to me, not only taking maximum points to take the lead in the toughest gravel rally series in the UK, but to achieve my fourth win on my local event was fantastic. I want to dedicate this victory to my daughter Lexi whose toy crocodile we had in the car again and I'm sure it helped! That's two wins and a second place so far this season so it really is a lucky charm! I had to drive as hard as I ever have done today but I was determined to win having come so close or suffered bad luck in recent years. There was no way I was letting anyone beat me this year so off we go to the Somerset Stages, complete with the croc, where hopefully we can continue our winning ways."


1 Paul Bird/Aled Davies - Ford Focus 07 WRC - 45:59
2 Euan Thorburn/Paul Beaton - Ford Focus WRC - 46:12
3 Stephen Petch/Ian Windress - Ford Focus WRC - 47:00
4 David Bogie/Kevin Rae - Ford Focus WRC - 48:05
5 Jim McNeil/Thomas Hughes - Subaru Impreza - 48:06
6 Tom Naughton/Andi Mort - Mitsubishi Evo 9 - 48:12
7 Alex Allingham/Chris Williams - Subaru Impreza - 48:22
8 Ollie Mellors/Craig Parry - Proton Satria Neo - 49:03
9 Wayne Sisson/Neil Shanks - Mitsubishi Evo 9 - 49:19
10 Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy - Mitsubishi Evo 9 - 49:47

Provisional Championship Positions (after round 2 - subject to confirmation)

1 Paul Bird 58
2 David Bogie 56
3 Jim McNeil 49
4 Ollie Mellors 48
5 Russ Thompson 47
6 Matthew Robinson 44

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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