NEWS: John Set To Blast Back At Rally Yorkshire
23 September 2013

Brushing aside the disappointment of a spectacular retirement at Rally NI, Culina Palletforce Racing driver John MacCrone is planning to get straight back up to speed for next weekend’s Rally Yorkshire.

(John MacCrone and Phil Pugh are back to gravel for Rally Yorkshire)

Round five of the MSA British Rally Championship, however, is one of the shortest, most compact events in the series. Last year the championship witnessed its closest ever finish here when two drivers tied on time after a full day’s racing. The dead heat was decided with the winner chosen as being the fastest on the opening stage.

After two rounds on gravel and two on Tarmac so far this year, the team moves back to gravel to tackle the forest roads in North Yorkshire. With such a sprint event, Mull driver MacCrone and co-driver Phil Pugh have no time to ease themselves back to full speed. And, to add to the challenge, the event kicks off with two difficult stages run entirely in darkness.

Friday night sees the Culina crew tackle Staindale and Dalby, renowned as tough high-speed tests, and the darkness is set to make the loop an extremely difficult challenge. The Trackrod stages are famed for their high speeds and, as the forests aren’t used very much, the roads can become slippery if wet and usually have high grass verges.

Like last year, this opening action could decide the rally, so speedy Scot MacCrone needs to be at full rally pace as soon as the lights turn green at the start line of stage one. There’s no time to build up the speed, no margin for error and this puts even more pressure on ensuring a set of accurate pacenotes are compiled on the pre-event recce.

This weekend MacCrone will give his Telfords Citroen DS3 an important shakedown at the popular Rallyday event at Castle Combe race circuit to ensure it’s in tip-top shape for competition next weekend. The promotional event will also see the Culina Palletforce Racing team host a number of partners and guests – giving them the ultimate experience of a high-speed passenger ride alongside MacCrone.

Since Rally NI, it’s been a race against time for the team and preparation firm CA1 Sport. They’ve done a sterling job to beat the clock and have a fully rebuilt car ready to ensure MacCrone and Pugh can tackle both Rallyday and Rally Yorkshire.

Event Details:
The compact Rally Yorkshire is based at Adderstone Arena in the heart of the Dalby forest complex close to Pickering. After a ceremonial start in the centre of Pickering on Friday evening, MacCrone and Pugh will tackle two stages, Staindale and Dalby, totaling 15 miles in the dark.

After restarting on Saturday morning, there’s a loop of two stages to the west of the service park before crews tackle the longest test of the event – a 15 mile high-speed run over the Langdale moor. The rally finishes with a second pass over Friday night’s stages before the 60-mile event draws to a close with the finish podium at Pickering Showground.


John MacCrone, Culina Palletforce Racing team driver, said: “I’m keen to get back into the car and doing Rallyday this weekend is the perfect opportunity to get up to speed and ensure the car is ok. I don’t have much experience of Rally Yorkshire but the stages are fast, with lots of long straights, so it will be important to keep neat through the junctions and carry as much speed as possible. The biggest challenge will be Friday night and the two stages in the dark – we need to be at full race speed right from the start.”

Phil Pugh, Culina Palletforce Racing team co-driver, said: “We’ve put Rally NI behind us and are completely focused on Yorkshire next weekend. The stages are not used very much and can get slippery – so our road position could be an advantage with a cleaner line. With such a short event, we need to be on the pace from the start and Friday night’s two stages will be crucial. I’ve never co-driven with John in the dark before so the recce for those stages will be very important to get the pacenotes accurate.”

Thomas Van Mourik, Culina Palletforce Racing team principal, said: “After the disappointment from Rally NI, we hope to see John back on form at Rally Yorkshire next weekend. It's traditionally a high-speed event but both he and Phil have got a strong competitive attitude and I'm confident they will be up to speed pretty quickly. The team at CA1 Sport has done a great job to ensure we have a car ready for Rallyday this weekend and to contest Rally Yorkshire – now it's important to get a strong result as we near the last two rounds of the championship.”

Report: Courtesy of Culina Palletforce Racing


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