NEWS: Solid Yorkshire Finish Gets John Back On Track
28 September 2013

Culina Palletforce Racing driver John MacCrone finished sixth after a solid drive on today’s Rally Yorkshire – the penultimate round of the MSA British Rally Championship. He delivered a problem-free run to get his confidence back on track after a high-speed retirement from Rally NI in August.

Mull driver MacCrone and co-driver Phil Pugh were keen to get back to race speed from the off. But, with Rally Yorkshire one of the shortest events in the series, they had no time to build up their speed. The forest stages are a little less technical than most other rallies and that means competition is tighter and stage-times much closer.

However, starting fast wasn’t an easy task as Rally Yorkshire opened with two night-time stages through the tough Dalby forest. In his Culina Citroen DS3, MacCrone started well with a top-five time on the opening 5.98-mile run through Staindale and nestled into sixth position overnight.

He benefited from pre-event tuition with former British Rally Champion Guy Wilks on Thursday and put the knowledge to good effect when the rally re-started this morning. Rally Yorkshire has many long straights and tight junctions and MacCrone mastered the conditions to set a string of solid times to consolidate his position.

While a frantic race was going on at the head of the field for victory, MacCrone was focused on an error-free drive to reach the finish line in front of dozens of team guests. Despite a small scare when a half spin cost around 20 seconds on the 15-mile stage over Langdale moor, he set strong times over the final loop of two stages to reach the finish in Pickering in sixth place.

On one of the most competitive events of the season, where all the top championship runners were clambering for position, MacCrone’s fine finish on his come-back event bore much significance.

The team did, however, pick up a trophy at the finish podium celebrations in Pickering. After preparations experts CA1 Sport built a new DS3 rally car in a matter of days and turned out an immaculate vehicle for the event, the Culina Palletforce Racing car was judged to be the Mantis Best Dressed Car today.

John MacCrone, Culina Palletforce Racing team driver, said: “I felt comfortable in the car but just lacked confidence in the high-speed sections. I was braking too early for junctions but we really needed to have a clean run and bring the car back to the finish – both for me and the team. Everyone has worked hard over the last few weeks to make sure we had a car here so the best prepared car award is very fitting.”

Phil Pugh, Culina Palletforce Racing team co-driver, said: “It was always going to be a tough event. Coming back after an accident is always a little unnerving but this rally started with high-speed night stages – which are always a challenge. On these stages, commitment is everything and we just lacked the final few percent to mix it with the leaders today. It was important to finish and now we can focus our efforts fully on the last round of the season.”

Report: Courtesy of Culina Palletforce Racing


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