NEWS: John's Mull Magic Secures Home Victory
13th October 2013

Culina Palletforce Racing team driver John MacCrone cruised to a stunning home victory on the Tunnockís Mull Rally this weekend. Co-driven by Stuart Loudon, the pair scored a dominant win after setting 11 fastest times from the 19 timed special stages to win by nearly four minutes. Johnís home event was outside of his MSA British Rally Championship challenge with the Culina Palletforce team. Driving M-Sportís Fiesta S2400, run on the event by CA1 Sport, he took control of the lead from stage three on Friday night and never looked back.

The islandís Tarmac roads are renowned as providing a tough challenge but John mastered the ultra-quick stages with their unforgiving bumps and jumps to take a welcome home win. The timing of his victory couldnít be better as the team heads to Rallye Sunseeker for the final round of the British series this weekend. With Johnís confidence back on track, he and co-driver Phil Pugh will be aiming to finish the season on a high with a strong performance on the Poole-based event.

Also in action on Mull was Palletforce sales and marketing director Dave Holland. On his annual competitive outing, Hollandís talent shone through as he out-paced more experienced crews to climb as high as 26th overall before being sidelined with a broken clutch in his Ford Escort Mk2. John said: ďWinning my home rally means so much to me, everything worked really well and the Fiesta is such a rewarding car to drive. The victory has really helped give me a boost ahead of the Sunseeker this weekend and my confidence in the pacenotes and high-speed ability has taken a big step forward. Lets see if we can end the British season on a high.Ē

Report: Courtesy of Culina Palletforce Racing


Local hero John, dominates Tunnock's Mull Rally
13th October 2013

John 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. 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.

(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).

"It doesn't get any better than this," John, co-driven by Uddingston's Stuart Loudon, beamed. "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, John 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. John'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 John 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, John 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.

Press release issued on behalf of John MacCrone by McMedia


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