NEWS: Debut win for John MacCrone in Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200
24th March 2014

Scotland's John MacCrone delivered an impressive 2WD 1600cc Class win on his debut driving the Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200, in the Border Counties Rally.

The 24-year-old from the Isle of Mull had to overcome treacherously difficult snow and ice conditions — which left him 10th in Class after the opening stage — in his two-wheel drive Fiesta. "The first stage was a nightmare," MacCrone, co-driven by Uddingston's Stuart Loudon, admitted. "It definitely wasn't the kind of conditions in which to try and learn about a new car. "Unexpectedly, there had been snow overnight, and at the first corner in the opening stage we hit sheet ice. The stage then went uphill, and it all just got worse because we had no grip. I'm actually not sure how we got through it. Because we were one of the first cars into the stage, we dropped a lot of time in stage one, around 50-seconds to the Class leader: we were 71st overall, and 10th in Class. That was frustrating. "Conditions in stage two were slightly better. The snow and ice was more patchy, but in some ways that actually made it more difficult to drive, simply because you didn't know how much grip you were going to get in any one bit of the stage."

Clearly though, MacCrone was building confidence in the new Fiesta R200. Fastest in Class through the 8.99-mile second stage at Bewshaugh, the talented young Scot had moved to 4th in Class, and 36th overall.

"We headed into the final three stages, which were all free of snow and ice, feeling more confident," MacCrone continued. "We built speed up a bit more on each stage, and by the time we entered the final stage we'd got the car close to the pace we knew we were capable of." Fastest in Class through the final three stages, MacCrone had eased himself into the 2WD 1600cc overall lead by the time he exited the day's third stage, the 8.98-miler at The Dodd. When he crossed the timing beam at the end of the final 9.63-mile stage at Buck Fell to confirm his Class win, his time of 10mins 37secs was 17th-quickest of the 67-car field, faster than a number of more powerful four-wheel drive cars. "I'm really pleased with what we achieved in our first time out in the Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200," MacCrone said afterwards.

"The R200 has a bit more power than the R2. There's quite a bit more top-end power, and when the conditions were right, the car was just awesome to drive. The guys at CA1 in Carlisle prepared the car meticulously, and it's great for everyone that we were able to start the season with a Class win."

MacCrone will next drive the Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200 in the Granite City Rally, the third round of the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship, on April 26.

John MacCrone: In 2009 John won the 205 Ecosse Challenge and enjoyed a remarkable debut year in the MSA Scottish Rally Championship, winning the Junior category and being awarded the series’ Junior Prize Drive. He subsequently topped a Motorsport News list of the ‘Ones to Watch’ from all disciplines of motorsport in 2010, and went on to finish second in the Fiesta SportTrophy UK. In 2011 John competed in a selection of BRC and WRC events, winning his class on Wales Rally GB and IRC Rally Scotland. John moved into the top-level FIA WRC Academy, for the world’s top young drivers, in 2012 and was immediately on the pace. With limited experience at this level John showed great speed through the year with numerous stage wins to his name. John is also a member of the MotorSports Association Team UK.

(Photo: John MacCrone drives the Castrol-liveried, M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200 through the snow-covered stages of the Border Counties Rally - Copyright: LindsayPhotoSport).

Press release issued on behalf of John MacCrone by McMedia


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