NEWS: John MacCrone bags another Scottish Championship class win in Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200
28th April 2014

Scotland's John MacCrone, driving the Castrol M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200, delivered another impressive display when he finished top two-wheel drive car in the Granite City Rally, the third round of the ARR Craib Scottish Championship.

And the 24-year-old from the Isle of Mull, who also won his 2WD 1600cc Class for the second successive time - having taken the honours on his debut in the car last month in Jedburgh - did so without his car's intercom working. Co-driven by his uncle, Mull-based Peter MacCrone, for the first time since 2011, the pair set fastest time in their Class through the opening 7.75-mile stage at Durris. But as they entered the second forest stage at Swanley, the event's longest test at 16-miles, the crucial intercom linking driver and co-driver stopped working.

"It wasn't ideal, but we just had to get on with it," MacCrone explained. "Peter spent the whole 16-miles giving me hand signals to illustrate what lay ahead round the corners. With hindsight, it was actually quite funny. Amazingly, despite the fact I essentially drove the stage just as I saw it, we set another fastest time and increased our lead in the Class. To be honest, I couldn't believe the time we'd set: we were 28secs faster than our closest 2WD drive rival, and I'd actually expected to drop time. The main problem for Peter was that he struggled to let me know what corners I couldn't cut. To be honest, there was one which had a huge hole on the side and thankfully we went straight over the top of. We were lucky not to rip the wheel off."

Once back at service, the crew from CA1 in Carlisle, who prepared MacCrone's Fiesta R200, repaired the intercom problem and the duo continued to set fastest 2WD times through the closing two stages. "Stage three was very technical, but the final 13-miler at Glenfarqhaur was wide and fast, and we were really able to go for it there. We had a lot of fun in it, and it was a terrific end to the day. "The car was excellent again. A really well-balanced chassis — as is the case with the R2 — but with the extra power, the R200 is such a fun car to drive. Our aim was to go out and do the best we could in the car and see where we ended up, so to win our Class and be the fastest 2WD car overall was a good, solid achievement." Such as MacCrone's pace in the Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta R200 — a car which M-Sport sees as an important clubman car for 2014 and '15 — that the youngster outpaced a number of more powerful, faster 4WD cars and drivers.

In addition to finishing top 2WD car overall, and winning his 2WD 1600cc Class by more than two-minutes, MacCrone finished 19th overall from the 82 finishers. A total of 116 crews started the Aberdeen-based event. Next up for McCrone is a return to Tarmac when he contests the Manx National Rally on May 10. "I'm really looking forward to driving the Fiesta R200 on Tarmac for the first time," MacCrone, who dominated last year's Tunnock's Mull Rally in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2400, admitted. "I think it's going to be awesome."

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 stages of the Granite City Rally - Copyright: LindsayPhotoSport).

Press release issued on behalf of John MacCrone by McMedia


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