NEWS: Scot John MacCrone denied by technical gremlins on brink of Manx win
12th May 2014

The 24-year-old from the Isle of Mull — who outpaced a clutch of more powerful four-wheel drive cars in his two-wheel drive Castrol-backed Ford Fiesta R200 — was also denied an impressive top 10 finish overall.

MacCrone set fastest stage times in his 1600cc 2WD Class through eight of the nine stages he completed before being forced to retire his Pirelli-shod Fiesta with temperature problems. Such had been the Scot's mastery of the blisteringly fast Tarmac stages, on the 127-mile Isle of Man event, that he led his nearest Class rival by 4mins 28secs when he was forced to stop. "It's a real pity, because the car had been going fantastically," MacCrone, who was also lying 11th overall in the 104-car field, admitted.

"We were constantly setting fastest stage times in our Class, and closing rapidly on a Top 10 finish overall, when the temperature light came on in the car." Eager to avoid a potentially expensive engine rebuild to the M-Sport-built car, MacCrone — co-driven by Welshman Dai Roberts — headed for the next service halt and had the Fiesta checked by Carlisle-based CA1 Sport, who prepare the car. "We're not sure, but everything pointed to the head gasket going, so the logical decision was to retire the car to ensure we didn't cause any more damage," MacCrone explained. "It's obviously a real pity, because with five stages remaining we were well on course to not only win our Class, but finish in the top 10 overall, which would have been fantastic. "But these things happen in motorsport. We won our Class in the last two events, the Border Counties and the Granite City rallies in the Scottish Championship, and it would have been nice to have kept the winning run going. The main thing though is we showed the car has fantastic pace, and is sensational on Tarmac. We'll take this one on the chin and move on positively."

John MacCrone in action behind the wheel of his Castrol-liveried, M-Sport Ford Fiesta R200 in the Manx National Rally (Video by FiveStageMedia):

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 Manx National Rally - FiveStageMedia).

Press release issued on behalf of John MacCrone by McMedia


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