Club news - Nov 16

John Stone’s hopes of spraying the winners champagne on last weekend’s Neil Howard Stages came to nought when the engine of his Legend Fires Ford Fiesta S2500 expired whilst he was challenging for the win.

The Blackpool South Shore Motor Club member, co-driven by Carl Williamson, had been fastest through the first of the rally’s nine stages at Cheshire’s Oulton Park Circuit. An issue with a coil pack that resulted in a miss fire then dropped them to third but with that replaced they looked to be back on the pace in stage three. That was until they reached the water-splash located just before the stage finish where disaster struck.

On entering the water the rear differential guard was torn from the chassis and with that then acting as a water break the rear of the car was thrown into the air in dramatic style. The car ground to a sudden halt but Stone was soon able to restart the engine and make the stage finish.

The Legend Fires service crew were then tasked with making a painstaking check within a limited time slot before sending the crew back out to contest stage four. All seemed fine to start with but as Stone selected sixth gear on reaching a faster section of the circuit there was a loud bang before the car ground to a halt. A hole had been punched through the side of the sump signalling the end of their rally.

It was a sad ending to a day that had promised so much as Stone could only watch as victory on the day then went to Rallycross ace Kevin Procter and co-driver Derrick Fawcett in a Ford Fiesta S2000 Turbo.

Local rally fans will have to wait a little longer than usual to see Stone compete on the event that carries his company’s name, the Blackpool based Legend Fires North West Stages. Traditionally run over the first weekend in February it moves back three weeks on the 2017 calendar to the weekend of Friday/Saturday 24th/25th February. Traditional stages on both Blackpool and Fleetwood sea fronts are likely to feature again, more details will become available closer to the event.

John Stone/Carl Williamson (Ford Fiesta S2500) hit the water splash on the Neil Howard Stages.