AR­RON NEWBY TO DRIVE PAUL BIRD’S FO­CUS WRC

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Paul Bird will put young driver Ar­ron Newby in the seat of his Ford Fo­cus WRC while he serves his two-year mo­tor­sport ban.

Bird fin­ished run­ner-up in the 2014 BTRDA Rally Cham­pi­onship, but was banned re­cently hav­ing tested pos­i­tive for co­caine and di­uret­ics in his blood fol­low­ing a drugs test af­ter the Nicky Grist Stages in 2015.

The Kelso driver is hop­ing to help out Newby – who hasn’t com­peted in a WRC car be­fore – by giv­ing him the op­por­tu­nity.

“The rea­son be­hind do­ing this is to sup­port a young driver and to put some­thing back into the sport,” said Bird. “I’ve known Ar­ron for a long time, he’s a good friend to me and I rate him highly as a driver. I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what he can do in this car.”

Newby is look­ing for­ward to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the 2008 Fo­cus – but the duo has only con­firmed a test so far. No events have been ear­marked at this early stage.

“It started off as a jok­ing text to blow the cob­webs off the car,” ex­plained Newby. “How­ever, it all turned se­ri­ous in a few min­utes and plans are in place for tests al­ready.”

Newby – a Manx cham­pion – is hop­ing a trip back to the Isle is on the cards.

“Ideally, one main event to do would be the Manx Na­tional in May as I think I’m more suited to Tar­mac, but in all hon­esty, I’d just be happy to get out in a proper WRC car on any event.”

MN un­der­stands that Dom Buck­ley will con­tinue to pre­pare the car on events.

Bird will get Newby in the Fo­cus WRC

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