MN TITLE WINNERS TO IRISH ASPHALT
Inaugural Motorsport News Circuit Rally champions James Sharrock and Stuart Faulds are hoping their success will give them the grounding to take on the best Ford Escort Mk2 drivers in Ireland.
Sharrock, a former Caterham circuit racer, fought off the front-wheel-drive Renault Clio of Steve Quigley/tom Hutchings and the Darrian of Ashley Field, the only car in the top three to win an event.
Now Sharrock will look to take a new car over the Irish Sea for select events, while a return to the Motorsport News series is also likely.
“We’re building another car at the minute as a Tarmac car,” explained Sharrock. “This one [the one used to lift the MN title] was originally built for gravel. This year we were at a loose end so we thought we’d give this championship a whirl. We’ll do a couple [next year] but we’re also looking to get over onto the roads in Ireland to see how we get on. Those guys are quick, if you don’t put yourself against them you don’t really know in a Escort Mk2 how quick you are.”
Field had been favourite to take the title after a win at Anglesey with two rounds to go, but a broken driveshaft on the next round effectively ruled him out of the running.
Sharrock’s fourth-placed finish last weekend was more than enough to secure him the crown.
“It’s been hard work to win the title! That last stage at Snetterton was all stress,” added Sharrock. “I’m pleased that the car held on. It’s been a cracking championship and it’s interesting to have such a variety of cars on the podium.
“There’s no shortage of cars in the championship and I think that’s testament to Darren [Spann, championship co-ordinator] and his team, all the hard work they’ve put in. The variation of circuits has been excellent too.”
Sharrock/faulds: have a new build