STONE MAKES FI EST AWRC SWITCH FORM N SERIES
Blackburn rally man debuts new challenger at oulton park
John Stone made a shock car change for last weekend’s Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park, fielding a Ford Fiesta RS WRC which he will use in future Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship rounds.
In the first MN round of the season at Oulton Park, Stone narrowly missed out on fourth place in the car. He has swapped to the WRC car from a Fiesta S2000 with a 2.5-litre Millington engine.
The new car was purchased from Kieran Graffin in Ireland, and Stone is planning visits to Ireland and the Isle of Man in the next year.
“I’d love to take the car to Monaghan in April and I’d love to do the Manx National,” said Stone of his plans for next year. “It’s a proper tool for that.
“At the back of my mind I also have the North West Stages and I want to have a super-competitive car for that. It’s a learning thing now, we have to start from the beginning.”
Stone sponsors the North West Stages through his Legend Fires concern in Blackburn, and the event is particularly significant next year as it is set to use closed roads in competition for the first time.
Stone was usurped late in the rally by Fiesta R5 driver Steve Simpson, but was happy with the general performance.
“It was great to battle with Steve Simpson,” he said. “We started rallying at the same time 20 years ago, battling in my Peugeot 205 and he had a 306, which he was using on circuit events even then.”
Stone could give his Three Sisters Championship-winning son Alex a debut in the car at the Glyn Stages at Anglesey in late November, and has entered.
Fifth overall for Stone at Oulton