Cumbrian driver Barry Lindsay will lead the field away on the Darlington and District Motor Club-organised Jack Frost Stages Rally in association with Cartersport which will take place at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire next Sunday (17th February 2019).
Lindsay and co-driver Caroline Lodge aim to defend the title they won twelve months ago in their SGP Motorsport Ford Fiesta S2000, kindly supplied by local motor dealer Steve Petch as part of their prize for winning the SG Petch ANECCC Rally Championship again in 2018.
Back then, heavy snow and ice was a major factor but hopefully the 70-strong field will not have such conditions to cope with on the 20th annual running of the event which will again comprise eight stages totalling around 40 stage miles on the asphalt of the North East’s only permanent race track and which is a qualifying round of a number of local championships.
Irrespective of the conditions, there are plenty of crews intent on landing the honours including a strong local contingent with specific agendas. Scotch Corner driver Tony Bardy is a three-times winner of the event and along with Mickleton co-driver Tony Walker, aim to get their names on the winner’s trophy for a fourth time in their Ford Focus WRC.
However, hoping to do likewise after also recording a hat-trick of Jack Frost victories are the Thirsk husband and wife team of Chris and Tracey Wise who are hoping to return to the Croft stages after a couple of years’ absence in their Ford Fiesta S2000. However, the pair suffered an engine problem on last week’s Riponian Rally so face a race against time to try to fix it.
Scottish driver Nigel Feeney and co-driver Steve McNulty aim to wheel out their unique John Cooper Works Mini WRC whilst Yorkshire’s Peter Smith and co-driver Patrick Walsh plan to return to the Ford Fiesta WRC which Matt Edwards took to victory on the Riponian last weekend.
Darlington precision driver Paul Swift and wife Jessica will be in action in their Ford Escort Mk2 as will Scottish visitors Alan Kirkcaldy/Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta) and Gordon Morrison/Mark Fisher (Subaru Impreza) whilst former National champion John Stone returns to Croft with son Alex on the notes in their Ford Fiesta WRC.
Local interest is further enhanced with Kepwick businessman Peter Stephenson (Subaru WRC), Alistair Hutchinson from Mickleton (Renault Clio) and Durham trio Pete Gibson (Mitsubishi Evo 6), Ed Todd (GTM Coupe) and the returning Bob Dennis (Subaru) all hoping for a good showing along with Guisborough taxidermist Dave Hornbrook (Mitsubishi), Richmond’s Mark Constantine (Vauxhall Corsa) and Bedale driver Joe Cunningham who is set to debut his newly-acquired Subaru.
Gates open at 08.00 with the first car starting at 08:57 and the full entry list can be found at www.darlingtondmc.com. Adult admission costs £9 in advance or £12 on the gate with accompanied children aged 15 and under free, with free car parking on hard standing within the circuit confines. There is free access to the service area, commentary provided and toilet/catering facilities available. Further information is available from Croft Circuit on 01325 721815 or from www.croftcircuit.co.uk.