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Bird flies to Donington Rally victory

Monday, March 16 2020

Frank Bird and Jack Morton's Ford Focus WRC 07 was comfortably fastest on all seven stages in the LDV Donington Rally, but it was Barry Morris and Tom Hutchings who were crowned Motorsport News Circuit Rally champions in their Darrian T90.

Bird claimed victory by a crushing margin of nearly three minutes, with Ian Woodhouse and Paul Rowland finishing second in their Ford Escort. Third in the event proved to be enough for Morris and Hutchings to claim the title, with the pair finishing just 13 seconds further behind.

Bird held a lead of 18 seconds at the end of the first stage, and increased that to 42 seconds at the end of stage two. His lead stood at over a minute following the third stage, and was over the two minute mark at the end of the penultimate stage.

However late drama struck the crew of John Griffiths and Nigel Wetton, who had run in second place throughout in their Subaru Impreza. The pair completed an extra lap on the final stage of the event after they overtook a slower car approaching the split and wrong slotted, dropping them down to 12th overall.

That drama meant Bird and Morton claimed victory by over three minutes, with Woodhouse/Rowland and Morris/Hutchings promoted to the podium positions.

As well as outright honours there were various classes at stake too. Class One, for cars up to and including 1400cc capacity was by far the closest fought, and was settled by just eight seconds with Jonathan Hudson and Adi Collins prevailing in their Suzuki Swift.

Click here to view the full event results.