Continuing his recent domination, Cumbrian-born rally driver Frank Bird took a comprehensivevictory on today’s MGJ Engineering Brands Hatch Winter Stages to thrust himself firmly into contention in the Motorsport News with MSVR Circuit Rally Championship.
Along with Hexham co-driver Jack Morton, the 20-year-old originally from Penrith made it three wins in a row to add his latest victory to those achieved at Croft and Knockhill last month in the Dom Buckley Motorsport-prepared Ford Focus WRC07, with backing from VisionTrack, Yuasa, Frank Bird Poultry, Hager, Mac Tools, Fuchs Silkolene and PBM.
The long trip south to the famous Kent track proved worthwhile and despite a cautious start on the icy opening stage, from SS2 onwards, Bird was never headed and won all seven remaining stages. 14 seconds to the good going into SS3, the pair upped their pace further and at the halfway point, enjoyed a 42 second lead.
Not content with easing off and protecting his lead, Frank did the opposite and rammed home his advantage in the afternoon stages, increasing his advantage to 77 seconds after the sixth stage before sensationally winning the final two stages by nearly half a minute on each to cross the finish ramp two minutes and 21 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
The result means that Bird has propelled himself up the championship leaderboard after four rounds following on from the disappointment of retiring when leading at the opening round at Oulton Park in November and missing the following round at Cadwell Park.
Indeed, it is Lincolnshire’s Cadwell Park which hosts the next championship round on February 2nd whereby Bird and Morton will be looking to make it four wins in a row.
Frank Bird: “What a mega day today at Brands Hatch which is such an iconic circuit. Once we gotthe first stage out of the way in the icy conditions, it was fantastic to win every stage after that and winning by over two minutes was even better. The car felt really good all day and it suited the stage layouts well so thanks to the Buckley lads. Jack was great once again on the maps and of course a massive thanks to my dad. That’s three wins in a row now so I’m looking forward to Cadwell which has a strong entry in a few weeks’ time and hopefully we can keep our run going. Thanks also to our new sponsors VisionTrack and Yuasa as well as our existing ones and to the organisers and marshals.”
Pictures courtesy of Josh Folks, Hairpin Motorsport Media.